9-7 Job

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was in August 2011 when I officially started my job as an associate editor of Pit Games Magazine. I could still remember when I accepted my employer’s “24-hour job” challenge. I’m talking about Emmanuel “Manny” Berbano, CEO of Pit Games Media, Inc., whose work ethic is beyond excellence. If there’s one executive who works 24/7, that’s him. For almost six years working with him, I got the chance to witness his management style. He literally works around the clock, but makes a way to re-energize himself by taking naps a few times a day. I might have disagreed with him on a lot of things but that doesn’t make him less admirable as an executive. I’m grateful that I’m considerably influenced by him not only in my career, but also as a human person.

My stint at Pit Games paved the way to a network that opened up more career opportunities for me in the game fowl industry. As part of my job, I got to interview personalities involved with game fowl. Brushing shoulders with both small-time and big-time breeders and cockers during events made me feel that the industry levels the playing field for both the fortunate and less fortunate.

Traveling to different places, visiting farms and sharing the table with fellow game fowl enthusiasts made my stay at Pit Games even more enjoyable. Food makes chicken talk pleasurable, not to mention the company of co-employees who were always ready to crack a joke. Many employees dream of a work-from-home arrangement, but nothing can replace social interaction with co-employees in the office. The pep talks over coffee, birthday celebrations full of laughter, and overtime work until dawn to finish an issue of the magazine all contributed to the good memories we shared at Pit Games.

Career-wise, I also learned a lot from my chief executive editor, Alfredo G. Gabot. He’s a living testimony of a person who puts Stoic philosophy into practice. Never did I witness him get angry; he’s always calm under pressure. I used to keep all my articles that he edited with his red marks on them. I once asked him if he could refer a book for me to read to somehow improve my writing, he answered, “Read Hemingway.” I read some of Hemingway’s books and also stumbled upon a web app that serves as a grammar checker based on the writing style of Hemingway himself. You can visit the app at www.hemingwayapp.com. I still use this app up to this day.

When I was still in Pit Games, our typical workday starts from 9:00 o’clock in the morning and ends at 7:00 o’clock in the evening. Pit Games was like my second family. I’m no longer in constant contact with my former co-employees, but maybe someday, somehow, we will cross each other’s paths again and reminisce all the good memories that once in our lifetime we touched each other’s lives.

7 Best Business Deal Tips from One of My Startup Consultants

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

I agreed to edit my friend’s book and write the foreword. He said it’ll be his last hurrah. The title of his book: My Last Shuffle: I Fought Parkinson’s Disease To A Draw — How Past Experiences Pushed My Fights To The Limits.

I’m almost done proofreading, not editing, because Rick’s a prolific writer; I couldn’t match his elegance. He’s also one of my startup consultants. Since he’s US-based, he shares with me his advices through Facebook Messenger. And the recent one is about how to handle business deals:

1. Avoid conditional deals.
2. Deals must be arm’s length.
3. Watch for fine prints. If contracts weren’t originated by you, watch out for terms like jointly and severally, and some quasi-legal terminologies.
4. No favored relatives in business.
5. Take care of timing; competition will sprout like mushrooms. One cannot be on top forever. Secure the present.
6. When doing deals don’t forget your love affair.
7. Don’t get glib VA’s. Select humble ones; the same mould as you are.

I couldn’t express how lucky I am to be surrounded by people like Rick. He’s like a big brother who checks on me once in a while and doesn’t hesitate to give feedback good or bad. No wonder, his book will become a bestseller.

There’s a saying that goes, “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.” So without Rick’s permission, here I share with you the foreword I wrote for his book:

This is an amazing true to life story of a person who was exposed to three different cultures early in his childhood life: Filipino, Japanese and American. How he and his families survived trials and tribulations to these modern times from the living past is an example of a man’s true grit, wrapped with luck and blessings.

This book is an inspirational reading material for everyone and a must for those associated with Parkinson’s syndrome and to anyone who loves game fowls as well.

I can truly say that the life of Rick Concepcion also fits the honorable Nelson Mandela’s statement:

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Baham Mitra—On GAB, Sabong Rules Standardization and Politics

Was it a chance encounter?

