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Pura Luka Vega declared persona non grata in General Santos City following 'Ama Namin' performance

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jul 21, 2023 7:15 pm

Drag Queen artist Pura Luka Vega has been declared as persona non grata by the city council in General Santos City.

This comes as the queer artist, whose real name is Amadeus Fernando Pagente, made headlines after she sang an Ama Namin remix to a cheering crowd at a bar, all while clad in an outfit portraying Jesus Christ.

The video quickly went viral, with some people condemning Vega's performance as blasphemous, while others defending it as an expression of art.

According to a report by GMA's State of the Nation, the local government said that the resolution was passed as Vega's performance had offended the largely Christian community of General Santos City. The Catholic church in the city meanwhile supported the council's decision.

While Vega has yet to respond to the decision, the drag artist has been firm in defending her actions. 

"I understand the sentiments, and I think they’re valid but as an artist, the perception of my art is beyond my control. However, my intent is clear and does not mean to offend," she told PhilSTAR L!fe.

"It’s my way of expressing my faith, odd as it may seem. I deliberately chose Ama Namin for the message—a message of hope for the oppressed, particularly the LGBTQIA+ community," she added.

In a separate statement published on Twitter, Vega said that while she acknowledges that people may call her performance blasphemous, offensive or regrettable, she asserted that they shouldn’t tell her how to practice her faith or how to do her drag.

"That performance was not for you to begin with. It is my experience and my expression, of having been denied my rights," she wrote.