Saturday, May 9, 2015

Winter is Back!

After all the reposts and shares, a week after she's gone missing--we finally found Winter! Thank You, Lord! Hallelujah! Nakakataba ng puso that so many people expressed the same joy we have for finding her. There were people who encouraged us to keep on looking pa. My sister said in some Facebook Pet Owners/Sellers group were so happy, they were asking for a story on how we found her since some of them lost their pets too and are looking for some inspiration. So here goes...

April 26, 2015-- We were in Amadeo, Cavite to help out our Ina/granny for the Fiesta. After all the guests were gone, we just lazed and watched t.v. with our Titas and cousins. Ma made sure to close the gate because of the dogs. Long story short, we should've known that Winter as little as she is can be able to squeeze herself outside the gate. She was gone an hour after we last saw her "behaving" herself sa terrace. Yun pala may balak mag-gala ang bata.

Panicked, we frantically searched everywhere and asked around but there was no sign of her. Parang bula. We asked the owner of the house in front of our Tita's, my Tito even searched the area pero wala. Even our dad, who's supposed to go home in Bacoor where we lived, commuted pa all the way to Amadeo from the airport upon hearing Winter's missing so he can help with the search. Imagine my tired paps, (tulog na kami ng past 2), he still got up and went out around 3 am to continue searching. The whole family loves Wiwin that much.

April 27, 2015--My sister, Gaye shared a missing Dog post on her wall and various Facebook groups (including Bayan Mo, I-Patrol mo. Oha!). The family's given up hope of ever finding Winter. But my sister and I are still very positive (PAWsitive daw sabi ni sisterette) that we can still find Winter even though even sa Facebook people are making comments that it's a lost cause. :(

Unfortunately, this kind of situation brought the worst kind of people in our way. First, there was a guy who Vibered her saying they have Winter. When we asked for a video, he made a lame excuse about how the dog was with someone else, sinama daw sa palengke. Yung totoo?! How many of you have taken a dog while grocery shopping? How much more if it's a Wet and Dry market? Paano (How)?! Then we asked for a picture instead but the guy just cropped the picture Gaye posted on Facebook. He even sent an I.D. picture! Nakakaloka. Then he asked for my sister to deposit money to his account. Think we're that desperate we've gone that stupid to believe you? Okay, kalma, Yella.

Then there was a guy saying he saw a dog loitering in Amadeo, Plaza--and then he asked for a prepaid load on his phone! We had our cousin check but no, not Winter. Plus shih tzu, nag-gagala at walang kukuha? The guy must've seen the posters my sister plastered sa barangay. Barangay officials even put one of the poster on the Barangay Hall. We are thankful for that.

April 29, 2015--I wrote the blog post about Winter. We still continued sharing it.

April 30, 2015--There was a girl who texted Gaye about her neighbor's new dog. She asked my sister to meet up with her in SM Dasma. We put off grocery-shopping for my birthday celebration for later to accompany my sister. We were so excited. We have a good feeling about this. We waited. The girl kept making excuses that she had to buy something sa grocery or that she's already going up our meeting place. We waited for 3 hours. She never came.

My sister was fuming with anger, lamenting that she could've been at home posting and answering possible leads instead of waiting there. 

Just so sad to know that there are people pala talaga who would take advantage of other people's desperation for their gain. We were depressed. Dramatic levels! The first 3 days you can't even talk to my sister. It was like a bad break-up going on for her. The family would reminisce happy Winter memories (see my last post here for more.) I cried while praying the rosary for Wiwin. Ilang novena sa ilang santo ata dinasal ko! Haha! (But thank You, Lord!) Kasi naman, Winter gets sick sometimes. Gaye had her confined one time. What if the person who got her won't care for her as much as we do?

May 3, 2015--Someone pm'ed my sister saying she thinks she found Winter. AND she's not asking for money, too. I won't write about how the tipster is related to the people who took Winter because they might read this and protecting her's the least we can do. 

