Stress relievers amid COVID-19: Filipinos share how their fur babies help them cope with the anxiety of the pandemic

Check out how these adorable creatures make this trying year a lot more bearable for their owners and fur parents

Regine Ann Manabat
Name of pet: Summer (dog)
Been together for 4 months


Getting on with our lives during this pandemic doesn’t mean trying to doing things like before, being productive, and all that. It means that we should care and live for others—recognizing your capacity to help and empathize. Pets, in their own little ways, allow us to realize that.

Sharmane Quinto
Name of pet: Ringo (dog)
Been together for 7 years

My dog is one of my stress and anxiety relievers! When I feel drained from my WFH setup, or just down because of the lockdown, I just spend a few hours with Ringo and it really restores my energy. It helps that he’s always so happy whenever he sees me! His positive energy is very infectious, it reminds me to appreciate the little things despite this crisis


Francez Claudine Reyes
Name of pet: Choobie (dog)
Been together for 2 years

Instead na mamroblema ako sa nangyayari sa labas gaya ngglobal pandemic, sa fur baby ko na-d-divert ang attention ko. Tapos na-le-lessen ang anxieties ko with all the uncertainties na nangyayari ngayon sa mundo.

Ann Remedios Reyes
Name of pet: Pucca (dog)
Been together for 1 month

Dahil new fur mom ako, kahit minsan ayoko na magtrabaho dahil sa takot sa pandemic, na-re-re-energize ako to work kasi alam ko kailangan ng newborn fur baby ko ng extra care—and extra care meant extra expenses.

Manuel Bernardo
Name of pet: Chumlee (dog)
Been together for 3 years

Nababawasan ‘yung frustrations and anxieties ko sa long distance relationship namin ng fiance ko dahil sa delays na dala ng pandemic, kapag nag-ha-hangout ako kasama ‘yung fur baby namin sa bahay.

Francesca Sangalang
Name of pet: Maxine
Been together for 1 year and 5 months

Malaking tulong si Maxine sa aking mental health lalo na ngayong pandemic. Para sa akin, ibang klase ang affection na nararamdaman ko kapag nakikipaglaro or pine-pet ko siya. Pinapagaan din niya ang aking pakiramdam sa tuwing naglalakad kami sa umaga (bonus na yung vitamin C). I also don’t feel alone lalo na kapag wala si Erby (my boyfriend) sa bahay.

Jammé Xenna Siasat
Name of pet: Sushi and Schmonchon (cats)
Been together for 10 months

Growing up, me and my brothers always had pets around us. But when we worked as OFWs in the UAE, it was hard not having any of them. Then I came across these animal rescue/adoption groups one day and saw the poor cats that all the other people are leaving behind. It just broke my heart. So that’s where I got our fur babies after weeks of adoption applications and searching. I’m so glad I got them before the pandemic because they made this stressful year more bearable, and made our flat homier with their crazy antics and sweetness. One look at their faces, makes all the sadness, worries, stress, and fatigue in these tough times go away. And of course, they are also one of the reasons that pushed me to be a COVID-19 Response Nurse, so I’ll be able to take care of them and make sure they won’t get abandoned again.

Charles Brent Bugaring
Name of pets: Rengar and Mingli (cats)
Been together for 2 years

Pandemic or not, my fur babies have always been my stress relievers. It’s crazy how empathic they are despite their cold appearances; they just know when to approach you when you’re down (definitely know when to annoy you when you’re busy lol). I guess the biggest difference they made during the pandemic is how they cheered up my father and converting him from a cat hater to a lover. He has now definitely spoiled them so much, my cats got fat from his constant feeding spree.

I’m very thankful to them for being the outlet of our unspent energy and wasted time doing nothing.


Maxene Alijah G. Valeriano
Name of pet: Klay (dog)
Been together for 1 year

Since the pandemic started, schools were closed, and children were not allowed to go outside. Following the rules of the government, I stayed at home, although sometimes, I feel bored. Good thing I have Klay with me, especially since my mom and dad were not around at the onset of the pandemic. Klay helped me cope with the loneliness. I have spent most of my time taking care of him, feeding him, and playing with him. He’s my source of joy. There were no dull moments with my baby boy.

Josie Zapanta
Name of pet: Luchie (dog)
Been together for 4 years

Nakakatulong siya sa amin in a way na nakakabawas siya ng stress kahit sa mga simpleng bagay. Hihiga lang siya sa tabi ko at hahayaan niyo ako i-scrub ang belly niya, titingin siya na para bang sinasabbi niyang andito lang siya para sa amin. Nakaka-comfort sa amin ng family ko.

Ina Sy and Makis Gatpandan
Name of pet: Chewy (dog)
Been together for 1 year

Si Chewy na ‘yong naging isa sa mga sources of joy namin simula noong movement restrictions. ‘Di natin maiwasang ‘di mag-worry sa family and friends natin sa Pinas dahil sa pandemic pero na-e-entertain kami ni Chewy sa mga tricks niya at kakulitan. Siya yung stress ball namin.

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan gathers stories on a wide array of topics, particularly on the Philippines, UAE, Saudi, and Bahrain—which are published on The Filipino Times Newspaper, The Filipino Times Website, and The Filipino Times Newsletter. She also presents the news on cam in the pre-recorded daily broadcast of The Filipino Times Newsbreak—a run-through of the most important events of the day, reaching 5,000 to 20,000 views—to deliver stories to audiences inclined to audio-visual content online. For recommendations and story pitches, you can reach her at [email protected]

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