Defiant Gaga rocks fans -- and censors -- in Manila

Lady Gaga rocked the Philippines Monday, defying critics and state censors as thousands of fans, many of them dressed as outrageously as she was, roared their approval.

Despite the protests of conservative Christians and warnings by state censors, Lady Gaga declared "I'm not a creature of your government, Manila".

She then belted out her controversial song "Judas", which her Filipino critics have labelled as blasphemous.

The audience tweeted photos of the US pop phenomenon wearing a full-length yellow dress inspired by Philippine national costume as she and a dance crew gyrated for the song "Born This Way" -- a gay anthem.

The city government had earlier warned that her second show on Tuesday night could be banned if the censors among the audience monitored any hints of blasphemy, devil worship, nudity or lewd conduct.

Up to 40,000 fans in the Catholic-majority nation paid as much as 15,840 pesos ($370) each to watch the US singer.

Her world tour, "The Born This Way Ball", has been dogged by controversy in Asia, with an upcoming concert in Muslim-majority Indonesia cancelled on police orders for fear of violence from religious hardliners.

In the Philippines, Catholic leader Archbishop Ramon Arguelles urged the public to boycott her two concerts. "Her fans are in danger of falling into the clutches of Satan," he told reporters.

Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, one of those calling for a concert ban, said he was opposed to the song "Judas".

"We respect freedom of expression in this country. We also appreciate art and culture... but the laws should be respected," he told AFP.

But officials in the Manila district of Pasay allowed the show to go on Monday night at the Arena, a new, oblong theatre built in Pasay by the country's richest man, Henry Sy of the SM shopping mall chain.

About 100 "little monsters" -- the name given to Lady Gaga's devoted followers -- had lined up hours before the show, sporting her signature outrageous clothing, hairstyle and makeup.

A group of about 500 Christian activists tried to march on the Arena, singing religious songs while carrying placards saying "Stop Lady Gaga, the mother monster."

However riot police stopped them about one kilometre (half a mile) away.

Local authorities earlier said they had worked out a deal to permit the show while addressing the clamour by Christian conservatives.

Censors were in the audience to monitor possible violations of a law against "immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows", said Glenn Agranzamendez, secretary to Pasay mayor Tony Calixto.

Christian groups have vowed to send their own monitors and warned they could sue Lady Gaga under a law that penalises taking part or sponsoring "indecent shows" with prison terms of up to six years.

Despite the protests, the demand for tickets has been so strong that the Manila concert's organisers had to extend the event from the original one-night show to two nights.

Similarly in Hong Kong, huge demand saw organisers extend Lady Gaga's original one-night run to four concerts.

But question marks remain over whether she will be able to perform to 50,000 fans in Jakarta on June 3. Promoters are trying to save the show despite police denying it a permit after Islamic hardliners threatened to unleash "chaos".

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded
    Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded

    Indonesia said Saturday it has officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, but a Frenchman was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where they will face the firing squad along with an Indonesian prisoner, despite strident international criticism. "Today, just now, we just finished …

  • Double Celebration
    Double Celebration

    Ropali Corporation, one of the top multi-brand motorcycle dealers in the Philippines, now holds two Guinness World Records. In the span of four days, Ropali Corporation broke two records, namely: The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars and The Largest Simultaneous Motorcycle Burnout. As such, it also became the first motorcycle dealer in the Philippines to become a two-time Guinness World Record holder. The record for The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars was previously …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options