Jumping into one of my former students, huge smile on the last day of the show gave me the impression that
his Pomeranian must have won a few points from one or two of the simultaneously held shows.

Unfortunately, it was the opposite—yet he told me he was very happy despite this because he was a serious dog show aficionado.

“Sir, there is a nine month old imported entry in the Pomeranian category sweeping all the events and moving up, even capturing the Best in Show award,” he said. Much to his surprise, his past three years campaigning, breeding, and grooming dogs really didn’t amount to much because of the quality of the competition at the Philippine Circuit was that high! However, just his mere participation in
such a prestigious event without having to travel abroad and the laborious process of preparing an entry already gave him an all-time high.

A year since the last edition had made a difference. All aspects of the show’s preparation and organization— from the ribbons handed out to the gate management for admission of a variety of people wanting to watch and be in the show.

A lot of the personalities looked older but the smiles remained and the camaraderie continued and even
flourished. “We will not miss this show even if a bitter winter is ensuing back in our country,” a visiting Korean grooming official said. This was her first time in the Philippines and it suddenly dawned
on her why there is a large Korean population living in the Philippines. had fun exchanging observations and anecdotes about different dog breeds with her, simply because I wanted to
know what difference having four seasons in a year makes for serious dog owners back in Korea. Obviously it helps having a modern economy and
  a high standard of living. Yet, she had no complaints at all about the way the Philippines hosted the 2017 Circuit Show.

Having been present last year for two of the four days of the show, this year, I made sure I attended the show
for all four days. I realize that adrenaline seldom dies down even if your entries do not perform in the early parts of the circuit. On the other hand, it is indeed a motivation to stay and see the whole circuit show through that surprising 
pays off handsomely in the end. Local personalities leave their daily routine behind and spend entire eight hours each day inside the coliseum—and that simply is the minimum requirement it takes to produce champion dogs.

Local dog owners, along with their staff members and dog handlers, say that they learn so much each year
they join the Philippine Circuit Show. Interactions at various levels despite being competitors was at an all time high. I am sure not a few owners have started dealing with foreign dog owners and judges to purchase new stock or even to sell what they currently have on hand, whatever the case may be. I did notice that just like the shows I attend in the US and in Asia, there was much less commercial selling of dog food and accessories, including souvenirs and what not! This just shows the seriousness dog exhibitors and owners put into the various competitions, where they have no time to browse and shop but rather
devote most of their time to winning that elusive trophy and ribbon which they came for in the first place.

There was, of course, something for everyone. For a mere spectator such as myself, who has over a hundred questions in my mind, braving traffic and spending most of my day inside the circuit proved to be worthwhile. I continued learning about other different breeds that have gained recognition over the years, including which breed does best in what country, and the so-called “specialty” certain countries are particularly proud of and how their respective governments promotes these for export abroad.

The consensus was that the 2017 Philippine Circuit Show placed our country at a level where it belongs in the
international dog scene. When much of the nation was busy preparing for the Ms. Universe pageant, the beauty and splendor of these dogs was not to be outdone. Many of the judges who came were awed, and felt their time and efforts were greatly compensated by the quality of dogs they saw and evaluated. It is therefore a show to be envied, not only in the Philippines but regionally as well as globally. We made sure that everyone felt the hospitable nature of our people, but over and above this, we also showed h
ow competitive we as a people are.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s March 2017 issue.