Saturday, September 26, 2009

What’s wrong with animal rights

What’s wrong with animal rights

Clyde’s face was covered with tears as he watched the neighborhood gardener digging a small hole in their backyard. The boy was gently cradling in his hands his pet hamster , Lilpigmy, which unexpectedly died.

"It's okay, Clyde," his father comforted him. "We'll buy you another one."

"But Lilpigmy was really cute ‘n' smat [SOB, SOB, SNIFFLE]. I don't shink [SNIFF] we'll find anosher one like him," he said having difficulty talking without his newly pulled out front teeth.

"Don't worry," I said, "you can always train a new one to behave like Lilpigmy." I was amused to learn later that the name was short for 'My Little Pig.'

"You can now put him in the hole," the gardener said. Clyde slowly lowered the rodent and said, "Don't coveh it till aftuh I close my eyes."

He gave it a long last look and then covered his eyes with his small hands. The gardener couldn't help but smile at this child's simplicity. With one sweep of his huge palm, the animal disappeared beneath the ground.

* * *

All of us, at one time or another, have gone through Clyde's experience of having to part ways with a beloved pet dog, cat or goldfish. I also recall how teary-eyed I was as I slowly dug a “grave” for my two pet dachshunds that unexpectedly succumbed to heartworm. I solemnly marked the grim spot with flowers and a decent piece of cardboard with their names on it.

Today, however, some people are treating animals in a rather special way. They claim that animals have "rights" like people and therefore must be protected and respected even to the extreme that livestock and poultry should not be killed for man's basic consumption.

But do animals have rights at all? If ever, to what extent can we understand such “rights”? Are they the same as the rights we humans have?

Fr. Joseph de Torre, in his book on Christian Philosophy, says that the ultimate basis of rights is not subjective, that is, originating from the person himself. Neither are they based on an obligation towards him.

Rights are founded on an external good or end which is given to the person as a gift. And our true good and perfection consists in reaching the end intended for us by God's Fatherly design. Thus, our rights are only rights insofar as they are oriented towards this right end or good.

Moreover, he emphasizes that the "most important thing to note is that every right is a right to something good, since right is based on duty, duty is based on need, and need is ordained to the good or perfection of being. This excludes the so-called ‘right to die’ of euthanasia or suicide. And no one has the ‘obligation’ to do anything bad."

De Torre thus concludes: "Every human being has certain natural rights emanating from his due ordination to the good. No one can remove them from him or her (‘inalienable’), and he or she has them from the very moment of his or her conception (i.e. the right to life, to education, to use the means to reach God, to choose one's state in life, to work, to possess material goods, to reputation, to associate oneself with others, to be told the truth, etc)" (Joseph M. de Torre, Christian Philosophy, Vera-Reyes Inc., p. 265).

On this same idea, Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection.... Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 339).

God made man the administrator of creation. Because man is the only creature who has the God-given gifts of intellect and will which allow him to perceive something higher than his material existence. He is to "subdue created things" not in the sense of abusing and exhausting them, but to respect their natural states of perfection to serve God and other men” (cf. Catechism, no. 377).

This natural state of good is the right that the rest of creatures possess. Man cannot change this condition, but he can raise a creature's natural state to an even higher form. A tree, for example, that is used to make furniture or a house or when animals are reasonably used for experimentation allows these creatures to give more glory to God and good for man.

Therefore, to clamor for "rights" that are not within the confines of the divinely instituted perfections of creatures would only be a disorder on the part of man. This occurs when he makes use of means (e.g. protesting by posing naked in public) that only strips the person of his own inviolable natural human rights (i.e. intimacy, privacy and personal integrity).

The ends never justify means that are only degrading of man's sacred identity as God's most valued creature. What is worse is that such unreasonable “signs of protests” make the person less than the very creatures he claims to protect when he lowers himself to a point that even animals cannot themselves achieve, that is, to go against what God preordained them for. Sadly, only man can turn against his own dignity and integrity.

* * *

Back at the house, I asked Clyde's father, "So Ed, how did you say the hamster died?"

"Oh, Father, it's quite simple. Clyde overfed the little rodent!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



Alyansa Sabungero

St. Peter could have tagged along with Alyansa Sabungero the day it filed for party list accreditation recently at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)—and his presence wouldn't stop doubters from bitching. What the cock are they crowing about? Well, political pundits belittle the political organization's motive for one, declaring even that the group's just out to make a mockery of the party-list system. Foul! So says Nid Anima of the Alyansa Sabungero when he, together with ally Rolando Luzong of Bantay Sabong, sits down with recently for one old-fashioned grilling...

