Sting forces venue switch in Philippines tree row



MANILA, Philippines—Rock superstar Sting has forced organisers to move his planned one-night show in the Philippines to another Manila venue amid a spat over pine trees involving the original hosts, it was announced Friday.

The Manila leg of his “Back to Bass Tour” on December 9 will now be hosted by Araneta Coliseum, instead of Mall of Asia Arena as originally announced, said his official website

Earlier in the day, the local concert promoters informed the Arena that Sting had called off his show there, Arena general manager Arnel Gonzales said.

Sting announced his decision after learning that pine trees growing outside a provincial shopping mall owned by the same holding company that owns Arena were being removed for an expansion programme, Gonzales added.

“Somebody misled the Englishman In New York over the venue,” Gonzales told AFP, referring to one of the British-born star’s hit songs.

Gonzales said that while Arena and SM Baguio are sister companies, the concert venue had nothing to do with the trees’ transfer.

Environmentalists had sued the SM Baguio shopping mall in the northern mountain resort of Baguio earlier this year to stop the uprooting and relocation of 182 old trees, mostly pines, growing at its property.

The case sparked calls for a boycott of the SM chain, controlled by the family of the country’s richest man, billionaire developer Henry Sy.

The mall chain said it had secured permits to remove the trees, but the transfer of all 182 trees to a government lot had not been completed due to the civil suit, which remains on trial.

“It’s something that we did not expect,” Gonzales said of the cancellation of the Arena concert.

Sting, former frontman of “The Police”, is known for his activism on a number of social and political causes and is closely associated with the human rights monitor Amnesty International.

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  • Alexander Aamproz

    Sting is right, but 35 years to late, the country is already devastated by absolute greed abuses and ignorances.

    If you want an eco tour, go to Bohol the second most deforested province, on same time you can observe the irreversible damages done by fake the text books and the fake Catholic religion, a Colonial one built built to favor elites and Clergy abuses.

    If you want to observe rare corrals fishes, go to seafoods restaurants in HK or China,
    98 % of Philippines corals are gone for ever.
    Birds, deers, wild pigs, monkeys and many others where gone with the forest,
    what left of one of the richest country ? – Slums and Clergy.

    The life support, the nature, is gone to support the world most ignorant criminal’s  macho.
    The population has to go abroad as janitor’s to feed their family.

    In the near future, no more water in a monsoon country, it show the Elites even don’t know,
    even worst, don’t care what is a tree, no more tree, no more watershed but flash flood.

    It’s the last minute to visit this country, in case you don’t care killing’s, kidnaping’s, snatcher’s,
    bacterias, viruses, police, army, justice and immigration gangster style, 
    in few words, an Amazing “Paradise” ok for Palparan or Ampatuan…

  • CherryMarB

    natuwa kami sa Baguio for that.:)

  • Elson Elizaga

     As far as I know, SM Baguio has not cut down any tree in Baguio. Some have been earth-balled and transferred, but there are no reports that these trees have died.

    Instead, SM claims “8,000 saplings [have been] planted since 2005. 50,000 more in three years.” This claim should be investigated by Sting and others who are interested in reforestation.

    No other organization I know of has made that same or similar achievement in environmental work in Baguio.

    If anyone could send me a photo of a tree inside SM Baguio cut down — trunk split in two — with SM Baguio building in the background, I would give the photographer P1,000. The image should be in RAW format, unedited, preferably taken with a wide-angle lens, between 10mm to 35mm, in color. I would like to give more but lactose-free milk is very expensive nowadays. :)

    The photo will be displayed in my website at 1400 pixels maximum width (if landscape) or height (if portrait). Photographer retains copyright.

    • RossSpazio

      “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

      If SM murders a tree & no one is around to take a RAW photo of it, does it mean it never happened?

      Somebody sends you a photo of a tree murdered by SM and all you can do is reward that brave soul with P1,000?  As a paid SM publicist, you should instead be raising hell if you found out your client actually had you believe that the DENR case against SM was without a shred of evidence.

      What is your motive for defending SM so dearly and even giving out token money to anyone who will take your phony challenge? You are just as FAKE as the edited photos you pray no one sends you.  Even if a man claims to have fed a multitude yet murders even just the smallest amongst us, that man is still a MURDERER.  SM’s PR tree-planting projects are no license for what is bottom line its ultimate driving force which is CORPORATE GREED:  plant a seedling here, cut a 50-year old tree there — whatever formula gives you a return on investment.

      Mr. Elizaga, by defending SM so methodically, you give the description in your Facebook account “Studied Creative Writing at Silliman University” a whole new spin.

  • Peter Capotosto

    Moving the venue is a great way to make a statement.  Its an opportunity to let SM ride on the publicity and show its good side, if it is indeed the case.  

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