Of Manila


I find it ironic that out of reportedly 150+ accounts that attempt to capture a certain demographic of Manila, it’s the one about Cats which has been the most productive & meaningful.

Their account gained attention for the humor, then for featuring real cats that need real homes, and most recently for organizing an actual adoption event & fundraiser.

Parody, satire, humor, and entertainment are fine. Not to mention pictures of cats on the Internet are a surefire hit. It’s easier to capitalize on that. But these folks went the extra mile to build an advocacy for something that their audience already established a connection with.

It’s closer to (the original) Humans of New York, which shines a light on what we don’t spend much time thinking about: Everyone else beside us.

Everyone else besides us.

For a nation that’s über sensitive about how we’re portrayed in the media, we’re strikingly tone-deaf about depicting others.

For starters, how many Chinoy accounts should there be? For a time, four co-existed, each spewing borderline racist tweets with reckless abandon. Probinsyanos were made perpetually naïve, jologs and jejemons ridiculed, and the poor continuously marginalized.

Jansen Musico, Can we surive the @OfManila epidemic?

HONY is a blog, a Twitter feed, an Instagram account, a Facebook page by Brandon Stanton that doesn’t stereotype or passive-aggressively mock people they meet, but shares their authentic stories and struggles.

It encourages us to consider their differences from us as points of introspection, not criticism.

Rather than lament how they should be more compatible to our lifestyle & expect them to change, it dares us to change & be inspired by their insight.

Walang basagan ng trip, you may say, but isn’t that what these _OfManila accounts do towards that Tita/Conyo/Jeje you know?

First published on Medium. I enjoyed its typesetting features, but this ultimately needed to be on Stellify.

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made in the Philippines by Sophia Lucero.