In his first ever visit to the country, rock band U2 frontman Bono (real name Paul Hewson) spent his first day in Mandaluyong city at the headquarters of the Philippine Red Cross before his one-night only concert on December 11. The humanitarian artist joked that even his band members did not know he was doing the event. “It’s an exciting kinetic city and our band is very excited to play in Manila. They don’t know I’m here. They’re getting ready. Please don’t say a word. I would consider myself a (Red Cross) volunteer too,” he told the local media.
Bono took time off rehearsals in order to launch Zipline, the world’s first and only national scale drone delivery service along with the Philippine Red Cross’s announcement to begin making on-demand and emergency blood deliveries by drone across the country. “Music is my passion but actually Zipline is where all my other passions come together. Which is the idea that commerce should serve people, not people serve commerce. The idea that the brightest of minds shine even brighter when they work for the vulnerable lives. And I suppose that all of our intellect serves our ideals. This is why I’m excited about Zipline,” he shared.
Even with a career spanning four decades, Bono said there should be no big deal about him doing humanitarian work. “We’re in a room full of people you can ask that question to and I don’t think it’s a surprising thing when people want to salute others. I am an over-recorded, over-regarded rock star and I know that I am not a hero. I am delighted to be the lead singer of U2, not getting off easy. I know what real heroes look like and that’s what real heroes look like,” he says, gesturing to the Red Cross volunteers at the event.