‘I’m a music lover’: Marcos shrugs off Coldplay concert backlash

�I�m a music lover�: Marcos shrugs off Coldplay concert backlash
Photo of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. watching Coldplay's concert at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan last January 19, 2024
Photo from Philippine Concerts; Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday justified going to a recent concert by a British rock band where he arrived in a helicopter, saying that the show was “unmissable.”

“Perhaps by now, you know that I am really a music lover. I have been for a long time,” Marcos said in an interview with a state news agency. 

Marcos — who did not complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom — said he “studied music for many years” and considers Coldplay to be “unmissable.”

Marcos and his family drew significant backlash from social media users for using a helicopter to attend Coldplay’s concert on January 19. Most comments pointed out that the president’s shortened trip to the rockstars’ show was funded by taxpayers.

In response, the Presidential Security Command justified the use of a chopper, saying that the traffic from the 40,000 concertgoers on their way to the Philippine Arena in Bulacan "posed a potential threat to the security of the president."

Marcos said the Coldplay concert was “fantastic.” 

“It was great. You can ask anybody who attended the concert. It’s different from the previous concerts we used to attend,” the president said. 

Manila has world’s ‘worst traffic’  

Metro Manila leads the world in terms of having the worst traffic of all metropolitan areas, ranking first out of 387 cities across 55 countries, according to the 2023 Tomtom Traffic Index.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin remarked during their show in the Philippines that Metro Manila had “completely insane” traffic and was “number one” in the world.

The president in 2023 vowed to improve the country’s public transportation systems and “pursue the much-needed modernization of our transport system in vital parts of the country, whether through better roads, highways and even railways.”

Marcos, however, has come under fire among transport groups for refusal to extend the December 31, 2023 deadline for the consolidation of public utility vehicles (PUV) operators, threatening the livelihood of thousands of jeepney drivers. — Cristina Chi

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