MANILA — The COVID-19 pandemic has increased people's curiosity when it comes to pets since having an animal companion also has benefits to mental health, Philippine Pet Expo Director Lendl Lin said on Friday.
However, Lin said potential fur parents must research before buying a pet since having one is a lifetime commitment.
"People stayed at home. They got curious about taking care of animals and pets. They saw the beauty in having animals as companions. I think it contributed well to mental health of Filipinos," said Lin.
Lin and other stakeholders opened the Philippine Pet Expo at the SMX Convention Center where pets such as dogs, snakes, rabbits, fish and many more are up for sale.
Meanwhile, an International Gamefowl Festival 2023 Hobby Expo opened simultaneously at the SMX where hundreds of exhibitors showcased the best breeds of game fowl from Southeast Asia.
IGF 2023 organizer Mildred Esquillo said the expo is a good opportunity to erase the negative image of cockfighting "sabong" in the country.
"Sa nagdaang pandemic naging negative ang image ng ating industriya dahil sa mga... alam mo na bawal ang face-to-face, nagkaroon ng online. Sa pamamagitan nito, sabay-sabay tayong aahon. Kaya mura ang mga binebenta dito ng mga breeder. Mapapanatili natin ang magandang imahe ng sabong industry," said Esquillo.
(During the pandemic there was a negative image, face-to-face was not allowed so there was online cockfighting. With this [expo] we can lift the industry. Breeders sell cheaper here)
She said she was expecting the industry to grow even further this year as the pandemic eases.
Both expo events will last until Sunday. Aside from pets and game fowls, animal food, accessories, and medicine are also available.