Friday, May 09, 2008

Pet Shop: Hobby or Business?

The pet shop has definitely garnered a firm foothold in the economic landscape of the old hometown. While their number may not approximate those of the lechon-manok eating places or the must have one in each corner bakeries, the pet shop certainly can be seen and counted among the visible players in the malls and some of the heavily-trafficked commercial areas of the city.

While people from other places may wonder why my sudden interest and/or surprise in the pet shop as a business, let it be said that when I left the old homeland about 29 years ago, the number of pet shops in the city was an absolute nil. You wanted dogs or cats, you simply asked your friends or our relatives who had them. Birds or fowl as pets? Again you asked your hunter friends. Okay, so some solitary guy may position himself conspicuously in the market and sell a monkey or two or some birds, or even dogs. But not as an established business, in permanent locations, and providing the whole panoply of things needed to acquire and maintain pets.

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  1. Speak'n of which, now that I have my new porch almost outfitted one of the last things I want for it is an aquarium. Also, I need to find a place around here where I can find some bird seed to lure the wild birds into the yard. So far, I've only seen a couple of sparrow types here and there; I think the poor locals have shot and ate anything "substantial."

  2. Phil, I just had to revive the aquarium. I felt nostalgic looking at the glass tank that was sitting on storage for the last 30 years. So when my daughter and wife come this June, actually seeing it again will hopefully bring floods of memories for them too.

    I thought about birds too because I now see them in the neighborhood, and perched even on top of the roof deck of the building that I just renovated.

    And surprise of surprises, I actually saw a maya, which we used to find only in ricefields. BTW, the maya was the national bird of the Philippines, I believe before the Philippine eagle became the one.

  3. I understand the maya is more common, kind of like a sparrow, but the eagle IS more spectacular isn't it? Of course, once some hungry fellow turns the last one into tinola they'll have to go back to the lowly maya.

  4. Phil:

    When I was young the mayas were aplentiful, our province being a rice-producing area then. And mayas in very large coveys thrived in the ricefields.

    Another twist in the saga of the maya of our youth. Elders told us that mayas could not be caged since they had the capacity to commit suicide once caged.

    Having tried it once, indeed for some strange reason the maya was dead and on its back in a few days. So never tried it again.

    It became for us the symbol of freedom - how great its value was among creatures.

  5. Also, Mindanao, particularly the Davao areas, is home to the Philippine eagle, or the monkey-eating eagle as it was once named.

    Sadly, I yet have to see one in the flesh, in these times. But they have sanctuaries in Davao where one can observe them in their natural habitat. That could be a trip destination in the future for the eagle that reputedly has the largest wingspan in the world. Larger than our own regal bald eagle?

  6. I've seen lots of bald eagles in several states. At least we have plenty of them now. I'm glad we went with it as the national symbol instead of the wily Turkey that Ben Franklin pushed for.

    Give me liberty or give me death! The Maya sounds very American. My kind of bird.

  7. And indeed there were poems in the vernacular about caged mayas pining for liberty.

    But maybe not as dramatic or forceful as that of Patrick Henry's. HiHiHi.


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