On October 7, hundreds of voices at the Eastwood Open Park rang clear as a crowd of more than 2,500 pet owners solemnly recited their promise of commitment to their pets during the Philippine Animal Welfare Society's annual Pet Blessing. The recital of the vows was the highlight of the special mass held to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
"I will cherish you and care for you the way God intended for Man to care for all His Creation,” the crowd told their pets. “You are truly God’s gift to me and my family.”
After the mass, the pets were given a chance to be blessed individually, much to the delight of the proud owners, who made sure to take several pictures of their pet’s special moment. The pets weren’t just limited to cats and dogs: there were also turtles, birds, and even a rabbit present in the temporary menagerie that day at Eastwood.
Aside from the mass and the blessing, the guests were also entertained with several performances and games. Some celebrities were also there to share their talents with the pooches and people present.
"We are very happy with the turnout which was almost double than last year's. More than anything else, I think people are here to advocate kindness to animals as all religions encourages people to be kind and compassionate," said Anna Cabrera, PAWS Executive Director and the Philippine Ambassador of World Animal Day. "It was good of Fr. Joey [Paras] to mention that we should extend our circle of compassion to the animals because they are also God's creatures and we have a responsibility to care for them."
See what happened during the annual Pet Blessing by browsing through the gallery below!
(All photos courtesy of PAWS)