Is it a fact that Filipino souls ‘lead to the gates of heaven’ because Paulo Coelho says so?

Manila residents, reeling from a recent panning of their beloved city by bestselling The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown in his latest book Inferno, have found solace in the words of another bestselling author Paulo Coelho. Coelho came to the defense of Filipinos’ capital city tweeted

Dear filipinos, your souls lead to the gates of heaven #fact

paulo_coelho_manilaPaulo Coelho (Portuguese: [ˈpawlu kuˈeÊŽu]; born August 24, 1947) is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France’s Légion d’honneur.

In total, Coelho has published 30 books. Three of them – The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries and Aleph – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences. Others, like Maktub and The Manual of the Warrior of Light, are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. In total, Coelho has sold more than 150 million books in over 150 countries worldwide, and his works have been translated into 71 languages. He is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author.

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Just the same, you wonder how drivel like this summarily gets declared “fact” by its own author then gets eaten up wholesale by people starved for “wisdom”. We expect nothing less than top-notch thinking and exemplary scientific rigour in bureaucrats and scientists who certify the food and medicines we buy safe for consumption. Unfortunately for us there are no such regulators to police the many folks who dish out so-called “food” for our brains. Certainly there are none who would challenge the factualness of “facts” issued by celebrity “thinkers” like Coelho.

As expected, the Filipino Twitterati gushed and blushed at being named again by an international celebrity as they do whenever such momentous occasions occur — with as much gusto as the vitriol they spew when perceiving slights from other less-than-glowing opinions about their country issued by other celebrities. “Amen!” tweeted celebrity TV news presenter Karen Davila.

You can’t blame Filipinos for their renowned quickness when it comes to embracing dubious “facts”.

The Philippines is renowned for being host to a “prayerful” people. It is a country where allusions to the supernatural as a warm retreat from the banal injustice that characterises Philippine society are a staple for reflection — not so strange for a people of a nation whose primary strategic initiative to achieve “progress” does not go beyond a mere harbouring of “hope” in their “hearts”.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted off and used in accordance with that site’s Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License consistent with the same license applied by Get Real Post to its content. Photo courtesy Danish Photojournalism.]

26 Replies to “Is it a fact that Filipino souls ‘lead to the gates of heaven’ because Paulo Coelho says so?”

    1. There was an edition of “The Alchemist” with illustrations by the French artist Moebius. The paintings make the story more engaging.

  1. Author,

    Sorry for the repeating comment above, my browser and internet connection are acting up. Request to delete the 9:29pm comment.

  2. I live in the U.S. and, I travel to foreign countries frequently. Never heard of that Portugese Dude; you are talking about. Even he sold a roomful of books. It will never change the truth: that most Filipinos live in sub-human conditions. People have eyes, you don’t have to tell them what they saw.

    I think, the prophecies of the Book of St. John the Divine, in the “Book of Revelation” is being fulfilled in the Philippines. Satan is in Malacanang. Kris Aquino is the Harlot. She is lying down naked on a purple cloth. Decked in full with expensive jewelries. She has commited fornications, also. And, riding on a Beast. How true really is the Words of the Christian God. Read your Christian Bible, New Testament. The Demons and the Devils are all types of Filipino politicians, feasting on Pork Barrels. While Filipino children are selling themselves to prostitution; just to a a meal, and not starve. The “Gates of Hell” is not a fiction…Kudos to Dan Brown, for telling the brutal truth, for the world to see..

  3. I am waiting for a continuation on Paulo Coelho’s tweet. I can imagine him saying “…so buy my books to attain this.”

  4. Never quite appreciated popular or mainstream writers. I preferred niche writers, like Michael Moorcock and the late David Gemmell in sci-fi. Their stuff is more enjoyable to read.

  5. I read The Alchemist over a decade ago and I thought it wise in its parable-like manner. Pretty soon though, I figured out that Coelho took himself rather seriously in this “commodified wisdom” schtick of his, and every sound bite/blurb/quote of his seemed tawdry.

    Soon enough, Facebook is littered by these inspirational quotes from him… and shitty “wisdom” quotes in general. I hate it. The people who share this were so starved of “deep” thought during school that when they finally start reading books they buy into this crap wholesale.

    This is why I think so many Filipinos find his mawkish pandering so edifying. They’ve found wisdom at last and he just validated them. So now even more crappy quotes will litter my Facebook feed. Welcome to the gates of hell.

  6. Can it be said that this entire “Inferno”-palooza is a reflection of the Pinoy mentality of only accepting what feels “nice”?

    It’s kind of like what I see on Facebook these days: people posting about “nice” or “happy” or “pleasant” stuff while ignoring or even putting down updates that present the grim reality of things.

    1. Hence the point of my posts. How can you have pinoy pride without pinoy shame? In fact he shame has way more real life consequence than the so called pride.

  7. why do Filipino’s give a Shit what anyone thinks or says about their Country/city? Is the self-esteem of an entire Nation of people on the line when an author(I have never heard of the Portuguese guy and Dan Brown’s books are…well, John Grisham. Read one and you’ve read them all.)and/or famous person says something about the place? I guess so, BUT had Filipino’s not started cryin about what the guy wrote, I’d have never given it a seconds thought!
    Who cares what either of them say? and WHY?

  8. According to the Professional Heckler, Chairman Tolentino wasn’t kidding when he wrote Dan Brown “Truly, our place is an entry into heaven.”

    (No, I’m not talking about Pegasus, Air Force One, Classmates, Miss Universe or The President Tower in Timog Avenue where some Cabinet members and their friends –- if rumors are to be believed, have been frequently spotted –- daw. Don’t quote me on that please. Baka ipatawag ako ni Presidente.)

  9. It just prove that Manila has more literate people who read books. If Dan Brown uses other country as the backdrop of his novel, very few of it’s citizen will even notice or get upset the way he portray the City or country. India, China are busy keeping ahead with the Joneses but Filippinos? they have nothing to do but snoop and want to sue or making a silk purse out of a sows ear…ahihihi

  10. Never I’ve seen such childish nonsense disguised as affirmation posted about a ‘fictional landscape’ over twitter…boo hoo pinoy pride.

  11. If we are reacting to this quote, does that put us on the same level as those who reacted to or made a big deal of dan brown’s or even this one?

    We all are pinoys! hehe

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