Broken home awaits Zamboanga City’s hero dog


THE HUT which the Bunggal couple used to share with Kabang and which is now a lonely place following the couple’s separation JULIE ALIPALA

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Kabang, the dog that lost its upper snout when hit by a motorcycle while saving two girls here last year, will be coming home to a broken family.

One of its owners, Rodolfo “Rudy” Bunggal, now lives alone after his wife Christina left him. Christina confirmed the separation.

“I am renting a small room for P700 because I could no longer take Rudy’s behavior every time he’s drunk,” she said.

Christina lives with her daughter Dina, 12, and three other relatives. She also takes care of Kabang’s offspring, JR.

Abused dog

“I rescued JR from Rudy because the dog is always subjected to maltreatment. Look at JR’s teeth; some are missing. It was hit by something hard and it has skin problems. I took it from Rudy and brought it to my house,” Christina said.

Rudy, on the other hand, still lives in a small hut. He has found a new job as a construction worker, earning P200 a day.

RUDY Bunggal has found work as a construction worker but is dealing with what his neighbors and his wife said is a drinking problem. He worries about being recognized by Kabang. JULIE ALIPALA

“It’s good to be working than staying in the street, waiting for someone’s motorcycle wheel to get busted,” the former vulcanizing shop worker said.

Three months ago, Rudy nearly lost his hut after the landowner ordered its demolition along with other shanties.

“Later on, he (landowner) allowed me to stay here again,” he said.

Reunion anxiety

Today, Kabang, with its upper snout wounds completely closed and safe from infection, will be coming home after a medical treatment in the United States.

“It’s been almost nine months that it (Kabang) has been away from us and I am hoping it will still recognize my smell,” Rudy said.

This early, the Bunggals do not know who will take custody of Kabang.

“I don’t know if it will stay with us or with my father,” Dina said.

The girl recalled that after they found Kabang, then still a puppy, floating on a swampy area, “it never left me.”

“It slept on my tummy until it grew up. I left it to my father every time I went to school,” she said.

“I am not sure if it will still feel comfortable with us,” she added.

CHRISTINA Bunggal carries JR, Kabang’s offspring, which, she said, has suffered so much abuse in the hands of her husband. She says she can’t take her husband’s drinking anymore. JULIE ALIPALA

Dina admits she envies Kabang and the attention the dog is getting from people around the globe.

“Everyone is helping it after it rescued me and my cousin, Princess. I am very grateful for the people who helped it,” said Dina, a fifth grader at Putik Elementary School.

If Kabang stays with Rudy, Christina said she and her daughter will find time to visit the dog.

The big question is who will provide for Kabang, which slept on a dirty rug or bare soil at the Bunggals’ doorstep before it was brought to the United States for treatment?


Poor’s food

“What we eat—fish sauce and soy sauce with rice—will also be its meal,” Dina said, adding that she saw a news footage showing Kabang’s sleeping area at the veterinary hospital in the University of California Davis and the dog’s colorful blanket.

“I don’t know if it will still like to sleep with us or eat rice with fish sauce,” the girl said.

Rudy said it will be back to what it used to be for Kabang—eating what its masters eat. “Unless someone will continue donating dog food,” Rudy said.

Christina said if Kabang lives with her, “it will be reunited with its offspring, JR.”

“And we always have space for both of them. We may not have special dog food but I know it will like to be with us,” she said.

Eleazar Rosales, Rudy’s neighbor, said he sees the couple waging a custodial battle for Kabang.

But Rosales said Rudy’s hut is good for only one person, “and he comes home every after two days from construction work.”

Drinking problems

Rosales said the couple kept on fighting “because Rudy drinks a lot.”

City veterinarian Mario Arriola said Kabang would be coming home tonight (June 9) and “will stay for a while” with Anton Lim, the private animal doctor who helped in having the dog treated abroad.

On Monday (June 10), there will be a hero’s welcome for Kabang.

Arriola said Mayor Celso Lobregat will lead ceremonies to welcome the dog. There will be a motorcade around the city and Kabang will meet other dogs, said Arriola.

Arriola, however, said he does not know if Kabang’s offspring, JR, was invited to the ceremonies. Neither Rudy nor Christina received invites.

“If we get invited, that would be great. If not, it’s OK,” Christina said. Rudy said he learned about Kabang’s homecoming from journalists. “I will wait for Dr. Lim to inform me,” he said.

