menagerie: a collection of wild animals that are kept privately or to show to the public (Cambridge Dictionary)
Those who have read my e-book, Close Encounters in Maritime Manila (2018), may recall that I used the term “menagerie” in the Preface. No, I was not referring to a bevy of exotic animals. I meant a strange collection of people like the one depicted in Menagerie nationale (pictured above), a circa-1790 etching which satirised the French clergy and nobility of the epoch.
From the winding stream of past events and the menagerie of figures living and dead, I have put together a kaleidoscope. The pieces of coloured glass and mirrors inside reveal certain aspects of reality that may perturb or even shock the reader. I offer no apologies for this. My hope and immediate aim is to describe the underlying culture that makes Filipinos and Manila’s maritime community so peculiar and so interesting.
(from the Preface)
If I were to write a sequel to the book, it would probably be an out-and-out satire with animals as dramatis personae. They would be more interesting versions of the real-life folks featured in Close Encounters in Maritime Manila. This is what the partial cast of characters would look like:
Greedy Manning Agent
Cocky Young Ship Officer
Testy Old Salt
Cheap Maritime Journalists
Servile Maritime Cadet (a.k.a. Utility)
~ Barista Uno
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