Nonito Donaire Jr. (center) with Lianah Sta. Ana (left) and Tiffany Viray at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn on Oct. 15.

Filipino boxing champ Nonito Donaire Jr. has picked New Jersey Fil-Am singers Lianah Sta. Ana and Tiffany Viray to sing the anthems for his Oct. 22 bout with Argentinean Omar Andres Narvaez at Madison Square Garden.

Sta. Ana and Viray, both from Freehold, N.J., were chosen from among the many who submitted their renditions of both or either the Philippine and American national anthem via YouTube.

Donaire announced the winners on Oct. 15 during his open workout at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.

Viray, 14, cannot contain the excitement in her face as she recalled getting a call just hours before the 1 p.m. workout from the Donaire’s telling her she was one of two singers handpicked by Donaire and his wife to lead the singing of the national anthem in front of the thousands expected to attend the match at the WAMU Theatre at MSG, according to Rich Mazon of

“I am very excited. It’s every Filipino singer’s dream to be singing the ‘Lupang Hinirang’ (title of the Philippine national anthem). I am really honored and proud to be Pinoy,” exclaimed the 9th grader from Howell High School.

Meanwhile, Sta. Ana, 12 will be leading the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” on the same night.

The 7th grader beams with pride and excitement as she expressed gratitude on being chosen to sing the U.S. national anthem in front of millions that will be watching the fight via HBO and the web via

“I am really proud, I am really happy,” said Sta. Ana.

“I am just grateful that God has given me this task. I heard about it (her selection) from my parents a couple of hours ago and I am just very happy to be a part of this event.”

Both girls at their early age have already compiled a long list of accomplishments as singers.

They have joined and won various local singing contests in the past.

Both have first place wins in the Amateur Night at the Apollo, a famous amateur contest at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y.

They have also performed at various Filipino and mainstream concerts and events in the New York/New Jersey area and elsewhere.

Sta. Ana was also a grand winner of last year’s World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles.

Donaire announced the search at the beginning of the month to give tri-state area residents an opportunity to show their singing talents internationally as part of this sporting event.

“We want to congratulate Tiffany and Lianah, who did great in their renditions,” Donaire said.

“Both of them are phenomenal, their voice is great and they have national pride.”


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