Controversial pop star Lady Gaga arrived in the Philippines Saturday night, amidst calls to ban her from staging a concert in the country.
Lady Gaga, who was on board a private plane, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 7:30 p.m.
She posed for pictures and greeted her fans at the airport before heading to her Makati hotel.
She is scheduled for a two-night concert at SM Arena in Pasay City on May 21 and 22 as part of her “Born This Way Ball” tour.
Lady Gaga, known for her provocative style, is a Grammy award-winning artist behind the mainstream hit songs “Poker Face,” “Paparazzi,” and “Born This Way.”
Not gaga over concert
Several religious groups have expressed their resentment over the scheduled performance of Lady Gaga, whose antics they believe are making a mockery of Christianity.
Members of evangelical group Biblemode Youth marched along Roxas Blvd. on Saturday to go to the venue for the singer’s upcoming concert but were stopped by police.
Instead, members of the group held a mini-program and distributed religious pamphlets to policemen.
“’Yung isang kanta ‘yung ‘Born This Way,’ it’s also telling the young people na you can do anything you want anyway you are born this way. It is not only immoral, it is a blasphemy. The Lord Jesus Christ is being maligned here and mocked,” said former Manila congressman and Pastor Benny Abante Jr. of the Metropolitan Baptist Church.
The evangelical group believes that the pop singer is a bad influence to the youth.
“Ayaw namin ‘yung message niya,” said one of the protesters.
The group will hold a vigil on Sunday night, ahead of Lady Gaga’s concert on Monday.
The city government of Pasay, meanwhile, has warned Lady Gaga to refrain from “nudity, lewd conduct and blasphemy” at the Manila leg of her Asian tour.
Authorities said inspectors will be at the venue to ensure that she does not violate Article 201 Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.
Under the code, those found in violation of “offending any race or religion” may face a penalty of P6,000-P12,000 and/or imprisonment.
Protesters have already filed a petition before the Office of the Mayor of Pasay seeking to revoke the concert permit.
The singer has also faced opposition in other Asian countries, including Indonesia where she was refused a permit to perform amid threats from Islamic hardliners.
Lady Gaga has been tagged by some as “anti-Christ” for the lyrics and music video of her song “Judas,” wherein she portrayed Mary Magdalene.
|Lady Gaga as Mary Magdalene in “Judas”|
Ovation Productions Inc., the concert’s promoter in Manila, has dismissed allegations that Lady Gaga is “anti-Christ.”
“Wala naman ‘yan eh. Why do they say Lady Gaga is evil? Kasi she was shown riding a motorcycle tapos ang nagda-drive may thorns on his head? Pero OK lang manood ng vampire movies tapos ‘yung mga music videos na very heavy on sex?” said Renen de Guia.
In a statement, SM said they have asked the producers to make the event entertaining, fun and controversy-free.
“As a responsible venue provider, we have requested the production company to make the presentation entertaining, fun and stir away from controversial songs,” the statement said.
Malacañang, meanwhile, said it is leaving it up to parents to decide if they will let their children watch the concert. — Reports from Pia Gutierrez and Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News; ANC; Agence France-Presse