MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED WITH MORE COMMENTS) – Amid the controversy surrounding the upcoming concert of international pop superstar Lady Gaga in Manila, two local music artists on Sunday advised the Grammy winner to change some of her lyrics during her performance at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Kung ako ‘yan, papalitan ko lyrics ko, kung talagang offensive lyrics ko, parang directed sa ibang bagay,” singer Martin Nievera said. “Sana gawin din ni Lady Gaga ‘yun, sana mag-adjust siya sa Christianity natin.”
Arnel Pineda, the Filipino vocalist of the U.S. band Journey, agreed that it’s a good idea to change some of the lyrics of the hit “Judas” for Lady Gaga’s two shows in Manila.
“Kailangan baguhin ‘yung lyrics, para di maka-offend,” he said.
Catholic protesters, who want the American artist banned, have singled out “Judas,” saying it contains lyrics that are "highly objectionable."
But Pineda stressed that he is “neutral” and would want to see the concert first before making any conclusions.
“As much as rine-respect ko rin ‘yung opinion ng mga prominenteng Catholic groups, siguro I will see for myself kung ganun nga ang gagawin niya sa show,” Pineda said. “I'm watching the show. I'm very curious to see what she's going to do. I have to see for myself if she's trying to offend our beliefs.”
Lady Gaga is set to perform at the MOA Arena on May 21 and 22. This will be her second time to perform in Manila.
Respect as artist
Both Pineda and Nievera said they respect Lady Gaga as an artist.
“Alam mo si Lady Gaga fellow artist ‘yan, so mataas ang respeto ko sa kanya bilang artist, lalo na she's very very successful,” Pineda said.
“Si Lady Gaga talaga controversial ‘yan and I think ‘yan talaga ‘yung gimmik niya,” Nievera added. “Sana maayos dahil napaka-entertaining ng show niya, napaka-visual, malaki din ang production values ng show niya.”
Pineda said at this point, “hindi rin pwedeng ‘di matuloy ‘yung show,” given the thousands of ticket buyers who are eagerly awaiting the concert.
That’s why he said he hopes the concert organizers could convince Lady Gaga to tone down some of the lyrics – or perhaps even drop “Judas” from the set list.
“Sana nga kung ma-convince nila si Lady Gaga na 'wag na lang (kantahin)... or kahit ‘yung lines na lang na nakaka-offend sa Katoliko baguhin na lang muna niya ng konti,” Pineda said.
It is not unusual for artists to change some of the lyrics of their songs. Cee Lo Green, for instance, did a “clean” version of his hit “F**k You” with the new title “Forget You.”
Meanwhile, other OPM artists also weighed in on the Lady Gaga controversy.
Singer Gary Valenciano, a known Christian, said he is "concerned" with the young people who will be watching Gaga's concert.
"There always is an uneasy feeling about the music and videos of Lady Gaga. It isn't something I would encourage people to see and hear," he said in his official Twitter account. "My opinion about Lady Gaga is in response to those who want my opinion on the artist."
Valenciano, however, added that "it's not for me to judge" Lady Gaga as a person.
"I will keep her in my prayers as her biggest hit may be her testimony of how God changes her heart," he said.
Itchyworms member and "It's Showtime" host Jugs Jugueta said, "The Jesus i believe in loves everybody. Even the sinners and 'anti-Christs.' Ganun katindi ang love Ni'ya. Who are we to judge others?"
"Si Lady Gaga ay isang artist. Kung hindi niyo siya trip, eh di huwag kayong manood ng concert niya," Jugueta said. "If you think that Lady Gaga is 'anti-Christ,' then don't watch her concert. Don't buy and listen to her music."
Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda echoed this sentiment.
"Kung ayaw n'yo si Lady Gaga, eh di 'wag kayo manuod! 'Wag nyo pakielaman kung ano trip nya at ng mga fans nya. Kanya kanyang trip yan eh," he said on Twitter. "I respect those who don't like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Kpop, etc. but I also respect those who do. Kanya-kanyang taste at opinion lang 'yan."
Miranda suggested that Filipinos should instead have a prayer vigil to fight corruption in government, hate and sexual discrimination. "'Yun ang totoong evil," he said.
MYX VJ and "Us Girls" host Iya Villania, for her part, said, "I find there is still goodness if she can help make people comfortable with themselves and self-accepting."
Comedienne and singer K Brosas said she is definitely watching the Lady Gaga concert
"Sa mga ayaw Kay Lady Gaga, 'wag watch ng concert, 'wag makinig o buy ng album. Iwasan siya pag nakasalubong. Hayaan yung may gusto," she said on Twitter.
"Ako, watch ako kay Lady Gaga, whether you like it or... else! Hehe.. At para makita mga pasabog na mga kagagahan na gagawin n'ya."