One Monday afternoon, I had a scheduled meeting with an executive from a leading company that caters to the game fowl industry. When we were about to wrap up what we have discussed, he mentioned that right after our meeting he will be having another one lined up next.

I had no idea who the next person the said executive will be meeting, until when I left the room and descended the stairs going to the exit door where I would surrender my Visitor’s ID as part of the company’s security protocol.

As I was about to handover the Visitor’s ID and slip to the guard on duty, I noticed a man pass by and overheard him asking another guard the way to the restroom.

I was starstrucked at that time. He looked familiar. I knew I know him. I have seen him in TV guestings. Until I came to my senses and whispered to myself, “Si Chairman Baham Mitra ‘yun ah. Si Baham ‘yun.”

Without having second thoughts, I asked the guard who handed back the ID I deposited if the man who just entered the building was Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham Khalil “Baham” Mitra. “Opo, si Chairman Baham po ‘yun.”
“Hihintayin ko lang po siya saglit ha para magpapicture,” I told the guard. “Yes po, no problem,” he replied.

I waited for a while and when he was about the enter the hall where he will be meeting the company executive I also spoke with, I approached Chairman Baham and greeted him.

We exchanged pleasantries and I introduced myself as the editor-in-chief of Teksas Libre! Magazine and founder of The Sabong Chronicles. I also told him that I already received from him through email his answers to the questionnaires I sent him since he will be on the cover story of the second issue of Teksas Libre! Magazine.

While waiting for the host-executive to enter the meeting hall, I took the opportunity to ask some short follow up questions to Chairman Baham.

Based on what I have researched about Chairman Baham from the internet, no doubt all the good things they said about him were true. No wonder that as early as 2017, a certain group wanted Chairman Baham in the PDP senate line up for the upcoming 2019 National and Local Elections.

As I was pressed for time since I don’t want to be the cause of the delay of his meeting, I started a supposedly short interview. Fortunately, when the company executive arrived, he allowed us to take our time in continuing the interview. But I set in my mind that I’ll make it quick like full-fledged journalists do during ambush interviews. And I was ready to play the role.

Without further ado, I started asking questions to Chairman Baham and he answered everything I asked, quick-witted, and straight to the point as what you would expect from a former Palawan provincial governor and congressman for three terms. I asked Chairman Baham what were the projects he spearheaded since he assumed office and he said they had already launched the sabong standardization seminars and gone around the country to the different cockpits.

According to him, “The main objective of the sabong rules standardization seminar is to make sabong fair and to set the integrity right.” And he added, “We feel very strongly that once we get rid of the common complaints on sentensyadors, gaffers and manggagamots, then our industry will continue to grow.” We know that biased refereeing and misalignment of the gaff to favor one of the contenders are among the common problems in cockfights, regardless of whether these are hackfights or derbies.

To make things happen, GAB reassured that while they uplift the morale of sabong officials, they are also making sure of their capabilities. “We invite industry experts to do seminars to train them as well as help us assist improve their skills,” the chairman said.

Aside from the sabong standardization seminars being conducted all throughout the country, Chairman Baham assembled an anti-illegal gambling unit that goes after illegal gambling including illegal cockfighting or commonly known as tupadas.

Asked on the current status of the Philippine game fowl industry, he said that it’s a ₱60 billion-industry where there are 30 million birds fought each year, about 120 game fowl-related associations, and about 30,000 game fowl farms including the smaller ones nationwide. “Once the sabong rules are standardized and officials are trained and licensed, I’m confident that the (game fowl) industry will experience growth,” Chairman Baham said without qualms.

“How does local governments benefit from the revenues the game fowl industry generates?” I asked. The chairman answered, “I understand that cockpit officials are asked to apply for occupational permits. The cockfighters themselves pay at least ₱200.00 per fight which is supposed to be remitted to the local governments as well as the amusement taxes that are being imposed by LGUs.”

Guess what he answered when I asked whether or not cockfighting will be outlawed in the Philippines?

“There are a number of political patrons in government that will not allow cockfighting to be outlawed,” he answered with confidence. And that’s good news. Of course, we are all aware of the popularity of this sport in the country. It would be a difficult, uphill battle for anyone to push for its banning.

