Friday, January 29, 2010

What's Luck Got To Do With It?

CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong

Peoples Tonight (January 27, 2010)

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

Engr. Sonny Magtibay just won the biggest and grandest World Slasher Cup ever with a record-breaking field of 240-entries and the most number of foreign participants ever to come here.

Before this, just last December 3, 2009, Magtibay with partner Boy Tanyag was hailed as one of two champions in the biggest Bakbakan 10-Stag Derby ever participated in by 2,417 entries.

Was it luck?

The new 33-year old champion revealed that before the winning streak that started in February 2009, he and his family underwent a forgettable stage in which he lost his job, someone very close died and other incidents he would rather not mention and remember anymore.

It was in February 1, 2009 when he got back from Pampanga with some Juancho Grey breeding stocks that he arrived home to find his pregnant wife Precy already in labor. Immediately, he brought his wife to the hospital with the chickens still loaded onto his car because there was no time left to unload them. The poor birds stayed in the vehicle until his youngest delivered – they now call him Baby Juancho.

That was when their lives started to change.

Immediately, 21 days after the baby, Sean Heinrich, was born Magtibay won the chamoionship in the Big Event P55,000-entry fee 5-cock derby held in Paniqui, Tarlac. This was followed by a string of victories in 3-cock and 4-cock derbies.

In September, he scored 5 wins and 1 lost for a share of the top honors in a 6-stag derby at the Sta. Monica Cockpit in Novaliches.

The second big win was the Bakbakan in December which was followed by a 3-cock victory in San Mateo Cockpit and another Dec. 21 conquest of Noveleta Cockpit and a January 12 victory again in Sta. Monica.

They were at Sta. Monica when Sonny called the Araneta Coliseum to register for the World Slasher Cup and to make a cockhouse reservation. It was exactly 6 days before the Slasher begins and at that time and the Araneta Coliseum cockfighting group was already in a point of if-they-can-will-not-accept-anymore-entry.

During the Bakbakan, Magtibay’s entry was in partnership with the veteran Boy Tanyag who registered their bet, so, the best available reason for Pit Manager Dong Lamosste was to tell Engr. Sonny that there’s no more cockhouse avalibale and that they will just have to settle for the corridors. When Magtibay said it was alright, Lamoste then told him that registrants who will pay the entry fee in advance will be given priority. In no time, the entry fee was delivered to Araneta right away.

However, a World Slasher Cup-regular who was supposed to fight on January 18 decided to come in on the 19th, so a cockhouse was suddenly made available and because the RM Red Cobra Farm of Magtibay already have its entry fee paid, he was given priority to occupy the said cockhouse. Was luck starting to set in?

In the opening salvo, Magtibay’s roosters breezed through the 2-cock eliminations, first lording it over Rhemy Medrano’s Karamba Ilonor entry with a Sweater-Kelso fighter, then winning over Eddie Araneta’s by fielding a Sweater – Yellow-legged Hatch ¾-1/4 cross.

In the 2-cock semis, his entry using a 2-time winner Sweater crosses dominated its opponents’ Lahaina Boys – MCF Game Farm of Kali Casco of Hawaii and Thunderbird – II Hatchet of Nene Araneta and Roger Roberts.

In the 4-cock finals last Thursday, Magtibay unleashed a 2-year old Pure Sweater cock against 3-time Slasher champ Peping Ricafort’s PTK Country Road; a 1-time winner Pure Sweater against Jorge Torres’ Lover Boy; and a Sweater-Lemon cock versus another Peping Ricafort entry, PTK Yucatan. In this third match, Sonny’s fighter was already down and appeared to have no chance of winning when like a prayer heard, the opponent quit.

In his championship fight, Magtibay’s ¾ Sweater- ¼ Grey cross left no room for discussion as it needed only 8 seconds to dispose of its foe from the Ricki Reyes’ Rian Octagon Oliver Colors entry. The championship-sealer rooster hit his opponent in mid-air on the first buckle and the other cock dropped on the ground like a fly sprayed with insecticide. For all the glory, Sonny is proud to say that it was an all team effort from his wife Precy, their three boys Reinhold Harry, Michael Dwayne and Sean Heinrich, handler - Ritchie “Enteng” Buatag; gaffer - Itoy Dumaraos, pointer - Eddie Pontero plus his partners Neil Aguirre and Beng Navarro.

About his Sweaters , he said “I could not afford to buy from the top breeders before, so I got my Sweater from a not-so-big breeder who told me that his broodcock came from Sonny Lagon”

When I asked him which title he treasures most, Bakbakan or the Wolrd Slasher ? He said, “it’s actually the experience of meeting and be with the cockers that I look up to like Nene Araneta, Dicky Lim and Sonny Lagon, among others. It’s like living in a dream” .

Was it luck? Maybe, but not everything. One thing is sure luck comes to those who strive and have faith and who remains humble and magnanimous, in victory, someone like Sonny Magtibay.

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