[PHOTO - Pop star Lady Gaga, left, arrives at the concert venue before his performance in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, Philippines Monday May 21, 2012. Authorities in the conservative, majority Roman Catholic country approved the concerts, set for May 21, and Tuesday, but said they won't allow nudity or lewd acts. A religious group warned they will sue Lady Gaga and concert organizers if she sings "Judas" during her concert. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, MAY 24, 2012 (INQUIRER) s—Lady Gaga was performing a second sold-out show Tuesday night amid continued protest against her music that some Filipino Christians find immoral.

“Sold out night 2 in the Philippines. I love it here!” tweeted the pop diva.

Some Christian youths called for her concerts to be banned. Catholic Archbishop Ramon Arguelles warned that her fans are in danger of falling into the clutches of Satan.

“And don’t worry, if I get thrown in jail in Manila, Beyonce will just bail me out,” said Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga turns emotional in Manila concert By: Pocholo Concepcion Philippine Daily Inquirer May 22, 2012 | 3:42 am

MANILA, Philippines—Lady Gaga played the roles of queen, warrior, goddess and sex symbol with theatrical flair on Monday, May 21 – the first of her two-night concerts at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

An appreciative crowd – which came in droves, almost filling up the newly-constructed venue – marveled at the elaborately designed stage with a medieval Gothic castle serving as the setting for the singer-songwriter’s wild vision of “the birth of a new race.”

There was drama in every part of the show, which opened with Lady Gaga riding a horse; in another instance she was on a motorcycle; but mostly she was all over the stage carousing with a cast of agile dancers and singing about standing up to authority and asserting one’s right to be free and happy.

She dared speak her mind out over the controversy stirred by her provocative image and songs – at one point mouthing expletives but later turning emotional and teary-eyed.

The concert had many highlights, but most striking was the moment when the star of the show emphatically said, “It’s not about the music, but about being yourself!”

The show may have exposed a lot of skin and simulated sex acts, but the moral crusaders and public officials who were there to find cause to punish Lady Gaga might have been too stunned to complain against the larger-than-life showcase of talent that unfolded.

The concert’s second day on Tuesday night, May 22, will push through, according to organizers.

Corona speech ‘better than Lady Gaga concert’ Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:45 am | Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

A steady stream of reactions swarmed the microblogging site Twitter on Tuesday as Chief Justice Renato Corona finally took the witness stand to address allegations at his own impeachment trial.

But this turned into a deluge of comments when Corona excused himself and walked out of the session hall allegedly due to an ailment.

The ruckus was enough to put impeachment-related phrases on the list of trending topics in the Philippines and around the world.

Terms such as “JPE,” “SALN,” “CJ Corona,” and “CJontrial” were among the most-talked about topics worldwide, while phrases such as “Basa-Guidote,” “Hacienda Luisita” and “Senate” also made it on Twitter Philippines.

Some netizens considered the trial, which was carried by various channels, to be more gripping than a blockbuster film and foreign concert act.

“This is the best thing since Star Wars,” tweeted model Erwan Heusaff under his account, @erwanheusaff. “Wow! This is better than the Lady Gaga concert!” user @MyJaninay added.

Senate deserves respect

Peeved by the walkout, user @lostiranian tweeted, “I’m not pro nor anti. But CJ, if you’re not feeling well, there’s an intelligent and respectful way to say it than to walk out.”

“It may be a gutsy move but I think the Senate impeachment court also deserves some respect as what had been given to him,” said user @ron_gomez.

Civic leader Harvey Keh also spoke his mind: “I was maligned by d Corona defense team and yet I finished my testimony.”

Model and TV host Bianca Gonzalez chimed in using her account, @iamsuperbianca: “I feel mad for jpe. after being so respectful, he and his court do not deserve to be treated that way.”

JPE so authoritative

User @ilyakristine gave props to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for handling the trial well: “I have to say though, I admire Senate President Enrile for being so authoritative. He is clearly on top of the situation. Go JPE!”

Corona’s opening statement won the hearts of others: “I admire Corona’s bravery and integrity,” said user @JeffAbrazaldooo.

“I was watching #CJontrial and i believe him. it’s just that, he is sincere and true. i’d support him all the way,” tweeted user @OsomlyStoopid

For user, @pinkshi, all was fine until Corona headed out of the room: “I think Corona was already heading to the right path. He should’ve gotten the hearts of the public if it weren’t for the walkout.” Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research

Gaga gets away with it; US pop star wows fans as protests fail to stop ‘Judas’ By Pocholo Concepcion Philippine Daily Inquirer 11:48 pm | Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The Lady defiantly declared: “I’m not a creature of your government, Manila.”

She then belted out her controversial song “Judas,” which her Filipino critics have labelled as blasphemous.

All the sound and fury from the guardians of morality failed to keep the tens of thousands of Lady Gaga fans from seeing her concert on Monday, with more expected to turn up last night after the Pasay City government greenlighted her second, closing show amid continuing protests from religious groups.

The controversial American pop star defied critics and state censors as fans, many of them dressed as outrageously as she was, roared their approval.

The show, which sources said cost $1.7 million to mount at the 20,000-seater Mall of Asia Arena, wowed the audience with its elaborately designed set, a Gothic castle where Lady Gaga popped in and out of the gates, windows and towers.

With a horned headpiece, she rode onto the stage on a horse for the opening number, “Highway Unicorn,” and later came out it in colorful outfits that included a yellow terno.

The audience tweeted photos of the US pop phenomenon wearing a full-length dress inspired by the Philippine national costume as she and a dance crew gyrated for the song “Born This Way”—a gay anthem.

The traditional costume was either seen as a gracious touch of Filipiniana or a put-on directed at critics who expected an all-raunchy show.

Up to 40,000 fans paid as much as P15,840 each to watch the US singer. The Pasay City government had earlier warned that her second show on Tuesday night could be banned if the censors among the audience monitored any hints of blasphemy, nudity or lewd conduct.

Religious groups, including the Catholic Church, earlier called the New York-born performer a threat to the youth’s morals and likened her concert to “devil worship” due to the dark imagery and lyrics of her music videos and songs.

Still, about 100 “little monsters”—the name given to Lady Gaga’s devoted followers— lined up hours before Monday show, sporting her signature outrageous clothing, hairstyle and makeup.

A group of about 500 Christian activists tried to march on the Arena, singing religious songs while carrying placards saying “Stop Lady Gaga, the mother monster.” However, riot police stopped them about a kilometer away.

Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto approved the second concert, saying an “inspection team” who saw the first show did not find any violation of the conditions set in the permit issued to the organizer, Ovation Productions, and that there were no nudity or holy images used in an “improper context.”

At one point during the show, the singer-songwriter, who has yet to speak to the press since arriving in Manila on Saturday, appeared to be poking fun at herself by declaring that she was neither an alien nor a human.

“I am not a creature of your government,” she said. “This is about us all coming together.”

Despite earlier calls from protesters for her to drop “Judas” from her repertoire, Lady Gaga went on to give it a dramatic interpretation as a persona engaged in a battle against oppression.

The show went on to ooze with sex especially when she did “Heavy Metal Lover” on a motorcycle. She turned emotional with the ballad “You and I,” using it to tell both critics and fans that “it’s not about the music, but about yourself.” With a report from AFP and Nathaniel Melican

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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