Saturday, January 23, 2010


CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (January 23, 2010)


His father Don Amado Araneta, who initiated the 1st Pintakasi of Champions in 1957 which eventually became the World Slasher Cup in 1962, is one of the regarded pillars of sabong in the country.

When Don Amado passed away, his son Nene continued the staging of the bi-annual event that over the course of time developed into the most prestigious cockfighting competition, not only in the Philippines, but also internationally.

The World Slashers Cup worldwide recognition drove great American cockers and gamefowl breeders to come to Manila to compete bringing along their signature breeds of fightingcocks. There were Duke Hulsey with his Lemons, Ray Alexander with his Clarets, Joe Goode with his Greys, Johnny Jumper with his Radios, Carol Nesmith with his Sweaters, Gary Guillam with his Hatches and Dan Gray with his Roundheads among others. Also came and made a name here were Billy Ruble, Dee Cox, Heine Mathesius, Oscar Aikins, Billy Abbot, Jimmy East, Chuck Berry, Wayne Haulmark, Mike Formosa, Tom Wilson, John Trotter, James McWhite, Bob Howard and Richard Bates who stayed here until his death last year.

The breeds of gamefowls brought in and introduced by these greats cockers continuously improved and upgraded the bloodlines of roosters that we have locally.

In addition, the glamour and grandeur of the so-called “Olympics of Cockfighting” have turned the event into an annual convention of sort for thousands of overseas Pinoy sabungero who opt to take their vacation in January rather than during the Christmas, so that they’ll be here for the World Slasher Cup.

Probably, because of these compelling reasons, that Jorge “Nene” Araneta seemed to have made it his commitments to continue staging the World Slasher Cup despite the many ups and downs, problems and hustles that have been encountered and experienced through the years.

Mr. Araneta’s determination and steadfastness to keep and uphold the World Slasher Cup’s motto “Sportsmanship is Our Goal” come hell or high water, have , it seems, been recognized and respected.

In the past few years, the World Slasher Cup has gained tremendous participation and following. From a mere 40-entry average about six years ago, the number of participants saw a steady increase to a hundred in 2007 and eventually breaking the 200-mark last year at 207 in January 2009 that was held in 5 days, a big jump form the usual 3-day format. With a record-breaking field of 240 entries today and a consecutive-six-day-program, what could be next for the World Slasher Cup?

Maybe, Sir Nene have been toying with the answer in his mind all this time when he ordered that write-ups for the World Slasher Cup should include the promotion of sabong as a tourist attraction. Moreover, he generously invited foreign tourists in the country to watch the Slasher for free and all they need to do was present their passports at the entrance to the Coliseum.

Inside the Big Dome during staging of the Slashers, one can see Mr. Araneta brushing elbows and humbly conversing with everyone, whether he is a foreign participant , a local bigtime cocker, a handler, a gaffer, a sentenciador or a poor journalist like me. He seems to be at home with the cockers, his peers.

Time and again, I have written that the World Slasher Cup is already an institution in Philippine cockfighting that every sabong-loving Filipino should protect, promote and support. The World Slashers Cup is not only Nene Araneta’s, it’s also ours, as a nation and as a people with our own identity and culture.

Nene Araneta is there to lead and to serve the Philippine sabong community, let us be one with him in his goal to promote sabong as a unique tourist attraction.

If they can do it in Spain with their bullfights we could also do it with our sabong. If you have a foreign visitor, bring him to the cockpit. I’m sure he will love the adrenalin rush and will spread the word to his folks back home that cockfighters is not the devil that animal rights activists and anti-cockfighting groups are trying to depict and that sabong is really something to see and experience.


Every year, the World Slasher Cup can not be complete without the Thunderbird Bigtime Seminar which has over time already become a part of the event.

For this World Slasher Cup staging, the Thunderbird Bigtime Seminar gets even bigger when it is held at the Gateway Suites in the 5th floor of Gateway Mall starting at 9:00 a.m.

Among the speakers and panelists are Thunderbird Winning Team members Sonny Lagon, Dicky Lim, Boy Marzo, Otec Geroso, Jesry Palmares, Cito Alberto, Pao Malvar, Dr. Boy Tuazon and Bernie Tacoy to be joined by several American cockers competing in the Slasher.

Prizes such as Thunderbird products and quality breeding stocks will be raffled to the attendees.

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