Pop singer Lady Gaga performed for a huge crowd at the SM Mall of Asia arena on May 21 despite warnings and protests from Christian groups and local government units who found her music offensive, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports. During the show, the star even addressed the issue by saying, "I'm not a creature of your government, Manila."
She then sang her hit song "Judas," which had previously been attacked by Filipino critics for allegedly being blasphemous. Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, who supports banning Lady Gaga's concerts in the Philippines and particularly opposes the performance of the song "Judas," told AFP, "We respect freedom of expression in this country. We also appreciate art and culture...but the laws should be respected."
While Pasay City mayor Antonio Calixto allowed Gaga's May 21 concert to push through, he dispatched a monitoring team to carefully watch the show for "obscenity and violations of the sensibilities of the audience," GMANews.tv reports. Depending on the contents of the team's report, Gaga's second concert scheduled for tonight in the same venue may or may not push through.
The Philippines is not the first nation to stage protests against Lady Gaga's concert. Indonesia issued a ban that prevents her from holding a Born This Way concert there. Meanwhile, during the South Korean leg of her tour, individuals below 18 were restricted from watching her concert.
Lady Gaga's Manila stop was originally scheduled to be a one-night show but was extended to two nights after a high demand for tickets.
(Photo by TJ Sengel via Flickr Creative Commons)