I read the book a couple of years ago and watched the movie only last Friday. The movie was a big disappointment and it failed miserably to do justice to the book. The movie totally missed out on the book's major point - Dan Brown’s book is primarily about women’s rights and women empowerment: how Christianity squelched the original role of women (the Sacred Feminine) as important and co-equal members of society. The movie failed to convey this message but instead concentrated on the more controversial myths involving Mary Magdalene, Opus Dei and the Knights Templar. Nevertheless, people who haven’t read the book would probably enjoy the movie.
In pre-Hispanic Philippines, animism was the religion generally practiced by natives and women-priests called babaylanes administered the faith. While the datu (warrior-king) wielded military and political power in the barangay, the babaylan (priestess) complemented him by overseeing the health and spiritual needs of the people. When the Spanish friars came, they eradicated animism and persecuted babaylanes as witches and devil-worshippers. Even today, the Church and the general public frown on strong and independent-minded women, often labeling them as harlots and seductresses.