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Lady Gaga, a gift from God

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LADY Gaga at the MoA Arena

This last week has been a peaceful one, work-wise, save for one brief appearance in “Forbidden Broadway” (more on that later), and watching “The Sound of Music” (congratulations, everyone, for a successful run). With the goings-on in the entertainment scene (Lady Gaga’s Manila concert, for example), it has given me time to think.

One adage I like using is this one, attributed to Voltaire: “I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.” In a secular society, that should hold true, whether or not we wholeheartedly agree, or vehemently oppose whatever has been placed before us. I like applying this adage to the arts.

The funny thing about art is that it’s in the “eye of the beholder,” if I’m to quote from another adage. How something strikes us artistically differs in so many ways. Whether it’s a painting, live performance or sound recording, one person could regard it as high-brow while another could dismiss it as a failed attempt at art. You just never know. Art is subjective.

Which brings me to the more controversial art forms that have found their way into the public consciousness. Yes, you could say that I’m speaking of Lady Gaga, but I’m also speaking of anyone whose artistic output has caused outrage (I recall a particular art show at the CCP where the protest against one piece caused the closing of the entire exhibition … I never got to see the exhibit, so I can’t comment on the piece’s merits or demerits).

Interpretation is a funny thing when it comes to art. As we’ve seen in the recent protests against Lady Gaga, there was music she wrote with an accompanying music video that sent enough people into a large enough frenzy to protest her concerts. Her song “Judas” was called anti-Christian and demonic, and the artist herself was labeled a Satanist with ties to the Illuminati.

I wasn’t going to jump on any bandwagon before doing a little research, and so I looked up the song and searched online for the video (I wouldn’t have, if the media attention hadn’t reached such fever pitch).

After watching the video, reading the lyrics, and finding interviews of Lady Gaga talking about “Judas,” I came to interpret the song as a metaphor for people who seem to always find themselves attracted to what is clearly not good for them.

I’ve found myself in that position before, so I can relate to what she was singing about. And finding myself in something another person created, the art then became very—intensely—personal.

What any of you think of her is truly your own business. You can love her or hate her. You can enjoy the music, but not go for the meat dress or the futuristic shoes. And yes, you can even choose to protest her work if you don’t agree with it, so long as it doesn’t stop anyone else from enjoying her art.

Let’s not stifle artists and their creativity, and their inalienable right to express themselves. We are a proud country of artists, and I’d like to think that, in being so, we welcome others from around the world to share in our joy and our enjoyment of all things beautiful, however each of us defines the word.

Thank you, Mother Monster, for visiting the country, and for doing what you do, especially your efforts for the LGBT community, antibullying and AIDS awareness. For all that, you are a gift from God, a true Christian in every sense of the word.

And now, Philpop

Does anyone remember the Metro Manila Popular Music Festival (Metropop)? Launched in 1978, it was the songwriting competition that ushered in a golden age of original Pilipino music, or what we call OPM. It was this competition that launched the careers of many composers and lyricists, or at least cemented their foothold in the industry.

Ryan Cayabyab began his career with the Metropop, penning the seminal “I love OPM” anthem—“Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.” Jose Mari Chan and Dero (formerly Nonong) Pedero achieved success at this competition, with Chan’s “Hahanapin Ko” and Pedero’s “Isang Mundo, Isang Awit” and “Narito Ako.”

Freddie Aguilar’s “Anak” landed in the finals and, though it failed to win, went on to become the biggest-selling song in Philippine music history. It is also the only Pinoy song, so far, to become a global hit, recorded in dozens of languages worldwide.

Now, this same opportunity is being offered by the Philippine Pop Music Festival (Philpop).

Over 3,000 entries were submitted from around the Philippines as well as from Pinoys in the UK, France, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. From these entries, 14 finalists have been chosen. On July 14, these brand-new songs will be heard, and their composers revealed. Congratulations!

It is a very exciting time for OPM.

The top winner in Philpop will receive P1 million in cash, and two runners-up will receive P500,000 and P250,000. A people’s choice award will be given to the most popular entry as decided by text votes.

Philpop is jointly mounted by Maynilad, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Smart. Major sponsors are Meralco, Resorts World Manila and TV5. Other sponsors are Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Sun Cellular, First Pacific Leadership Academy, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and Philex Mining Corp. For updates on the results, visit Philpop.com.ph.


