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List of Articles by Rich Mazon


 

Fil-am from New York to sing Philippine National Anthem alongside singing pastors

By Rich Mazon
PhilBoxing.com
27 Apr 2015


Banawis.

New York – Nineteen year-old Gail Banawis of the Bronx has been singing the Philippine National Anthem since she was a kid. She has also performed in a numerous times in various cultural, artistic and sports event in the Tri-State area.

On May 2nd (May 3rd in the Philippines), the Filipina-American teenager and a recognizable name in the Fil-Am community in the New York and New Jersey performing scene, will sing it in the biggest stage of them all.

Banawis has been chosen by no less than Manny Pacquiao himself to perform the “Lupang Hinirang” alongside a group of singing pastors from the Philippines.

“I was invited by the Congressman himself to come over and try to work it out with the pastors and see if we could work together,” Banawis told Philboxing.com.

Banawis and her family flew to Los Angeles last week, met with the singing pastors and she rehearsed with the group for the first time Saturday.

“It was pretty exciting, because just having all the voices blend together, it felt like magic actually.”

The rehearsal went pretty smoothly according to Banawis, and in the words of a typical teenager, she described the experience as “awesome.”

Gail is a Vocal Major graduate from the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School Performing Arts in the Upper West Side, an esteemed high school in Manhattan that is specializing in teaching visual and performing arts. The said school was where the motion picture “Fame” was based on. She is currently a second semester freshman at Brooklyn College, taking Speech Pathology.

Excited was the least adjective that one can use to describe her reaction when she received the notice from Pacquiao. She was once asked by the Filipino icon to perform the national anthem in his previous fights but that did not materialize as planned. On Saturday, not only will she get her wish, she will also be joining Pacquiao in the biggest fight of the boxer’s career.

“This is a Manny Pacquiao fight and not only just any fight. It is the one against Mayweather, so of course it’s a big deal for me. I was pretty speechless. I am just excited and nervous at the same time.“

Gail’s nervousness is valid, as her performance with the Word Chorale choir will be watched by a nation of a hundred million. Everyone in the Philippines will be glued to their screen on Sunday, May 3rd, and they will watch, sing with them and even critique their performance of the national anthem.

But Gail is no amateur; she has been performing in the public eye since she was seven. She has been a part of various shows involving Filipino and international performers when they toured the Tri-State.

She has an upcoming show with Air Supply on June 13 at the Town Hall on Times Square.

“Before any performance in general, I get really nervous but I always psyched myself or that kind of thing. It’s also a heartwarming feeling that I won’t be alone in that stage and that I will be performing it with the World Chorale during this big moment.

Like Gail, the World Chorale are no strangers to the big stage, this was the second time that the group was tasked to perform the national anthem during a Pacquiao fight. They sung the national anthem when Pacquiao faced Chris Algieri in Macau, China last November.

Gail’s mom, Janette is from Cebu and her dad Gilray is from Kidapawan, Cotobato.

You can reach the author at rrmaze24@aol.com and is on Twitter @Freemazon910.


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