U2 honors Filipina icons Maria Ressa, Lea Salonga, Cory Aquino in first Manila concert

HSBC Philippines
U2 Filipina icons
U2 dedicates their performance of “Ultraviolet” to the women of the Philippines who have rewritten history into “herstory”.

Irish rock band U2’s first Manila concert had a special treat for Filipinas – a special dedication of the song “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” to iconic women of the Philippines including Lea Salonga, Maria Ressa, and Cory Aquino.

In the Manila leg of The Joshua Tree Tour 2019, the famous musicians flashed images of Filipinas who have made their mark in the world.

Frontman Bono introduced the tribute, saying, “Human rights churn out human wrongs, that’s a beautiful day. When sisters around the world go to school with their brothers, that’s a beautiful day. When journalists don’t have to worry about what they write, that’s a beautiful day. When women of the world unite to rewrite history as herstory, that is a beautiful day.”

As U2 performed their 1991 hit song, the backdrop of the concert stage displayed photos of the following: Philippine revolutionary Melchora “Tandang Sora” Aquino, the first Philippine woman president Corazon Aquino, international Broadway star Lea Salonga, and 2018 TIME Person of the Year representing journalists, Maria Ressa.

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa retweeted a post with her image flashed on the U2 stage and wrote, “I was speechless!”

Lea Salonga, the voice of the “We Are One” theme song of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosted by the Philippines that was holding its closing ceremony on the same night as the U2 concert in Manila, reacted to the news in a tweet.

“Woke up this morning to at least ten messages with photos because my photo was on the projection wall during U2’s Ultra Violet. Wow, I am dead. Thank you for those messages, friends, and thank you, U2 for including me! Honored!,” Salonga tweeted.

The U2 stage also showed United Nations Earth champion Joan Carling, activist Lidy Nacpil Alejandro, youth activist Marinel Ubaldo, zarzuela singer Maria Carpena, Senator Pia Cayetano, Grrl Gang Manila, the #BabaeAko movement, and the One Billion Rising movement.

Women from around the world were also honored including climate activist Greta Thunberg who was named the new TIME Magazine Person of the Year 2019, comedians Ellen Degeneres and Hannah Gadsby, AIDS awareness advocate Connie Mudenda, Syrian Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini, protest punk band Pussy Riot, and primatologist Jane Goodall.

Bono of U2 had earlier in the week teamed up with the Philippine Red Cross to deliver blood to patients in far-flung areas in the Philippines.

SEND cheers to U2 for their tribute to Filipinas!

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.