In: RANDOM THOUGHTS
Manila The Gates Of Hell and Jessica Soho's Gang-Rape Scene
Manila: The place of six hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, and horrifying sex trade.
- Dan Brown, Inferno
Photo credits: mb.com.ph
And yet again, the Philippines has been insulted by another foreigner, Dan Brown, author of the hit novels Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. And yet again, I am seeing a series of photos and statuses on Facebook ordering the government to sue Dan Brown and send him to the gates of hell. (Literally and figuratively)
I'm a fan of Dan Brown-I like his books because beyond all the mind-blowing plots, he is exposing the ills of our societies and religions-something that we know, but refuse to believe let alone see. (Now this a personal belief. Let us not debate on this)
I've been to a coffee date with some of my friends and as expected, this was the topic. Words like a$$hole, stupid, bastard, wimp, and all the names you can think of were thrown back and forth at our table-if words could kill, Dan Brown is double dead by now-no, make it quadruple dead.
I feel bad, you know. I love Dan Brown, but I absolutely think that it is cruel to describe Manila as such. Manila is a beautiful city, the Philippines is a wonderful country, but like any other place, it has its own demons-it's just that the demons outweigh the city's innate beauty. And if you haven't lived here long enough or if you've just been to this place once, you will never appreciate it--I am saying this because I've been to different countries and as a first timer, I kinda' felt the same way too-perhaps it's the same banana for Dan Brown.
But Manila is in question here. And I am torn. Shall I berate Dan Brown? I guess that's the obvious and nationalistic choice. But as I walk around the city, I can't help but think: Ladies and gentlemen, the truth hurts.
This is the truth-the sad, sad truth not only in Manila but in other countries as well: we all have our own demons that we have to fight-that we tend to focus on so many shallow things that we end up letting the demons grow stronger and when we are criticized for it, we fight back not only because it's insulting, but we're also reminded that it's an issue we are not working on. (More like rubbing salt to the wound and P.R.I.D.E.) I don't know what's in Dan Brown's head when he was writing the novel, but I am not that hurt because I know for a fact that other countries have their own "Manila" too and everybody knows it-it's just that it wasn't forged into writing by some renowned author. That, and I won't deny that what he said is somewhat true. Well, Manila (and the Philippines in general) is still on its way to improving itself and in time, this comment won't matter any longer.
Photo credits: entertainment.inquirer.net
And then Vice Ganda made a tactless joke about Jessica Soho during his concert-it was about Gang Rape--he has been doing it to some of his audience in his shows too-it's not about gang rape though, but nevertheless, it's all about insult. It's as hurtful as Dan Brown's description of Manila, but it is appalling to know that some people still support this artist. You may not support Vice Ganda (I don't as well), but if we're going to consider the nation as a whole, why are we allowing this? Why are we hurt by Dan Brown's comment? Just because Vice is a Filipino, he's funny and Jessica is just one person, but Brown is an assuming foreigner and has attacked the whole? An insult is an insult-the more we allow these things to permeate amongst us, the more of it we shall attract.
I've read a tale about New York city, that it was once a place for smokers, drug pushers, and the likes and just like Manila, it was once criticized and lambasted too. So what did the government do? They responded by repainting the whole city, cleaning it, and putting everything in order. Not long enough, all the smokers and pushers vanished. It's all about actively responding here. Now Dan Brown has pointed it out, what do we do? How do we teach Vice Ganda his lesson? Posting rants about them on Facebook won't change the fact that they did what they did. I mean, it's okay to post and express your emotions, but at some point, we have to walk the talk.
What say you?
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