LAS VEGAS - A New York-based Filipina singer will hug the spotlight when she joins the Word Chorale in singing the national anthem in 'Fight of the Century' top-billed by Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Gail Banawis had previously tried out for the honor but was not chosen, the reason she was overwcome with emotion after receiving a call from a Pacquiao emissary telling her that she got the job this time.
Banawis bared it was her dream to sing in one of Pacquiao's fights.
“I tried out last year, pero the contract was given to someone else. Pero he still remembered me so he told me to join this fight instead,” Banawis said while Pacquiao personally introduced her to the members of the World Chorale.
“I really wanted to sing there. Kasi bata pa lang ako sinasabi ko na sa mama ko na I want to sing in Pacquiao’s fight, and now I am here,” she added.
Banawis, however, will not be singing alone, as she will be joined by the group of pastors which also sang the Lupang Hinirang before Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title defense against Chris Algieri last November in Macau.
One of the members of the nine-man Word Chorale, Rex Neri, told Spin.ph that though they have only come together twice for practice, Banawis has provided the needed lift to their performance.
“Maganda ang boses ng bata. Actually, nagbigay siya ng kaunting variety sa grupo namin na nakita niyo last time. She is every excited nga eh,” said Neri, brother of Pacquiao’s nutritionist Nonoy.
As for the proper singing of the national anthem as mandated by the National Historical Commission, Banawis said she’ll just follow the lead of singing mates.
“Yeah, I am aware of it,” she said while sharing her short sample of her own rendition to Spin.ph.
Watch Spin.ph interview with Gail Banawis: