Ubër cuteness. Those were the two words that came to mind when I saw Spongecola’s music video for their latest single, “Labis-labis.”
The video shows two dogs, Alex and Jamie, falling in love and going on dates. Alex is a tiny little poodle, while Jamie is a stray aspin with a tragic past. Together, the doggos overcome adversity and trauma, and Jamie ultimately gets adopted by Alex’s owner. The end shows them living an idyllic life together with their fur parent, with clips of them sleeping together and playing in the yard. It gave me major “Lady and the Tramp” vibes, ngl.
Highlights of the MV include: Alex and Jamie messaging each other on Facebook (Alex has a laptop, Jamie has a phone, don’t ask); the dogs listening to music while sharing a single pair of headphones (so romantic!); and the lovers enjoying a candlelight dinner.
The stars are Tagalog (Jamie) and Hero (Alex), owned by Aldo Vidal, a 63-year-old who has been a dog trainer for 26 years. The music video’s director, Robin Estargo, says in a statement about the doggos: “We definitely made the right decision in casting [his] dogs because they are not just a joy to work with and Sir Aldo, as their owner, has also been so accommodating and giving during the shoot… He worked hard to make sure we got the takes we wanted and exuded that positive and endearing dad vibes that we all loved.”
While looking for the dogs, Estargo had this casting criteria in mind: “Number one most definitely is that they have to be trained dogs that can do a few or even more tricks… Second, they have to be smaller in size so they’d be easier to handle on set. And third, the dogs should be familiar with each other offhand—and much better if they have the same trainer or owner, so we won’t have a problem on set as these dogs work with each other. We were looking for one aspin and one with a certain breed.” It looks like Tagalog and Hero passed all the marks.
Estargo also notes that he knew coming in that working with dogs would be hard. “Working with one dog can be quite draining, so what more two? It’s like working with toddlers! We have to adjust to their moods all the time and treat them with utmost patience.”
Spongecola vocalist and guitarist Yael Yuzon commented, “It’s always nice to work with people who are passionate about their work. The belief in the love story between the two dogs was intense from the very start, and it was contagious and inspiring.”
He and guitarist Armo Armovit also shared that the music video’s romcom storyline was a tribute to their own pets. “We all have pets and love them very dearly, and this is our way of saying thanks,” said Armovit. Yuzon added, “My dogs have been taking care of me. It makes sense to pay tribute to Mini Me and Finny Finn Finn.”
Photo screengrabbed from the “Labis-labis” music video