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Jessica represents Allison K. Sampité | Sat, May 12 2012 12:00 PM

Chula Vista teen Jessica Sanchez made it to the top four finalists on “American Idol’s” 11th season last week.

Her support has been coming in steadily, including immense support from Filipino communities in Chula Vista, National City and San Diego.

Viewing and voting parties have been held around town for the last few weeks to support the 16-year-old as she climbs her way to the top. From young to old, fans around town are calling her an inspiration to the Filipino-American community.

Filipino-American Elaine Rivera works at Tapioca Express in National City.

Rivera, 20, said she’s seen and heard a lot about Jessica from the community in person and also via social media, such as YouTube and Facebook.

“I watch videos of her online,” she said. “I think she’s really good. The first time I saw her I knew she was going to make it far.”

Rivera said it’s positive for the Filipino community to have Jessica represent them on “American Idol.”

Rivera said she believes Jessica has brought a sense of pride and inspiration to the Filipino community.

If Jessica wins the competition she’ll be the first Filipino-American to do so. A feat Rivera said would mean a lot to the Filipino community.

“I think it would mean a lot to the community and to Chula Vista,” she said. “We idolize Manny Pacquiao. Her being from Chula Vista is a big deal already, but her being Filipino makes it even more special.”
Clarissa Reyes-Falcon owns Falcon Strategies in Bonita.

Falcon said she’s been following the show since Jessica made it to the top 12 girls and has voted for the 16-year-old in support of her going through.

“She personifies the Filipino-American community,” she said. “Particularly in the South County area, where we feel a tremendous amount of pride for her.”

Falcon also said no matter what happens in the next two weeks, Jessica has already been an inspiration.

“Her character and talent have been impressive to us,” she said. “She serves as a role model for other Filipino-American children. The Filipino-American community with music, art and academics is something to be elevated and encouraged in our children and is definitely displayed with Jessica.”

Sweetwater Union High School District trustee Arlie Ricasa-Bagaporo, who is of Filipino decent, provided comment through email Monday about her support for Jessica.

“So many of us in the South Bay — Chula Vista, Latino and Filipino-American communities are uplifted by Jessica because she … proudly embraces her cultural heritage and hometown,” she said.

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