Ma and Gaye commuted all the way to Cavite City to check things out. They had Barangay officials/kagawads accompany them just in case. We waited for them at home. I had a Pawsitive feeling about everything though.

Ma came through the door first. And the Gaye announced: "Guess who's baaaaaack?!" So we knew. We shouted in joy! Haha. Winter is back! Syempre more kisses na naman si kiddo. Even her doggy family who were all quiet and sullen when she was gone kept on smelling her. Naghahabulan na naman sila. Riot na naman! :)

Anyway, she's okay. Although she's in dire need of a bath and haircut when we found her. She just got a shot of vaccine and was not allowed to take a bath for a week so she was dirty when whe got lost.

Turns out the people who took Winter are visitors of the lady in front of our Tita's house. Imagine, we were looking til 1a.m! We even have flashlights. We ASKED them! They denied it. I say they flat out lied about it. They found out we have Winter already. My Tita texted us that they paid her a visit and explained they bought the dog in Tagaytay. The dog was for sale daw for 3 thousand pesos WITH papers but they haggled and eventually bought her for 1 thousand only. Who sells a shih tzu with papers for just a thousand bucks?!

They're so defensive, they even went to the barangay ahead of us to see if anyone already filed charges against them. Hardy-harhar. My Ma's a momma-bear type of mother ready to defend her cubs (or beloved pets!), but what pissed us off was the fact that they knew we were looking for the dog. We don't trust their lame alibi so you can say that they blatantly lied about everything and had no plans of ever returning Winter to us! So Ma and Gaye went back to Amadeo and went to the Barangay but the people responsible weren't there. Oh, well. At least the neighbors are already warned about what they did. Sana hindi na maulit to sa ibang pet-owners.

At this point, I want to thank everyone who read my Finding Winter post, most especially to the people who shared our posts on Facebook. The power of Social Media is real, guys! Ang galing lang. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Gaye said there are people who wants to hug Winter in person. Teehee. How sweet. And there are people who lost their pets too who were inspired and is asking for tips on finding their lost pets. 

All I can say is, if you really love your pets, don't ever give up! No matter what other people will say. :) 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding Winter

I was not a pet lover before. Maybe it's because 1. I have a commitment issue and 2. I have a sense of responsibility of a turtle. I figured why would I take care of a pet when I can't even take care of myself? I was one of those people who'd call them "just" pets. Things changed when my sister bought the cutest shih tzu, Summer and Summer had 3 other dogs two years after: Haru, Cookie and Winter. You have a heart of stone if you won't fall in love with these 4 cuties. So yeah, I fell in love with them and I became a full-pledged "Pet Auntie/Tita". My sister actually calls me Tita Yella (or for  when she baby talks: Tita Nella) when talking to her dogs. We fondly call them the bears, our huggable bears. Before, we only have guard dogs. It's he first time we had dogs who stay inside the house with us (I refuse to call them toy dogs--eeek.) 

Having pets changed our family. In a family of 8, each one as opinionated as the other, tempers easily flare. But now we had more patience with each other or just patience, period. We bonded more and we would bring the bears to our out of town trips. 4 dogs are more than a handful but we don't care. We loved them that much. And for me they turned from "just pets" to being part of the family.

One sad day we lost one of our beloved bears. This post is to actually ask for help in finding her and to tell you more about her. Hoping that whoever has her or took her will read this and know how much she means to us and how much we want her back. More info and details will be at the bottom of the page.

Winter is the youngest among the three. She has many nicknames: Winter, Wiwin, Winterina,Winnifer and Winona. I like to call her Winthor because I baby talk sometimes with dogs and she's a little warrior.

She has this stare that looks like she doesn't trust you. Always looking curious and doubtful at the same time. Here she is less than a month from birth.

Here she is with her partner-in-crime, Kuya Haru behind her.

These 2 photos above are from when she's just a month old.

