Tuesday, August 10, 2010



In Victory & Defeat…Till Death Do Us Part
The Love Story of Sonnie & Precy

There is a saying that there is woman behind the success of every man, and in the case of Bakbakan and World Slasher Cup champion Engr. Sonnie Magtibay, there is Precy. The two were childhood acquaintances in Palawan and first got together during high school.


If there is any culprit that made possible the Sonnie-Precy love story possible, it was sabong.

Sonnie relates that to be able to get through in the beginning and get closer to the woman he loves, he made use of sabong which something in common among their families. Sonnie’s father, as well as Precy’s dad and brothers are all sabungeros.

During their encounters at the library during high school, Sonnie would brag about his father’s winnings and would tease Precy on her father’s losses. Of course, Precy, not wanting to be the underdog, would contest Sonnie’s pronouncements. That was their library routine until they graduated and there were many occasions upon which they were warned or reprimanded by the librarian for the ruckus they caused.

“Actually, my father was losing badly and people were teasing him so much that I told myself, time will come when I will avenge for my father”, said Sonnie.

Things got serious during college when Sonnie finally told Precy straight how he loves her, but Precy chose to play hard to get by telling her suitor up front, “Are you really ready? Do you think you’re qualified enough to get serious for a relationship? Maybe after college, if you get to graduate, then I’ll reconsider”.

Precy recalled that when she said those things, she was naughtily smiling because considering how easy-going Sonnie is, she believed then that he will not graduate. But of course at that time also, she was not aware yet of how determined her suitor was to gain her love and respect.

They went into college with Precy taking up a course in education, while Sonnie took up Electrical Engineering,

Thru college, Sonnie accepted the challenge and really burned his eyebrows to study. However, while working to achieve his Precy’s wish, he was wise enough to court his soon-to-be father-in-law and brothers-in-law by going along with them to the cockpits and visiting them regularly for chicken talks.

Time quickly past, Precy graduated earlier considering that hers was only a 4-year course, but soon enough Sonnie became an Electrical Engineer. It was then that her prince came back again offer his love. This time, Precy had ran out of excuses and whats more, her brothers were already pushing her to accept Sonnie.


As a couple, Sonnie delivered his part of the bargain and gave Precy a good life thru a thriving construction business. Things were going smoothly until Sonnie was duped by someone who he considered a good friend. Their business suffered, but more than that Sonnie’s frustration became a huge liability.

At first, Sonnie shied away from the public and stayed in his room for weeks. Then, when he finally came out he busied himself with unabated gambling via derbies, hackfight and even tupadas.

It came to a point when they had practically nothing left.

Precy, with tears in her eyes, still remember the time when she was already pregnant with their first child and they were about to eat supper having only a cup of instant noodles and five pieces of bread to eat.

She said to her husband, “You are an Engineer and I am a Professor who is pregnant now, but we only have this to eat”

That was it, immediately, although it was the first time they will be apart, Sonnie went to Manila in 1994 to find his luck. He landed in a good job and after just six months, started breeding gamebirds in a small yard in Malvar, Batangas.

It did not took long for Precy to join her husband. Soon she was teaching at the Rizal Technological University in Mandaluton City going home everyday to their house in Malvar, Batangas.

“I can not forget the time when I fought a rooster in a hackfight in Batangas. My rooster was matched against that of a Mayor. The llamador told me, Boy, are you aware that the amount of your rooster is not even 50 percent of your opponent’s bet. Sure enough, Sonnie lost, but that incident was a kick in the butt to strive more.


Later, wanting to buy breeding stocks from Engr. Sonny Lagon but could not afford it, he got offsprings of Sonny Lagon birds from a breeder in Lipa who said his broodcock is a brother to a World Slasher Cup winner fought by the Macasaets. Said winner is said to have broken a portion of the Big Dome’s pit glass fence.

The results were encouraging and he was starting to win some with his Sweater crosses to the point that some cockers are already interested to buy roosters from him.

In February 1, 2009 he had to hurry back home from Pampanga where he got a Juancho Grey trio and was burning tires to Malvar because his wife was already in labor to give birth to their third son. The couple already had two boys at athat time, Reinhold Harry and Michael Dwayne.

“When I reached home, there was not time to unload the poor birds, because my priority was to bring Precy to the hospital where my youngest was delivered while the new breeding stocks remained in my car as if paying tribute to my son”, related Sonnie.

Whether it was coincidental or was really a twist of luck, after Sean Heinrich was born, a long string of victories followed that took a turn for the top with the 2009 Bakbakan 10-Stag National Derby conquest and reached its climax with the bagging of the 2010 World Slasher Cup  lat January 2010.

Sabong has been a part of Precy and Sonnie’s life and what a life they have. Now as they think of ways to give back and help in defending sabong and helping others in the sabong industry, the Magtibays continue to hone their craft and improve their stocks with Precy now handling the Farm Manager chores.

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