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Deeper Stories You Need to Understand Behind Photos of Philippine Animals

Do you love pets or do you care about the animals?

This post is not only for animal lovers, but for people who wants to hear awakening animal stories. You may find a moral story here that could influence your life and so I am encouraging you to read this post up until the last word. There is an interesting thought that I would like to connect on every animal photo you’ll see here.

Now, let me talk a little bit about each photo.


"Dog in the Bushes"


I bet you can see it – the dog. We love dogs, many of us. This photo was taken on a grassy area along the street where we parked our vehicle during one of our trips in Cavite, Philippines. At first look, everything seems to be normal. The dog is just there, sitting and watching. But after a while, there’s another dog nearby eating something. This dog in the photo looks hungry but the other dog doesn’t want to share him even a small bite.

We then realized those dogs were actually friends and they’re both patiently waiting for the restaurant crews to give them leftovers. The bushes are where they find it safe to eat as enemies and play as friends.

There are probably millions of dogs in the country today. We call it here “Askal”, short for “asong kalye” or street dog. Remember the Philippine football team, the Azkals? Sounds familiar, right? Other find the term “Aspin”, short for “asong pinoy”, more appropriate. Let me share some more photos of Askals and talk on behalf of these lovely dogs their real stories.

"Dogs Selling Goats"


These two dogs in the photo are literally on the street. They maybe are not astray dogs for there is a house nearby where they could have been staying. But there are thousands of astray dogs found on every street of the Philippines. Believe it or not, domesticating dogs is a big part of the Filipino culture. But the way many Filipinos look after their dogs is not that good compared to others. But it’s not for the Filipinos to be blamed. Certainly, there is a deeper reason behind.

This is another photo of a dog wandering around. Dogs like this one are prone to accident.

"The Wandering Dog"


This story I am going to share about street dogs here in the Philippines is somewhat disturbing, especially to those who have advocacies for animal welfare and protection. Dog meats of Askals are being traded here. Dog meat eaters call one of the recipes “Asocena”

While seeing astray dogs alone is already something to worry about, killing dogs is a nightmare for many. But would you believe that some Filipino kills dogs for these reasons: “They are threat to our safety”. Animal bites, particularly of dogs, is very common in the country. Rabies, a virus from dog bites, kills hundreds of Filipinos each year.

But let’s try to see another side of the dog’s story. Just like these next photos of amazing dogs at work!

"On-the-Job Dog"


This dog helps his owner earn money. We were amazed with this dog's skills and patience when we traveled to Baguio City, Philippines a couple of years back. They are in the park where people can ask for a groupie with the dog. This is not an Askal but there are Askals who play the same role as this foreign-breed dog.

"Guard Dog on Duty"


Obviously, this is a police guard dog. They are outside a shopping mall looking after the security of shoppers. You can see a lot of police dogs in Philippine shopping malls, airports, and seaports these days helping police authorities on their jobs. Bomb-, shabu-, and contraband-sniffing dogs protect the Filipino people.

"Dog's Wooden House"


On first impression, you may say that this dog is just an ordinary pet and the owner built him a wonderful house. But no, he’s not just a pet. This Askal is guarding the barangay tanod’s outpost. In the Philippines, barking dogs simply means security. In the provinces, almost every home has a dog watching his master’s post.

Now this dog of mine is both lucky and unlucky. He’s a dog with disability, unable to walk on his legs but can crawl fast. Well, this dog is well taken care of despite of his misfortune. He's a vegetarian by the way. If it’s about home security, this dog has the loudest bark ever! His name, Peter.

"DWD - Dog with Disability"



This time around, let me turn your attention to other animals seen in the Philippines.

"The Carabao and the Crow"


The carabao and the crow – a typical scenery on rice fields in the provinces. This is one of the rarest shots I am happy to take. I was only ten meters away from them. I am happy for I was able to capture an amazing angle of the Philippines’ national animal. Carabao is a figure of Filipinos’ strong determination to live despite of hardships - just like the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). It is a symbol of strength, courage, and hope. The crow at the back of the carabao, for me, it signifies that beasts can be friendly too.

"Goat on the Road"


Goats are part of the Filipino cuisines. On the photo of the two dogs above, you’ll notice that the signage has goats in it. You’ll read “Kambingan” which means a goat meat shop. While in this photo, this goat loiters around the community road looking for something to chew. This was sometime in April when summer heat is intense and the grasses are turning brown. This scenario reminds me of the hardships Filipino farmers and fishermen are experiencing during dry months. Drought not only affects people's lives, but also of the goats and other farm animals. They tend to look for alternative foods anywhere possible.

These days, you can see a lot of different animals blending with people on towns and cities in the Philippines and almost anywhere in the world. Have a look on these next photos and figure out why.

These cats are begging for leftovers on a park's canteen.

"Park Cat-Beggers"


These cats meanwhile are on the city park getting chances on by-passers to throw them foods.

"Park Cat-Chance-Takers"


If your eyes can see, there are “Maya” birds here searching for foods outside a telco tower site. As if they are on the lookout here as the gangsters who owns the territory may come anytime soon. Birds these days choose to build their nests on towers, city posts, house ceilings, and under the bridges; have you noticed that?

"Birds on Lookout"


Just like this monkey. He lives with the store keeper. Perhaps a way to attract customers, some Filipinos domesticate animals like monkeys, iguanas, snakes, turtles, and many other animals some of which are already endangered in the country.

"Monkey for the Money"


Here’s another photo of lovely birds being domesticated. They’re in a cage displayed on a convenient store. I asked the owner where did they bought them. They said they won them on an Easter Egg Hunt contest.

"Birdies on the Cage"


Now here’s a white horse in a popular park in Tagaytay City, Philippines. I bet you can easily guess what she’s up to here.

"Tagaytay White Horse Worker"


Picture paints a thousand words. Here, you’ve just understand the different stories of animals thru photos. Probably by now, you’ve sensed the deeper story behind, on why they are in those places or situations. If there is one message this post wants to convey, that is:


Treat the animals right.


As a Filipino, I’ve been a witness to some of Filipinos’ unusual ways of treating animals. I remember watching a documentary about dogs; the dog meat trade in South East Asia. Then I know a place in the country where cows and carabaos are traded. I’ve seen news about endangered species traded and the culprits getting caught. I myself, when I was young, have experienced going into the wild to hunt for “bayawak”, a kind of reptile. Bird called “pugo” or quail, Filipinos used to catch and eat them too.

I would admit, in a third-world country like the Philippines, if it’s about food security, people will hunt for animals. That’s the truth. One would kill an animal or sell one just to bring food on the table. Even dogs or cats or rats or frogs or snakes, someone would kill, eat, or sell their meat. This is part of the culture, a survival mentality somebody must understand too.

There are lapses. But who am I to judge? Would you? Share your comments below.



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A Plea from the Author: They Need Our Help

Thank you for reading this post. May I have your attention please. Please excuse me for inserting this important message via this post.

Like you, everybody loves a family member. This person is missing. I have no idea if he's already found. If you happen to see this person, please help. Thank you for your intention of sharing a kind act.




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