Jessica Sanchez reunited with Pinoy family

Posted at 09/18/2012 5:50 PM | Updated as of 09/19/2012 4:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines – “American Idol” (AI) runner up Jessica Sanchez is here in the Philippines not only for a show, but also for what seemed like a family reunion.

This is what her mom, grandmother and grandfather said in an interview with ABS-CBN News on Tuesday.

Jessica’s mom Editha said they are all happy that the 17-year-old singer has finally set foot in the Philippines.

Jessica Sanchez's mom Editha with Deandre Brackensick's mom and Jessica's grandmother Virgie. Photo by Shiela Reyes for ABS-CBNnews.com

This is a first time for all of this season's top 10 finalists to visit the country.

“It was crazy when we touched down. There were so many people there and it was so early in the morning. That was just incredible to see. My daughter, she finally gets to see the Philippines, that’s very nice,” Editha said.

Jessica’s grandmother Virgie said they are really proud of what the young singer has achieved at a very young age.

With tears welling up in her eyes, Jessica’s grandmother said it is really overhwleming to see a lot of people supporting Jessica.

“Sa mga suporta nila kay Jessica, maraming maraming salamat. [Naiiyak] ako kasi, nata-touch ako kasi mahal na mahal ko si Jessica. Maliit pa siya talagang na-guide ko na siya all the way. Ngayon very happy ako sa ginagawa niya,” she said.

The singer’s grandfather Eddie, meanwhile, said they will forever remain thankful to people who kept Jessica in the "Idol" race.

Hollie Cavanagh poses with Jessica Sanchez's mom and Deandre Brackensick's mom. Photo by Shiela Reyes for ABS-CBNnews.com

“I’m very thankful for that. Siyempre I’m very proud of her. Sobrang proud, talagang hindi mo matatawaran ang pagka-proud namin. Tinangkilik talaga siya ng mga Pilipino. Very proud kami and very thankful din sa lahat ng nagsitulong, nagkaganyan siya,” he said.

Eddie also happily shared that Jessica is already loving the atmosphere in the Philippines.

“Siyempre happy ako nung umakyat ako sa taas. Tinawag ako ni Jessica sa taas. Tinanong ko lang sa kanya ‘Now you’ve been in the Philippines, how do you like it?’ She says she likes it, she might stay here sabi niya,” he shared.

Eddie said Jessica wishes to visit their town in Bataan but her hectic schedule won’t permit her to do so.

Now that Jessica has already entered the entertainment industry, Eddie said they will always be behind her to support her childhood dream.

“Talagang dream niya 'yun, batang maliit pa lang siya, dream na niya talaga na kumanta. Hindi na siguro namin mapipigilan. Nandiyan na, ngayon pa?” he said.

Asked what advice he could give Jessica, Eddie said: “Maipapayo ko sa kanya, be careful. Huwag siyang mapagmataas, maging mabait siya lalo na sa mga media. Dahil kayo ang [sumusunod sa career niya]. Kayo ang magpapa-down sa kanya, kayo ang magpapasikat. Sana maging okay siya, huwag magbabago. Mabait naman siya sa mga fans lalo na.”

Warm welcome

Meanwhile, the top 10 Idols were one in saying that they appreciate the warm welcome they received upon their arrival in the country early Tuesday morning.

"American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez with her boyfriend Deandre Brackensick. Photo by Shiela Reyes for ABS-CBNnews.com

According to Jessica, she considers their Manila stop as the highlight of the "Idol" tour.

“I can't believe I'm here. Manila will definitely be one of my best memories,” she said.

The 17-year-old singer said she is looking forward to learning about the Filipino culture, as well as eating authentic Filipino food.

“The food, shopping, all the cultural stuff about the Philippines, I wanna learn what I may not know,” she said.

Aside from Jessica, Idol alum Heejun Han was also excited to visit the Philippines, and even he already wants to live here in the country.

Hollie Cavanagh, for her part, said she is looking forward to do some shopping with Jessica during their free time.

According to Erika Van Pelt, she is happy to be finally here in the Philippines because she has heard a lot of good things about the country, especially the nice sceneries.

The Season 11 Top 10 Idols are set to hold a concert on Friday, September 21, at the Araneta Coliseum. -- with reports from Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News