That Monday afternoon was indeed a chance encounter. Two separate meetings, turned into one, with two of the notable personalities in the game fowl industry. A few weeks after our unplanned meeting, I was able to watch live the Thunderbird Manila Challenge 6-Cock All-Star Invitational Derby 2018 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

And guess what? One of the co-champions of the said derby is no other than Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra himself using the entry name, MITRA 56.

*This article was originally published in Teksas Libre Magazine Issue No. 2.

Vency Maranan — Ring General

From our national hero’s hometown in Rizal, Laguna is where a future cockfighting aficionado was born. (In his novel Noli Me Tangere, Jose Rizal wrote on Chapter 46 a detailed scenario in the Philippine cockpit arena entitled The Cockpit.) Currently residing in New Jersey, USA and has been working in the Reinsurance industry for the past 20 plus years in a German-owned company based in Princeton, Vency A. Maranan, a degree holder in Economics from San Beda College and who has worked briefly in Banking and Pharmaceutical industries, found another calling: the passion and love for chickens. “My fascination with rooster began when I was 17, when Gerry “Barok” Sumague gave me a 3-month old cockerel,” Vency recalls.

‘Reject’ turned ‘ring general’

Unaware of the difference between a healthy and a sick bird then, he gladly accepted an ailing fowl and thanked his friend “Barok” for the gift. “This ‘reject’ recovered fully and became a three-time winner, twice with minor wounds and once with nary a scratch. He was a grounder and never engaged his opponents in the air. He would simply wait for the perfect opportunity to hit the other bird when it landed on the ground. He was the smartest and most elusive bird I had seen. Had there been fastest kill contests then, he could have won the award twice. Unfortunately, my friend Barok, could not produce a similar cock as he did not know neither his father nor his mother and the cock was not a good producer,” he muses.

Currently, his ‘ring of generals’ would include his Kelsos, Hatches, Whitehackles, Greys, Clarets, Blacks, Doms, Golds and various types of Roundheads. “I like these breeds for their overall skills and natural abilities for the Philippine slasher,” he wittingly says.

Cream of the crop

Vency takes breeding a hobby, from potentiality to actuality: “Breeding interests me the most as it gives me the opportunity to experiment on different mating. I picture in my mind what the chicks would look like from various mating, when they are young, and how they would perform when they get older. Breeding also gives me the satisfaction of being able to dictate to nature what type of chickens will live and roam the earth. However, it is the raising of chicks that I found to be the most enjoyable as I can see them growing fast from a day old until they are ranged.”

For him, winning against big-name cockers is the most exhilarating part of the sport especially when chicken talks do not seem to end after every fight. “However, the most discouraging to me is to lose a prized brood fowl since acquiring it requires a lot of hard work, patience and investment,” he laments.

His unique breeding style is what makes his ‘ring of generals’ indeed the cream of the crop. He employs a logical screening process in selecting battle fowls to breed and of acquiring breeding materials that work best for him, he shares: “Cockers and breeders should select fowls that they like based on their own standards and criteria, after all, they will be the owners of the chickens. I normally have lengthy discussions with a breeder on what he recommends for Philippine LK from his breeds. Once I made my decision on what breed to acquire, I let the breeder choose for me. I consciously avoid telling the breeder all the physical characteristics that I desire for a bird, because a breed that have all those traits do not exist. I trust the breeder to select the best that he can spare me. It also never occurs to me that I can do a better job of selecting fowls better than the breeder himself since he knows his fowls better than anybody else.”

“As for battle fowls, I produce them from the breeding materials I obtained locally and here in the States. I do like birds that are “ring generals”, those that control how the match will be fought, whether on the air or on the ground and those adjust to their opponents’ style and quickness,” he adds.

Sabong as a means to an end

Sabong is a privileged place where different people around the globe meet sharing to each one their pride, passion and prestige. Vency shares and reflects on his experiences in the cockfighting world, especially on friendship: “Sabong has been good to me. The sport has given me opportunities to meet wonderful people. Some of them have become my good friends.”

The highly esteemed Capt. Joe de Sagun is a cocker/breeder that he admires and respects not only for his accomplishments in the sport but also for his conduct in and out of the cocking arena. “His superb breeding skills are evident in the battle fowls he produces. His kindness is felt by most people he dealt with,” Vency proudly says.