What is Alyansa Sabungero?
Nid Anima:
Alyansa Sabungero is a party list organization that seeks to help the marginalized components of sabong—the kristo, mananari, sentenciador, the cock surgeon, the magbabalihibo ng manok the backyard game cock breeders. They earn very little, sometimes they earn nothing. The public only see the moneyed people in sabong like the Aranetas and the Cojuangcos. We're getting a lot of heat when we registered for party list accreditation. I'm very angry that some political figures have made a mockery of Alyansa Sabungero.

Why do you think Alyansa Sabungero qualifies as a party list rep?
The fact that it is fighting for the marginalized components of sabong, that's all. I don't have to be a basurero to fight for the rights of the basurero. You need to have intelligence to be able to formulate laws for the marginalized.

How long have you been planning this?
I have been waiting for someone to put up a party list for sabungeros since the introduction of the party list system in Congress. I didn't want to do it myself at first. But I told myself that if no group would establish one after the 2007 elections, I'd organize one myself in time for the next election.

And how is Bantay Sabong connected to Alyansa Sabungero?
Rolando Luzong:
Nid and I have been friends for a long time. Bantay Sabong guards the sport of sabong against campaigns being done by animal rights activist here like PETA and the Humane Society. PETA is very active now. They rally everywhere. At first, we were just observiing them. But when they did a demonstration in front of the Araneta Coliseum while the World Slasher Cup in 2008 was being held, that was when we finally understood they were out to stop sabong.

So I organized Bantay Sabong in 2008 to protect, defend, promote and preserve sabong and oppose groups that depict sabungeros as cruel people. Bantay Sabong is the social movement, while Alyansa is political. Bantay Sabong backs Alyansa Sabungero.

What is the common agenda of these groups?
Bantay Sabong and Alyansa Sabungero essentially fight for the same thing: Promote the continuation of sabong and protect the marginalzied sector of sabong There are easily a million breadwinners that rely on sabong and we want to protect their livelihood. In addition to the kristos, the sentenciadors, there are thousands of farm hands that rely on sabong.

What's your take on animal cruelty?
You cannot classify cockfighting as animal cruelty because it's the roosters' instinct to fight each other. The chickens we eat have it worse. Do people know how the chickens we eat are butchered? Inaangat yan sabay-sabay, gigilitan sila, tapos habang buhay pa, ilulubog yan sa kumukulong tubig. Our roosters live like kings. They travel in air-conditioned vehicles. Game fowl feeds are even more expensive than rice. Kung hindi namin sila inaalagaan, kung anu-ano na lang ang kakainin nila. We provide them with the best. And what better way is there to die than having the chance to defend yourself?

Nid: Walang pakialam ang mga manok sa relasyon. Mag-ama o magkapatid man sila, mag-aaway yan. But the death of the rooster in sabong is clinical. It doesn't go through suffering. Left to themselves, the roosters fight because they love and enjoy fighting.

Are you really out to make a mockery of the party-list system?
There is nothing wrong about our filing for accreditation because it is a legitimate right given by the party-list law. That's a lot of bull saying that the entry of Alyansa will only bastardize the party-list system.

Rolando: Sabong is really just misunderstood. Akala nila pag sabungero, sugarol na agad, which is not the case. Some people say that we should have named ourselves as Alyansa ng mga Nagtatrabaho sa mga Sabungan. Pero do you think we will generate the same media attention kung yun ang ginamit namin? Of course not. It sounds more acceptable, true, but that is hiding your true identity. If we are ashamed of ourselves, then how can we promote sabong well? Some politicians may think that Nid is a fool, but to many sabungeros, he is the Don Quixote of sabong. He'll march into hell for a heavenly cause.

Aside from helping the marginalized sector of sabong, what are Alyansa Sabungero's other major goals?
Once Alyansa gets the nod and gets into Congress, we want to pass a law that will declare sabong as a cultural heritage. This will give sabong the solid protection it needs from being abolished in the future by any other law or executive order. That's the protection we want because we don't want to end up like the American cockers who just let PETA and the Humane Society outlaw cockfighting. Ayaw namin magtulug-tulugan. In this age of information, those organizations can hasten the abolition of sabong here faster than they did in America. What they're doing now is sowing misinformation in the minds of the youth that cockers are cruel and that cockfighting is bad. What's bad is the gambling part.