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  • DGuardian

    Sa sitwasyon ng pamilya ni Mang Rudy at Aling Cristina, hindi nararapat si Kabang na ibalik sa sub-human conditions ng mundong ginagalawan ng dati niyang mga may-ari. Naipara na niya ang kanyang buhay sa pagsagip o pagliligtas sa dalawang batang babae. Siguro naman ay maigagawad na sa kanyang gantimpala ang mabuhay sa piling ng mga taong magmamahal nang tapat sa kanya at magbibigay sa kanya ng ligtas, maayos at malinis na pamumuhay at kapaligiran. Kung talagang mahal nila Mang Rudy, Aling Cristina at Dina si Kabang, they have to let her go. Katibayan ng pagmamahal ang paghahangad ng kaligayahan, kaligtasan at ikabubuti ng minamahal, aso man ito o tao. Kung hindi hangad ni Dr. Anton Lim na ampunin si Kabang, naniniwala ako na maraming mabubuti ang loob at mapagmahal sa animals na nagnanais umampon kanya.

    Isa pa, malupit pala si Mang Rudy sa aso. Nawalan ng mga ngipin si JR na anak ni Kabang dahil sa pagbugbog niya dito. Hindi siya dapat pagkatiwalaang mag-alaga ng animals. Ang dapat na tulungan ay si Aling Cristina, ang anak na si Dina, at si JR.

  • pepito gwaps

    Kung tulungan nila owner ni Tabang para magkaroon ng desinteng buhay we can call it humanitarian mission. But they helped tabang to recover so we can call it veterinarian mission.

  • Diepor

    This is terrible journalism, just gossiping to make a story on the expense of a poor famely. SHAME ON YOU JULIE.

    • Mamang Pulis


    • Julie

      thanks Diepor. If bringing out the reality is a terrible journalism, then I am not good for praise releases. I am sorry. That is the story and if you go down deeper, its worst.

      • Diepor

        See comment over. Ok, it’s maybe not terrible but you should protect people, not spreading rumors .

      • ApoLapullapu

        She did not spread rumors. The story is true. However, it contained a lot of private information which should not have been included in the story.

    • soccerg0d

      I agree with diepor.. This family is not even celebrities.. They just happen to own the HEROIC dog which by the way is the REAL news.. Why dig their dirt???

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      will you not help them care the dog? the story is good and the wife and daughter are honest. they’re not ashamed of their financial situation. are you ashamed of poor poverty stricken Filipinos? It’s not a freaking secret. Dumb donkey.

      • Diepor

        No I will not as you put it ” help them care the dog”, I have my own dogs. The language you are using, the insults and the big interest in other peoples dirty laundry tells me a lot about what kind of person you are.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        that tells us what kind of dumb donkeys we are.

  • disqus_nBEsUalTvo

    Kabang is repeatedly referred to as “it” in the story. How does Rudy afford his drinking habit?

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      he work for peanuts.

  • Diepor

    To reporters; probing the personal lives of people in the news for various reasons; and revealing potentially embarrassing information. It also encompasses questionable reporting methods. In all of these situations, the dilemma is the choice between the public interest or the public’s right to know and the individual’s right to privacy or anonymity.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      if you don’t know their financial burden while you read this news in your cozy aircon room, will you be able to know if the owner can really keep the dog? Kabang might end up as pulutan.

      • Diepor

        Yes, the office has aircondition.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        nice for office for a dumb donkey llike you.

      • Diepor

        Trying to be insulting again, I feel sorry for you poor friend. You are like trailer trash people from american movies, cant communicate without swearing and cursing. Its an education and class question i guess. To bad the lord didnt deal you a better hand, bless.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        can’t help to call you a dumb donkey. it shows in your face.

      • Diepor

        Grow up. if you are an adult with that bad a language I feel sorry for you. Study hard and maybe you will get a job one day.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        there’s no freaking job in country dumb donkey.

  • Fiefie Bermudes

    @Julie why dont you spill all the beans? why hide the real story behind this drunkard who beats his 6th wife Christina? and the countless dogs he slaughtered for pulutan? tell the police to do background check to the house of Rudy and they will unearth so many dog bones. The Bunggals are our neighbor across the street. Since they moved there and everyone in the neighborhood knows he is a drunkard and slaughtered many dogs right on the spot where he paraded Kabang in the past. I feel so disgusted with the way how you people portray this old man that used to beat his wife. Its good that Mader has left him for good.

    • sum_id_quod_sum

      Does Dr Lim even know about these? I think they’re really making a huge mistake returning Kabang to Mang Rudy.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        gain some weights and that’s good for pulutan.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      you’re a dumb donkey. you’re gossiping too.

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