N.R. Ramos of Manila Bulletin reports that acclaimed author Paulo Coelho came to the rescue of Filipinos who felt offended by author Dan Brown's description of Manila as "the gates of hell" in his new book by tweeting, "Dear filipinos, your souls lead to the gates of heaven." He added the hashtag "#fact" after his tweet.
The report noted that Coelho, who penned bestsellers like The Alchemist, posted another tweet to clarify that Brown's unflattering description of Manila was "unintentional." He tweeted: "My tweet to filipinos: another author, I am sure unintentionally, described Manilla as "the gates of hell" in his new&successful book."
Brown ruffled the feathers of a number of Filipinos when he called Manila as the place of "six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, horrifying sex trade." This has prompted Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino to write him a letter, wherein he described Manila as "an entry to heaven."
A Philstar.com report quoted parts of Tolentino’s letter, which addressed Brown: "While we are aware that yours is a work of fiction, we are greatly disappointed by your inaccurate portrayal of our beloved metropolis. We are displeased of how you have used Manila as a venue and source of a character’s breakdown and trauma, much more her disillusionment in humanity. 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."