But gambling is inherent to cockfighting.
Gambling to cockfighting is just like bagoong to manggang hilaw. They go together, but we want to differentiate between a cocker and a gambler. Ang sugarol doesn't need to breed roosters to gamble. A true cocker takes care of his rooster, gives everything to make it healthy, and prepares the rooster for the fight. A cocker must not be miscontrued that he's cruel. The rooster is just an extension of the cocker. Humans are competitive. So imbis na mga tao ang nakikipaglaban, yung mga rooster ang pinapanood nilang mag-compete. Bakit sa mga Universal Fighting Championships, nagkakaduguan din, tao pa yun?

How do you propose to make society see your industry in a more positive light?
By explaining to them what sabong is all about. Right now, there's a movie about sabong called Ang Sabungero, that's coming out soon. Watch it, and you'll be educated about sabong.
Rolando: The bad perception about sabong started in the American regime. The Americans did everything to get the Filipinos away from sabong. They introduced baseball. They came up with textbooks that depict sabong in a bad way. Kaya diyan namumulat ang mga tao ngayon.Pero bakit ang mga casino, sponsored pa talaga ng government. Yan talaga gambling. Sabong is one of the biggest employers in the country, but it doesn't receive any support from the government.

Do you think Alyansa Sabungero will get accredited in the end?
We leave it up to the Lord.
Nid: My fingers are crossed. Naturally, we're very hopeful. I'm a chronic optimist.

Sunday, September 20, 2009



CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (September 19, 2009)

Beautiful things are happening on the cockfight front, thanks to the party list Alyansa Sabungero.

Sabungeros are generally politically passive. They are indifferent towards the events happening around them. All they (the marginalized ones, at least) care about has to be their petty livelihood, for the kristo busting his vocal chords hawking for bets, for the mananari installing the tari blade on the rooster’s left leg, for the sentenciador overseeing a feathered duel and rendering verdict on its outcome, for the manggagamot (chicken surgeon) administering treatment to a wounded feathered combatant, for the magbabalahibo ng manok dressing the vanquished birds, such chores and more.

The entry of the Alyansa Sabungero into the party list has changed all that. For the first time ever, a radical change in the sabungero with the respect to his indifferent attitude is quite noticeable. The sabungero has become agitated and has taken to mobilization as with the military conscription, connecting with counterparts – fellow sabungeros – from places other than their very own. And not just from nearby either, as witness this particular one based in Laguna texting his cousin in Mindanao, a scenario repeated countless times. It is really next to impossible to keep track.

So much flak has been heaped upon Alyansa Sabungero. The flak is spread all over media – print, radio and tv what have you, including word of mouth, in cafes, barbershops and other watering places. It poured most heavily upon the person of its founder, Nid Anima, like on-rushing waters from a broken dam. Really terrific.

Para bang ako na ang nagdala ng kasaman sa mundo: he says. (It is though I have brought all the evil into the world)

A man made of lesser fiber would, at best, have suffered a nervous breakdown; at worst, get confined in a sanitarium. Such constrained Nid Anima into the passing – errant – thought : Ano ba itong napasukan ko? (What have I gotten into?)

Anima has himself to thank for being a strong character. The welter of criticisms thrown his way made no dent on him, albeit steeled him into a fighting stance ala Manny Pacquiao.

All the flak thrown his way has had an inverse effect on him. They are sort of an energizer, vitamins. It gave him more energy and added strength.

“Naging scapegoat ako. Para bang ako na ang nag-imbento ng sabong. Nandiyan na yan panahon pa ni Kupong-kupong. Bakit ako pinabubuntunan ng sisi? The entourage of Ferdinand Magellan witnessed it on landing on Philippine soil. It is pastime and culture to the local masses”, Anima stated.

Per figures volunteered by the PCIJ (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism) , sabungeros all over the country number from 8-10 million souls. It has to be a correct figure, nothing bloated or extrapolated as some entities do, if the independent mindedness of the PCIJ were to be considered. Not even the President of the Philippines could dictate on this group.

The potential of such enormous figure for political influence is not lost on the Alyansa Sabungero, the reason behind its founder’s mind to really unite in the coming elections just to find out to what extent it could go in the matter of installing members in the highest councils of state.

