On What Manila Could Have Been

manila philippines history economics

Manila wasn’t always like this, however. It had a proper urban plan set out for it during the American colonial period, one that would, in my opinion truly make it the Pearl of the Orient.

TJ Palanca https://www.twitter.com/tjpalanca
07-14-2013

Dan Brown’s Inferno: “Gates of Hell”

After Dan Brown, in his new novel titled Inferno, summarily compared the Philippine capital to the “gates of hell,” and caused quite a stir - MMDA Chairman Tolentino expressed disdain in an open letter and Philippine Bishops ‘scolded’ the author - I can only help but think about the state of this expansive metropolis.

The particular passage from the book reads:

“And so when the group settled in among the throngs in the city of Manila—the most densely populated city on earth—Sienna could only gape in horror. She had never seen poverty on this scale. How can one person possibly make a difference? For every one person Sienna fed, there were hundreds more who gazed at her with desolate eyes. Manila had six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, and a horrifying sex trade, whose workers consisted primarily of young children, many of whom had been sold to pimps by parents who took solace in knowing that at least their children would be fed.