Tata Lichauco, PAWS President and Animal Champion, Passes Away

Maria Teresita Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco asked us to love and care for animals for 66 years.
IMAGE Facebook/ pawsphilippines

An angel has ascended to heaven. Maria Teresita Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco, president of The Philippine Animal Welfare Society or PAWS and advocate of doggos, cats, and more, passed away on October 11, 2020. The death of the 97-year-old, “the mother of animal welfare in the Philippines,” was announced on social media.


Kali, The World's Last Captive Tamaraw

Why are Fireflies Vanishing in the Philippines?

On Facebook, PAWS bid farewell to the instrumental figure who enlivened the organization, promising how they—pets, animals, and friends—will one day meet again “at the rainbow bridge.” See the full post below:

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our founder Maria Teresita Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco, fondly known as Tata to all who knew her.

Tata founded The Philippine Animal Welfare Society 66 years ago and is considered the mother of animal welfare in the Philippines. Countless rescued animals owe their lives to her and countless more are happy to meet her at the Rainbow Bridge as they cross over to a better forever.

We and the animals of PAWS love you and will miss you, Tata. Till we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.


Journalist Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan of CNN Philippines paid tribute to Tata as well, describing her as a second mom and an aunt, “whose memories… are so intertwined with my growing up years in our clan” via Instagram. Senator Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel also paid homage to her aunt, posting this quote on Facebook: “‘...all creatures great & small... the Lord God made them all.’ & Tata loved them. Love you, Tata.”

Recommended Videos

Tata was one of 10 children of Jose Hontiveros, a senator of the Philippines, and Vicenta Pardo. She was one of the first volunteers of PAWS and later reorganized the organization after its founder moved away from the country. In interviews with the Philippine Star, Nita said how she loves all animals, which she called her children. “Many people think it is strange, but I know that it is true,” she added.


Kali, The World's Last Captive Tamaraw

Why are Fireflies Vanishing in the Philippines?

Today, PAWS, a non-profit organization, continues Nita’s work of promoting the humane treatment of animals and adopting those who need a home.  



More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Esquire Philippines
View Other Articles From Esquire
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us