The late Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. envisioned placing a sabungero in Malacañang in the elections of 1992, himself. But failed – and the reason has to be the oversight on his part in failing to organize the sabungero into a cohesive and unified group or unit, something the Alyansa Sabungero promises to correct. Hopefully for the good of all and sundry, it succeeds.

The sabungero has been vey much a part of the social and cultural life of the nation, but not the political life of the Filipino. Far from it. The right of suffrage seems to be the only political activity he exercises, otherwise he has been excluded from all others complementary. He seemingly has not awakened from the stupor.

The advent of the Alyansa Sabungero has opened his eyes to such faux pas. He is finally awakening to his shortcomings and paucities. He now realizes the things he ought (to) have done, but did not.

“Yet all is not lost,” Anima says in appeasement, and continues : “There is enough time to put things in place, in order.”.

When they shall have had, that would be the day.

The forebodings has it that Alyansa Sabungero is in for further transformation, evolution. From party list, the signs seem to be it might just evolve into a mainstream political party. Even as it retains its party list status, nothing can prevent it from annexing an allied name to be tentatively known as Partido Sabungero.

The 3-million Iglesia (ni Kristo) votes decided elections in the past. Whom it swings its vote always emerged victorious and all because it voted as one man, as one mind.

If the sabungeros would follow suit and vote as one man, one mind, with a number triple that of the Iglesia, its clout would be beyond gainsaying. The Alayansa Sabungero evolving and/or annexing a second title in the Partido Sabungero would then be able to realize Monching Mitra’s dream of putting a sabungero in Malacañang.

ERRATUM : It was announced in this column that the finals of the first leg of RGBA’s 17-Stag Circuit is on September 24. It should be that on Sept. 24 is the 2nd 2-stag semis (the 1st was lat Thursday) and the 3-stag finals is on Oct. 1 all at Pasig Square Garden.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Sabungeros' clash at Comelec

'Sabungeros' clash at Comelec

By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) Updated September 19, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines - Two groups of cockfighting aficionados have elevated their rivalry to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after one of them opposed the other’s petition for accreditation and registration as a party-list organization to join the 2010 polls.

In an urgent petition, the Alyansa ng Sabungero, founded by a certain Nid Anima, asked the Comelec to deny the application of the Adhikain ng Magmamanok whose president is Compostella Valley congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora.

Alyansa had also sought to be accredited and registered by the Comelec, claiming that it represents the marginalized sector of cockfighting workers like the kristo (bet taker), mananari (blade man), sentenciador (judge), casador (the one who evens the bets), largador (pitter), handler, utility people, small-time asentista, takilyero (the man at the cockpit entrance), chicken doctor and magbabalahibo ng manok (featherman), among others.

In the two-page petition, Anima said that Adhikain was established by Zamora who is already serving his third term as congressman, thus he is no longer allowed to run for district representation in next year’s election.

The petitioner added that the election law “is explicit about the tenure of a congressman, which is just three terms or one election and two re-elections or in total, nine years.”

“No member of the House of Representatives shall serve more than three consecutive terms. Granting arguendo, but without necessarily conceding that Adhikain ng Magmamanok gets accredited cum registered by the Comelec and Rep. Manuel Zamora as first nominee of the same party list gets elected, it would be an exercise in futility for both the Comelec and Rep. Manuel Zamora since such assumed election invariably defeats the letter and spirit of the law over which the same parties are not above,” the petitioner said.

Anima added that in trying to get Adhikain accredited and registered, Zamora “probably caters to the notion that party-list provides him a convenient avenue to circumvent the law.”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Basic Stag Conditioning

CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (September 16, 2009)

Basic Stag Conditioning

We are currently in the thick of the 2009 stag season as provincial and regional breeders’ associations stage their annual stag events and as we approach the start of the biggest stagwars in Philippine history - the P30M Bakbakan 10-Stag National Derby and the P35M Rambulan 9-Stag Derby.

