Aquafiesta is a yearly event hosted by the Philippine Arowana and Louhan society or PALHS. This year’s theme focused on the flowerhorn fish, and the event—held at Robinson’s Magnolia—saw the introduction of the First Flowerhorn Philippine Standard of judging.

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Noted for its arowana competition, Aquafiesta’s 2016 edition marked the first time other arowana clubs decided to join PALHS for the event’s staging. These clubs were the Jardini Owners Club (JOC), Club Arowana Philippines (CAP), and the Frontosa Gibberosa Group (FGF), which presented their own impressive displays of arowanas alongside those of other clubs, including the Betta Enthusiasts, the cichlids hobbyists, Philippine Datnoids, Philippine Bichirs, and Guppy Club.

The introduction of Longxin Arowana Farms of Singapore was one of the anticipated seminars during the event, as were the segments of the guest speakers from Singapore, Desmond and Wei Min, as well as Cebu Arowana Imports CEO Timothy Cusi, who answered questions from the crowd after his talk. Also well attended was a discussion of the history and evolution of flowerhorns in the Philippines by Ryan Gaw of Team Batang Ilog, one of the first of the flowerhorn teams in PALHS.

Red Iguana.

Other highlights of Aqua Fiesta were the showcase of tortoises and other reptiles by Congo Charlie and Keepers of Extreme Exotic Pets as well as the hamster display by the Philippine Hamster Owners Society (PHOS).

Participants came from all over the country for Aquafiesta, considered a landmark event in the fish industry and a stellar opportunity for bonding with like-minded hobbyists and flowerhorn teams. The organizers hope that this signifies how all the clubs are uniting as one to support a shared love for the hobby. And with the participation of those from other hobbies, Aquafiesta is no longer just a fish show but is slowly becoming a place for those who share the same vision, regardless of the creatures they care for: to promote the hobby, increase social awareness of the care of pets, and encourage others to be responsible pet owners. (With reporting by Marge Hermoso)

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This story appeared in Animal Scene’s July 2016 issue.