Sunday, December 28, 2008




Animal Scene Magazine (November Issue)
KARAMBOLA by Rolando S. Luzong


I was invited to accompany him on his first trip to Bacolod City. When we landed in what is called “The City of Smiles”, I can almost hear his heartbeat. He was Romano Pedroche, my kumpadre who was a confessed cocker since childhood and I would readily admit that in my 19 years of writing about cockfighting is the most passionate cocker I’ve ever met.

“Pare, natupad na din ang pangarap ko na makarating ng Bacolod, ang paraiso ng mga sabungero”, he said, while we were climbing down the stairs from the plane. When our feet touched the ground, he started bending and jokingly told us, “I would like to kiss the ground”


During his elementary days in Malabon, he would frequent his neighbor’s place. The son of the Mayor of Malabon was a close friend and the Mayor’s family owns the local cockpit.

Every morning he would be awaken by hundreds of roosters who would crow all together in harmonic fashion. That was his signal to go and the handlers in feeding the roosters until its time for him to go to school. Even at school, “I would keep on thinking about the beauty of the roosters and was continuously telling my self that someday I would own and breed quality roosters.” Romano recalled.

Pedroche’s life as a teenager circled as an athlete. He was a basketball varsity player from elementary to college and a marathoner at the same time. From the beginning, Romano was a dreamer.

He got married with the former beauty queen of Sariaya, Quezon at a young age of 19 and was father at 20. The couple now have 3 children, all boys, who at first Romano wanted to name after some blood lines of roosters, but his wife vehemently opposed.

Romano’s stint as employee of Duty Free Phils. opened-up opportunities for him to pursue his dream. Thru his job, he was able to meet some of the country’s cockfighting personalities who helped him start his breeding career. The breeding stocks gifted by Cong. Ompong Plaza (who became a godfather to his son later) ; Dicky Lim and others set him off to his dream.

In 2000, Pedroche acquired a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He immediately flew to Australia to join his wife and start a new life for the family.


The distance was never a hindrance for Pedroche. His passion for the sport was so much that it actually became the inspiration and the strength to strive hard and succeed in Australia.

Despite the separation, he is constantly in touch with cockers in the Philippines and was fielding entries every now and then in derbies all over the country.
With the help of the late Joe Mojeno, he bankrolled a gamefowl farm in Negros. Mojeno was Don Ramon Lacson’s top man. When Mang Joe passed away, the son Leo became Romano’s partner.

When we reached the mountain of Lunao in Bago City, Pedroche was transformed into a young boy upon entering his gamefowl farm, the dream that he pursued from childhood has come into a reality and he was a child again. The 5-hectare farm is situated at 4000 ft. above sea level with about 300-400 battle ready stags and cocks on cord.

“My life as simple person was inspired by these roosters with their cunning attraction that for me is irreversible.” Romano quipped.

Before boarding his plane back to Australia, he called me over the phone to say that in due time, he will come back to the Philippines for good to enjoy the passion that like a wildfire is burning within him as he continue to face the challenges of life from Australia – the land from down under.


Animal Scene (April 2006 Issue)
KARAMBOLA by Rolando S. Luzong


Husband and wife Bernie & Belen Tacoy and their three children used to live inside a gamefowl barn. An attic of sort above their head composed of four slabs of plywood hanging from the nipa roof served as their bedroom. Bernie who earned his living then by being a cockfights handler and gaffer could hardly make ends meet. Until lady luck appeared to him and changed their lives to something they had never even dreamed of.


Bernie Tacoy has been into gamefowl breeding since he was a teenager, but it was not until five years ago when he hit the jackpot, in the same manner that Boy Primalion did. Primalion, as every Filipino cocker knows, is the breeder of the Zamboanga Whites – a strain of fightingcocks that dominated the competition for almost eight years during the 80s up to the early 90s.

Five years ago, a guy gifted Bernie’s uncle with a gold-colored hen. However, his uncle not being fond of off-colored gamebirds was not interested and did not bother to breed the hen and left the poor bird in a corner pen.

Tacoy probably saw something in the golden hen that he asked his uncle’s permission for him to breed it. His uncle agreed, so Bernie got a broodcock to pair with the gold hen. From then on, what followed was a strain of gamefowl that Tacoy has never imagined he will have. It was like hitting a gold mine.

Out of the first batch of fourteen roosters he was able to produce from the gold hen, 13 won. From then on, there was no turning back for Bernie. Convinced that he had chanced upon the elusive nick or cut that other breeders spend years looking for, Tacoy did what was necessary to preserve the strain that he discovered.

The strain that Bernie developed is so versatile that he is able to cross it with other bloodlines he would prefer, but the gold color and its fighting qualities are always retained coupled with the qualities that he wanted from the line he chose to infuse.