Cockfighters readily admit that it’s more challenging to condition stags (young roosters) for battle than the matured ones (cocks), 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 Thunderbird’s top endorser 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)


Day 1 - Deworm with Thunderbird Strongard (1 tablet/stag)

Day 2 - Delouse with Thunderbird Pusham

Day 3 - Inject Thunderbird Bexan XP (0.5cc)

Day 4 to 6 - 15 min. Scratch (4am)/ catch cock, kahig, salida/Flypen (9am-3pm)

Day 5 - Thunderbird Ganador Max (1 tablet/stag)

Day 7- Sparring (3pm)

Day 8 - Delouse with Thunderbird Pusham

Day 9 - Inject Thunderbird Bexan XP (0.5cc)

Day 10 to 13 - 15 min. Scratch (4am)/ catch cock, kahig, salida/ Flypen (9am-3pm)

Day 12 - Thunderbird Ganador Max (1 tablet/stag)

Day 14 - Sparring (4am)

Day 15 - Delouse with Thunderbird Pusham

Day 16 - Thunderbird Ganador Max (1 tablet/stag)

Day 16 to17 - Palakad (4am); Kahig, Salida

Day 18 - Sparring (4am); inject Bexan XP (4am)

Day 19 to 20 - Keeping: Carboloading

Day 21 - Day of fight


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. : 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. : Transfer the fighting stags to flying pens. This will help them build strength and power in their wings.

2:00 p.m. : From flying pens, transfer them again to grass pens. We sometimes put pullets 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.


CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (September 12, 2009)


(The Cockfighter : Grit & Steel)

With the big ripple created by the filing for accreditation by Alyansa Sabuungero as a party list, it is but timely that a movie entitled Sabungero : Dangal at Tibay (The Cockfighter : Grit & Steel) will have its premier showing on September 27 at SM Megamall (3pm) and Gateway Mall (7pm) , with Thunderbird Bexan XP as exclusive sponsor.

Then on September 29, Tuesday at 3:00 p.m., a simultaneous nationwide premie,r also sponsored by Thunderbird gets going in SM Quezon, SM Lipa, SM Pampanga, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM Cebu, SM Davao and SM Cagayan de Oro.

150 tickets per area will be given out by Thunderbird for free, to anyone who buys P200.00 worth of Thunderbird Power Vet products.

“First-come, first-serve until the ticket allocation lasts”, Thunderbird Power Vet Product Manager Albert Uy said.

“Sabungero : Dangal At Tibay” (The Cockfighter : Grit and Steel”) is an independent Filipino movie produced by Rooster Content Online - creators of the most popular cockfighting website on the internet

The movie revolves around “sabong“ or cockfighting, a very popular traditional game in the Philippines that involves the breeding, training and fighting of roosters.

Directed by Miguel Kaimo and Rozie Delgado, Sabungero features a stellar cast of multi-award winning actors lead by Joel Torre, Robert Arevalo, Leo Martinez, Ricky Davao, Maritoni Fernandez, Nonie Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Edwin Nombre, Lesley Martinez, child actor Timothy Mark and a solid supporting cast of thousands of “sabungeros” or cockfighters.

“ ‘Sabungero’ sheds light on the country’s often-misunderstood cockfighting subculture” – Tony Ty of Rouge Magazine.

Direk Rozie says it was the film’s producer, JC Bernardo, who had the idea of making a movie about cockfighting. “He is also a sabungero, and he realized that there are a lot of misconceptions about sabong,” she says.

As part of her pre-production research, Direk Rozie says she visited “countless” cockfighting arenas and farms and met with many sabungeros who introduced her to various breeds of fighting cocks. “I was surprised,” she says, “by the whole culture of sabong – the lifestyle of sabungeros, their lingo, and their passion for the sport.”

Sabungero is the first full-length film by Direk Rozie, whose previous works have been shorts and music videos. Co-director Miguel Kaimo and screenwriter Luz Inociain are likewise first-timers.

Claro Cortez IV (grandson of Don Claro Cortez – owner of the former Parañaque Cockpit Stadium which is now Roligon Mega Cockpit), a photo-journalists for the Associated Press reported that the number of gamecocks fought - and killed - each year in the country is estimated to range from 7 million to 13 million.

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), reveals that there are about 8 to 10 million registered cockfighters in the country, or roughly 10 percent of the total population, resulting in a P50-billion industry


After a long wait, a true lover of cockfighting like JC Bernardo finally took the risk of producing a sabong movie hoping to make the public aware of what a sabungero is.

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.

Eight years after, in 1982, the Philippines through multi-awarded film director Pablo Santiago – father of singer-tv host Randy Santiago who apparently is a cockfight practitioner himself, came up with the sabong-fantasy flick Annie Sabungera starring Nora Aunor.