“Jerry Lawrence of Pleasanton, Texas is a breeder I considered my dearest friend. He has helped me a lot. I trust, respect and love this guy. He is a brother that I never had. Doyle Watson of Leoma, Tennessee, is a very good friend with an unimpeachable honesty and integrity. He is someone I wish I could be around with. Mr. Celso Evangelista is a man of his word and treats everyone with respect and as his equal. He has been very nice and kind to me,” he reveals.

“There are others that I can’t thank enough for being generous to me by sharing their high quality breeding materials. Among them are; Joey “Wildfoot” Melendres, from whom I got my Golds, this breed has won the most for me; Lee “Kogmohon’ Castillo, where my Lemon 84 came from, he helped me when I was a newbie in breeding; and Noel Dimatulac of Carson Farm, he shared with me his Carl Davis roundheads, his best breed undoubtedly,” he continues.

“Aside from the aforementioned, I have friends here that I got to know through the internet like Erwin Manzano of Washington, DC. Arcadio Lipana of Maryland, Cecil Dizon of Florida, Rene Umali of Virginia, Levy Ventillo and Oliver Balutan of New York, Dr. Arnold Moral and Teddy Villuga of New Jersey and many more,” he adds.
This reflects that Sabong is a means to an end. It opens doors to meet new acquaintances and opportunity to learn from other cockers and breeders about battle fowls and breeding styles. It is a means to gain everlasting friendship. “Cockers are usually good to be one’s friends and birds are good means to make friends. Do not let a bird destroy a friendship, use it to make a lasting friendship. Realize that no matter how good your birds are, there are thousands of birds better than yours,” he reiterates.

Living, Loving and Learning

Vency shares his personal philosophy when it comes to cockfighting: “For those who intend to enter the sport, one must have a strong passion for it and love for chickens. There will be ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures. It is only when one has a strong feeling for the sport and chickens that he will endure the disappointments that are part of this hobby and enjoy the satisfactions that this pastime brings.”

“Treat Sabong as an entertainment, never as a gambling,” Vency advises.

“In Sabong let your chickens do the talking. Sabong is something that brings friends and family together. Don’t let others destroy it,” he says.

It is but ironical that from the land of the free and home of the brave, “the sport is dying because cockers and breeders fail to defend it. Americans are willing to give up their lives to defend freedom, but are not putting up a good fight to protect their right to engage in this sport,” he laments.

Vency hopes that Pit Games continues to be the vehicle that enlightens about the goodness of Sabong and the people that support, practice and live it. “I am humbled to be in this magazine as there are many who are more deserving of this honor. It will not surprise me to see this magazine gets better every year with articles that are more educational for Sabong enthusiasts. I would love to see someday, more articles previously published in American magazines about American legends of the sport, memorable events and famous breeds,” he humbly wishes.

*This article was originally published in Pit Games Magazine Issue No. 41.

Atty. Ryan Abrenica: The People’s Champion Strikes Again!

“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.” (Margaret Thatcher)

Fight number 76 of the 2014 Central Visayas Breeders Association (CVBA)/Mindanao Visayas Luzon Gamefowl Breeders Union (MVLGBU) 7-Stag Derby finals in Talisay Complex will forever be talked about in Cebu cocking lore. It was in this fight that Atty. Ryan Abrenica’s Maria Samantha entry and Engr. Jun Homecillo’s Tres Marias entry fought in a do or die battle for the CVBA Breeder of the Year (BOTY) honors. Number one versus number two, in the biggest fight of the year of what is arguably one of the toughest gamefowl breeders association in the country. “I was only half a point ahead of Engr. Jun Homecillo’s entry and our fight came at a time when he was red hot and also gunning for solo championship of that night’s MVLGBU 7-Stag Derby,” starts the attorney. The fight started with the engineer’s stag staggering and hurting the attorney’s Cowan stag several times and looking to finish the fight early. But true to the attorney’s reputation for toughness, his Cowan stag weathered the early storm, threw bombs of his own and in one final thunder from heaven, sent that knife deep in his opponents back. “After winning that fight, all I could say was thank you Lord and thank you Mama Mary,” exhaled the attorney.

