Sting stung by felled Baguio trees, drops venue of Manila concert

Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom

(UPDATE) Now it can be told: Sting is still a tree-hugger.

The artist is cancelling his Back to Bass Tour at the Mall of Asia Arena scheduled for Dec. 9, 2012 because the group that opposed SM Baguio’s plan to cut 182 trees to give way to a parking lot was credited to have successfully lobbied the known environmentalist from playing in the venue.

The official statement from MOA Arena said it “has exhausted all measures for the show to push through.”  An accompanying press release stated that “The SM MOA Arena has nothing to do with the case in Baguio except for the fact that it is also under the same holding company as the Baguio branch.”

Meanwhile, Ovation Productions, producer of the artist’s “Back to Bass” concert, confirmed on Sting's official website that the new venue will be at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The concert producer further announced that that those who already bought a reserved seat ticket can get another one, this time for the new venue, starting Thursday, Oct. 25.

Fans can exchange their tickets at the Big Dome’s Ticketnet Office.  If needed due to the change of venue, refunds must be made at SM Tickets on or before Sunday, Nov. 18.

Online petition for Sting

Cheryl L. Daytec-Yangot, former legal counsel of the group Project Save 182 who filed a case against SM for its Baguio branch’s redevelopment plan, called and then wrote Sting’s representatives, to let them know the environmental issue with SM and to appeal to him to change the venue of his Manila concert.

Daytec-Yangot also directed them to an online petition created by Project Save 182’s Karlo Marko Altomonte. “Sting can't be saving rainforests and enabling SM to rape the environment at the same time!” the petition read.

The petition got 378 signatures.

‘Do something for us’

In her letter, Daytec-Yangot said, “Sting is a well-loved musician among human rights advocates and believers all over the world including the Philippines. This is foremost because he speaks the voice of the marginalized and disadvantaged.”

She continued, “A lot of times, it was because of him that stifled voices were amplified. This happened each time he exposed injustice, iniquity, and inequity in his songs. The world's oppressed classes owe Sting so much. And now, in behalf of the disadvantaged, we ask him to do something for them again.”

She also reminded Sting of something he once said: “If you really want to define civilization it should be a culture that doesn't destroy its environment. If you burn down the kitchen one day and expect to eat the next, it is not even intelligent, let alone civilized."

Daytec-Yangot added: “Your words become empty if you perform in SM-MOA, Mr. Sting!”

On Friday, Oct. 19, she announced on Facebook that Sting had dropped Arena as a venue and wrote: “Yes, efforts worked, it seems. Take note- there was that online petition first which Karlo Marko Altomonte initiated. It was followed by the PS182 US-based members and friend Pedro Jacobo's efforts to contact Sting and his agents here. These were followed up with more calls.  In the end, Sting listened to the voice of the oppressed. He did it in regard to his concert in Kyrgyztan before. Let us support Sting always.” With reports from Maridol Ranoa-Bismark

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