I was not aware of this movie until one lazy-nothing-to-do afternoon, coiled in my sofa and toying with the remote control, I chanced upon an old flick 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.

“The “Sabungero : Dangal at Tibay” is a highly recommended film to watch, not only by sabungeros, but by non-cockers as well. For the Filipino cocker, this is your chance to bring your loved-ones closer to your passion”, says Alyansa Sabungero founder Nid Anima.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


"I SWEAR" : RGBA President Joey Sy leads the oath-taking of Rizal Gamefowl Breeders Association's new members that include celebrated gamefowl breeder-cocker Biboy Enriquez (X) during the RGBA Gen. Assembly last Sept. 5 at the Riverbend Hotel in Markina City. RGBA's 17-Stag Derby Circuit to be held at the Pasig Square Garden begins on Sept. 17.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (September 9, 2009)


You have to give it to Alyansa Sabungero founder Nid Anima for balls. Say much in the vernacular and you will be saying obscene. It is the only way – there’s no other – to describe the willingness to be recipient of so much flak.

The flak emanates from everywhere, print, radio, tv and event internet, not to mention word of mouth. The last is very real in the watering places, cafes, barbershops, cockpits and elsewhere.

You have to give it to Nid Anima as well for decisive action, his known trademark. Other sabungeros, whether individually or in groups, have been so much inyo the talk of putting up a cockfight party list and this direction is privy to the same. Yet it was still all blabber and no action.

Anima is quite the opposite. His words come few and far between, but as it turns out, he acts quite decisively. His filing for Accreditation cum Registration of the Party List Alyansa Sabungero thus exploded in everybody’s face like the bomb it is not.

It really surprised everyone, especially from the ranks of the sabungeros. Not one expected it, least of all from a quiet man like Anima. His move is not precipitate, though.

“It was the least of my wishes for the burden of filing the party list to fall on my shoulders, if I had the choice at all” so says the Alyansa Sabungero founder.

But it would seem he has none at all.

He continues, “I waited long enough and patiently. Election after election after election, so many really, came and went and no sound is heard from the cockfight front. Not even a whimper. No pary list has been filed…My patience came to a head.-its short end – in 2007. I told myself then : ‘Should no one still come forward to file a sabungero party list, then I’ll take the initiative in 2010. ‘And that was that’.

The filing for Accreditation of the Alyansa Sabungero definitely pulled the rug beneath the feet of those are all plan and talk but deficient in resolve and action. They have only themselves to blame. They are now sour-graping over the fault, not of Nid Anima’s making but their own.

You have to give it to Nid Anima for other things besides. This cockfight is something controversial and almost indefensible. It takes a fellow of superior intelligence to be on top of any debate regarding its morality. Anima is equal to the task of justifying it, thanks to his being cerebral.

For the elections of 2010, there are more than 250 party list petitioners. Yet none of them attracted so much public attention and outcry as does Alyansa Sabungero. Only this party list really and no other. Sympathizers try to appease its founder’s punctured feelings with the cliché : Publicity, good or bad, is still publicity.

The enormous attention laid on Alyansa Sabungero is quite understandable. The cockfight is such a controversial subject. Funny and crazy, but it has made of its proponent sort of an overnight celebrity. Something he could not have bargained.

If he were a movie star, there would be no problem about his identity. But he is not. He is just an ordinary man. Very much like you and me. For that, the query – Who is Nid Anima?

The query jolts him somehow, not having previously figured it out. Would he have had, but he has not? It strikes him as some of challenge and if we know him enough, he is not going to shirk it. Next time his answer will be filed in. Hack that on rock.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

3 Years/Cheers for RGBA

CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (September 5, 2009)

3 Years/Cheers for RGBA

More than 250 active members of the Rizal Gamefowl Breeders Association gather today the Riverbend Hotel inside the Riverbanks Center in Marikina as they celebrate their third year anniversary.

With RGBA President Joey Sy’s stewardship, the young group has grown by leaps and bounds since it was first founded in 2006. Among its top members are LJ Sumulong, retired PNP Generals Acop & Suvia, former PBA player Dennis Abbatuan and UST Growling Tigers coach Pido Jarencio.