One of the fast rising stars in Philippine cockfighting as a promisng gamefowl breeder comes from Ormoc City. His name is Bernie Tacoy and if he continuously able to sustain his success, he may yet write the same story that the great Boy Primalion did with his Zamboanga Whites for the City of Zamboanga.

Nowadays, the Ormoc Gold strain of rooster that Tacoy mustered has been making waves in Leyte and neighboring provinces. The Midas touch that the Ormoc Gold brought to the Tacoy family has practically changed their lives.

The barn wherein Bernie and his wife Belen used to live is now a two storey concrete house with furniture, appliances and air-conditioners; the farm which they use to rent is now their own, not to mention the sugar cane and pineapple plantations they were able to acquire thru their sales and winnings form the Ormoc Golds.

Tacoy admits that the Ormoc Gold is God’s blessing, because the nick that other breeders takes years to find, that is if they are lucky enough to find it, was handed to him in a silver…or a golden platter.

I saw how the Ormoc Golds spar and I bet they are bound to write their own epic in the years to come. Watch out!


Animal Scene (November 2008)
KARAMBOLA by Rolando S. Luzong

Basic Stag Conditioning

We are currently in the thick of the 2008 stag season and this year’s P20M Bakbakan 10-Stag National Derby rages on with the championship set at the end of this month.

Cockfighters readily admit that it’s more challenging to condition stags (young roosters) for battle than the matured ones, because stags are generally unpredictable.

We have solicited the help of one of the country’s most celebrated gamefowl breeders and probably the most phenomenal stag fighter ever Sonny Lagon, who generously shared his stag conditioning secret.

Conditioning Guide and Basic Tips During Training
by Sonny Lagon (Blue Blade Farm)

1. Scratching

There are different materials used as scratch for light and heavy work outs. Banana leaves can be used for light scratching and corn husks for heavy scratching. Make sure that your fighting stags are hungry during scratching at the scratch box so you will get better results.

2. Light and Sound (Noise )

Make the fighting stags familiar with the lights by doing walking routine around the spar pit (rueda) and playing loud sounds on the radio to make them familiar with the noise during fight day or derby day.

3. Tailing ( kahig) and Breaking ( Salida)

Warm up your fighting stags by tailing (kahig) and walking, so that they will develop natural strength and improve their stamina by breaking ( salida). Hold tail of fighting stags and make them fly and hit each other by breaking on the air and down the ground. This helps develop their reflexes and good fighting skills.

4. Sparring (salpok)

Spar the fighting stags to roosters with different fighting styles and different colors like white , grey, black etc. in order for the fighting stag to be familiar with different color of feathers and for them to adopt versatile fighting styles. Sparring will help them learn and develop various fighting techniques and make them clever fighters.

5. Catch Cock

Using our own made catch cock ( made with jute sack, foam and used clothes ), we practice the stags to strike on air and on the ground before feeding in the morning and in the afternoon. By doing this, it will help your fighting stags develop endurance and stamina and they will learn to strike with their legs frontally, sideways and back as well as cutting across etc.

6. Rotation ( Tee-Pee , Flying Pen and Grass Pen)

Make your conditioning as natural as possible .


6 : 00 a.m. :

- all fighting stags are on their respective tee-pees. we do the “catch cock” training at the tee-pee by using our self-made catch cock material (you may used asil rooster as alternative catch cock because they can withstand the pain despite repetitive hits.)

7: 00 a.m. :

We feed fighting stag using a balance diet of 50% conditioning pellets (Thunderbird Platinum) and 50% grains with some additional vitamins and iron.

10:00 a.m. :

We transfer the fighting stags in flying pens. This will help them build strength and power in their wings.

2:00 p.m. :

From flying pens, we transfer them again to grass pens. We seldom put pellets along with them inside the grass pens to make them more mature , grass pen will make them relax.

4:00 p.m. :

From grass pens we put them back to tee-pees and resume catch-cock routine.

5:00 p.m. :

Feeding time

9:00 p.m. :

We bring them one by one to the spar pit (rueda) for light & sound familiarization. By using a teaser rooster, we train them to be alert all the time. After a light workout by walking around the pit, do a “ kahig “ or do a “ salida “ and allow them two buckles while holding on to their tails. After this, wash their feet and faces and place them again at their teepees for them to have enough rest and be ready for the next morning work-out again.

Important Reminders :

• Make sure to deworm again your fighting stags (12) twelve days before the fight.
• Delouse at least (4) four days before the fight.
• Stop all vitamins (5) five days before the fight.













