Saturday, May 25, 2013
Dan Brown's letter to MMDA Chairman Tolentino
I can't help it. Its all over my Facebook page. Unfortunately, a lot of my Facebook friends are apparently more sensitive than MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino. These friends whose patriotism ignites when our boxers wins in a match or when a half-breed Filipino wins in a contest abroad!
Why does Dan Brown's depiction of Manila in his new book Inferno infuriates Filipinos so much? I'll tell you why... Because it is closer to the truth than the MMDA's description of Manila as "Heavenly". Yes my countrymen... Let us not fool ourselves. Manila is not Heavenly at all! Not if you are an ordinary citizen riding jeepneys or the LRT. Not if you are an ordinary citizen walking on the street without bodyguards! Not if you are the one driving your car! It is a different story though if you are cruising Manila in the backseat of a heavily tinted luxury car. Not noticing the thousands of common people outside then you get off at the hotel, your bodyguard opens the door for you and you dine at the gourmet restaurant spending as much as a month's wage of the common Filipino... Yeah.. Heavenly!
Now, if I am saying that Manila needs a facelift (although I think a "rebirth" is what Manila needs, I will just settle for a facelift for now. hahaha), then why are the people reacting vehemently to the truth? Well, 2 things... First is that, Filipinos are not really good at dealing with criticism. Second, because a Foreigner said it! Yes you read it right! If a Filipino author wrote about Manila and depicted it the way Dan Brown did, it wouldn't be a big deal. Filipinos are deaf when it comes to the cry of their fellow countrymen, only the opinion of the foreigners matter.
If you would read Dan Brown's novel, you would know why it was called the gates of hell. Go on, ask your friends if they have a copy of the book. I know you don't buy your own you cheapo! Hahaha. I am sure that only about 2% of the Filipinos has read the book. I am also sure that those who are posting about this on Facebook doesn't really know anything about the book before this issue... I just hope we Filipinos would focus more on building a better Philippines and changing our negative attitudes. We might not be able to change the government we have because of the stupid voters who are the majority in our democrazy nation but we can start by making a change within ourselves. There is still hope for us.
God bless the Philippines!