MANILA, Philippines – While thousands of Filipino music fans can't wait to watch the concert of pop superstar Lady Gaga, several religious groups are not going gaga over her performances next week.
Lady Gaga, who is known for her provocative style, is set to stage concerts at the SM Arena in Pasay City on May 21 and 22.
Gaga has stoked controversy over some of her songs such as “Judas,” which religious groups say contain lyrics that mock Christianity.
Former Manila Congressman and founder of Bible Mode International Dr. Benny Abante Jr. said on Friday that the lyrics of Lady Gaga’s songs deliver a negative message to the youth.
“Makikita namin natin na hindi lang ito an affront to our belief but it is obscene and very sensual po. At itong si Lady Gaga sinasabi niya that she is a prostitute at a famed hooker. Is that the kind of role model that we would like our young people to be?” Abante told ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol.”
Abante admittedly said that although stopping the concert seems impossible, his group will monitor the show closely to determine if there will be enough grounds to file a lawsuit against Lady Gaga and the promoters for violating Article 201 of the 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.
“Manonood ‘yung ibang mga tao namin para may eyewitness kung gumawa man si Lady Gaga ng any kind of obscenity, anything against Article 201,” said Abante.
Abante also said an indignation rally will be held on Saturday to protest the concert.
He said more than 10,000 individuals will join the demonstration.
Meanwhile, former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and Atty. Romulo Macalintal have filed a petition before the Office of Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto to revoke the concert permit granted to the organizers.
“Binababoy niya ang bahagi ng ating mga pananampalataya,” said Atienza.
Abante also disputed remarks made by the show’s promoter Renen de Guia of Ovation Productions Inc. that the protesters are “overreacting.”
“Hindi kami overreacting, sila po ay over-funding, yan ang ginagawa nila. This is all about money, not about anything else,” Abante said.
Renen de Guia earlier advised the groups to “just let it go.”
“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?” he said.
|Lady Gaga as Mary Magdalene in "Judas"
De Guia was referring to the music video of the song “Judas,” wherein Lady Gaga portrayed Mary Magdalene and rode the back of a motorcycle being driven by a Christ-like figure.
Millie Dizon, vice president of SM’s marketing communications group, meanwhile, said in a statement that they have asked the production company to “make the presentation entertaining, fun, and to steer away from controversial songs.”
However, Abante believes that a concert that challenges the beliefs of others is not fun.
“For fun lang po ba ito kung niyuyurakan niyo na ang pananampalataya ng iba? Is it for fun kung ginagamit mo na ang pangalan ni Hesus para maging tanyag ka? Hindi ito fun sa mga followers ni Hesu Kristo,” said Abante.
“Dapat pakinggan ang aming appeal sa kanila. This is an affront to our faith. This is a defamation to everything holy to us,” he added.
Last month, under-18 fans in South Korea were banned from attending the concert of the Grammy award winner.
Lady Gaga has also been refused a permit to perform in Jakarta next month because of her “vulgar” style. -- With a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News