Faces of Cebu People and Ideas

FACES OF CEBU: Minerva Gerodias, information officer, animal welfare advocate

Minerva Gerodias, information officer, animal welfare advocate

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Despite her busy schedule, Minerva Gerodias always has time in taking care of her pets. And they’re not just ordinary pets.

Minerva, who currently works as an information officer at one of Cebu’s largest utility firms, is an animal welfare advocate. She currently has more than 40 pets at home, most of whom are rescued animals.

“At home, I have 20 cats, 14 dogs, two turtles, and one pigeon. But currently, I am fostering two mother cats and 12 young kittens,” she said.

Those who know Minerva well can attest to her passion and kindness when it comes to animals, especially those in distress or in need of rescue.

Unbeknownst to many, she was among those who rallied the community in saving several strays, including a dog named Bonbon, who made headlines when a knife got stuck on his head.

READ: Cebuanos rally to help distressed dog Bonbon

Just some of Minerva’s over 20 pets, most of whom happened to be rescued animals. | Photo courtesy of Minerva Gerodias

Love for Animals

Minerva’s love for animals started back when she was just a little girl. In her elementary years, she already owned several pets.

“I had cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, and even a snail. Each animal brought its own unique joy and companionship to my life,” she said.

It wasn’t until she made her first rescue that Minerva learned how vulnerable they can be, and how every human being’s love and kindness can help them in the long run.

Back in Grade 2, she saved an abandoned chick. She named it Maricor, after their fair-skinned neighbor, she said.

A young Minerva and Maricor shared a special bond – a bond that would soon inspire the former journalist to save animals in need of saving.

Unforgettable experience

Her love for all forms of critters did not waver even as she grew up. In fact, when she reached adulthood, Minerva knew she wanted to be more involved in their well-being.

“My love for animals expanded beyond the confines of my home, as I became increasingly aware of the larger issues surrounding animal welfare and conservation. This reinforced my dedication to advocate for their rights and raise awareness about their welfare,” she added.

Presently, Minerva is taking care of a pigeon, whom she recently rescued. She named him Coco.

While Maricor held a special place in her heart, Coco had started to grow in her, and her taking care of the once-abandoned pigeon has become an unforgettable experience.

“Maricar was already eating on her own when I rescued her, but Coco was different…Although I was accustomed to taking care of young kittens and puppies, this was my first time nursing a very young bird, and I was unsure of what to feed him,” she shared.

For Minerva, an animal’s ‘vulnerability and innocence’ drove her ‘innate desire to protect and nurture’ them.

Minerva Gerodias taking Coco, a pigeon she recently rescued, to work. | Photo courtesy of Minerva Gerodias

“When I encounter an animal that is suffering or facing dire circumstances, it deeply affects me on an emotional level,” she said.

“Animals are voiceless and dependent on us for their well-being. They cannot communicate their pain, fear, or desperation in the same way humans can. This vulnerability reminds me of the immense responsibility we have to be their advocates and protectors,” she added.

‘A brighter and future for all animals’

As an active animal advocate, news on animal cruelty and abuse bothers Minerva.

“It is truly disheartening and unfortunate that there are still cruel individuals in this world. I cannot comprehend how anyone could possess the capacity to harm helpless and voiceless animals,” she explained.

But she does not lose hope that animals would have a brighter and kinder future, citing increased media coverage on animal rights abuses, and a growing community of animal lovers.

She thanks animal advocates and lovers like her, whose dedication and compassion have helped shape a better, animal-friendly society.

“Your efforts are making a difference in the lives of countless animals, and your commitment inspires others to join this important mission. Continue to be a voice for the voiceless and a source of hope and support for animals in need. Thank you for your commitment, compassion, and dedication to improving the lives of animals,” said Minerva.

On the other hand, she urged those who couldn’t care less to be enlightened.

“Take a moment to consider their vulnerability, their capacity to feel pain and joy, and their fundamental right to live free from cruelty and harm. By learning about their needs and understanding the impact of our actions, we can make informed choices that lead to more compassionate treatment,” she added.

And this, Minerva has to share with the entire community:

“Together, let us strive for a society that cherishes all living beings and works towards a future where every animal is treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. Our collective efforts can make a significant difference and bring about positive change for animals everywhere”



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TAGS: animals, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, FACES OF CEBU
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