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Manila "Gates of Hell" per Dan Brown's Novel "Inferno"

Manila "Gates of Hell" per Dan Brown's Novel "Inferno"


Philippines is paradise to many but not to American author, Dan Brown.

On his his much-anticipated new novel "Inferno", the fourth part in Harvard art professor Robert Langdon’s adventures, one of the characters goes through "the gates of hell" in Manila. The description of the city is from the first-hand account of one of the fictional characters, the messianic Dr. Sienna Brooks.

Brooks, a humanitarian advocate, expected the Philippines to be a “wonderland of geological beauty, with vibrant seabeds and dazzling plains.” As part of a humanitarian mission, she went to the Philippines to feed poor fishermen and farmers on the countryside. The doctor set foot in Manila and she could only "gape in horror" as "she had never seen poverty on this scale." She said her “dark depression” flooded back, with pictures of poverty and crime flashing through her eyes.“For every one person Sienna fed, there were hundreds more who gazed at her with desolate eyes,” the book read.

One after the other, the book described chaotic Manila: "six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, horrifying sex trade." The book described the sex industry as consisting mostly of young children “many of whom had been sold to pimps by parents who took solace in knowing that at least their children would be fed.”

The book went on to detail a turning point in Brooks’ life. “I’ve run through the gates of hell,” she said.Traumatized, Brooks “left the Philippines at once, without even saying goodbye to the other members of the group.”

The impact of Dan Brown’s "Inferno" remains to be seen. While a work of fiction, Brown again provides an introduction that confuses the ordinary reader about what's true and what's not -- just like in his popular novel "The Da Vinci Code."

“Inferno” is his take on Dante Alighieri’s "The Divine Comedy."

This is not the first time that the Philippines’ so-called ugly side was described in novels and movies.

Last year, actor Taylor Kitsch created a controversy when he described his “airport nightmare” supposedly in the Philippines to TV talk show host David Letterman, claiming an immigration officer even tried to take his iPhone. It turned out that Kitsch was actually talking about Indonesia but did not bother to correct his statement despite the social media backlash.

Meanwhile, tourism officials have been trying to boost the image of the Philippines with its catchy phrase, “More Fun in the Philippines.” The Department of Tourism reported an increase in tourist arrivals last year.- ABS-CBN news

I think Dan Brown should have read one of our inspiring articles before writing "Inferno".

Related Story: Filipino English is not good enough said Guam Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Abrams

Update#1: Adobo Connection, a local restaurant, cooks a special dish for Dan Brown, Hell More Fun in the Philippines


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A simple girl with a simple dream-to become a renowned professor. I did not finish college due to financial misfortune. I may not be lucky enough to be part of a rich clan in the Philippines, but I made myself independent and I am on my own since high school. I am a trying hard blogger. I have a lot of grammar issues but I will continue to persevere and learn new things everyday to be a more effective blogger in the community.

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