How an Ilonggo Teen’s Brave Rescue Transformed a Stray into an Award-Winning Asong Pinoy

Ilonggo Teen Award-Winning Asong Pinoy
A Heartfelt Embrace: 13-year-old Kent Miljhon Tumambing shares a tender moment with Ganers, the stray he saved and turned into an award-winning Asong Pinoy. Their eyes tell a story of rescue, friendship, and unwavering love. Photos from the Iloilo City PIO.

In the small community of Rizal Pala Pala I, Iloilo City, a remarkable friendship has blossomed between 13-year-old Kent Miljhon Tumambing and his beloved dog, Ganers. Their connection isn’t just any ordinary tale of a boy and his dog; it’s a compelling narrative of rescue, unwavering loyalty, and triumph against the odds that tugs at the heartstrings.

Picture young Kent, his eyes widening in horror as he saw a stray puppy floating precariously on a plank in the tumultuous sea, tossed around by kids who knew no better. The moment Kent leaped into the water to save that tiny life marked the beginning of an extraordinary bond—one that recently won them the spotlight in Iloilo City’s Run-for-Fun event, celebrating Animal Welfare Week 2023.

Kent didn’t just save Ganers; he gave him a forever home. Every day, their friendship deepened, nurtured by Kent’s selfless love and Ganers’ unconditional loyalty. It was as if Ganers knew he was rescued by a hero, and in return, he offered ceaseless affection.

When the duo participated in the inaugural Iloilo City Run-for-Fun on October 7, their connection was evident. And it didn’t go unnoticed. The Office of the City Veterinarian shared that Ganers, now proudly vaccinated against rabies, clinched the Spotted Asong Pinoy Award, an accolade sponsored by the Department of Agriculture – Western Visayas, Regulatory Division.

Kent’s inherent love for animals isn’t something new. His aunt, Luisa Marie Tumambing, says, “Kent has always been a true animal enthusiast, a passion that has been evident since he was just a one-year-old toddler. Today, he cares for doves, dogs, and chickens on their family’s farm.” It’s a love deeply rooted in his character, making the world a little better for its non-human inhabitants.

And it’s not just family who see the nobility in Kent’s actions. City Veterinarian Dr. Fernando J. Abulencia remarks, “This boy, Kent, is a hero. His love for animals is exemplary, and his act of saving and adopting a stray puppy is noble and inspiring.”

Kent and Ganers’ story transcends the typical pet-owner relationship. It serves as a poignant reminder of the deep emotional connection that can exist between humans and animals. Just as importantly, it showcases how even the smallest act—like saving a struggling stray—can lead to life-changing outcomes, not just for animals but also for the people who dare to care.

The Philippines’ beloved hero dog, Kabang, who sacrificed himself to save his owners’ children, was honored with a memorial statue in Zamboanga City, while a dying dog that was found abandoned in the streets was rescued by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has found a new home in a pet-friendly condominium.

Touched by Kent and Ganers’ heartwarming journey? Share this story to uplift the spirits of animal lovers everywhere and inspire a new wave of kindness towards strays. Let’s give this extraordinary tale the recognition it truly deserves.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.