Purrfect HONY parody in Cats of Manila
Humans of New York (HONY) of Brandon Stanton has been widely successful that it has spawned a bunch of variants on Facebook. Type “Humans of” at the search bar and you’d find names of places completing the phrase.Inevitably, the “Humans of” craze hit the Philippines, with various pages names formatted like “Humans of School Vicinity Name Goes Here.”
The local clutter was too much for a photographer-writer duo and they decided to call cat litter what it really is, forming a unique page “currently managed anonymously by a kindle of kittens” that has outliked Pinoy clones in existence.
That page is Cats of Manila, where seemingly-usual cute cat photography is beefed up with witty captions
“We put up Cats of Manila to poke fun at HONY and its clones. HONY may have pioneered the “portrait with a story” project, but its clones try so hard to elicit emotion and inject philosophy into each post,” said the writer, who wished to stay anonymous, to Shoot.PH. “Sometimes the clones try so hard to be “deep and emotional” that it comes off as pretentious, which HONY is certainly not.”
“Plus we both really like cats so that’s how this whole ridiculous idea got started.”
For the page’s main photographer, the “gentleness and calm temperament of cats” and the cute, wise, and scheming image attached to it meant a goldmine of posting possibilities.
“There’s no challenge really (in shooting cats). Whenever I whip a camera or camera phone out to take photos, cats love posing for me,” said the photographer. “Yes, indeed they are shy, and their eyes just explode with curiousity, but that’s the beauty of it! It makes an excellent portrait awaiting to be captioned on our page.”
Cats of Manila’s posts are not only limited to jokes and poking fun at social issues. They have even helped at least one kitten find a new home. They have also started posting photos contributed by followers.
With more than 15,000 page likes as of posting, the duo and their kitty social media managers show no signs of stopping. Does the number make them feel they’re on the right track?
“We guess so. It’s a Facebook page so there’s not really a “success” metric.” said the writer. “We’re just happy our jokes and cat pictures are being appreciated.”