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Ice Seguerra: Living la vida ‘pawfect’

By KATHY MORAN, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 04, 2022 5:00 am Updated Oct 04, 2022 9:41 am

What life seems to have taught us in the past two pandemic years is that there should be nothing we take for granted, for we never know what the future will bring — good or bad. We have to keep living our best lives every day with those we cherish, always.

“In August I celebrated my 35 years in the entertainment industry. In September, my 39th birthday,” said Ice Seguerra. “So, I guess 2022 marks a milestone year of sorts — to celebrate I have an upcoming concert, On Becoming Ice at the Theater at Solaire on Oct. 15.”

Singer-actor-songwriter and now director Ice knows what it is like to live a life full of ups and downs and to come out on top after every down.

“Ever since I was a child of three, I never stopped working,” he continued. “Then lahat tayo we had to stop working during the pandemic. But after three months the bills started coming in, dun ko na feel na wala akong kwenta kasi wala ako naipapasok na pera sa amin. I was in a dark place.”

Two for life: Ice and his wife Liza Dino

It is good that Ice, the former chair of the National Youth Commission of the Philippines, has a very supportive wife, Liza Diño, who just finished her successful stint as chairperson of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

But life would not be complete for Ice if not for his furbabies, who have been a very strong support group all through his life.

Something new

“The concert on Oct. 15 is actually a little of both a recreation and rebirth,” quipped Ice. “Life after the pandemic involves going back to live events again after more than two years of no work for us singers. More so with the live music industry, because lately lang bumalik talaga. It seems that we were the first to stop working and the last to return to work.”

Who can sing?: “Becoming Ice” the concert is on Oct. 15 at Theater Solaire. Porkchop hopes to be a guest. Abangan.

This is his first major solo concert after 10 years. He is quick to share that the past few years (before the pandemic) had been collabs with other artists, usually back-to-back concerts. So the last time that he had a major concert was to celebrate his 25th anniversary.

Becoming Ice is basically a journey of his career and personal life over the last 10 years. We all know that when one starts very young in the industry, like him, career and personal life really become intertwined with ups and downs. And for Ice, it seems that every 10 years is the beginning of something new in his life.

“Through music, I would like to share my journey on how I became who I am today,” he added. “I have had four major ones: naging artista ako as a kid, a big part was when I grew older and ‘na-laos ako’ during my awkward stage. I can remember I didn’t have any projects then. I felt that I was giving the same effort pero hindi ganun ang appreciation ng tao sa akin. The third milestone is as my development as a singer and now I venture into becoming a director.”

A life with pets 

The year 2022 did not start well for him.

“In January, I lost Porky the Pug when she was 13 years old,” he recalled. “That was one of the hardest moments for me kasi even if I may have many dogs at home, I always take one as my baby — and for me, that was Porky.”

Porky had been with Ice through many stages of his life. She was his constant companion, the silent but loving witness of the many heartbreaks in his life.

“She was with me when I got together with Liza, my wife,” he smiled.

I have learned that not just because I lost a love, I am no longer capable of giving and receiving love. That is the kind of love that Porkchop continues to give to me.

The couple has been together for nine years now. Porky was even part of their wedding entourage and continued to play a big part in their married life, too.

“She got sick, she was coughing when I had her checked,” shared Ice. “Being an older dog at 13 years, she was given meds and sent home.”

The call that no one ever wants to get came for Ice on a working day.

“At the time I was in Antipolo for a shoot. I even remember saying goodbye to Porky before I left for work and she responded.”

“‘Love, call me when you can,’ I recall the text from Liza. I knew there was something up because a text like this is only sent for scary situations,” he said.

Cat got her heart: Ice and Panda the Munchkin cat

When Ice returned the call, he found out that Porky had taken a turn for the worse.

“At the shoot I started crying and couldn’t concentrate because my heart and mind were with Porky,” Ice said. “I can even recall the drive home as I couldn’t see the road clearly because I was crying. As soon as my work was over in Antipolo I rushed home. It was a rainy night and my tears were flowing.”

Ice was given two choices by the vet: to put Porky down or to take her home and continue to care for her. It was no-brainer for Ice; he took her home.

“We fixed her room and made sure all she needed she had,” he shared. “The night before she passed, she climbed onto my chest. I thought she was feeling better."

