Half-Filipino “American Idol” Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez may well be the latest poster girl of the Department of Tourism’s extensive campaign, “It’s More Fun In The Philippines.”
Reportedly making rounds online is the 16-year-old Filipino-Mexican’s photo which shows her beaming while holding a placard containing the department’s latest slogan. According to DOT’s Ren Sapitan, Jessica’s photo was taken on June 8, while she was waiting for President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III at the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles for her courtesy call.
“I showed her the placard and told her that the Tourism Department is promoting its new tourism campaign so I asked her if she would mind having me take her photo with the sign. Without hesitation, she said 'sure' and smiled,” he told ABS-CBN News.
Ren, executive assistant to Secretary Mon Jimenez, also gave Jessica’s Filipino mother, Editha Bugay—who hails from the province of Bataan— a magnet the same size as the placard, bearing the campaign logo, for a souvenir.
Jessica’s meeting with PNoy took place during the latter’s working visit to the United States.
In previous interviews, as well as posts on her personal Twitter account, Jessica has often expressed her interest in visiting the Philippines. That wish will apparently be realized when she and her fellow “Idol” finalists hold a concert in Manila on Sept. 21. Negotiations are also purportedly underway for the young powerhouse to be the front act for “Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez’s concert in the country come November.
Jessica recently wowed audiences anew after singing the U.S. national anthem “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Game 1 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) and Miami Heat (MH). At the event, she also met American rapper Lil Wayne. She posted a photo of them together on Twitter, June 14.
By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