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  • borbo_rygmi

    Hi Lea, do you allow your daughter to listen to Gaga’s songs including “Judas”?

  • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

    I already had so much respect for you before as an artist and as a person, but I have so much respect and glory now that I’ve read this. People should open their eyes and respect each others opinions. I’ve said a lot of things already about the protesters that I don’t want to bring up anymore. I am a fan of Lady Gaga, people should just deal with life and accept and respect. If people can learn to respect, people can move forward. Don’t judge other people’s beliefs if you don’t have the same once, that just shows a sign of ignorance and arrogance. I believe if you’re liberal and open-minded you can reach a greater goal, and with that in mind I don’t mean just because your open-minded you lose faith. Faith and religion are two different things, and for me what’s important is faith, because religion can give you so much that you can handle. Religion can sometimes blind what reality is telling you. You should find a stand between religion and faith. 

    Lastly if you don’t get anything, I do hope you know what respect means right?

  • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

    Look I am only an 18 year old Fine Arts Student, and I’m not saying that what I believe in is right, but I do understand each side of this predicament. I just wish that all the people who thinks that they’re intellectual enough to understand what we (the fans) are trying to protrude here is that we want respect, art is something that not all people can understand, but all we us is respect for what we believe in. Because without respect life is unjustifiable to any extent. 

  • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

    People who can only understand one side of the situation shouldn’t be commenting on this article, because these are opinions, and frankly if you don’t understand both sides your opinion is invalid. Close-minded opinions are utterly useless because you don’t allow yourself to open your head into the different possibilities of ideas, the means you think you’re speaking the truth well in fact it’s not. But in fact your opinion is considerably and undeniably invalid because you don’t accept other opinions that are being protruded to you…. Lastly for all the hardcore Christians, I totally respect you, I for one am a Roman Catholic, I am not perfect, I am not a god, I’m just human who respect and understands, that’s what I think that people who are blinded by religion should practice, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

      Iha itong si Gaga halos hubad na ito sa mga concert nya at gumagamit pa ng mga istatwa na mala demonyo, pinagtatanggol ang kabekian at nakikipagtalik sa babae man o lalaki, tapos sasabihin ni Lea gift from God and a true Christian. Malaking pang iinsulto ito sa mga totoong Kristiano. Kabaliktaran sa Biblia ang pamumuhay na ito ni Gaga.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        From your words you seem very uneducated, I don’t blame you of thinking that way.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Nang insulto pa hahaha Di rin kita masisi dahil beki ka pala…naiintindihan kita kung bakit ka ganyan.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        Excuse me Mr. Enrico I’m as woman as I possibly be, you can even search me up on facebook if you want. But yes I am Bi sexual, that fact that you talk like that makes you even sound gayer. You’re so embarrassing to talk to. 

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        Lastly if you think you’re a bigger person because you’re straight well then that’s just a shame. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Walang nakakahiya sa paggwa ng tama.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        You need to free your minds from the malicious and the dirty, free yourself from the bandwagon of society. Open your eyes to liberation. God would prefer any agnostic or atheist anytime over some judgmental Christian.

        Also if you think what she’s doing is a travesty why won’t the Pope complain. Think mister Enrico.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Hahahaha funny! Mali pala ako di pala iha….iho.lalaki ka pala

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        Judging my sexuality is non of your business and if you want to know I am bisexual, deal with it. That fact that you can’t deal with it just shows that you’re weak and ashamed of who you are. I bet you’re gayer than I am. I am really sad to encounter such an ignorant person like you.

      • maximus commentus

        If you are BISEXUAL, then you are a NON-CONFORMING CATHOLIC and you DO NOT reflect the teachings of the catholic church. Based on its teachings regarding homosexuality, you are living in sin if you engage in gay sexual acts. It’s these actions that constitute sin, not just being homosexual.

        This is not from me, but from any catholic reading regarding this subject, so don’t say that I’m just hating. It’s just constructive criticism to a fellow Catholic.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         Your bible is man made; it has been abused and quoted for people with self serving agendas like you many times. And sorry but you don’t reflect the teachings of Jesus for jesus said there is only one commandment which is to Love One Another As I Have Loved You. And yet, here you are spewing hatred and judgment against homosexuals as if you are God. You have no business talking about homosexuality if you yourself hasn’t experienced how it is to have homosexual feelings.

