Pop superstar Madonna slipped into the country quietly through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) at 2 a.m. Monday for her two-day concert in Manila in support of her 13th studio album “Rebel Heart.”
The four-time Grammy winner’s arrival aboard a chartered Boeing 752 was kept under tight wraps with airport workers strictly prohibited from taking pictures and videos with their mobile phones.
The team of customs, immigration and quarantine officers dispatched to the parked aircraft at remote parking area 21 of Naia Terminal 1 to process Madonna’s papers were told not to bring mobile phones on board.
The ground handler of the chartered flight had reportedly requested “utmost confidentiality” on Madonna’s arrival for her SM Mall of Asia Arena concert on Feb. 24 and 25.
A Naia source, who requested anonymity, said Madonna arrived days before her concert to go to Amanpulo in Palawan, the premier resort visited recently by American business magnate Bill Gates and Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Madonna, whose full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone, flew to Manila after her concert in Macau.
Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” worldwide tour, a total of 82 shows, will end on March 20 in Sydney, Australia. Her two-day concert in Manila is part of the 13-show Asian leg.
The Queen of Pop is considered the best-selling female recording artist of all time, with 300 million records sold worldwide. She is also the top touring female artist of all time, according to Billboard, which ranks her second to the Beatles in its hot 100 all-time top artists.
She was also included in Time Magazine’s “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” and is in the American cable TV network VH1 list of “100 Greatest Women in Music.”
Madonna also earned acting acclaim when she won a Golden Globe for her role in the film version of the musical “Evita.”