American Idol Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez and the rest of the Top 10 finalists hit Manila, Philippines this week for the first and only international stop on their summer tour, and it was a special occasion for the pint-sized singer.

According to The Philippine Star, Jessica (whose mother is Filipino) and her co-contestants sat down for a press conference, during which she gushed about her excitement over performing for her Filipino fans. “I’ve never been out of the country before,” she said. “This is such a delight going to the Philippines and traveling out of the (US) for the first time. Out of the whole tour, this is the most special for me. My grandfather is here and my grandmother has traveled with us from the States. I definitely have lots of family here from Bataan. If I have any free time, I’d definitely go visit Bataan.”

During the competition, Jessica got a lot of support from the Filipino demographic, even getting an endorsement from the nation’s president himself! She expressed her gratitude for that momentum, saying, “Even while I was in the States, while I was in the show, like I heard they were voting crazy for me, like on Skype or Magic Jack… (Filipinos) have really been a big part of my success. I am definitely appreciative of them. That’s why I’m excited to be here.”

The Manila Bulletin reports that Jessica plans to spend two more weeks in the Philippines and even got to ride around in a local Jeepney — the most common form of public transit in the country — before appearing on a morning Filipino talk show with the rest of the Idol finalists. She’s reportedly amped about getting to try some of the Philippine cuisine, especially some roasted pig.

Jessica seems to have found her new home away from home!

Source: The Philippine StarThe Manila Bulletin

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