CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong
Saturday - August 15, 2009
First, allow me to salute our Editor-in-Chief Gus Villanueva for reviving this column; my long-time friend Managing Editor Ninoy Sofranes for his assistance and of course Sports Editor Ed Andaya for giving cockfighting the space.
Hot topic today within the cockfighting community is the announcement of the National Federation of Gamefowl Breeders that they will be building classrooms from the proceeds of the forthcoming 2009 Bakbakan 10-Stag National Derby. Cockers are proud of it and non-cockers were surprised by it.
Although the NFGB decision serves as a good example of the sabungero’s social involvement, I want you to know that the cockers’ generosity and charity have been practiced by individual cockers, associations or cockpits, in so many ways.
The internet-based Cyberfriends, since its founding almost ten years ago, have brought smiles, hope and good memories to the orphans, abandoned and special children and elderly people under the care of Hospicio de San Jose. The Cavite Cybercockers Club or C4 have been supporting an orphanage ran by nuns in the province. And the Del Monte Cockpit Arena with the help of their regular derby promoters has helped hundreds of students finish high school or college.
After the Pinatubo eruption which rendered countless of families homeless and with no means of livelihood, the Philippine Cockpit Association hosted a special 2-day 4-cock derby. It was at the Casa Marcos Restaurant in San Juan were the turnover of the check to then Olongapo Mayor Richard Gordon took place. The old San Juan Coliseum, operated by Atong Ang at the time, also staged a derby for the Pinatubo victims. Four truckloads of relief goods were delivered to Porac, Pampanga and other areas accompanied by a busload of kristo or bet-takers and cockpit vendors who assisted in the distribution.
The Filipino cockers have done so many good things other than just breeding and fighting roosters. It’s just unfortunate that rather than these highly commendable actions, it’s the five million peso bet of a government official or the three million pago of a boxing champ that gets printed or broadcasted.
This early, we congratulate the NFGB and we encouraged all those who will be fighting in the 2009 Bakbakan to put in a second, third or more entries. The more entries will mean more income for Bakbakan 2009 and of course more classrooms for our children.
BACOOR’S GAMEFOWL OFFICE
I was at Bacoor Municipal Hall in Cavite last Thursday and while waiting for the Public Information Officer to meet us, I noticed a sign that says GAMEFOWL OFFICE. Curios, I went to see what it meant and my guess was right, it was the office that oversees cockfighting operations in the municipality.
The clerk Ms. Lags Tortona let me in and the first thing I noticed were the Thunderbird Warbreed posters pasted on the wall which obviously were placed there to give the office a ‘sabong ambience’. Lags was apologetic that her boss Ms. Lazaro was out attending to official business, but she proudly informed me that their humble office have collected and have remitted to the municipal coffers around P700,000 in just four months from the two cockpits operating in Bacoor, namely Cavite Colseum and Talaba Cockpit.
“Naku Sir, ang laking tulong ng sabong. Kung alam lang ng mga tao, magpapasalamat sila sa mga sabunngero”, Lags told me.
In the book Cockfights : A Case Sudy, Scott Guggenheim, wrote about the income derived from cockfighting by the Spanish government during their reign of the country : “At a time when the net profit from the tobacco monopoly, the single most profitable enterprise in the entire Colony, set a record of 620,000 pesos, the annual profit from the Manila cockpit alone was between P20,000-P30,000…”
If sabong was bringing that much to the government during that time, how much more today when cockfighting is at its utmost popularity and acceptance.
Let’s just hope that other municipalities, cities and provinces will be as open as Bacoor and its good chief executive Mayor Strike Revilla in reporting how much cockfighting has helped the community.
CONGRATULATIONS to Rey Magbuhos (Buhangin entry) of Quezon for winning the championship of the P15.5 Rambulan 9-Cock Nationwide Deby. Rey a graduate of the TJT Cocking Academy and a certified Thundebird loyalist.