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Author Dan Brown hounded for calling Manila 'gates of hell'

LAST UPDATED: 01:35 p.m. HST, May 23, 2013

MANILA » Dan Brown's description of Manila as "the gates of hell" in the American novelist's latest book has not gone down well with officials in the Philippine capital.

The book "Inferno," which is being sold in the Philippines, includes a character who is visiting the city and taken aback by poverty, crime and the sex trade.

The chairman of metropolitan Manila, Francis Tolentino, wrote an open letter to Brown on Thursday, saying that while "Inferno" is fiction, "we are greatly disappointed by your inaccurate portrayal of our beloved metropolis."

Tolentino objects to the "gates of hell" description, and to Manila being defined by what he calls terrible descriptions of poverty and pollution.

He says the novel fails to acknowledge Filipinos' good character and compassion.

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Uncleart66 wrote:
Manila is a wonderful place to visit. Friendly people and great food. Don't miss it.
on May 23,2013 | 03:36AM
Cricket_Amos wrote:
Great people. As an example, in this country, their nurses are famous for their first rate skills, mature work ethic and caring attitudes.
on May 23,2013 | 04:13AM
HD36 wrote:
One of the few places left where 20 somthing year old women like to marry men in their 70's.
on May 23,2013 | 06:16AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:

Let's be more specific. The 20-something ladies are "exotic beauties" (a euphemism I heard when I last visited Philippines) who marry very wealthy non-Filipino men in their sunset years. However, May-December relationships are not seen rarely and only in a "few places" on this earth. Consider Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall, Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchinson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Rupert Murdoch and Wendy Deng.

on May 23,2013 | 07:28AM
96706 wrote:
Hey but you know what .... the author could POSSIBLY be right about that.
on May 23,2013 | 07:47AM
Ratrase wrote:
Manila reminded me that even Tijuana is a step up.
on May 23,2013 | 08:07AM
fyaman001 wrote:
Brown is not too far off in his description.......the poverty, squalor and destitution is worse there than anyplace I have ever visited. The crime is out of control and I am fearful every time i am there. If i must transit through Benigno Aquino Int'l I try to stay in the airport until my connecting flight (even if its overnight). The peope are great.....their stuation and economic circumstances are not.
on May 23,2013 | 08:13AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
A place with a severe division between the haves and the have-nots. Lots of tall buildings - in the shadows are all the poor and starving people . A history of poor political choices. Lack of focus. Elected leaders who enrich themselves at the public trough.

Manila? No, I was talking about Honolulu, silly.

on May 23,2013 | 08:32AM
Mei mei wrote:
lol Funny!!!!!!
on May 23,2013 | 01:28PM
false wrote:
Someone should tell Tolentino to stop being in denial. It is what it is.
on May 23,2013 | 09:38AM
primowarrior wrote:
The Filipinos I know are very nice people who are happy to be living here instead of there.
on May 23,2013 | 12:56PM
Mei mei wrote:
Would love to visit, but was afraid of the poverty... wish things would turn around there for the better as far as poverty and the way of life is concerned. god bless
on May 23,2013 | 01:35PM
Songoboy wrote:
Yes, Manila has its good areas and bads areas, but overall is a great to visit (as i had last year). But describing it as "the gates of hell" might be a bit too harsh. And people who hasnt have the pleasure of visiting Manila should not comment because if you didnt go, you wouldnt know....
on May 23,2013 | 04:36PM
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