After ‘Damaso’ protest, Carlos Celdran in another controversy

Posted at 03/26/12 5:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines – After reportedly disrupting an ecumenical service at the Manila Cathedral in 2010, tour guide and artist Carlos Celdran found himself again in another religion-related controversy.

On Twitter, Celdran said he was “interrupted, moved and questioned by Art Dubai Security” in the middle of his “Livin’ La Vida Imelda” performance in the city.

“Just got intimidated by Art Dubai Police and then got in a scuffle next day with organizers. Happy to be home,” he wrote.

Celdran was asked to “tone down the political and religious content of the show,” which featured former First Lady Imelda Marcos having an imaginary conversation with late Libyan strongman Moammar Gadaffi, according to a report by Yahoo! Philippines.

In Celdran’s performance, Marcos told Gadaffi: “Islam is all about peace, and if you are funding a war in my country that is pitting Filipino against Filipino, you are also pitting Muslim against Muslim. How are you following Mohammed?”

But instead of complying with the order, Celdran decided to cancel his performance.

Celdran, who is now in Manila, gave this “final statement” on the issue on Twitter: “Mid-east freedom of speech is not my problem.”

Meanwhile, the tour guide and artist said he wants to learn more about other religions in the Philippines.

“Thinks that aside from the INC (Iglesia ni Cristo), I wanna learn about other religions in the Philippines as well. I want to read up more about Islam now,” Celdran said on his Facebook page.

Last year, Celdran submitted a letter of apology to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines for protesting against the church’s stance against the Reproductive Health Bill inside the Manila Cathedral in 2010.

Celdran, wearing a dark suit and top hat, shouted and held up a placard with the word “Damaso” inside the cathedral.

“Damaso” refers to Father Damaso, an abusive priest who is a character in national hero Jose Rizal’s novel “Noli Me Tangere.”