U2 honors Corazon Aquino, Maria Ressa, Pia Cayetano, other Filipino women in PH concert

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 12) – Irish rock band U2 shared the spotlight with some notable female personalities from the Philippines such as former president Corazon Aquino, journalist Maria Ressa and Senator Pia Cayetano during its one-night-only concert in the country on Wednesday.

U2 dedicated its performance of “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” to the women of the world. During the performance a video played in the background, showing faces of famous women from the Philippines and other countries. Among the Filipinas shown were broadway actress Lea Salonga, revolutionary heroine Melchor Aquino, late singer Maria Carpena, climate and social justice activist Lidy Nacpil along with Aquino and Ressa, who was also named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2019 after being the magazine's Person of the Year in 2018.

Cayetano’s photo was also shown but her name was misspelled as “Cayentano.”

The 1970s band also paid tribute to women’s rights movements Grrrl Gang Manila, One Billion Rising and Babae Ako together with other women from all over the world

“When women in the whole world unite to rewrite history as her story that is a "Beautiful Day"” said lead singer Bono, referring to their song “Beautiful Day.”

He also made special mention of Ressa more than once.

“Maria Ressa is an incredible woman but the extraordinary thing is even Maria Ressa will say it’s not about individuals, it’s about collective action,” said Bono.

Ressa and Salonga thanked the band for their tribute.

Before singing a mash-up of “Heroes” by David Bowie and their song “Wide Awake In America,” Bono also praised the Red Cross volunteers in the country that he met Tuesday, and other “everyday heroes” including journalists.

“Yesterday [December 10], I met some incredible volunteers in this country. Red Cross are in the house tonight, volunteers let's keep them in our prayers,” he said.

“Also in our prayers, lets keep the journalists, the activists who keep this country truly safe. We salute you, truth-tellers. Everyday heroes, women and men,” Bono added.

Previously, Bono commented on the country’s human rights situation under President Rodrigo Duterte during a press conference with Red Cross Chair Senator Richard Gordon.

This was the first time the renowned group visited and performed in the Philippines after four decades in the music industry.

Bono also noted the concert was their 2,050th show as a band.

For their pre-show program, U2 also featured the poem of Filipino-American writer Bino Realuyo. Titled "Filipineza," the piece, which comes from Realuyo’s acclaimed first poetry collection "The Gods We Worship Live Next Door," is about the plight of Filipino maids in Europe.