‘Gates of Hell’: Much ado about the truth

I don’t understand all this moaning and groaning of Filipino officials over Dan Brown‘s “Inferno.” I mean, really, guys, are you that touchy to be so offended over Manila being described as “gates of hell” in Brown’s latest novel? It’s a work of fiction, for Pedro’s sake. It’s not like one bad scene in a bestseller would dissuade thousands of tourists from coming over to the Philippines.

I’ve always wanted to visit New York, and it’s common knowledge that the Big Apple has one of the highest crime rates worldwide. But that hasn’t stopped tourists from invading NY to stare up at the soaring skyscrapers or shopping in Manhattan.

Besides, isn’t it true that there exists in Manila “six-hour long traffic jams, suffocating pollution, and a miserable sex trade” as stated in the book? Which part of that statement is a lie? It’s not even an exaggeration. Just ask anyone living in Manila or who’s been there.

One Filipino government official even took it upon himself to write a complaint to Dan Brown using official agency letterhead. That’s a little childish, now, isn’t it?

For a people whose spirit endures even through floods and disasters, we really need not be so hypersensitive over such a molehill of an issue. We’re all better than this. You know that saying “come hell or high water”? Well, we’ve been through the high water part (frequently, in fact). Surely the hell part is no threat to us.

Anyway, if you haven’t read “Inferno” yet, you may want to give it a spin. That is, if you can suffer through Brown’s awkward sentences. At least, it’s a great way to read up on Dante Alighieri if you’re not familiar of this great man and his impressive body of work.

 

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I write to live, or live to write. Whichever it is, writing is my life.

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