Pore over The LaSallian and the first thing that would catch your attention would be the cover and its emboldened title, care of our friends from the University section. Or when the men’s basketball (and recently women’s volleyball) season is in full swing, the Sports section would be the talk of the town.
Too frequently, there has been much error with how The Menagerie or the Features section of The LaSallian is pronounced. There have been numerous occasions wherein we have heard of very funny and incorrect sounding dictations on Menagerie. But wait, what exactly is The Menagerie?
During the school year of 1994-1995, then-Editor-in-Chief Elegio Cabasug renamed the Features section into the Menagerie, with Ariz Convalecer serving as its editor. The Menagerie also published its first magazine under then-EIC Faith Santiago in the early 2000s.
Coined with a quirky sounding title, what does this particular segment in The LaSallian offer to the curious minds of green faithful, hungering for a blazing journey to spice up their humdrum school days? Little is it known to most that this seemingly meagre division is filled with viable intricacies of bold and fearless content.
A quick search online would tell you that “Menagerie” is of French origin, and that it is “a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition.” In The LaSallian’s handbook, the Menagerie is specializes in feature articles on lifestyle, culture, entertainment, politics, or any other topic that is of special interest to the student, with more emphasis on style and analysis than on straight news reporting”. You ask yourself, “How in the world is this word related to features, let alone Lasallians in general!?” It does not mean that we Lasallians are “animals” (in the strictest sense at least) but what we can take from the given meaning is the concept of an “exhibition”.
It is not only here where revelry and merrymaking are conducted. There’s more bubbling and brewing mischief underneath all the illusionary glamour the writers under The Menagerie posses. This is where the “exhibition” comes in. Behind the surface of a Menagerie writer, depth, intensity, and fervour for their craft are their paramount motivators. These ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers do not merely tackle trivial matters but also present pressing and alarming issues and concerns in a manner that evokes the same amount of force with their audience. Readers are expected to think, analyze, and question, not just to merely comment on the side, hence presents a constant challenge; to empower them to make use of our creaky underused brains!
Expect a Menagerie writer to come up with witty ideas and concepts at lightning speed. It is through their electrifying ideas where they wield the strength more than that of the physical sense. It is here in their domain where they possess the spirit of the courageous heart. These people have the edge, the gift and skill to grasp onto the intangible senses through use of language. Brimming with full creative minds, not only do Menagerie writers weave informative articles, tales and stories but they include with it, an unmistakable passion for their craft. These eccentric bunches have a flare and taste for the dramatic, unusual, just about everything under the sun and even beyond it.
There’s a reason why these animals are kept on a tight rein, for if they unleash their full force of savage skill, none will be left unhinged. (Well, some might just need to be kept in check for some major nose-bleeds.) These people are artists, bringing in more than what is asked for in a variety of forms. They have the ability to twist and reinvent, to colour and add much needed soul to a mundane piece of work, or writing.
Dare to fare and delve in the magical world of the wild, a lush green forest of magic abounds and awaits each and every reader. Swim into an unfathomable sea of the fantastic, brave into desert sands, teeming with prosaic prose that are sung into the night wind, conquer a jungle of diversity where various souls and minds gather. Listen closely to the whispers of an eerie calm, imposed behind the serene tinkering sweet-noted laughter that echoes the dawn of powerful writing.
If the University section is known for its straight to the point news, and Sports section is known for well, Sports, then The Menagerie section defines the Lasallian himself; from his tastes to what affects him, the Menagerie exhibits who he is and what makes him unique.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Menagerie.