Photoblog: Manila, the gates of hell?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

manila cemetery peopleAcclaimed US author Dan Brown (“Da Vinci Code”) has disrupted the Philippines’ growth party by letting one character in his new book “Inferno” describing the country’s capital Manila as “gates of hell,” much to the anger of the city’s administration.

The heroine in the book travels to Manila and described her experience there in terms of “horror”:

“The city is defined by six-hour-long traffic jams, suffocating pollution and a miserable sex trade;” she says she “has never seen poverty on this scale. I’ve run through the gates of hell.

For a country that has just received its first investment grade ratings, is trying to lure global investors and wants to make tourism a strong pillar of its economy, this classification comes at a bad time. No wonder that the Metro Manila Development Authority reacted upset on May 23 and wrote a sharply-worded letter in response.

“We are greatly disappointed by your inaccurate portrayal of our beloved metropolis,” the letter said, addressing Dan Brown.

“More than your portrayal of it, Metro Manila is the central of Filipino spirit, faith and hope. Our faith in God binds us as a nation and we believe that Manila citizens are more than capable of exemplifying good character and compassion towards each other, something that your novel has failed to acknowledge. Truly, our place is an entry to heaven.”

Whichever way one looks at it, poverty cannot be overseen in Manila, a capital where roughly 43 per cent of the city’s 13 million residents live in informal settlements and shantytowns, according to the Asian Development Bank. The Roman Catholic country has one of Asia’s fastest growing populations and a massive housing shortage – meaning that the urban poor must usually find, build or cobble together housing anywhere there is space: under bridges, along highways, in alleys, perched atop flood channels, or even among the dead.

The most infamous such settlement is the Cementerio del Norte, or Manila North Cemetery, a sprawling, 54-hectare green space in north Manila that is also home to some 1,000 families who live there among the dead.

The gate of hell? Below a few impressions (click to enlarge):

North cementery11

 

 

 

 

 

North cementery4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHILIPPINES

 

 

 

 

 

Philippines All Saints Day

 

 

 

 

 

North cementery3

 

 

 

 

 

cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

071211_2_manila_1

 

 

 

 

 

North cementery5

 

 

 

 

 

JLAU_MANILLA-0266

 

 

 

 

 

manila_cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

manila03

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Acclaimed US author Dan Brown (“Da Vinci Code”) has disrupted the Philippines’ growth party by letting one character in his new book “Inferno” describing the country’s capital Manila as “gates of hell,” much to the anger of the city’s administration.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

manila cemetery peopleAcclaimed US author Dan Brown (“Da Vinci Code”) has disrupted the Philippines’ growth party by letting one character in his new book “Inferno” describing the country’s capital Manila as “gates of hell,” much to the anger of the city’s administration.

The heroine in the book travels to Manila and described her experience there in terms of “horror”:

“The city is defined by six-hour-long traffic jams, suffocating pollution and a miserable sex trade;” she says she “has never seen poverty on this scale. I’ve run through the gates of hell.

For a country that has just received its first investment grade ratings, is trying to lure global investors and wants to make tourism a strong pillar of its economy, this classification comes at a bad time. No wonder that the Metro Manila Development Authority reacted upset on May 23 and wrote a sharply-worded letter in response.

“We are greatly disappointed by your inaccurate portrayal of our beloved metropolis,” the letter said, addressing Dan Brown.

“More than your portrayal of it, Metro Manila is the central of Filipino spirit, faith and hope. Our faith in God binds us as a nation and we believe that Manila citizens are more than capable of exemplifying good character and compassion towards each other, something that your novel has failed to acknowledge. Truly, our place is an entry to heaven.”

Whichever way one looks at it, poverty cannot be overseen in Manila, a capital where roughly 43 per cent of the city’s 13 million residents live in informal settlements and shantytowns, according to the Asian Development Bank. The Roman Catholic country has one of Asia’s fastest growing populations and a massive housing shortage – meaning that the urban poor must usually find, build or cobble together housing anywhere there is space: under bridges, along highways, in alleys, perched atop flood channels, or even among the dead.

The most infamous such settlement is the Cementerio del Norte, or Manila North Cemetery, a sprawling, 54-hectare green space in north Manila that is also home to some 1,000 families who live there among the dead.

The gate of hell? Below a few impressions (click to enlarge):

North cementery11

 

 

 

 

 

North cementery4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHILIPPINES

 

 

 

 

 

Philippines All Saints Day

 

 

 

 

 

North cementery3

 

 

 

 

 

cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

071211_2_manila_1

 

 

 

 

 

North cementery5

 

 

 

 

 

JLAU_MANILLA-0266

 

 

 

 

 

manila_cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

manila03

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you like this post?
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