The way God intended for Man to care for all His Creation
I promise that you will not feel hunger,
Fear, nor pain.
That I will not give you up in times of sickness,
The way that I know you will stand by me all the days of my life.
I will not confine you to a cage or leash
I will provide you with exercise and companionship
I will be responsible for you in a way
That my fellow human beings will not be angry at you
Nor punish you for roaming in the streets
You are God’s gift to me and to my family.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd of more than 1,400 pet lovers when the Pet Owner’s Pledge was recited during a special Mass on Oct. 3 at the Eastwood open park.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), in cooperation with Eastwood Mall & Pet One, did not disappoint pet owners who flocked to Eastwood hoping to take part in ceremonies that were truly meaningful to animal lovers and their pets. It was the celebration of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the animals.
An hour before the Mass, a different kind of procession was held with guardians and their pets walking behind a carroza which carried a four-foot statue of Saint Francis.
Traffic was momentarily halted as the two-legged and four-legged devotees made their way around Eastwood City carrying lighted candles. Rev. Fr. Jose Antonio “Joey” Paras, SDB led the way with prayers, while his assistants walked his dog, a four-year old Jack Russel Terrier named Marley.
The Mass started with Fr. Joey escorted by Charlie, the celebrity dog in the hit GMA series Bantatay and his young human co-stars Renz Valerio, Sweet Ramos and Kristal Reyes. A German Shepherd named Booger held a basket of flowers in his mouth as he walked down the aisle with his owner, Byron San Pedro, followed by PAWS’ Aileen de Guzman and canine behavior specialist Jojo Isorena with his Aspin Flipper.
The singing group 92AD set the tone for the Mass. The crowd was further awed when singer Leah Patricio did a wonderful rendition of Bless the Beasts and the Children, a tune specially arranged for the occasion by South Border’s Jay Durias.
Celebrity pet owner Regine Tolentino, PAWS director Roy Kayaban, PAWS shelter veterinarian Maripi Diaz and Alya Honasan were readers for the Mass, while World Animal Day Ambassador for the Philippines and PAWS program director Anna Cabrera led the Pet Owner’s Pledge.
Fr. Jess Escala, SDB assisted Father Joey in blessing the humans and their pets.
“This year gathered the highest number of attendees ever recorded at Eastwood City for an animal blessing,” said Czarina Rivera, Megaworld’s senior events manager. “A total of 11 cats, four turtles, two rabbits, three hamsters and more than 1,400 dogs registered for the event, and these were actually just the ones who took time to register their pets. We estimate that there may have been about 150 more who did not sign up but participated in the activities. ”
Sweet Ramos, Renz Valerio and Kristal Reyes with star doggie