CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong
Peoples Tonight (August 21, 2009)
WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD…
“Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread”, as a popular old song
goes. The line may well describe Alyansa Sabungero leader Nid Anima
and what he has done, at least through the eyes of some political and
Let’s examine some of them and what they have to say :
“Hindi naman sila marginalized dahil sila may hawak ng pera [They
are not marginalized because they hold money],” - Comelec Chairman Joe
“I don’t think they are marginalized” - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (laughs)
“Kasi kung bababuyin na rin nila (sabungero) ang party-list,
tuluyan na nating bastusin. Ang pinag-uusapan sa party-list ‘di lang
margina¬lized kundi sectoral representation” – Sen. Ping Lacson.
“Kapag sila ay naaprubahan, ako naman ang magtatayo ng alyansa ng
mga manok-panabong” – Archbishop Cruz (laughs)
“Agrabyado din naman ang mga sabungero. Karapatan nila itong
mag-apply, nasa Comelec naman kung tatanggapin nila ito. Marahil meron
din silang gustong mga ireklamo, isyu na gusto nilang isulong, itong
kanilang pagkaka-agrabyado sa Max's, sa KFC at sa Jollibee” – Sen. Mar
If these politicians are trying to advance their political
interests, they should be wise enough not to ridicule or antagonized
the sabungeros. Well, at least, one of them is more broad-minded or
“Dapat irespeto ang karapatan ng bawat organisasyong
nagpapakila¬lang party-list group at nasa kamay ng Comelec kung sino
ang karapat-dapat kilalanin at dapat lamang ibatay sa kuwalipikasyong
itinatakda ng komisyon ang pag-apruba sa mga application.” – Sen. Chiz
Escudero. Of course, it can not be denied that Escudero belongs to the
Nationalist Peoples Coalition with certified sabungero Danding
Cojuangco as their leader.
In the last national registration done by the Gamefowl Division of
the Games & Amusement Board in 1993, around 2,000 cockpits registered.
However, with the immense popularity and acceptance gained by sabong
over the past 16 years, it can easily be assumed a growth of at least
10 percent in the number of cockpits nationwide.
Each cockpit employs or is a source of income for an average of
30 cockpit staff; 3 sentenciadors; 50 vendors (inside & outside the
cockpit); 50 kristos (bet takers); 20 gaffers (mananari) and 3 cock
doctors (manggagamot) for a total of 156 income earners per cockpit or
a total of 343,000 breadwinners nationwide.
In addition, there is an average ratio of four poultry supply stores
per cockpit catering to sabong as their major business. Each one
employs at least 4 employees. 2,200 x 4 x 4 = 35,200 more
There are more than 20 big companies engaged in the production,
marketing and distribution of gamefowl feeds, feed supplement,
vitamins, medication, vaccines, etc. employing an average of 200
employees each from the plant to the wholesalers. 20 x 100 = 4,000
There are a lot of small allied businesses producing gaffs, boxes,
incubators, gloves, carrying cases, folding pens, feeding cups, cords
etc. that can add up to 1,000 nationwide that employs at least 3
persons each. 3 x 1,000 = 3,000 more breadwinners.
There are about 4,000 breeders belonging to the 29-member
organizations under the National Federation of Gamefowl Breeders and
the United Gamecock Breeders Federation which has 12-member
associations. These large and medium scale farms employ an average of
5 farmhands each. 4,000 x 5 = 20,000 more breadwinners.
There is easily an average of 20 cockers or breeders with small
backyard farms for every cockpit with 10-20 heads of roosters each on
a per cockpit ratio with the owner as employee. 20 x 2,200 = 44,000
All of these total to a sector of almost half a million breadwinners.
And how about the sabungeros themselves who can add up to another 2
Election is getting nearer. If some politicians think ridiculing the
sabungeros will make them win, they better think again, especially
presidential hopeful Sen. Mar Roxas who is a nephew of highly
respected sabungero Jorge “Nene” Araneta – the host of the World
It doesn’t matter if some politicians think Nid Anima is a fool,
because to many sabungero he is their Don Quixote…marching into hell
for a heavenly cause.