THUNDERBIRD & NFGB : Partners for Bakbakan and for Philippine Cockfighting

Stronger than ever, the proven tandem of Thunderbird and the National Federation of Gamefowl Breeders through the years have brought about an alliance that enabled Philippine cockfighting and the industry of gamefowl breeding to grow by leaps and bounds.

Powered by a common goal of developing, promoting and uplifting sabong as the Philippines’ national sport and rooster-raising as the multi-billion peso industry that that it is today, Thunderbird and NFGB has time and again worked together for the success of Bakbakan – the best thing that ever happened to the Sport.

Now on its eighth year, Bakbakan, in record-breaking fashion, has provided the rewards, the recognition, the prestige and the grandeur that befit the dedication, patience and resiliency of a true-blooded gamefowl breeder.

The mission to ensure Bakbakan’s success each year has undoubtedly cemented the Thunderbird-NFGB partnership - continuously nurtured by their mutual mission and vision for Philippine cockfighting.

Thunderbird – with its commitment to keep the gamefowl industry healthy and the National Federation of Gamefowl Breeders – keeping its role as “the proverbial hen that incubated the golden eggs” with the increasing number of provincial and regional breeders’ organizations formed all over the country, will forever be not only partners for Bakbakan, but also for Philippine cockfighting.

THUNDERBIRD – Keeping the Gamefowl Industry Healthy

Almost twenty years ago, Thunderbird set itself on a course never been traveled by any other company.

Propelled by a vision of a promising gamefowl industry that’s waiting to be developed and armed with a sabungero’s dedication to his rooster and his burning passion to win, Thunderbird pursued the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

With a strong faith in its mission, Thunderbird generously provided back to Philippine cockfighting and the local gamefowl breeding sector the technology, training and inspiration to grow.

Through Thunderbird’s bold marketing campaigns, the sabungero was prouder and his determination to excel, greater. Moreover, the enormous motivation brought about sustained monumental growth in the Sport and Industry leading to how they are today.

The question of which came first, the hen or the egg, may be left unanswered, but, Thunderbird will always be the company built by the industry that it proudly nourished and it vows to keep healthy.


In 1992, Thunderbird accorded due recognition to his gamefowl breeding expertise and his superiority in training and conditioning fightingcocks by featuring him in the company’s first classic calendar, along with the legendary Boy Primalion, who gave us the Zamboanga Whites; the phenomenal Cito Alberto, who recently, reemerged to claim his second World Slasher Cup and the late great cocker, Speaker Ramon V. Mitra.

Today, Thunderbird enjoins all the Pinoy sabungero nationwide and around the world in honoring Richard Lee Bates for his invaluable contributions to Philippine cockfighting.

Richard passed away last November 10, but his legacy as a true-blooded cockfighter and gamefowl breeder will live forever.

Aranez & Campos Bags PCAP Cocker of the Year Title

Thunderbird’s Arañez & Campos Bag
PCAP Breeder of the Year Title

Thunderbird Winning Team members Edwin Arañez & Raffy Campos filed up an unmatched score of 25 points to land at the top of a field composed of who’s who in Philippine cockfighting and be crowned the 2008 Stagfighter of the Year of the Pilipino Cockers Association of the Philippines.

Based in Makati Coliseum, PCAP has a star-studded line-up that includes Lito Orillaza, Rudy Albano, Vice Mayor Nestor Mercado, Rey Briones, Madlambayan Brothers, Jet Fernando, Biboy Enriquez, Pol Estrellado and Atty. Rudy Salud among others.

Arañez & Campos are the proud owner of RED Game Farm which means Raffy, Edwin and his late father Dave.

The duo’s entry Jade Resort RED, in partnership with Arman Santos, fielded RED Game Farm’s latest battle-crosses of Sweaters, Kelsos and Gilmores, boosted by the witty Red Whitehackles sourced from the late Steve Sturm of Oklahoma.

Jade Resort RED posted an impressive 72 winning percentage in the grueling stag war spread over a seven 5-stag derby series.

The prestigious title comes after a string of victories that includes the following : Oct. 2008 - Binan Coliseum 5-Stag Derby champion; June 2008 Naujan Cokpit (Mindoro) P2.3M 5-Cock Derby champion; May 208 -World Slasher Cup runner-up finisher; Sept. 2008 - Pasay Cockpit 5-Stag Derby solo champion.

“There were great improvements since we shifted to Thunderbird. Our record tells it all”, Arañez & Campos chorused.

RED Farm is highly regarded as a good source of breeding materials proven by the testimonies of many successful rooster-raisers like John Daguio - former Breeder of the Year of Luzon Gamecock Breeders Ass’n and Pao Malvar – reigning solo champion of Heritage Cup 7-Bullstag Derby.