Tiffany Ashley Viray, 14, and Lianah Sta. Ana, 11, were chosen from the many who submitted their rendition of both or either the Philippine or the American national anthem via YouTube. The two young Filipino Americans from Freehold, New Jersey will lead the singing of the national anthems in front of thousands expected to attend the match at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden and to millions that will be watching the fight via HBO and the web via TopRank.com.
At an early age, both Viray and Sta. Ana, have won many local singing competitions and have been featured in many community events in the Tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut). Both won first place in the Amateur Night at the Apollo, a known singing competition held at the famour Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. They have also appeared and performed at local television programs.
While Viray, a 9th grader from Howell High School, will lead the singing of Lupang Hinirang, the younger Sta. Ana, a 7th grader, will belt out the Star Spangled Banner.
Donaire made the announcement of his search through his Facebook fan page to give residents of the Tri State area an opportunity to show their singing talents both nationally and internationally as part of this sporting event.
“We want to thank all who participated in the search, all of them are just amazing and it was just hard for us to decide.” said Donaire. He congratulated Tiffany and Lianah saying that both are phenomenal singers with a bright future ahead of them. “They have national pride,” he added.
Meanwhile, Donaire will be in Jersey City on Monday, Oct. 17, in an event celebrating Filipino American History Month sponsored by the Jersey City Free Public Library, Greenville Branch, and The Filipino School of New York & New Jersey. He will speak to local high school youth to share his personal story and to inspire others to be proud of their Filipino heritage.
The event will be held at the auditorium of the Jersey City Free Public Library located at 1841 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ. It is free and open to all local high school students but RSVP is required for admission. To RSVP or for more information, contact Venessa manzano at email@example.com or 774-257-4669.
On Wednesday morning, October 19, Donaire will visit the Philippine Center for a courtesy call on Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr. and will then meet members of the local media.
The 28-year-old resident of San Leandro, California, will be defending his World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight titles against 36-year-old Argentinian champion Omar Narvaez. He is the first reigning Filipino champion to fight in New York City since another boxing icon Gabriel “Flash” Elorde made a series of bouts at what is referred to as “The Mecca of Boxing.”