Yesterday I woke up with Maria Ressa’s tweet that Justin Bieber had arrived in the Philippines, on his way to Tacloban.
Unreal, I thought. I grew up seeing only has-beens visit the country. Never in the height of the career.
Of course things have changed since the last few years. Justin Bieber has been here but not One Direction.
Madonna still hasn’t been here and she’s past her prime (sorry Grace!).
The rest of the day, Twitter was all about Bieber in Tacloban.
Based on accounts, Bieber and his group landed in Manila around 5 AM via private plane.
He arrived through the help of TV5, PLDT, SMART, and MVP, whom he reached out to for assistance in his advocacy.
Bieber expressed that he wanted to personally visit Tacloban and meet Yolanda survivors. His team didn’t want to announce his arrival and make it commercial. They asked that it be low-key and no-frills.
With that, PLDT and SMART arranged a private plane for his to visit Tacloban. The plane used is owned by gameshow host Willie Revillame (check out the tail).
After resting in Manila, Justin arrived in Tacloban around 2 PM, assisted by UNICEF on ground.
He sang “a series of Christmas songs and some of his hits as well, including Baby,” said Kate Donovan, a spokeswoman for UNICEF.
Justin gave away T-shirts to the kids of Tacloban and played street basketball, including a one-on-one with Coach Chot Reyes of Gilas Pilipinas.
His manager, Scooter Braun, said it was a very touching and emotional day for Justin, as you can see in these photos provided by SMART.
He returned to Manila in the evening and met with executives and endorsers of SMART, TV5 and PLDT at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.
His manager, Scooter Braun took time to thank those who made the visit possible.
The meet and greet lasted for about 30 minutes, very quickly. No time to make chika. Those who had a chance to take photos with Bieber were in and out within a minute.
Justin Bieber with SMART executives Ramon Isberto, Olan Pena, Tina Mariano and the SMART engineers who were among the first responders to rebuild network and communication lines in Tacloban after Yolanda.
With SMART Broadband Team and endorsers Anne Curtis, Kobe Paras and Rico Blanco
L-R: Mikyle Quizon, Dani Barretto, Justin Bieber, Claudia Barretto, and Juliana Gomez
With SMART endorser Jasmine Curtis-Smith
and Billy Crawford
The Smart Postpaid Team with endorser Anne Curtis thanked Justin Bieber for extending his help to Yolanda-stricken areas in the Philippines.
To know more about Justin’s #GiveBackPhilippines campaign, click HERE.