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It all started for him with a science experiment. There was a project that required his grade school class to bring goldfish, or guppies, or whatever fish one could get one’s hands on. After that class, he took home most of the fish that his classmates brought. He remembers, “There were Red Swordtails and Black… um, somethings.” For Itchyworms band member and ABS-CBN’S Showtime regular TV host Jugs Jugueta, it was love at fish sight! It was perfect that his elder brother Dennis had an aquarium at home. Thus started his curiosity and caring for pets.
“Maraming fish talaga (There were really so many fish),” he remembers. What attracted him to having pet fish were the beguiling colors.
He also liked the idea of minimal maintenance. Growing up, their family always had dogs, “not really as pets, but rather more as guard dogs.” His first “real” pet dog was a mini Pinscher who passed away after 13 years of companionship. Together with his wife Andie, they now care for four dogs: Turbo who is a Malte-poo (crossbreed between a Maltese and a Poodle) and 3 Shih Tzus named Wookie, Pancho, and Momo. Thinking about it, Jugs muses that caring for the fish was so different from caring for dogs. “There was no need to walk them,” he exclaims.
So, as the story goes, one summer, all his exotic fish died. A friend of his who was into exotic animals as well kept urging him to get a tortoise. Jugs’ thinking then was that they might be hard to maintain, so he declined. The enterprising friend then cleverly approached his thengirlfriend and lovely wifeto-be, Andie, who decided it would be a perfect gift for Jugs. On Valentine’s day of 2016, Jugs’ passion for tortoises began when Andie gave him a Sulcata Tortoise.