Who are the female personalities U2 paid tribute to during their PH concert?

Iconic Irish rock band U2 performed for the first time in the country for “The Joshua Tour” last night at the Philippine Arena.


View this post on Instagram


Hello hello Manila… #u2 #thejoshuatreetour2019 #manila

A post shared by U2 Official (@u2) on

The legendary group has been in the music industry for over four decades. During their performance, the group paid tribute to several iconic female personalities from the Philippines and other countries.

Local Filipino personalities that the group honored included Filipina revolutionary Melchora Aquino, former president Corazon Aquino, Senator Pia Cayetano, singer Lea Salonga, journalist Maria Ressa, late singer Maria Carpena, and climate and social justice activist Lidy Nacpil.

The international female personalities that the band honored at the concert included Artemisa Xakriaba, Sinead Burke, Greta Thunberg, and Ellen DeGeneres, to name a few.

The band dedicated Ultraviolet (Light My Way) to the women of the world. Meanwhile, a video that shows the faces of popular women from the country and abroad played during the performance.

Band U2 The Joshua Tour 1

U2 The Joshua Tree Tour Photo credit: Danny North

A Quick Look at Some of These Female Personalities


Melchora Aquino

Melchora Aquino is a Filipina revolutionary who became known as “Tandang Sora” (“Elder Sora”) because of her age during the Philippine Revolution. She was known as the “Grand Woman of the Revolution” and the “Mother of Balintawak” for her contributions.

Corazon Aquino

Corazon Aquino was a Filipino politician who became the 11th President of the Philippines. She was the first woman to hold that office.

She was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, which ended the 21-year rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. She was named Time magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1986. Prior to this, she had not held any elective office.

Pia Cayetano

Pia Cayetano is a Filipino lawyer who is the youngest elected Senator in the history of the Republic of the Philippines. She was first elected as senator in 2004 and re-elected in 2010. A self-proclaimed women activist, she is best known for pushing for the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354), the Expanded Breastfeeding Promoting Act (RA 10028), and the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (RA 9994), among others.

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga is a Filipina singer and actress, best known for her roles in musical theatre, for supplying the singing voices of two Disney Princesses (Jasmine and Mulan), and as a recording artist and television performer.

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa is a Filipino-American journalist and author, best known for co-founding Rappler as its chief executive officer. She previously spent nearly two decades working as a lead investigative reporter in Southeast Asia for CNN.

Maria Carpena

Maria Carpena was a singer and stage personality, and the Philippines’s first recording artist. She is also known as the “Nightingale of the Zarzuela”.

Lidy Nacpil

Lidy Nacpil is an activist from the Philippines working on economic, environmental, social and gender justice issues.


Artemisa Xakriaba

Artemisa Xakriabá is a 19-year-old indigenous climate activist of the Xakriabá of Brazil. She represented more than 25 million indigenous people and traditional communities from the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities at the Global Climate Strike in New York.

This alliance protects 600 million hectares of the Amazon Rainforest.

Sinead Burke

Sinead Burke is an Irish writer, academic, influencer, activist, and broadcaster, popular for her TED talk Why design should include everyone.

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change whose campaigning has gained international recognition. Thunberg is known for her blunt, straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address what she describes as the climate crisis.

She is named Time Person of the Year 2019.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She starred in the sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.

Full List

Here’s the full list of the women honored during U2’s concert in the Philippines.

Sojourner Truth
Mary Wollstonecraft
Begum Rokeya
Akenhi Tomoana
Melchora Aquino
Women of Iceland
Sari Squad
Grrrl Gang Manila
One Billion Rising
Ellen de Generes
Ruth Ellis
Moms Mabley
Marsha and Sylvia
Lily Parr
Maria Carpena
Lea Salonga
Rosetta Tharpe
Ruth Sienkiewicz- Mercer
Corazon Aquino
Pia Cayetano
American Suffragettes
Indian Suffragettes
UK Suffragettes
Japan Suffragettes
Maria Ressa
Lidy Nacpil
Pussy Riot
Melinda Gates
Amal Clooney
Aya Chebbi
Jane Goodall
Connie Mudenda
Sinead Burke
Joan Carling
Havanna Champan Edwards
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye
Yusra Mardini
Greta Thunberg
Artemisa Xakriabá
Emma Gonzalez
Marinel Ubaldo

Anything to add to this story? Share your thoughts with us.

Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at story.wheninmanila@gmail.com or send us a direct message at WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad!