We walked through Angono village today on elevated, makeshift bridges the community built to cope with flood waters. They stand about five feet above the ground, over stagnant, brackish water that pushes up against people’s homes. Mosquito larvae and tilapia fish occasionally break the murky surface as they swim through what were once lanes and walkways. Overhead, the people and their animals balance carefully on temporary platforms, with one eye always on the reeking water that surrounds their homes.
A young girl in Angono village balances on a makeshift bridge along with her animals.
Angono villagers receive food for their dogs and cats.
Located not far from Laguna Lake that recently overflowed following heavy rains and typhoons, the village has been flooded for weeks. We estimate the water will remain for quite awhile.
Puppies, cats and chickens perform delicate balancing acts alongside people. Several dogs paced nervously on rooftops, barking out their claim to newly elevated and unfamiliar territory. Many animals appeared thin and stressed.
Animals and people perch above the flooded streets and walkways of Angono village.
WSPA, along with our partners in the Philippines, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) are delivering food to communities like Angono that ring the lake. We’ve identified 7500 dogs and cats belonging to the most affected or vulnerable families. The families live in flooded areas and, in general, can’t afford to feed their pets.
An Angono village puppy peers out from his home surrounded by floodwaters.
Still, the buoyant spirit Filipinos are so famous for was plain to see. Effrem introduced his dog Bianca to us and while she was clearly stressed by the experience, his love and care for her was evident. Another family – the Samson-Blanca's - brought out brother and sister Totchi and Potchi and encouraged them to pose for my camera. Despite hard times, people welcomed us and were very happy to know food for their animals was on the way.
Left to right: Steven Clegg, Disaster Response Team Leader, WSPA, Naiobi, Effrem, Bianca, Koi Tamkeaw, Logistics Officer, WSPA
Mr. Samson-Bianca looks on as Koi Tamkeaw, WSPA Logistics Officer meets Totchi.