May 25, 2013

Dan Brown, His "Gates of Hell" Description of Manila, and the Stupidity of MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino and Other Filipinos

First of all, I didn't read Dan Brown's Inferno and I have no plans of reading it either. I'm not much of a "novel reader". However, these negative comments coming from fellow Filipinos and government officials make me want to puke. What's wrong with you people? Brown is a novelist. He writes fiction. Inferno is a fictional book. I wouldn't care if he calls Manila the gates of a million hells or he claims in his books that Satan lives in Taguig, Makati or wherever. Things you read in novels are products of authors' imaginations. If you take them seriously and believe them to be true, then you are crazy, not to mention stupid. If say, I write a novel titled Impiyerno and create a character walking along Makati Avenue and describing the place as the dirtiest and most lawless avenue in the entire world or say in the entire UNIVERSE, are you going to take the thing like it's for real?

The fact that so many Filipinos are hurt by Brown's description of Manila in his book is because of several reasons. Let me enumerate them for you:
  1.  So many Filipinos don't read. They don't know the difference between fiction and non-fiction. I bet majority of these people coming up with their negative reactions to the issue don't even know who Dan Brown is. They don't know that his works are nothing but imaginations albeit inspired by true or real events.
  2. These same Filipinos think that Dan Brown himself called Manila the "gates of hell". They probably think that the description didn't come from a book. It's easy for this to happen. Just look at the headlines of news stories tackling the issue. "Dan Brown Gates of Hell Comment Infuriates Filipinos". Take that headline for example. It seems to allude that the words came off the mouth of Brown like in an interview or something.
  3. Filipinos are by nature "pikon". Yes, they are. They are too sensitive. They can't stand criticisms even if these criticisms speak the truth. They don't think before they mouth off their reactions.
  4. Filipinos don't like it when you point out their problems to them. They don't like it when people call their cities dirty even though most of their cities are REALLY dirty. They don't like it when people mock their heroes. Take for example Justin Bieber's tweets of knocked-out-senseless Manny Pacquiao. Filipinos took offense. Some politicians even considered banning the singer from entering the Philippines. I also hate Bieber very much but come on. Ban him because of some tweets? 
Anyway, Brown's Inferno also earned the ire of some Filipino politicians. MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino even sent Brown a letter which basically says "Dan Brown, you are a liar." Seriously Mr. Tolentino? Of course, Brown is lying! It's a fiction novel. Fiction. Fiction. Get it?

But then again, if you look into what Brown wrote in his book, they actually speak the truth. Let's take a look into them:
  1. poverty - Check. Hundreds of thousands of families in Manila are living in poverty. Chairman Tolentino is of course not one of them.
  2. suffocating pollution - Check. Manila is one of the most polluted cities in the entire world. Period.
  3. sex trade - All you need to do is walk at night in any of the city's main thoroughfares and you will see how rampant this thing is.
Tolentino says he is disappointed by Brown's "inaccurate portrayal" of his "beloved" Manila.What's inaccurate about that? 99% of what Brown said is true. Poverty and pollution envelopes Manila. What's inaccurate about that?

Tolentino then goes on to babble about God, faith, spirit, hope and whatever. And he further says that Brown failed to acknowledge the good character and compassion of Manila citizens for each other. Manila has the highest rates of criminal activities in this country. You call that good character and compassion? Who's lying now? Tolentino or Brown?

And here's the most shocking statement of 2013. Toelntino calls Manila the "entry to heaven". Teehee.

It's sad. It's shameful how stupidly sensitive this Tolentino and other Filipinos are. I bet if Brown says Manila is the cleanest city in the world, Tolentino will welcome him to Manila with bouquets of flowers and a motorcade.

Write Your Comments Below


  1. well ...i haven't read the book yet but this reaction of MMDA Chairman is indeed a free publicity for the book....yet Mr. Brown could have thought of a better fictional city like Las Vegas...i guess this would be a better gate to hell.. ;)

  2. Hi guys, I respect all your opinions po. Kaso lang wag naman kayo maninira. Wag po sobra. Kasi hindi naman kayo pinilit na mag join. If you like then "GO" if ayaw nyo e di wag po. Kahit anong networking pa yan hindi naman kayo kinakaladkad para maka join kayo. Saka ganun naman talaga ang business. YOu have to invest. Investment + Hard work = Gain. Remember, even ang isang hinog na bayabas kung hindi ka gagawa ng paraan makuha yun hindi mo yan makakain. It is very easy to type comments and read bashers opinion but the question is: " Sa mga taong gumawa ng negative may ma offer ba silang magaganda para sabay tayo magpunta sa kanila. Wala din. Ganun naman talaga ang mindset ng tao puro uro talak ng talak. Yung puro talak wala din yun.


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