Madonna performed to sold-out concerts on her two day concert tour in the Philippines last week. Although there was great controversy over her public performances, hearts were touched when she dropped in at Manila’s shelters for street kids. The shelters were aware that dancers with Madonna’s group would be paying a visit, but it was only an hour before the visit that the kids and their leaders were made aware that the pop star, herself, would be coming.
Madonna is the adoptive mother of two African children, so rumors immediately spread that she would be considering adoption of a Filipino child. Whether she is planning an adoption or not, it is clear that Madonna has a soft spot in her heart for underprivileged children. Her Instagram page sports a selfie with the caption: “Chillin’ with my homies at the Bahay Tuluyan Foundation, Inc. giving shelter to Orphans street children, trafficking/abuse victims in Manilla!!” In addition to her visit to Bahay, Madonna stopped in at the Hospicio de San Jose Orphanage where a young girl guided her tour. Included in Madonna’s visits to the shelter and orphanage was a mini concert of sorts. Madonna’s dancers put on a little show and the children, themselves, joined in. It appears that dancing is contagious – smiles covered the children’s faces as they became part of the performances.
Although Madonna reached out to Filipino children on her visit, there are some adults who urged their countrymen to avoid attendance at her concerts. “Why is the Catholic Philippines the favorite venue for blasphemy against God and the Holy Mother?” asked Archbishop Ramon Arguelles. That question was posed before the two-day concerts. Following Madonna’s performances, Teodoro Atienza (Historical Commission Official) said that Madonna had “ridiculed” the country’s flag. It is a violation to wear the flag in any way, yet Madonna danced with it. Just as shocking to officials, Madonna allowed the flag to touch the ground. “They may face deportation and might not be able to return to the country,” Atienza stated.
It remains to be seen what, if any action, will be taken by the Philippine government against the 57-year-old pop star and her group.