It is my favorite among all Ipaglaban Mo episodes that I have watched. The story caught my eye, for films, books and TV series with animal-based plot lines and/or using animals as main characters are my cup of tea, and it was indeed a pleasure to watch an episode of a named series that involved an animal-related legal case for the first time. It tackled the death of a young girl named Happy after being bitten and infected by a rabies inflicted German shepherd named Rocky. The dog turned out to have contracted virus after being left on the streets, and the question lies whether Hilda, the dog owner, would be held liable for the incident.
A dog owner is held liable when his or her pet bites another person and transfers rabies virus leading to the death of the victim. This was indeed the case of Hilda, who did not take good care of her dog and ensure well enough that it was not harmful. This made Bong and Marie (Happy’s parents) won the case in seeking justice for their deceased little angel, and can therefore serve as a lesson to us, audiences, to love our pets, to take good care of them and most especially, to keep them away from harm and to avoid them from harming other people. It is equally the responsibility of every parent to keep an eye on their children and to ensure that they are not in danger. If Bong and Marie watched over Happy well enough (they did their best to forbid her from going near Rocky, but it was not enough as she managed to sneaked in their absence and played at her neighbor’s house where Rocky was located), she would not have suffered a tragic fate.
#IMRabies manages to provide lots of mixed emotions aside from being an entertaining animal-based plot that emphasizes the importance on responsible parenthood and pet ownership. It is heartwarming as much as it is tear-jerking, knowing that Happy and Rocky are both victims. Hilda is indeed the real culprit of the story and I would personally love to despise her for not being a caring owner to Rocky. If she does not want it to cause any harm to her student boarders, she could have put him in the cage as her maid Alice suggested. My sympathies goes to Happy’s parents for doing their best to protect their child at all costs (although it was not all that perfect) and to Alice for being nurturing to Rocky as though she is the real owner (I honestly would have preferred her as the dog owner of the dog).
Last but not the least, I appreciate the finale wherein Bong, Marie and Alice found a puppy on the street. The presence of the puppy compensated them for their respective losses (as much as Bong and Marie lost their child, Alice, too, lost Rocky, a dog close to her heart, after it has been brought for rabies inspection that required slicing its head) as much as they could be the puppy’s compensation for being separated from its family or losing its owner (the most probable reason the puppy ended up stray).
N.B. First aired in 1988, Ipaglaban Mo! is a Filipino series that features stories based on real world cases. The show was revived in 2014, fifteen years after it was replaced by then teen oriented drama Tabing Ilog, and now airs every Saturday at 3 pm.
I equally appreciated the episode Ampon (aired on August 26, 2017), which is about the legal rights of adopting, sending one’s child to adoption and returning the adopted child to the original parent.
Title (translated) Fight for It!
Original Run June 7, 2014 – present
Genre Legal Drama, Crime Drama, Anthology
Length (per episode) 60 min
Episode title Rabies
Episode release date August 5, 2017
Directed By Ato Bautista
Starring Jason Abalos, Empress Schuck, Katya Santos, Myel de Leon, John Lapus
A young girl dies after being bitten by a neighbor’s dog and infected with rabies. Parents then seek justice for their deceased child, suing their neighbor.
Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)