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October 16, 2016


Meet Tony. He is a 6 year old Golden Retriever that furmom Cybele Javier-Manlapaz had ever since he was 4 months old.  According to Cybele, Tony is a goof ball who still acts like a puppy.  She named him after the NCIS character “Tony Di Nozzo” because even as a puppy, he was “gwapo (good looking) & “sutil” (mischievous).

Tony Di Nozzo as a 4-month-old puppy

Tony Di Nozzo as a 4-month-old puppy

I had the impression that Tony has done several gigs like the other furkids I’ve met who had several “showbiz” gigs like photo shoots, TV commercials, TV guestings, or even movies. I was surprised when Cybele told me that his only gig prior to bagging the role of Sandy in Annie the musical was a photo shoot for Annie!

Tony is food driven so all Cybele had to do to prepare for the shoot was to bring the best treats, arrive at the venue half an hour ahead of schedule, made sure Tony has done his potty, that he got to know the people he will work with, and of course, get accustomed to the venue.


One of the scenes in Annie the musical, now showing at Resorts World Manila until December 2016

Here’s my interview with Cybele:
Aleth:  How did you get the role of “Sandy”? How did you prepare for it?  What were you asked to do?

Cybele:  Brad Feliciano of BetterDog, who was hired as consultant for “Annie”, recommended Tony.  I sent a video of Tony doing commands and tricks from a distance.  I then went with Brad to the studio to observe a training day. The next time, I brought Tony with me and miracle of miracles, he was able to run through an entire scene after 30 minutes of working with the girls who are playing the roles of Annie!

Aleth:  How were the preparations and rehearsals for opening night?

Cybele:  I have a newfound respect for anyone involved in theatre.  The last two weeks prior to opening night were brutal!  They had daily rehearsals from 4pm-10pm while I was burning with fever and colds plus having to endure the traffic going to and from the venue. But seeing my boy happily wag his tail each time he sees “Annie” or hears his cue? Priceless!

Aleth:  Other activities you enjoy doing with Tony?

One of the activities Cybele & Tony enjoy doing together is going on beach trips.

One of the activities Cybele & Tony enjoy doing together is going on beach trips.

Cybele:  We enjoy short but frequent walks around the village, meeting up with his favorite doggie playmates, family beach trips to Batangas or Bataan, and watching TV while Tony sleeps on my lap.

Aleth:  Any tips or advise for furdads or furmoms who might want to venture into “showbiz” for their furkids?

Cybele:  Work on foundation obedience classes for they become so handy.  If you think about it the scene in “Annie” where they sing “Tomorrow”, it involves a string of basic obedience commands: come, down, down stay, wait, come, loose leash walk, and sit while the handler “Annie” sings.  Second, share your dog. Let him/her play with other people. You want him to enjoy the rest of the company. It has to be fun during rehearsals. Definitely let him form stronger bonds with the characters he has to work with.

Cybele mentioned that they were lucky that the production company behind “Annie” really cares about the dogs’ welfare.  She jokes with Brad that she is Tony’s driver/nanny!

Next week, meet team Bralab (Brad Feliciano and Alab)!


Photos from Cybele Javier-Manlapaz and Resorts World Manila

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