MANILA, Philippines -- Lady Gaga defied criticisms and threats from conservative Christians by singing her allegedly blasphemous song "Judas" on the first night of her Manila concerts on Monday.
Known for her outlandish costumes, Lady Gaga opened the show wearing a conservative Filipiniana-like dress by Italian designer Giorgio Armani.
Amid warnings by state censors, Lady Gaga defiantly declared, “I'm not a creature of your government, Manila.”
Censors were in the audience to monitor possible violations of law against supposedly "immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows."
Thousands trooped to the newly opened SM Mall of Asia Arena on Monday night to watch the flamboyant American pop singer.
Lady Gaga extended her appreciation to her Filipino fans and said she only wants to give her best to her followers, who call themselves "Little Monsters."
"Some people think that I stand for like really inappopriate things, really bad or really irresponsible," she told the audience. "Listen, you don't have to boo. I'm slightly irresponsible. Let's be honest, okay? It's okay."
"But they are not completely right. The truth is, I want the (expletive) best for you. I want the best for every single one of you. I love you with all my heart and all my soul, I really do," she said.
Several religious groups have been holding prayer vigils so that the concerts would not push through.
Calling her the “anti-Christ,” they criticized Lady Gaga for her skimpy costumes and provocative songs such as “Judas,” which they claim is a direct insult to Jesus Christ.