“The next day I awoke because I felt something hot on my chest, vomit, and as I watched her breathe I noticed she took a last breath — and then she was gone. I don’t remember crying for anyone else as much.”

Waxing sentimental, Ice shared that we never really get over the death of a loved one, but we do move on. He had a capsule pendant made with a little of Porky’s ashes, which he always wears.

Enter Porkchop the Pug

“I didn’t have plans of getting a new dog because I thought I was not ready to have a ‘baby’ again,” he shared. “But, to help ease the pain I would post photos of Porky on IG with comments about how heartbroken I was.”

Porky the Pug, Ice’s furbaby for 13 years went to the rainbow bridge in January. She remains forever in his heart.

One of the responses on his IG came from the House of Dogs kennel, who said they wanted to give him a new a dog that would help in the easing of his sadness.

“I knew that ’di ko matanggihan yung dog; Pug, eh,” he continued. “So I accepted their offer even if ’di ko alam how I would feel about it. Who am I to refuse a gift, a blessing?”

True enough, it was and continues to be a blessed experience to have a puppy. 

“Porky, I hope you don’t feel like I am replacing you because that is never going to happen,” he said. “The first time I met Porkchop, descendant of Porky, it felt like I was seeing Porky again. He immediately came to me and kissed me. Ang bilis niyang nakuha ang loob ko. I am now very close to Porkchop. He has been with us for almost a year.”

A life with dogs... and cats, too

Ice shared that a life with dogs is a better life. He added that dogs really have a way of showing their love for humans.

“I know that love is big,” he quipped. “I have learned that not just because I lost a love, I am no longer capable of giving and receiving love. That is the kind of love that Porkchop continues to give to me.”

In 2022, Porkchop has been a big help in getting Ice through his down moments. Porkchop was there to comfort him and continues to support him to this day. He is an emotional support dog.

Yoko and Chibi

“I was depressed because of the loss of Porky and in life in general,” Ice shared. “Even before Porky passed I was going through things and it was a very big comfort that Porkchop was there.”

Another reason to celebrate came when Sharon Cuneta, who has known Ice for a long time, told Ice that she knew what it was like to have a dog pass. “She asked me to pick a dog and she would give it to me.” Ice wanted the puppy from Sharon to be a shared one between Liza and himself. “We both chose Belly the Maltipoo, a male dog.”

As I entered Ice’s home I was greeted by his furkids, Porkchop and Belly.

“We have two female dogs: Sugar, three years old (Aspin) and Boo, four years old (Pomeranian). Three male dogs: Porkchop, almost one (Pug), Belly (Maltipoo) and Bacon, six years old (Chow Chow), and three female Munchkin cats,” Ice shared. “Bacon is our dog companion who guards the house talaga. He is very protective of us. Sugar is the smartest dog. She is an Aspin. There was a time she left home but she was able to come back. Boo is like a top; she loves to spin.”

Health, love, and pets 

“I don’t say life is getting better,” Ice shared. “I just know that I have good and bad days. I have learned to embrace my good days and bad days like they are part of me. This is my life: when the days are good I celebrate them; if the bad days are here, they are here, but I know that there will be good days again. Life is really a roller-coaster ride.”

For now, Porkchop is his sleeping and eating buddy. He shared that they share a bed with Liza and Belly.

“I can’t imagine my life without pets. Pets bring about a different happiness. The added appeal, I guess, is that dogs don’t talk back; they just listen,” he added. Kasi diba if you are around humans you have to explain yourself. It’s nice to know that I have someone who is just there. Kahit anong sabihin ko, wala siyang choice kundi makinig sa iyo (laughs). I appreciate that because I can say the weirdest things or the most foolish things, but they will continue to look at you with a look that says I am the best person on the planet.”

Thinking aloud has helped Ice through all life has thrown his way, the good and bad — and he is happy that he can put it out there and not be judged for what he thinks. Ice believes that Porkchop understands him. 

“It is the epitome of unconditional love,” he mused. “There are times when I become busy with work and sometimes I take Porkchop for granted, but he never is bothered. He and his fur siblings are still sooo excited to see me and they show no trace ng sama ng loob na hindi mo sila napansin for a day. I know that I had a lot of lost time with Porky. I also believe that Porkchop is the soul of Porky now. I want to give him the best life because,” he paused... “Porkchop lives to give me the best life ever, no matter what.”