      • maximus commentus

        If you don’t believe in the bible since it’s man-made, then how did you learn about Jesus? How did you even know that His name is Jesus? How did you learn of His greatness? Wasn’t it from the bible?

        Now, where did you learn that there is only ONE commandment? There is nothing in the bible that Jesus mentioned about having only ONE commandment. He only mentioned that the most important commandment among the TEN commandments is the first one. Is your pastor that old? Did he live in the years 1-33AD and heard Jesus speak of having only ONE commandment? Oh man… the Gospels were nothing but a lie to you then. No wonder your belief is twisted.

        There’s no point in arguing with you.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        I’m proud because this is who I am, and let me just state that everyone knows I’m gay and everyone doesn’t have a problem with it. God know what I’ve done and who I am. And it’s none of your business, if you guys really want an argument I suggest you show your faces and put your real names. Cowards.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         I didn’t say that I believed the bible. I learned about Jesus from school. I knew his name was Jesus from the teachings of the school that I attended.  But unlike you, I used common sense in discerning that these stories were merely written by men to provide lessons in life. I can say the same thing to you that it’s pointless to argue with you.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         Twisted huh? See, you are the one who is behaving like an unchristian. Your name calling. I never said that there was only 1 commandment. I was just repeating what Jesus said that Loving One Another is the one commandment that summarizes everything. Again, it is you who is missing the point.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Pumapatol ka ba sexually both sa lalaki at babae? Well wala kang dapat ipagmalaki dahil nakakahiya pinaggagawa mo. Tama ka it’s non of my business, concern ko lang dito na kung walang Kristiano na kokontra sa mga pinagsasabi nyo(mo/Lea/Gaga), iisipin ng iba lalo na ng mga kabataan na tama nga kayo kahit maling mali.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        Btw your answers seem very shallow and unreasonable, if you want a decent answer here! I’m giving it straight up! I’m totally not scared about your nasty and harsh comments. You’re a travesty to this country! The way you talk, the way you act, it seems like you haven’t stepped inside a classroom.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Sa pananalita mo, halata na wala kang alam sa religion. Hindi ka ba naturuan sa Katoliko? Hindi ka pa ba nakapagbasa ng Biblia? Kung sinasabi mo na may pananampalataya ka, saan galing yan at anong klase? Pano kikilalanin ng Dios ang ang mga atheist na di naman naniniwala sa kanya? Kung naniniwala ka sa Biblia, malalaman mo na mali ang gawain ni Gaga at ganon ka rin pero kung hindi ka naman naniniwala dito….wala na tayong dapat pang pag usapan dahil ang Biblia ang basehan ng moralidad ng isang Kristiano.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         Ikaw yata ang walang alam sa relihiyon eh. Nakakatawa ka Enrico. Napaghahalatang isa kang bakla pero ayaw pang umamin.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        1Cor 9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders  10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.(NIV) 

        Alam ko nabasa mo na yan ulitin ko lang….Gusto mo dagdagan ko pa para malaman mo na hindi sang ayon sa  kagustuhan ng Dios ang mga iyan. Hindi yan ang ugali ng tunay na Kristiano salungat sa sinabi ni Lea para kay Gaga.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         Alam mo Enrico ayaw ng Diyos yang ginagawa mong pang huhusga. Dios lang ang may karapatang magsabi kung sino ang ligtas o hindi. Baka naman unggit ka sa mga bakla kasi bakla ka rin kaya lang aywa mong lumabas sa closet. Magladlad ka na kasi eh.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Si Kristo ang huhusga sa ating lahat. Nagsasabi lang ako nang nababasa ko sa Biblia tungkol sa isyu na yan. Kung masakit sa inyo, wla akong magagawa dahil yan naman talaga ang nakasulat.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        Well we know what’s in the Bible and so as millions of gays and people who believe in Gaga. We’re not ignorant nor fools, we are also Christians and Catholics. I actually my words are useless because you guys can’t understand our point. You might be old but your brain is the size of a peanut. 

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        That’s the Bible, I’ll just wait till I’m dead to hear it through his mouth, but for now keep mum and shove your beliefs into someone else’s will you.

      • maximus commentus

        Mariel, Catholic churches all over the world (including the Philippines) already spoke out against the video, the Pope does not need to actually say anything publicly every time a controversial MTV comes out. Your local church’s stand IS the same as the Vatican’s, which is led by the Pope.

