“Manila deserves the tag ‘Gates of Hell’, when a man kills himself on the MRT tracks, and inconvenienced riders simply groan and say, ‘Namerhuwisyo pa.'”
That recent remark, posted recently on my Facebook page, was my little contribution to the fast-growing social media commentary among Filipinos that seethed around Dan Brown’s latest book, Inferno. Some Filipino observers had whipped up a titanic controversy out of a 3-page passage that described poverty-stricken Manila as the seeming gate of Hell in the eyes of the novel’s major protagonist.
For now I won’t dwell on the broad range of Philippine social-media reactions triggered by this issue. Here I merely want to share my own thin slices of insight into what our metropolis has turned into. Continue reading “In the vicinity of the Gates of Hell”