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 MalacaƱang 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 MalacaƱang.

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.

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