        Your argument is invalid.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         Enrico hindi ka ba marunong bumasa? Ang pinagtatanggol ni Lady G ay ang panglalait na ginagawa ng madla sa mga bakla. At isa pa, sa kanta nga na Judas inaamin ni Gaga na tao lang siya at maski na si jesus ang taga pagligtas, madalas ay sa side ni Judas siya nagagawi, kagaya ng karaniwang tao. Magbasa ka muna ng husto bago ka maghusga.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFDQQH2M3OD6ZGBJNJ34UZHIV4 Enrico

        Maliit lang ang nakalagay dyan sa article. Nagbasa pa ako sa iba at napanuod ko rin ang Monster Ball ni Gaga kaya alam ko ang sinasabi ko Igle.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         Kung gayon, base sa mga reaksyon mo, wala kang na-intindihan sa binasa mo.

  • http://twitter.com/MarlinaCMonster Marlina Carlos

    RESPECT LEA SALONGA’S OPINION AND RESPECT LADY GAGA’S ARTISTRY that is all, if this is bothering you, stop commenting or reading, REMEMBER, THERE IS NOTHING HOLY ABOUT HATRED.

    • maximus commentus

      Young one, first off, the comment section is for both praises and criticisms. It’s been like that even way before the internet, ever since newspaper editorials started. Readers then and now would mail the editor to praise or criticize an article. To contradict an editor’s opinion is not disrespectful as long as you display etiquette such as not cursing or ridiculing the editor.

      Being against the LGBT community is not hatred. We are against their agenda, and not against the people. It’s just like politics, Liberal party members are against the agenda of the Lakas party, but they don’t hate the members, just the other party’s agenda.

      Now, I know you will ask “why can’t we just live in harmony and not be divided?” Well, my child, we live in the same planet and in one way or another, our actions, no matter how minor it may be, especially those regarding morality will have a chain effect and will somehow affect the way of life of other people in this planet. We, the religious, fight to make the world a decent place in the eyes of God. We respect other religions and their beliefs. All religions (except satanism) have a common factor which is striving for morality and being clean in the eyes of God, that’s why all religions have similar laws.

      This is why each one of us has the right to castigate people if they are disrespectful to God. Jesus (who we are supposed to imitate) drove away the vendors at the Temple and even overturned their tables just because their actions were disrespectful to God.

      Try talking to priests or pastors (trained and experienced ones) and don’t just believe in liberal media.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         What agenda? The LGBT is only asking for fair treatment. Are you God to decide that LGBT deserves 3rd class treatment because of what they are? The LGBT people are still creations of God even if they are the minorities. Why do you want them to be denied their rights to happiness? They are not out there converting people to emulate their lifestyle. They are out there fighting against the discrimination and bigotry that people like yourself practice towards them.

      • maximus commentus

        LGBT fair treatment agenda is too general and it includes same sex marriage which most major religions are against.

        But as you’ve said earlier, you don’t even believe in the bible, so I’m just like talking to a tree. Why am I even wasting my time? I’m going to rest now. Good luck to you.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        You already wasted your time when you stepped on the internet. Why don’t you reveal yourself, I’ll give you a piece of my mind.

      • The Amateur Ear .

        Buddhists, Muslims, and human beings of other religions and faith do not read the bible. By your logic, all these other human beings are “trees”?

        I pity you. Your misguided sense of religiosity has instead driven you to hate.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/POLRVJGYENG674L3KWPQDMXLRQ Igle

         No good luck to you for denying the fact that as with most outcasts, LGBT people have suffered the most oppression. Didn’t you grow up and see the bullying that these people suffered. To say that their agenda is too “general” is ignorant. How many LGBT people in the world has been mauled to death, killed and beaten by people opposed to their identity? More than you can count. So Lady Gaga, in essence is saying (with her song Born This Way) that LGBT people shouldn’t have to suffer oppression just because of who they are. And yes, marriage has been changed and altered by men claiming to be the saved ones. Read  the old testament and they allowed polygamy and other “arrangements” opposite your traditional marriage view. Further, in Islam, polygamy is allowed. Now, who’s to say that the Catholic’s “monogamy” is it? I should be asking the question why am I wastinng my time for you are the blinded one. You don’t even know your bible.

      • http://twitter.com/callmecarpio Mariel Carpio

        You’re blinded by faith, reality check once in awhile.

