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I Hate Filipino Culture -Society/Politics

Sunday, August 25, 2013

On the Litol Prince and cuteness in general

Let’s say you were walking along a bridge and you saw the puppy in the picture above. It's immediately obvious that there's a high likelihood that the puppy would be facing a dismal fate as a stray dog or a sumptuous dish in a buffet sometime in the near future.
What would you do?
  1. Walk past the dog if you saw nothing while pondering in your head how you came to be a heartless husk of a human being.
  2. Using a voice that’s a few octaves higher than your regular speaking voice, talk to it using nonsensical word-sounds like ”anununununu”, “ajooeyjooey”, “moooooeee you’recominghome withmeajoojoo” and proceed to take the dog home.
I was faced with such a conundrum a few years ago while I was passing through the bridge connecting MRT north station and trinoma. I was walking along, blissfully minding my own business when I saw a man with two puppies in the corner of my eye. I stopped to absorb the scene. The man looked homeless. The puppies looked like they were barely a month old, one male and one female. The man was giving the puppies away… in exchange for a little money of course, as capitalist tradition dictates. The dogs were cute so he didn’t have trouble attracting positive attention. A woman passed by, went with option 2 and promptly left with the female puppy, leaving the male puppy behind.

A took a good look at the remaining puppy. A number of thoughts went through my head. With each passing thought, the prospect of brinigng the dog home with me became more and more tempting.
As with every decision involving the heart, I tried to justify the idea in my head until eventually it made so much sense that it was as if the universe itself was telling me to take the dog home. I thought to myself I’d be helping this man, I’d be helping this dog, the man would finally leave the bridge thereby easing the flow of pedestrian traffic, I’d rid the world of one more stray dog and its future progeny, the world will be a better place to live in and therefore peace for all mankind will inevitably ensue. It just seemed like I was making a decision for the betterment of everyone in the immediate area and the world in general.

And so I made my choice. I didn’t say “mooeee you’re coming home with me ajoojoo” … audibly. I did it within the confines of my own head, as all proper men should.
It was after I gave the man my “donation” that it struck me that taking care of another life form that would be entirely dependent on me was like plugging in a USB device in one try.  I had done neither in my life and both required skills that I did not possess.  In my excitement, I also conveniently and intentionally forgot that my family hated animals profusely. Either I had to upgrade my puppy hiding skills to ninja level or the introduction had to be made as perfect as possible

To ensure the highest level of success, I made sure that the little prince was as presentable as possible before I brought him home. I brought him to a veterinarian friend who gave him the appropriate shots. I bought him a cute little collar with bells on it. I think I may have paid more for the collar than for the dog. Written on the collar was the name “Prince”. I’ve never been good at giving names. I’ve come up with names as uninspired as “Pussy” for a stray cat that used to visit our house often,  “Browny” for a dog that was brown and “Blacky” for another dog which was “coincidentally” black.  I probably would’ve named the puppy “white-with-brown-spots-y” if left to my own devices. As creative as a claim to be, my brain just shuts down when it comes to coming up with names. Rather than be blamed in the future for coming up with a very lame name, this time I let the collar decide so it can take the blame instead of me. The dog was gonna be named Prince. Not everyone liked the name but it’s not like they gave me suggestions…  Also, it was the collar’s fault.

The initial reception for prince back at home was less than tepid. The reaction ranged from shock to disgust. I didn’t tell them right away that I picked him up near the MRT station to limit the disgust factor but that didn’t help much. It's good that he was already toilet trained when i got him otherwise he probably would've been kicked out of the house without my knowledge. They didn’t want him inside the house. They didn’t want prince to get near them at all. That wasn’t a problem for prince as he was a very shy little puppy. He avoided all contact with people whenever he could. He hid under one of my book shelves for most of the day and made no sound at all. For the first time in my life, I officially had a pet dog. It just so happened that he was invisible for most of the day. One of the aspects of dog ownership that I was most looking forward to was seeing that wagging tail waiting for me upon getting home. I started thinking that I was gonna be missing out on that with prince.

I’ve always had a soft spot for non-human mammals. I find them easier to like than humans on average. When I was a kid, I’d secretly adopt stray kittens that wandered into our house. I didn't get to keep them very long. I wasn't very good at hiding stuff. It’s a little embarrassing to admit because adopting little kitties is not among the manliest of activities. But I believe that even the manliest of men have a little soft, vulnerable spot that an innocent, wide-eyed stare from a juvenile canine or feline should be able to penetrate, given enough time. Even Hitler, the very face of evil himself, kept and loved animals. I think that some of us do need a dose of cuteness in our lives.
It may be an aberration of evolution that a member of one species would raise an individual from another species but I’m willfully playing along knowing full well that my biological need to nurture is being fooled by one of nature's little tricks. Cuteness is indeed a powerful tool for survival. I shall illustrate the power of cuteness below:

I had to photoshop the tears in because they were nonexistent in the original photo but replace Puss with a puppy and the Dawson's Creek guy's mug with my awesome-albeit-douchey face and this is pretty much a reenactment of what happened when i first met Prince.

It's now been quite a while since I first met the Litol prince. He's not so litol anymore. Some might say that he’s also not as cute but I think that he’s no less amazing.  He shed his shyness after a few months. He's now an uncontainable ball of energy. You leave for a few hours and he greets you like he hasn't seen you in weeks. He's not a big dog but he'd knock you down if you get him excited enough. I didn't quite miss out on the "dog experience" like I thought I would.

Prince wasn't our last dog. A few months after I introduced the litol prince to the dog haters club (my family), my sister brought home Rambo, a pomeranian puppy.  Rambo had it easy. By the time that he came along, everyone in the house was a dog lover or at the very least a dog tolerator.  So even if Rambo was an indiscriminate defecator and urinator he was loved right off the bat. From the time that I brought prince home to the first time he elicited a smile in the face of a nonbeliever, he won every heart in the house one by one. It’s quite amazing to see people who were once animal haters talk to dogs as if they were their own kids; talk about dogs as if they were the staunchest of animal rights advocates. The local dog haters club was eventually abolished. Rambo helped a lot but it was prince who first tore the walls down. Such was the legacy of the litol prince. He changed hearts, minds, he got himself a home and a family without even trying. He now even owns a little bit of internet real estate through my blog. Not a bad life for an “askal”. He's living example that overcoming hate is sometimes only a matter of spending some time with the subject of your hate... and that a little bit of cuteness goes a long way.


  1. Cute story <3. I love dogs. I mean our family love dogs. Though the surrounding and the size of our house doesn't permit to have one, nagaalaga pa rin kami. You really have a kind heart kuya for adopting Prince :)

    1. Thanks for saying that I have a kind heart. A lot of people would disagree :)

    2. Haha. No. We all have a kind heart. :)