November 15, 2009
La Diva Sings Philippine National Anthem "Lupang Hinirang" in Pacquiao-Cotto clash
The group is composed of “Pinoy Pop Superstar” champions Aicelle Santos, Maricris Garcia and Jonalyn Viray.
Ednita Nazario sang Puerto Rico's national anthem while"American Idol's" Ramiele Malubay sang the United States' "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Willie Revillame was one of the Filipino celebrities who flew to Las Vegas to watch the fight.
International celebrities Mickey Rourke, Will Ferrel, Magic Johnson, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Mark Wahlberg, and Derek Jeter were also spotted in the arena.
Pacquiao personally picked the "La Diva" after he saw the group's performance. He said he believed that the “La Diva” would do justice in singing the national anthem.
It is a dream of many Filipino artists to sing the national anthem in Pacquiao’s fights that always draw millions of viewers around the world. However, it has also been a subject of controversy after some artists chose to alter the rendition of "Lupang Hinirang."
This violates a law prohibiting the changing of the melody of “Lupang Hinirang.” The law states that the rendition of the national anthem, whether played or sung, should be in accordance with the original musical arrangement of Julian Felipe, which follows a marching-type beat.
Violators may be imprisoned for not more than a year and fined at least P20,000.
Early this year, Martin Nievera was at center of the controversy after he incorrectly sang the national anthem during the May 2 fight of Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.