It wasn’t exactly the welcome Lady Gaga had hoped for when she arrived in the Philippines this weekend: angry Christians storming the streets to protest about her ‘blasphemous’ music. But The Gaga sure knows how to tame an unruly crowd and threatening governments – with utter defiance, apparently.
Around 200 Christians from the Biblemode Youth Philippines marched over the weekend calling for the cancellation of her upcoming concerts and plotted to hold a vigil near the concert venue in Manila. They urged the pop-Goddess to ‘respect our faith, stop the blasphemy’, taking particular offence to her song ‘Judas’ which they say ‘mocks Jesus Christ’.
Despite alleged threats that she will be banned and arrested if she performed the song – being Lady Gaga – she did (obvs). And just to rub salt in the wound she added ‘I’m not a creature of your government, Manila,’ before launching into the first verse, according to fans watching the concert.
Following the protests, the conservative and mainly Roman Catholic country’s authorities told the singer that her concerts on Monday and Tuesday this week could go ahead – but banned nudity or vulgar acts.
She wasn’t short of Little Monsters though, judging by the hordes of screaming, camera-clutching fans who accosted her as she walked to her hotel, after her private jet arrived in the country late on Saturday night. And her supporters are said to have gone wild when she made her grand stage entrance riding a black stallion before belting out ‘Born This Way’.
Her ‘Born This Way’ Asian tour has already been greeted with some trepidation from other countries, including South Korea who banned fans under the age of 18 from attending the concert after complaining about her provocative lyrics and costumes. Authorities in Indonesia went as far as denying her a concert permit by police under pressure from Islamic despots.
One protest leader in the Philippines, Ruben Abante, said: ‘She declared a distorted view toward Jesus Christ and for us Biblical Christians it is offensive," said Ruben Abante, a protest leader. "Her music and everything about her is different from what our values are.’
Gaga’s production organisers, Ovation Productions, said they promised the performances ‘will not pose a threat to their sense of morality and conduct’. But her defiance could cause big trouble for the star as strict Philippine law says that people who offend race or religion in the country can be sentenced to up to six years in prison – though no one has been convicted recently.
Yowza, Gags. And, err, probably be careful too…