ROLANDO LUZONG - MARCH 2008
JOHNNY JALANDONI : CANDELARIA KING
For many gamefowl breeders and cockers, winning the Annual Candelaria Derby in Iloilo has been a lifelong dream. The event which is held every last week of January or first week of February is regarded to be in the same level as the World Slasher Cup when it comes to grandeur, toughness of competition, prestige and the list of cocking personalities from here and abroad that take part in it.
While, it is almost highly improbable from some to win a Candelaria championship trophy, Johnny Jalandoni did it twice.
It was in 2001 when Jalandoni grabbed his first Candelaria sharing it with thre other top scorers. Then, after just seven years, he did it again, this time in solo fashion.
The last Candelaria 7-Cock Derby registered 168 entries, the biggest ever which makes Johnny’s victory doubly significant.
The repeat triumph would not be possible without the contribution of Lando Layson and the lucky charm of Layson’s friend Heidi from whom their winning entry name Panga was dedicated.
Panga virtually passed through the eye of a needle with the tough opponents it was matched with, on its way to making cockfighting history.
The first match was against Mario Siochi, the second versus Pol Dominguez, while in the other fights his birds were pitted to the roosters of Gov. Joel Reyes of Palawan, Dr. Orduyo and Boy Ledesma.
Johnny’s Lemon, Kelso, Hatch, Roudhead and Butcher lines are proven in producing the winning crosses that have brought him numerous championships such as his solo conquest of the Panay Gamefowl Breeders Association’s 7-Stag Derby some 4 or 5 years ago.
In his first fight, he fought a Grey cock, while in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th he fielded full brothers, the cousins of them in the remaining matches.
FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY
“Of course I would like to think my uncle Nonoy Jalandoni who set me off to breeding at the start and Gov. D. O. Plaza who generously provided me breeding stocks after he notice that I have to infuse new lines to make my birds taller”, Johnny revealed.
“Saito (Japanese Ryoichi Saito) was for a long time a good friend and a loyal customer, while Jun Santiago have always helped him every time he would fight in Manila and has given him ample exposure in Metro Manila pits.
SIMPLE AND MODEST
Despite the victories, Johnny has remained modest and down-to-earth. He credits his farm manager Felipe, who has loyally stayed in his farm in Bgy. Tuburan, Bago City for the past 34 years and helped him raised the fine roosters that have given satisfaction to his customers.
“I would like to win a World Slasher Cup, but, maybe it had to wait because my priority now is to defend my Candelaria title”, Johnny announced.
NOTE : Johnny almost did it again last January 2009, but fell just a half point short of winning his third Candelaria.