MANILA, Philippines – “The Da Vinci Code” author, Dan Brown, reportedly mentioned in his recent novel, “The Inferno” that Manila are the “Gates of Hell”, and some government officials expressed their “disappointment” about Dan Brown’s description – even if the book clearly stated it is fiction.
Dan Brown may have observed some of the street children selling wares and some of the poor in their ramshackle dwellings and made these as his muse for his novel. This does not necessarily depict what is genuine and real.
Does truth hurt? Is it true that the City of Manila are the “Gates of Hell”? There may be some Filipinos who would agree, and many who would not. The indigent would most probably agree, but the rich would apparently disagree- but money is not everything. There is much more nobility in Filipinos that takes time for a stranger to discover.
Brown wrote about some people in the Vatican too as “evil” in “The Da Vinci Code” and Christians saw it as an affront to the Roman Catholic Church. This made the book even more popular because people became more curious of why the Christians banned the book. The book was translated into 40 languages and even made into a film.
This could happen to “The Inferno.” It is already popular but would become more so, if the Philippines would protest and lodge complaints about Dan Brown’s fictional plot. Should Filipinos stay silent then? Not dignifying Brown’s words would make them insignificant.
Let visitors judge for themselves if Manila is indeed the gate of hell. With Filipino’s warm hospitality and friendliness, surely, Brown’s superficial knowledge of the Filipinos, as depicted in his work of fiction, would no longer matter.
As the cliché goes:
“The truth shall set you free.”