She also has a mischievous smile, like she has something evil planned or already did something evil.  We also call her maldita. Teehee.

We miss her tiny mouth. When her mouth is closed, she looks suplada.

She likes to give unlimited kisses but we would avoid her because sometimes she rummages through garbage cans. Hence the nickname "acid mouth".

Here she is  at the left side with Cookie and Haru. See how she's the smallest.

She's also mom's favorite.

We miss Winter's kisses every time we wake up in the morning or how she always kisses us all the time. We miss her running with Summer, Cookie and Haru to welcome us when we get home. I miss her sitting beside me and giving me her pleading, irresistible puppy-dog eyes every time I'm snacking on something. I miss her sleeping beside me sometimes or how she would roll over tummy-side up for her daily dose of tummy tickles. And I miss her maldita stare and evil smile. I miss you, Winter. The whole family misses you.

If someone deliberately took her--stole her, please know that my sister can't work, think or even eat when Winter is sick. She gets sick sometimes and won't eat. My sister would bring her to the vet and pay for Wiwin to be confined and get well--just like you would a human. My sister sometimes feed her herself pag ayaw niyang kumain. I want you to know how Winter is our favorite because she's the mastermind of all the "crimes" in the house. I want you to know that the other dogs are no longer playing with each other kasi wala ang "mastermind" nila. I want you to know that I let her kiss me even though I get acne attack but I still let her because I love her. Please give her back.

Winter has been missing since April 26, 2015 and was last seen in Amadeo, Cavite. She's a 10-month old white princess type shih tzu with brown-black ears. She's a bit dirty when she got lost because we can't give her bath yet after getting her vaccine. The person who found her should've asked around. I don't know if that person intentionally didn't look for us but please give back our baby Wiwin. My sister is willing to buy her back or give a reward. If anyone of you has any information about her or who found her please contact any one of us, my sister Abby at 09262566180 or me, Yella at 09391552074. 

It is just sad how some people take advantage of this devastating situation. Someone even had a gall to ask for money when he can't even show a current picture of Winter. When we asked him for a Viber video he made a lame excuse that the dog is with his uncle sa palengke (market). Namamalengke may aso?! Instead, he just cropped an existing picture posted by my sister on Facebook. Nakakaloka! Nakakalungkot isipin na may ganitong tao talaga sa mundo who'll take advantage of other people's loss, sadness and desperation. 

It will really mean a lot if you guys repost this on Facebook or any social media platforms and/or remember how she looks like just in case you see someone with a new dog. Maybe, hopefully this post will reach the right person so that we can be reunited with Winter again. We're not giving up just yet, Winter. We love you so much.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Visita Iglesia in Pampanga

The Philippines is so lucky the Supertyphoon Chedeng (international name: Maysak) we were expecting weakened upon entering the Philippine territory. I say it was a blessed Holy Week. 

Here's a photo of Typhoon Maysak as seen from outer space. Scary big huh?

We spent the Holy Week in Pampanga for a change since we always spend it in our home in Cavite. Thankfully, it was a fine weather the entire week so our plans for Visita Iglesia pushed through. We visited the first batch of Churches at the night of Maundy Thursday. It was my first Visita Iglesia (as I can remember) so I was not expecting the crowd that greeted us, church by church. People were doing a vigil and praying until  midnight when the Churches are expected to close. The first churches we visited are those close to our home in Angeles, Pampanga.

Holy Rosary Parish Church also known as Apung Mamacalulu in Angeles, Pampanga

Just look at the altar set-up. Happy that they gave God the same attention to detail as they would give some high-ranking official or a well-known celebrity. There's even a touching, instrumental background music to boot! Yung habang nag-dadasal ka, mapapa-emote ka bigla. Hehe. Ganon pala 'pag Maundy Thursday night. All the churches we visited that night had a background music.

