Peoples Tonight (April 17, 2010)
There are fraternities, clubs, Rotaries, Lions, Masons, Jaycees, Knights of Columbus and so on and so forth. These are formally organized groups in which members are bound together either by their belief, their objectives or their mission or simply because of mutual understanding and cooperation.
In sabong, there are no initiations; no membership; no fees; no restrictions; no written code except the fact that a sabungero should be a gentleman that honours his commitments and obligations. He should maintain fairness and cheating as well as not paying a bet is a mortal sin.
However, despite the informality and loose set-up, sabungeros is strongly bound by their passion…cockfighting.
Cockers would readily support a candidate who “belongs” or who is an insider, without reservation. Sabungeros unconsciously make themselves members of a community and would usually vote as one for one of their own. Maybe, this was the reason why many sectors or individuals immediately growled in protest when we filed our application for the Alyansa Sabungero party list. They are afraid because they know that a party list of and for the sabungero would easiy gather enough votes to be entitled to three congressional seats.
The solid sabungero vote is the reason why a big majority of elected local leaders are cockers or gamefowl breeders, like Mayor Bobby Clemente of Paoay and Mayor Nalupta of Batac in Ilocos Norte; Mayor Jesry Palmares of Passi City; Mayor Cito Albereto of Virac, Catanduanes; Gov. Rio Salceda of Albay; Cong. Tony Kho of Masbate; Gov. Manny Piñol of North Cotabato; Gov. Chungkee Uy of Compostella Valley; Cong. Claude Bautista of Davao; Vice Gov. Odie Fausto of Cagayan; Cong. Baham Mitra of Palawan (running for Governor); former Cong. Rudy Albano of Isabela; Sec. Ronnie Puno of DILG et al.
In fact, some non-cocker politicians entered the Sport to be able to woo in the cockers’ vote.
In the coming local and national elections, hundreds of candidates for local position and several national candidates are already assured of the patronage of sabungeros who numbers in the millions. With due advantage are senatorial candidates Ramon Mitra – son of the late House Speaker Monching Mitra who is regarded as one of the greatest Filipino cockers that ever lived. The name Mitra is simply synonymous to sabong. When a sabungero hear the name Mitra, instantly what comes to mind are the phenomenal Mitra 56 or the Mitra Blues or the parawakans, gamefowl strains who despite their lack in beauty are regarded as among the Royal Bloods of Philippine cockfighting.
Ramon Mitra III or simply Monmon, including his brother Baham were immersed in their father’s love for the fightingcock, from childhood. The old Mitra, never denied or hid his passion for sabong just to advance his political career. Instead, he openly displayed his love for cockfighting even during the time that he was running for the presidency. His pride for sabong is very obvious in campaign slogans such as Mitra, manok ng masa or Mitra ang Matibay.
“ A cock’s code of conduct”
Cock’s are well-disciplined lot, observing good and right conduct in the following manner :
Barring accidents, they do not peck at each other’s eyes even if they keep on fighting the whole day. This is sportsmanship on the part of the cocks. What about men?
A cock will never hit while the opponent is in the process of moving his bowels. Try to verify this fact
A cock will not relieve itself while being held in hand but the moment he is set down the ground he will do so at once. Good etiquette. After one or two hours of traveling, put him down in the ground and in a minute he will move his bowels and flap his wings for the needed relief and rest.
At the sight of the morsel of food or any kind of insect, he will call for the opposite sex to share it with her. Noble breed and gallantry. Men do this, too.
Birds communicate to each other any impending trouble and danger by a loud cackle and this signal is relayed to all of their kind in far surrounding places, in a natural spirit of mutual cooperation.
All birds sleep early at sundown but get easily awaken by the slightest noise, movement or sight. They comply to a strict discipline; so don’t disturb your ace fighter at night when preparing for an important fight.
excerpts from Angel Lansang’s COCKFIGHTING IN THE PHILIPPINES