‘Rebel Heart’ Singer Madonna May Be Banned From Philippines

By now, Madonna has reached a point in her life and in her career where she no longer cares what others think. The Material Girl is going to do what she’s going to do. The people and government officials of the Philippines got a taste of what that really means, when Madonna brought her Rebel Heart tour to Manila. One segment of the concert had the Queen of Pop violating a number of the country’s laws regarding the treatment of their flag, and the Filipino government wants Madonna punished for it.

Meanwhile, Madonna also delivered an onstage rant about her former Filipino trainer, who Madonna claims slept with her ex-boyfriend. The Rebel Heart singer’s purpose for going into this tirade seems unclear, but, combined with her treatment of the country’s flag, it almost seems as though Madonna holds special contempt for the Filipino people.

Madonna Disrespects Filipino Flag During Rebel Heart Concert

Following her Wednesday night concert in Manila, Madonna may be banned from the Philippines for disrespecting their flag. The segment of the Rebel Heart concert called into question had Madonna draped in the country’s flag, allowing parts of the flag to touch the stage floor.

Fans were thrilled. The audience roared their approval and cheered on Madonna, even as she delivered a stellar performance. Her use of the flag was taken far more seriously by Filipino authorities, however, and Teodoro Atienza, of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, cited the country’s law prohibiting the use of the flag as a costume or uniform.

“Our flag law is strict as we want to instill respect for the Philippine flag,” presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma said in a statement.

“This should [be] made clear to organizers and performers in concerts so that there will be no repetition of the incident.”

A decision has yet to be made by the Filipino government regarding how Madonna should be punished, if at all. Earlier statements that the Rebel Heart singer should be banned from the country were the sentiments of just one presidential aide, according to more recent statements, which also assert that the government has no desire to make an example out of Madonna.

Madonna Rants To Her Manilla Audience About Her Filipino Trainer

The incident with the Filipino flag wasn’t the only awkward moment for 57-year-old Madonna. She took a moment between sets to rant to her 20,000 member crowd about the betrayal of her former Filipino trainer, who, Madonna says, slept with her boyfriend.

“Once I had a Filipino trainer — this beautiful, beautiful girl,” Madonna said onstage in Manila during her Rebel Heart tour. “She was gorgeous and very talented as a trainer. But she f****d my boyfriend, so I fired her.”

While Madonna didn’t reveal any names, it’s believed that she was referring to her former trainer Nicole Winhoffer, who was dismissed in 2014. Madonna had been associated with Nicole for five years, as both a personal trainer and a business partner. The two women established the Hard Candy Fitness franchise, a series of fitness centers with locations around the world. It’s not known why the partnership failed or the friendship ended, but, in light of Madonna’s onstage confession, it seems clear there were personal issues involved.

“In this case, it was not a happy ending,” Madonna said. “I know I sound like I’m cynical and I don’t believe in romance and that I think everybody is backstabbing.”

Why Madonna should make such a deeply personal admission to 20,000 strangers is unclear, but she must have had some reason for doing so. Between using the Filipino flag in a way that would have been frowned upon even in the United States and publicly flaying her former trainer, who she pointedly revealed as Filipino, Madonna seems to be sending a bitter yet clear message. Charity work aside, Madonna is displaying no love for the people of the Philippines.

[Image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]