A celebration of pets and more in the Pet City Expo at BGC, Taguig City. 

Reporting by Melvin Te

Photos by Jeffrey Lim

Events like Pet Expo 2015 tend to evoke nostalgic memories, especially for pet fanciers who have early childhood memories of living with animals.

It’s no wonder hobbyists looked forward to the second edition of Pet City Expo. What with the public interest being stoked by social media hype, organizers felt the pressure to make the exhibit this year better than the last.

The idea of a “Farm Barn” theme for the Pet City Expo was floated during organizers’ meetings, and while there were initial hesitations about whether they could pull it off given the limited amount of time they had to prepare, the organizers went for it after several days of brainstorming.

Finally, booths for the Pet City Expo 2015 included goldfish, betta fish, guppies, birds, hamsters and rabbits, geckos, cats, dogs, arowanas, stingrays, koi fish, and discus.

Photobooth and balloon twisting stations were also installed in strategic locations, where kids and families could easily see them, have some fun, and get their souvenirs.

 

Inside the venue, there was a big tent where visitors could feast their eyes on displays of planted tanks, aquarium accessories, fish food, and the “Urban Jungle” of which Pet City is the sole distributor in the country.

The exhibit lasted from January 29 to February 1, 2015 at the Bonifacio Global City High Street in Taguig City, open during mall hours, from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

There was a ribbon cutting with special guest John Marc Buencamino of Bonifacio Global City leading the event. The event then opened with a short talk from Atty. Benjamin Tabios, Assistant Director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Four competitions helped make Pet City Expo 2015 even more exciting. These were the Third Pet City Planted Tank Competition; a Guppy Fish Competition; a Betta Fish Competition; and an Arowana Photo Contest.

For the planted tank competition, “Aquascaping Level-Up,” 35 hardineros participated; all were provided with tanks for uniformity. Lighting and filtration devices were also given during the contest proper.

The entries this year stunned viewers and were declared by participants to have been far better than those in the previous years, Kudos to the hobby! There is much hope that the country will be able to produce winners in international competitions in the near future.

True to its vision of “appropriately-equipped hobbyists and responsibly-owned pets make healthier happier lives,” Pet City sponsored several workshops on goldfish, betta, and guppy keeping, plus Pomeranian and hamster Basics. These were aimed at giving the spectators tips on how to take care of their pets, and ways how to become responsible hobbyists and pet owners.

Judges for all the competitions were from abroad; two were flown in from Taiwan, two from Malaysia, and one from Thailand.

Aside from the cash prize, winners were also given plaques and round trip tickets to Macau for two courtesy of Air Asia, the airline of choice.

The event would not be complete without celebrities. Jhong Hilario of It’s Showtime was spotted enjoying the exhibit; also spotted were Martin Nievera, Gwen Garci, and Richard Gomez, who joined the Betta Fish competition and emerged as the Grand Prize winner.

Organizers, judging the outcome of the event and the response it received, deemed themselves greatly rewarded for their efforts in producing this one-of-a-kind event.

Looking forward to the bigger and more exciting 2016 Pet City Expo? See you there! (Additional photos courtesy of Pet Expo 2015 organizers.)

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s March 2015 issue.