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"The Underdogs"

Posted by siyerwin on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Below is a year 2006 commentary by photographer Elson T. Elizaga about our very own Philippine dog, more commonly known as the "Askal", which was featured in the website of the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center (MNICC): I actually can no longer find the exact URL of this article (even Google didn't help). Good thing it was posted by someone in the Yahoo!Group of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Please keep on reading. You will not be disappointed by what you will learn.

Adopt a homeless dog! Adopt Emil!Filipino dog Emil daydreaming of happier times.
Want to adopt an underdog? Click here to adopt Emil.

The Underdogs

By Elson T. Elizaga

The askal is the native, primitive dog of the Philippines. They are domesticated, but usually allowed by their owners to roam freely. The name is derived from "asong kalye", meaning "dog of the street". Aso is Tagalog for dog and calle is Spanish for street.

From this etymology, it is clear that the name originated in a Tagalog-speaking community, most likely in Manila. But, as what happens usually in cities, where dogs of different types congregate, the native dog eventually interbred with other varieties, producing mongrels.

Read the entire piece at the author's website...

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  1. 1 Comment: Responses to “ "The Underdogs" ”

  2. By Elson T. Elizaga on Mar 17, 2010, 7:27:00 PM

    Thank you for posting this article. A member of PAWS told me, after reading this write-up in Mindanews, that PAWS campaigns for the protection and promotion of the askal, now called aspin. So, I stand corrected on the last paragraph.

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Please do not leave your email or contact numbers in the comments. Email me directly at sherwin @ if you have concerns or questions. This blog is increasingly attracting breeders/pet sellers trying to advertise their business through the comments and I don't want that. The blog seems to also be becoming a bulletin board of sorts for people who wish to abandon their pets. allows no way to edit your comments so there I have no other option but to delete comments that I deem inappropriate in this regard. I apologize for the inconvenience. Again, if you have any questions/concerns, better to email me at sherwin @ than to comment here. Thank you very much!

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