Today was a good day.
Wanderlusting with the dream team from the forest, to the skies, to the rocks, and to the water…
and then in dreams with latin music as background noise.
“Dan Brown’s description of Manila as “the gates of hell” in his new novel Inferno has provoked anger in the Philippines.”
When I first read this title. I laughed. I initially came upon this article from a girl who I knew way back when posting about how mad she was that Dan Brown wrote about the Philippines this way.
And though the situation that Dan Brown wrote about the Philippines was highly unlikely to happen… it’s not to say that it doesn’t. And it’s not to say how he depicted the poverty through the eyes of a philanthropist (especially in Metro Manila) is not true.
The girl made a comment that clearly, Dan Brown has never lived in the Philippines or Manila. Well, my dear. Neither have you. I’m also guilty of this charge. We’ve lived in areas in Metro Manila where it is safe, rich, guarded by security and enclosed from the rest of the city. We don’t live next to the actual streets, or the dirty waters. I’m sure she doesn’t really have family that lives in poverty in the Philippines. And I’ve visited places that seem poor because of family… and they weren’t even the poorest of the poor.
Though Dan Brown, to an extent, exaggerates (rightly so, especially when describing the event through the eyes of a traumatized almost-rape victim female character)… it is nonetheless true. Philippines is an example of grotesque population and poverty. The gates of hell? Maybe not your typical one.
But hell as described in Dan Brown is the loss of everything and chaos (morality, physical resources… the end of the world)… and because it is the gate. It opens your eyes to a world led to hell because of overpopulation: disease, sex trafficking, corruption, poverty.
I think one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard this month was at the Vietnamese restaurant. My dad and I passed by it, and I said: I’m craving pho. Let’s go eat some.
So we did.
When we were paying for our food, the guy asked us if we were Filipino. We said yes. He told me: You look Vietnamese. But we’re the same.
The sense of solidarity was heart-warming. It was different from people saying “well, you’re all Asian.” People don’t realize on how there are some Asians, including Filipinos, that some other Asian groups think are inferior and below them.
Indeed we are, sir. And thank you for the wonderful food.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."
By ANGELINA JOLIE