Adorable pets took centerstage at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in celebration of the World Animal Day last Saturday, October 2.
According to Ms. Anna Hashim-Cabrera, program director of PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society), the event aimed to recognize the importance and contribution of animals to our daily lives.
"The purpose of World Animal Day is to celebrate animal life, our relationship with animals as companions, as rescuers and how they enrich our lives. We really want to make World Animal Day a big event," she told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
To start the celebration, a screening of The Cove was held at the Director's Cinema of SM Mall of Asia. This documentary, which won an Oscar award, depicted the slaughter of dolphins in a cove located in Japan.
Later that day, various animal organizations set up booths, where grooming, massage, and pet consultation were given for free. The parlor games, which showcased the talents of animals, took place at around 3:00 p.m., followed by the induction of the PAWS Junior Cadets who will serve as role models for the youth in caring for animals.
"We wanted to introduce a component na this is the young generation. We want them to take over the advocacy. We don't want to see the advocacy sa amin lang, but really the goal is to share this advocacy to the younger generation, pass it on as young as these kids," Cabrera said.
The culminating event was a concert dubbed Voices for the Voiceless. Celebrities and known pet lovers—Rachel Alejandro, Karylle, Jericho Rosales, Regine Tolentino, Aliya Parcs, Jan Nieto, and Apple Chiu— performed and shared helpful information about caring for animals.
PAWS was grateful for the stars' support. Cabrera explained, "When a celebrity speaks up, people listen talaga."
The bands who performed for free were South Border, Reasons, True Faith, NATF, Drizzle with DNA, and Speed.
Cosmo Centerfold Marco Mañalac, Magic 89.9 DJ Mia Bayuga, and sportscaster Patricia Hizon hosted the event.
The World Animal Day was supported by the animal organizations PAWS, World Wildlife Fund, Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Palawan Welfare Association Inc., Earth Island Institute, Compassion and Responsibility for Animals, and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals Asia.
They are one in advocating the proper treatment of animals, and instilling in the minds of people that animals—just like humans—are creations of God that need to be nurtured and loved.
As Ms. Anna eloquently pointed out, "We are not the masters of this planet. We are not the only inhabitants of this world. We share this world with animals."