(This article appeared in the March 2009 Issue of Animal Scene Magazine - a publication of Manila Bulletin)
FINALLY, A NEW SABONG MOVIE
IN THE MAKING
After a long wait, a lover of cockfighting finally took the risk of producing a sabong movie hoping to bring the popularity of Philippine cockfighting to a new level.
It was in 1974 when the Warren Oates-starring movie The Cockfighter hit the limelight.
Written by Charles Willeford, it was a story about Frank Mansfield who wanted to win the Cockfighter of the Year medal so much. After being disqualified for the "Cockfighter of the Year" award because of excessive drinking and talking during a fight, Frank has taken a vow of silence and refuses to talk until he wins the medal. He makes a bet with old friend Jack to be settled at the upcoming meet. Frank puts his car and his trailer on the line; he loses. Jack gets the trailer, and Frank's part-time girlfriend who goes with it. Frank's long-time girlfriend Mary Elizabeth wants him to get serious and settle down. But Frank has to raise some money for a new cock - $500 - then he can form a partnership with fellow cocking friend Omar Baradansky and make another try for that medal.
Eight years after, in 1982, the
I was not aware about this movie until one lazy-nothing-to-do afternoon, coiled in my sofa and toying with the remote control, I chanced upon an old movie with Nora Aunor in it. I was about to press the button again when I noticed that the “superstar” was holding a rooster. I said to myself, “this one I have to watch”.
The sabungero angle was very obvious with a considerable amount of sabong vocabulary employed as well some handling and conditioning techniques. I am almost sure that it was in the old San Juan Coliseum where most of the matches took place which is just understandable because of its proximity to LVN Studios.
Unfortunately, the movie was more on the fantasy side with “Annie” being a poor urban lass, blessed with a talking rooster.
It took 27 years before the tapes rolled again for a new movie about cockfighting. Simply titled Sabungero, the movie which is now on its second month of filming is aptly produced by JC Bernardo – owner of www.sabong.net.ph , the most popular cockfighting website in the planet.
The movie is led by character actor Joel Torre supported by Mark Gil, Robert Arevalo and Maritoni Fernandez with Leo Martinez and child wonder Timothy Marc, including a cast of thousands of cockers, of course.
Information about Sabungero is at the moment hard to come by or being kept a secret for obvious reasons. What is encouraging though is that the said sabong movie is fully supported by Thunderbird Power Feeds and Thunderbird Power Vet – the undisputed leader in the gamefowl feeds and vetmed industry, so it must be good.
Co-Director Miguel Kaimo giving instructiions to child actor Timothy Mark (granson of Princess Naldo a.k.a. Princess Naldo). Or is it the other way around?
Co-Director Rozie Delgado
Leade actor Joel Torre looks an authentic sabungero in this photo.