Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vince Flynn needs to do some basic research on the Philippines

After the failure of US Navy Seals to rescue American hostages held by Abu Sayyaf, Mitch Rapp, CIA’s top counterterrorist agent-turned bureaucrat, has to come to the Philippines to do the job himself. He rooted out the traitors from within the US State Department and their accomplice in the Philippines, wiped out the band of kidnappers or terrorists, and foiled a larger global menace whose tentacles traces back to the corridors of money and power in the Middle East.

Classic Vince Flynn!

But my praises stop there. It’s obvious that Flynn has zero knowledge of Philippine geography.

Consider this: Abu Sayyaf snatched the hostages from Samar and brought them to their supposed lair in Dinagat Island. Seriously? Could you imagine the presence of Abu Sayyaf in Dinagat Island? Flyn’s Abu Sayyaf speaks “Filipino.” If he did simple research, he will know without much effort that Abu Sayyaf operates largely in Basilan and Sulu areas. They speak their own dialects (mostly Tausug or Yakan) and not Tagalog or Filipino.

They could never thrive in Dinagat due to ethnic, language or even religious differences, not to mention the constraints of physical terrain (unless you consider the island's natural bonsai forests as good shelter for guerillas). Dinagatnons are mostly Visayans (Surigaonons).
The supposed accomplice in the Philippines is named General “Moro.” Another character is named General “Rizal.” Both surnames are not used in the Philippines. Not anymore.

Of course, it's fiction. But fiction could use accurate background information to be credible.
Come on, Vince! You can do better than that.

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