“We will be issuing new IDs and distribute the new RGBA Rule Book courtesy of Thunderbird, to the members” stated Joey Sy, who also proudly announced that three highly-respected master breeders will give out lectures on the different aspects of gamefowl breeding and cockfighting, These are Biboy Enriquez of Firebird Gamefarm; Eddie Boy Ledesma of Fire & Ice Gamefarm and Thunderbird Winning Team standout - former Passi City Mayor Jesry Palmares who just recently dominated the Manny Pacquiao Big Event derby in Cebu.

PAL Will Not Load Roosters Anymore?

There are some talks again on the internet that our national flag carrier Philippine Air Lines will stop loading roosters or gamefowls from the United States to the Philippines starting next month.

How true is this? I hope any of PAL’s top brasses gets to read this and eventually enlighten us on these rumors.

Unfortunately, talks about these are said to have originated from gamefowl brokers or shippers themselves and because of that, there are doubts on the veracity of the said allegation. For one, these shippers have been suspected of acting as prophets of doom many times in the pasts just to stir the sabungeros and get them into a mad scramble to bring roosters in before the imaginary door closes.

The fact is, while there’s already an actual glut in the supply of fightingcocks in the country, importation of gamebirds are still in full swing with an average of 1,000 heads a month.

There are talks that PAL is finally giving in to the pressure exerted for so long by animal rights activists in America who are responsible on having cockfighting declared illegal in the “land of the free”. If this is true, the enemies of sabong will have another big reason to celebrate.

GBAs Braze for the 2009 Stag Season

The countdown has started for the opening of the forthcoming 2009 stag season which will go down in history as the biggest and richest ever.

RGBA’s 17-stag circuit begins on September 17 at the Pasig Square Garden, while the United Cavite Breeders Association will have their 5-stag season opener at the Daang-Hari Coliseum Sept. 22 & 29.

The Laguna Gamefowl Breeders Association (LAGBA) headed by Sonny Lagon will have their first stag derby of this year on Sept. 26 at the Fantastic Coliseum.

The Socsargen breeders will launch their SGBA Opening Salvo also on Sept. 17 at the New Alkor Gallera in Koronadal City.

Meanwhile, the Cyberfriends will stage their 2009 4-Stag Charity Derby on October 24 at the San Juan Coliseum.

The Cyberfriends have been doing the yearly promotion for the benefit of the orphans and elderly of the Hospicio de San Jose in Manila.

Belated birthday greetings to Francis “Isko” Martinez – Thunderbird’s energetic Product Manager and 2009 Young Market Masters awardee.


CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong
Peoples Tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009)


Despite our pronouncements in Bantay-Sabong about the moves of the animal rights activists here who are out to poison the minds of our youth and the next generation of Filipinos about sabong, it is sad to admit that there are still some long-isolated people who believe that what we are professing are just products of our imagination. Some even go to the extent that we are out to make money or gain politically and that we are just using the anti-cockfighting issue.
Well, just to strengthen our conviction, here’s another report about the actions of those who wants to end sabong, told by Glenn Lim of Cebu who is incidentally is the President of the United Gamecock Breeders Federation.

My son who is in 2nd year high school told me that they had a guest speaker in their class preaching healthy eating (vegetarian diet) and preaching the rights of animals and pets.

He asked me…Dad, isn’t what you are doing being cruel? My answer…son, if society has solved the problems of child labor, drug addiction, genocide is Africa, Cambodia and Serbia…then and only then will I even consider answering your question…because I believe in the welfare of people first before animals

Then I asked him…so, are you going to hate me now because some misdirected person has told you that cockfighting is cruel???

It took my son, a few seconds to answer my question…but it was an eerie and scary moment. Of course he said NO, but a couple more visits from these weirdos and I might have a son that hates his father for the wrong reasons.

Guys, think about this long and deep…LETS DO SOMETHING NOW
During the 70s, cock derbies were being held at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Just more than 30 years after, cockfighting has been declared illegal all over America.

If it took the Humane Society of the United States and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to do in 30 years, at a time when there were no internets, cellphones or even cable tv, I think if we will not move now, they’ll be able to do it here in 10 to 20 years which is just enough for them to completely poison the minds of our sons and daughters who will later on will turn against us or will actually tell us to stop fighting roosters.


As the founder of Bantay-Sabong, I was approached by Nid Anima of Alyansa Sabungero for support and I have decided that it is best to help him in his endeavor considering that I have been trying to have my voice heard regarding the advocacy of Bantay-Sabong, but, things are still moving on a snail pace because of a lot of limitations.

