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Novo Ecijanos have developed a new love affair with the dog, the purebreed kind. This fondness for live imported dogs has spawned a new booming line of businesses, from kennels, to veterinary clinics, to dog supplies. It also created a new social event where one goes with one's dog to see and be seen -- the dog show.

On February 8, 2004, the Nueva Ecija Pitbull Club
staged its First Pitbull Show/Weight Pulling Competition and
Purebreed Fun Match at the San Nicolas Elementary School Gym
in Barangay San Nicolas, Gapan City.

At stake: trophies and plaques for the dog owners;
huge bags of yummy dog food for the winners.

Overseeing the proceedings, the officials of the Nueva Ecija Pitbull Club:
Aris Pineda, president; Jun Ruiz, vice president; Alex Lopez, secretary;
Ariel Navatilan, treasurer; Arnel dela Cruz, adviser, Bimbo Galang, adviser; and
Oliver Valente, coordinator.

The board of judges make minute inspections of the contestants.
Rule: male dogs have to have two balls. One ball missing, one point deduction.
No kidding.

The contestants range from the pocket-sized one...

... to the long one...

... and the huge one.

Dressed up bitches (referring to the dogs of course)...

... to one with military ambitions.

How many dog breeds can you identify?
Let's start with this one...

This sleepy one?

This curly one?

What about this?

Now, this?

This one?

And this?

And finally, this?
If you easily identified all, congratulations! You're a certified dog fan!

This must be the canine equivalent of torture:
being tied up downwind from a smoking barbecue stand.

Cute puppies for sale.

Cute puppies' price tag: P15,000 each!

A cardboard sign!
That's no way to sell a dog with breeding!

Take the dog to the dog show? No, ride the dog...

Another proof that dogs tend to look like
their owners, and vice versa.

Filthy rich dog.

Barking at the wrong dog.

Digital photos and text by Ramon R. Valmonte
February 2004