      • The Amateur Ear .

        You are a very condescending person.

      • The Amateur Ear .

        “This is why each one of us has the right to castigate people if they are
        disrespectful to God. Jesus (who we are supposed to imitate) drove away
        the vendors at the Temple and even overturned their tables just because
        their actions were disrespectful to God.”

        The problem with this opinion is that, in the Biblical narrative, it was Jesus Christ, God himself, who drove away the vendors at the Temple, Christ who can sit in judgment on all of us. He had the authority to do this, because his is perfect judgment.

        Now, I dare you to go to Quiapo Church or Baclaran Church and DRIVE AWAY the vendors there. GO AHEAD.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregar.dev Gregar Dev

      i know.  but the more there is no HOLY in patronizing them.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/63UKYBFQM5QT7GXI2WCFWZ5H64 George

        tagalugin mo na lang para ka maintindihan OMG~~

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregar.dev Gregar Dev

    i’m a big fan of yours (Lea) and even slapped a classmate before when she said something bad about you.  But this article, i beg to DISAGREE.  If the interpretation is “a metaphor to people to always find themselves attracted to what is clearly not good for them”, then it would have been a good song.  But for me, why use such words when she or the composer could use other words that would also bring to that interpretation?  MANY children are misled by this lyric.  If Lady Gaga is a TRUE CHRISTIAN as what you said (because she supports such organizations as what you’ve mentioned) then she should be responsible of the songs she sings and will be singing because her following are the young.  Media has a very great impact to the young generation nowadays.  They believe what they see and hear as it is.  If her song is for the arts sake, then it is just ok?  What if I am to paint a picture of you s-c-ing your brother Gerard’s d–k, then that is ok because it’s art?  You are a devoted Catholic Lea.  You wouldn’t patronize Gaga if you still are.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/63UKYBFQM5QT7GXI2WCFWZ5H64 George

      What in the world you just posted? ENUNCIATE, ARTICULATE clearly what you want to say. If you cant do it, might as well say it in our own language,dialect… TAGALOG, VISAYA, KAPAMPANGAN, ETC AND dont be embarrassed to say it like so. For the life of me, I did not get what you meant!

      • http://www.facebook.com/gregar.dev Gregar Dev

        kaw lang ata hindi naka-intindi eh.  pareho kayo na pinagmamalaki ang common sense pero wala naman kayo niyan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bernard.esca Bernard Esca

    OMG guys stop the hate. faith is somethong that you search for not something you teach dont push your belief into others . I love lea gave birth to my musical ears and from the very start she quoted from.voltaire “I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.” now that is classy paws up! And peace out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregar.dev Gregar Dev

    even with that adage by Voltaire, still it is not right because the Almighty is at stake here.  wake up!

  • http://twitter.com/AsdfghjkLoopy NashGaga Payne. ♡

    “Being gay means you’re not Catholic”, okay, being a homosexual is a sin, so if we commit sins, we’re not religious anymore? + I thought being homophobic + judgemental is a sin too. I analyzed the negative comments, + it’s all about hatred, which is a form of a sin too. Some of you call yourselves religious, then there’s you daftly + foolishly hate Gaga + even Lea. (I’m talking about the ones who gave the negative comments) Yes, being a gay is a sin, but they’re still humans! Therefore, you, we, ALL of us has NO RIGHT TO JUDGE. Only the Almighty could judge us when our time has come. Actually, not only Gaga has been acclaimed as an illuminati, but also Katy Perry, Taylor Swift + even Justin Bieber! I know some of you likes them too as well, but you’re also close-minded to know that, all of us are biased. Yes, I’m biased when it comes to favoritism, but TBH, I’m NOT biased when it comes to religion. Why didn’t you protested when they had their concerts here too? Then also, Judas is just a METAPHOR. She thought of the name Judas because her ex’s (alias Judas in the song) fave band is Judas Priest. Also, is “Jesus is my virtue” evil? Thought so. So if I were you, let’s just keep our Faith in God, and pray.

    “The fool takes no delight in understanding, but rather displaying what he thinks.” –Proverbs 18:2

    Thank you Lea Salonga for the great article. :) xx God Bless to you Lea, Gaga, the once who putted their opinions here, + to all people. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregar.dev Gregar Dev

    with this article, your career Lea has ended.



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