Fil-Am tenor Allan Palacios Chan to sing at Pacquiao fight
The singer with Pacquiao's wife in NYC, Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee Pacquiao
Amid the messy controversy of Manny Pacquiao’s comment calling “gays worse than animals,” one singer has agreed to perform the Philippine National Anthem at the Pacquiao-Bradley fight in Las Vegas on April 9.
“I choose not to judge,” tenor Allan Palacios Chan said when interviewed by The FilAm Metro D.C. “Should we all stop listening to Richard Wagner because he was overtly anti-Semitic? Or do we overlook his mistake and remember the incredible music and contribution he had on western music and culture?”
An artist, Allan said he doesn’t sing for just one issue. “To sing is to proclaim one’s existence and a national anthem serves to proclaim independence –that’s what moves us. ‘Lupang Hinirang’ is about pride, dignity and respect. I sing it for my people, and Manny is certainly a part of my people.”
Allan is quite a diehard fan.
“Manny Pacquiao is the number one fighter in the world right now, and I stand behind him for the good work that he does on and off the ring,” he said.
Allan recalls that during the Pacquiao press conference in New York in January, the boxer mentioned his retirement and his future plans.
“He said that on his way up people helped him, and now it is his turn to help others. He mentioned how he started with absolutely nothing and how he only fought so that he could support his mother. This is why I am a Pacquiao fan: Before and after every fight, he gets on his knees and gives thanks. This is the example we need to remember, we need to be discussing. How can we be more grateful for the things we have and the things we will receive in the future,” he said.
Truth is, the Las Vegas gig is a dream come true for Allan. He shared how, with unrelenting zeal, he tried to get the boxing legend’s attention so he could offer to sing before the match.
“I’ve been trying to get (his) attention in order to sing the Philippine National Anthem for one of his fights,” he said. “I’ve watched fight after fight thinking how much I would love to hear ‘Lupang Hinirang’ sung in classical rendition, which is what gave me the idea of asking him to let me sing.”
For the third time, Pacquiao will fight welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr.
“This is his last fight, so I knew I had to put out the big guns, so to speak. I asked Ambassador Jose Cuisia to endorse me,” Allan said. “We also had a team of people from all walks of life helping us, for whose influence and kindness I am forever grateful.”
He continued, “I created a little video with a speaking portion outlining who I am and why I want to sing for his next fight, along with a sample of my singing the anthem.”
Fully determined, Allan and his group of supporters found a way to reach Pacquiao on a “more personal level.”
“My mother and I, along with a close friend, flew to NYC for his January 22nd press conference in Madison Square Garden to try and catch his attention. We were not able to meet him because he was inundated with press and interviews but we were able to meet his wife Jinkee and my mom was able to get their contact information. It also helps that my mother grew up in General Santos, where most of her immediate family still resides. Perhaps the familiarity of their dialect coupled with my mom’s charm was able to win her trust.”
Allan eventually sent Pacquiao his materials introducing himself and his work in promoting ‘kundiman’ and classical music.
“We did not hear anything for a while until fairly recently we received a message from Jinkee telling me I would be singing the National Anthem,” he shared.
Along with a few of Pacquiao’s pastors, Allan will be singing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Raised in Woodbridge, Virginia, Allan is now finishing his Doctorate of Musical Arts, a degree equivalent to Ph.D. for a musical performer, at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a full tuition scholarship. He is also a voice teacher.
“I love teaching,” he said. “It’s the thrill that I get with a performance when I help a student.”
Among his many accomplishments include performances at the George Mason Opera program in roles as Monostatos in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Erice in Cavalli’s “L’Ormindo,” and William Shakespeare in the world premiere of Philip Hagemann’s “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets.”
Allan’s biggest attribute is perhaps his humility.
“I am beyond grateful and excited. I did everything I could to get there, and I surely did. One thing I am certain of though is I could not have gotten it without the help and prayers of everyone who helped us along the way–that is truly what has moved me the most,” he said. —The FilAm