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Here Are The Women That U2 Highlighted At The Philippine Stop Of Their Joshua Tree Tour

The selection was varied and sparked necessary discourse amongst concert-goers and fans

When U2 visited the Philippines for their first-ever concert in the country, the Irish rock band played their hits to a crowd of over 50,000 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Fans, which included celebrities like Ogie and Regine Alcasid, Rico Blanco, Iza Calzado, and more, were at the concert. One of the songs that made the night memorable for a lot of people was U2’s performance of their beloved classic, “Ultra Violet,” which played to the images of strong, powerful women, including Filipinas—Melchora Aquino, Corazon Aquino, Maria Ressa, Pia Cayetano, and Lea Salonga, among others. Here’s the lowdown on the women that they featured and highlighted. 

Maria Ressa 

Journalist and author Maria Ressa is Rappler’s co-founder and TIME’s Person of the Year 2018. She’s also worked for ABS-CBN and CNN, and has often been lauded for her fierce and brave coverage and outspokenness against fake news. 

Pia Cayetano

Pia is a lawyer, activist, and a Senator in the Philippines, who was first elected in 2004. She has championed the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, the Expanded Breastfeeding Promoting Act, and the Expanded Senior Citizens Act. A triathlete, she also advocates sports-related causes. 

GRRRL Gang Manila

GRRRL Gang Manila is a feminist collective that aims “to create an accessible and approachable intergenerational space for girls and women to discuss issues that affect us on a personal level; a space that throws judgement out the window and makes us all feel comfortable.” It was started by Mich Dulce, who was influenced and inspired by Riot Grrrl.

Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian known for her provocative and thought-provoking stand-up. She is an out lesbian, and her show, Nanette is available to stream on Netflix. 

Marinel Ubaldo

Marinel, a registered social worker, is one of the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that ravaged the Leyte region in 2013. Since then, she has become a climate justice advocate. “I’m ready to die for it,” Marinel once told the Nobel Women’s Initiative about the struggle of fighting for the climate. “I’m ready to fight no matter what. This is the purpose of my life.”

Joan Carling

Joan Carling is a human rights activist and environmentalist who has made it her life’s mission to defend the rights of native and marginalized peoples, including the Kalinga and the Igorots, among others. 

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg—TIME’s Person of the Year 2019—made waves early in October when she criticized world leaders for not doing enough to make sure that the younger generation will still have a breathing, living planet. She’s a 16-year-old climate activist known for taking ships rather than planes to reduce her carbon footprint. 

Emma Gonzalez

Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, has since used her voice to advocate for gun control, co-founding Never Again MSD, a gun control advocacy group. At March For Our Lives in March of 2018, she named her classmates who died at the hands of the shooter, and then led the crowd into a minutes-long silence. 

Artemisa Xakriabá

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#climatestrike Artemisa Xakriabá is a 19year old indigenous climate activist of the Xakriabá people who has worked to bring together four organizations from Brazil, the Amazon Basin, Central America, and Indonesia to combat environmental destruction across indigenous peoples’ lands. “We fight for our Mother Earth because the fight for Mother Earth is the mother of all other fights,” Xakriabá has declared. “We are fighting for your lives. We are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for our sacred territory. But we are being persecuted, threatened, murdered, only for protecting our own territories. We cannot accept one more drop of indigenous blood spilled.” #womenactivists #artemisaxakriabá #changehistorybooks

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Artemisa is a 19-year-old indigenous climate activist, fighting to combat the destruction against indigenous peoples’ lands. 

Lea Salonga

Lea is one of the Philippines' best entertainers—she's the first Asian to win a Tony and has since performed on the Broadway and Manila stage multiple times. She recently played at the Theater at Solaire in Sweeney Todd Manila

Photo from Betty Romero