Together with Nid, we have drafted these things as the objective of Alyansa Sabungero :

ALYANSA SABUNGERO, is a party list representing all sectors of cockfighting and gamefowl breeding in the Philippines, enumerated as follows : cockpit owners, cockpit operators, promoters, derby hosts, gamefowl breeders, cockfighters, gamefowl supply store owners and employees; gamefowl feeds and vetmed and all the sabungeros in the Philippines.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a law or a proclamation that will declare Sabong as a cultural heritage (Pamana ng Lahi) that shall never be stopped or abolished by any Executive Order or an act of Congress in the future.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims to encourage the government to come up with, and implement programs for the promotion of gamefowl breeding as an alternative means of livelihood and Sabong as an spectator sport and a unique tourist attraction (like bullfighting in Spain & Mexico) that can be a good source of revenues for the country.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a respectable compensation, security of tenure and better working condition for cockpit and gamefarm personnel.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a National Licensing Agency for key cockpit workers such as sentenciadors, llamadors, mananari (gaffers) and mangagagamot, as well for the licensure of derby promoters and cockpit operators.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a Standardization of Cockfighting Rules and Regulations that will be implemented in all the cockpits all over the country.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a strict law that will guard and penalize bet welchers (igtad or mananabit); maniniyope; cheaters specially in breeder’s association-hosted stag derbies; issuers of bad checks; as well as derby hosts and promoters that don’t pay the full guaranteed prizes in their promotions (cash or otherwise).

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a law that will protect cockpit owners and cockpit operators from political harassments and unfair trade practice and competition, that will put a stop to political blackmails and persecutions.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a comprehensive health program for gamefowls and gamefarm workers such as vaccination system and contingency measures against diseases and viruses that threaten the gamefowl industry such as bird flu and swine flu.

ALYANSA SABUNGERO aims for a National Sabong Library & Museum for the recording and preservation of Sabong as a unique part of Filpino culture and heritage.
Happy birthday to my good friends Princess Naldo last week and to Dr. Rex “Broda” Iwuanyanwu last Sunday.


CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (Saturday – August 29, 2009)

Improved Centralized Computer Matching

for 2009 Bakbakan

During its Board Meeting last three weeks ago, the National Federation of Gamefowl Breeders thru its Executive Director Arnel Añonuevo announced “that a more refined and more strict NFGB centralized computer matching system will be implemented to ensure the authenticity of all stags that will be fielded in the forthcoming Bakbakan 2009, as well as assure that each and every entry will get a fair and equal chance to win”.

According to NFGB, for all the provincial and regional eliminations and semis events, registration of entries including weights and wing band numbers of stags to be fought are submitted locally. All these data will then be emailed to the NFGB main office for computer matching.

The matched program will then be emailed back to the local associations for sequencing. The member-associations are given the sequencing privilege to allow them to place high-stakes matches on prime time when there are an abundance of tahors who can make pagos. This is to maximize the plazada on center bets, which is 10% of the total take of the winner in a particular match.

“They know more who the big bettors are, so they are in a better position to arrange the sequencing of fights”, NFGB reported.

In addition, local events are monitored by a duly assigned NFGB Derby Supervisor from a different local chapter. He oversees the counterchecking of wing-bands and physical attributes and proper leg-banding of each stag entered as confirmation of its legitimacy. He also records the result of every fight, collate them and at the end of the derby have the official score sheet signed by him with the confirmation of the local association president. The scores are transmitted to NFGB office for proper recording.

“From wing-banding up to the time a stag is fought, every stage is duly monitored, so that each bird that was banded in April is the same bird that is fought several months later in October, November or in case they are fought in the finals on December 1 or 3” Añonuevo added.

For more details, vists or send email to


The movie Sabungero – awaited by millions of sabungeros nationwide will at last hold its premier on September 27 at the Gateway Mall at the SM Megamall, as announced by its producer JC Bernardo – owner of the most popular cockfighting website in the world wide web,

“It will be 3:00 p.m. at Megamall and 7:00 p.m. at Gateway” Bernardo announced.

Through the generosity of Thunderbird Bexan XP, the movie will also have sceial runs at SM Malls in Lipa, Quezon, Pampanga, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro on September 29, 2009.

The movie stars Joel Torre in the lead role with Maritoni Fernandez, Leo Martinez, Ricky Davao, Robert Arevalo and child prodigy Timothy Mark.