Hundreds of pets and their doting human families converged at the Tiendesitas Activity Area last October 5 for the much awaited grand Pet Blessing and special mass for the animals - an annual event of The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in cooperation with Tiendesitas. The event was held in celebration of World Animal Day and the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the saint famous for his love of creatures great and small,
PAWS is the animal welfare organization responsible for mounting the first pet blessings in the country as early as 1995. "PAWS
President Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco organized these blessings as a means to spread the message of treating animals with kindness and respect, the way St. Francis did," said Anna Cabrera, PAWS Executive Director and World Animal Day-Philippines ambassador.
"We are pleased that there are more aspins (native dogs) and puspins (native cats) attending the event this year," she added.
There were at least 60 aspins in the crowd - a rare occurrence in the usual pet events dominated by small pedigreed dogs.
"We are always present at the PAWS events and we are thrilled that Cassie has once again brought home a special prize," gushed owner Louvin Aries Quinto, who came all the way from Makati to attend the Pet Blessing.
Other BEST DRESSED awardees were Fetus (aspin) owned by Janssen Cusi and Panky (Siamese cat) owned by Karla Mae Garcia.
Ma. Cristina Cabural's pet turtle was declared the "Most Unique Pet" at the event although a pet garter snake and some hamsters were also in attendance. Rocky, a cat owned by MJ Boaging, bagged the "Kapuri-Puring Puspin" title
Hosts Eri Neeman and Gelli Victor rolled out the program with a fun animal trivia games and gave out prizes from event sponsors Pet One and Frontline Plus. "Rak of Aegis" star Aicelle Santos serenaded the audience with a moving rendition of "Colors Of The Wind".
Perhaps the most touching part of the ceremony for many was the Commitment Vow. With lighted candles, owners made a promise to their pets. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience as pet parents uttered their commitment to their fur babies that they will care for them for the rest of their lives the way they know their pets will also never abandon them.
Don Bosco priest, Fr. Jose Antonio "Joey" Paras, took time to give a special blessing to each pet and pet owner. Fr Joey is an animal lover who has officiated the annual PAWS Pet Blessing for the past four years.
PAWS wishes to thank The Philippine Star Pet Life Section for all its support.