IRISH rock band U2 played its 2,050th show as a band in the Philippine Arena last Dec. 11, Wednesday. The Manila stop is the second to the last show on the band’s “The Joshua Tree Tour 2019.” “The Joshua Tree” is the name of the band’s defining record released in 1987. The album features hits like “Where The Streets Have No Name,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With Or Without You.”

In this story, Cebuanos who flew to Manila for the show, share their experience during the mega concert.

“My brothers and I started lining up about 1 p.m. We entered the venue around 6 p.m. Then the show started 9 p.m. But I left the Philippine Arena with a high that would last me a lifetime. We were a few feet away from the stage to see the band but just far enough to enjoy the large LED screen as well. It was an incredible night which I hope will be the first of many.” - Luis A. Quibranza III

“I’ve been listening to U2 most of my life, since I was five years old. I’m a fan of all albums from ‘Boy’ to ‘Songs of Experience’ and everything in between. U2 Manila was my fourth U2 concert, but it was, by far, the most special being in the Philippines. Thank you for visiting us and thank you for a lifetime worth of music, my heroes, U2!” - Pio Neri

“U2 is my all-time favorite band but I have never seen them live. I thought my chance to see them live was gone. When the Asia tour was announced, I immediately bought a concert ticket for Japan even without any companion. But when the Philippine leg was announced, I sold my Japan ticket to get the Manila ticket. I always want to hear a band say “Good evening, Philippines” or at least some version of it. Haha! The experience was beyond description. The most moving parts for me were Bono’s spiels that turned out to be exhortations for my life and for the community’s betterment. We are one. Thank you, Paul (Bono), David (The Edge), Larry and Adam.” - Charles Osmeña

“As a musician, one of my greatest influences is U2. I never thought I would get the chance to see them live but this year, I’ve had the chance to watch them twice, first in New Zealand, then in the Philippines. (I even got a photo with Larry Mullen Jr.’s drumsticks used in the Auckland show). To sum it all up, it was a great musical healing experience. Thank you, U2 for making my dreams come true! See you again soon! - Paolo Quibranza

“We were at the venue at around 3 p.m. The logistics were far from perfect! We were confused where we would enter, the staff were undermanned and the show started about an hour late from schedule. We were a bit frustrated already. However, when ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ started playing, all those frustrations melted. It was one hell of a show worth all the tiresome wait! U2 really put on a show. After the last song, “One,” we were so elevated that we didn’t even mind the hour and a half traffic while going out the Philippine Arena.” - Karl Rainier Barcenas

“Bono is a rock god. During ‘Elevation,’ while singing, he approached bass master Adam Clayton and put his hand over the guitar’s fingerboard, which invoked silence from the deeper registers prompting the band to take a softer tone. This instigated the crowd to take over a little bit louder. And just at the right moment, Bono nodded at the rest of the band bringing back all sound to full power. He set the pace and leveled the energy, what a masterful game. Incredible!” - Paulo Varela

“The concert was one for the books! Bono’s exhortations were filled with depth: “When sisters around the world go to school with their brothers, that’s a beautiful day. When journalists don’t have to worry about what they write, that’s a beautiful day,” it really struck a chord with how far we have progressed as a society. Personally, the concert brought feelings of amazement and gratitude. The concert was definitely worth it! - Marvin Ford

“The concert was worth it! Seeing my childhood heroes is a dream come true and it brings out the youth in me again. Yes, there’s the band and the music. But the show was more of a healing; A spiritual journey. I feel like we’ve journeyed together with their music in my life, too. And, oh! We got our seats upgraded! Just my lucky night to see the band at close range.” - Lorenz Ostrea

“I started being a fan of U2 when they released ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.’ Being one of the younger fans, I tried to go back to their previous albums. Since then, they have become my favorite band. Fans know how rare of an opportunity this was that U2 chose to tour in the Philippines. I took that chance and I do not regret flying to Manila and braving the long queues just to see the greatest rock and roll band on Earth!” - Angelo Quibranza.