This is still inside the Holy Rosary Parish Church. It goes by so many other names by the locals like Santo Entierro but the family likes to call it Apung Mamacalulu (Merciful Lord) because it sounds cuter. It's called Apung because of the statue inside it depicting the burial of Jesus Christ. The Church has been recently recognized by National Commission for the Culture and the Arts as a national historical site.

Next stop is the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, still in Angeles.

Carmelite Church and monastery

How they set-up the altar

We also dropped by this Parish on our way to San Bartolome Church. I was not able to take photos inside. We just prayed and went on our way to our next stop. Pero ang ganda rin ng set-up and lighting nila ha, even though their parish is quite small.

Our last stop for the night is the San Bartolome Church in Magalang, Pampanga. It is nested in the heart of Magalang, in the town proper. It was established by Augustinians in 1605. 

Lighting's not good at night but you can still appreciate the beauty of the church.

On Good Friday, we started Visita Iglesia in Metropolitan Cathedral in San Fernando, Pampanga. It was built on 1775 by the Augustinians friars as well.

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando

I have a thing with ceilings
Before entering the church there was a bloody man near the entrance. In the Philippines, especially here in Pampanga, some people do extreme penitence by allowing themselves to be crucified (yes literally!) or by self-flagellation like carrying crosses or whipping they backs until they  bleed. My brothers and I wanted to see how they actually crucify people since the venue near our home but my mom and sister wants none of it, of course. My sister can't even get inside the church without someone going ahead of her to block the view of the bloody man. Dito yata ako sa Pampanga may pinaka-maraming nagpe-penitensya.

Here are some of them outside the Metropolitan Cathedral

Next is San Vicente de Zaragoza Chapel in Bacolor, Pampanga. It's also quite smaller than the others, too. It's quaint and hasa homey feel to it just like Calaruega in Batangas.


We weren't planning on stopping by the next church but we were glad we did. We were looking for the half-sunken San Guillermo church and we thought this was it. It wasn't. We were intrigued by it's pyramid-like structure. This is the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Cabetican, Bacolor, Pampanga.

The original church also buried by lahar of Mt. Pinatubo

What we saw beneath it left us in awe...


The brothers, Kevin and Jed fooling around.

They built a new church. They covered the image of the miraculous Our Lady of Lourdes for this Holy Week

The ceiling

We went to the town of Betis in Guagua, Pampanga for our next stop--the Saint James the Apostle Parish Church or simply Betis Church. It is a Baroque-style church built in 1607 and was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the NCCA. Why treasure? Take a look and see why..

Betis Church

It looks really old on the outside. Well, it still looks old inside but in a good old way. Magnificent and majestic.

Door details

Would you look at that marvelous ceiling and imagine the painter injuring his back for this grand masterpiece.

Again, treasure.

Door details of the main entrance

Ma with brother, Bryan

Took a few photos as we moved along.

This old house is just beside Betis Church. Isn't it a thing of beauty?

Another old house.

With my sissums, Gay and my brother Keith photobombing us. :)

Please allow me with this one selfie. Hihi.

Next stop is the Immaculate Conception Parish, also in Guagua, Pampanga. I wasn't able to take a photo outside. 

We were about to go home because we can't find the other half-sunken church when we passed by this old church that's out of the way. We had to make a U-turn. And there it was,the half-sunken church of San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor, Pampanga.

It was named after Bacolor's patron saint and was constructed by Augustinian friars in 1576. The church was buried at half its 12meter height in lahar when Mount Pinatubo erupted in June 15, 1991. 

The Jesus Christ sculpture is a bit creepy

Inside is a beautifully rustic interiors.

Because of the high ceiling, you won't feel it's half-buried

More pictures outside..

Again, door detail.

Pops outside the church

I fell in love with Pampanga's old churches. But what I love more is how genuinely religious the Kapampangans are, with how they really listen to homilies (no texting/chitchats/sleeping!) to how they maintained and restored their much valued old churches. There are so many other churches we could have visited but we don't have much time. But there's always next year. :)