Vote of Confidence

A few years ago when Atty. Ryan Abrenica first arrived in the Cebu derby scene, he was spotted and recruited to join the CVBA by no less than two-time CVBA BOTY Jojo Oquias of the ANOA fame. And the attorney could not forget the words uttered by the CVBA idol. “He told me that someday, very soon, I would win the CVBA BOTY Award and ascend to his throne,” the attorney remembers. “I kept those words to heart but went to work and started learning the finer facets of breeding, conditioning and pointing. At that time I knew I already have very good bloodlines, but no success is achieved without dedication and hard work,” he adds. The attorney quickly added Roundhead lines to his already formidable Lemon line that his family has been breeding for more than 25 years. It is the combination of these two deadly cutting bloodlines that made the attorney a household name in Cebu cockfighting, giving him many derby championships and numerous fastest kill awards.

Road to the BOTY

For the CVBA 17-Stag Circuit, Atty. Ryan Abrenica elected to first field Greys in the warm-up derby and in the elimination round of the CVBA 7-Stag Main Derby. “Last year, I was gifted very good Harold Brown Hatch Grey blood by my very good friend Junjun Sy and his brother Frederick. They turned out to be excellent Grey blood and so far in six fights they have scored five wins and a draw for me,” quips the attorney. “It cannot be all my signature Lemon and Cowan lines from start to finish as I might run out of steam and not have enough to seal the victory. Fortunately those Hatch Greys did a fantastic job getting the lead for us, enough to give my Lemons and Cowans enough breathing space to finish and get the BOTY for us,” he said proudly.

Nerves of Steel

While Atty. Ryan Abrenica’s solo championship win in the Integra Cup 13-Cock Circuit last year was marked by domination, the CVBA BOTY run was cluttered by trials and pot holes. “Stags are a bit trickier to condition and point than cocks. They have a more fragile mental state and you just never know what you will get out of them on fight day,” explains the attorney. “The weather has also been on and off and the extended rains and bad weather was taking a toll on my stags. I also had trouble with some of them holding on to their feed on fight day. Fortunately, their superior health and good pedigree carried them through,” he said proudly.

The highlight came at the final fight with his good friend Engr. Jun Homecillo standing on his way to the BOTY title. And once again, Atty. Ryan Abrenica proved that he has nerves of steel to finish a gut-wrenching challenge. It was a fight that up until now, Cebu has been talking about. “It was a battle between two double-barreled ace stags; one not giving an inch to the other. It’s as if those two stags knew what was at stake and gave it their all. My stag was just a bit lucky to win it. Maybe it’s just God’s will that we won it,” the attorney gushes.

Only the Beginning

Ever the perfectionist, Atty. Ryan Abrenica is not one to back down from a challenge. “The CVBA has never had a back-to-back BOTY winner. Maybe we will be the first to do it,” the attorney said with a wink. Breeding only between 100 to 150 stags each year, the attorney is well known for consistently beating entries that has thousands of stags to choose from. When asked whether he enjoys his tag as People’s Champion, “I like that title. It means that we are being appreciated by the masses. I don’t gamble and I only bet minimum so maybe the ordinary folks love to see me beat strong entries that gamble a lot,” he says proudly. “My goal has always been to breed quality over quantity. The target is to participate in select breeders’ derby and win it. Not put in a lot of entries and win a few. It’s not winning to me if you put in a lot of entries just to win a single derby,” the attorney said with conviction. “I still have a lot of upside in my breeding, rearing and conditioning program and I look forward to continuously improve each year and be the best that I can be,” he further adds. Known as an innovator, the attorney is at the forefront of gamefowl conditioning, using enzymes, chelation, essential oils, glucans and peptides on his game fowls. “If you think you already know everything there is to know in gamefowl health and start to get complacent, somebody out there may be working and thinking harder than you and will beat you in the future,” the attorney said with certainty.

A Lot to Be Thankful For

Atty. Ryan Abrenica continuously receives fresh lines and moral support from his friends abroad led by his best friend Greg Nance. “He’s the one most nervous in that championship round of the BOTY. He told me he was walking like a troll in his house that night while waiting for the result of my fights. I think he was the happiest when I won it,” the attorney said with a smile. He also gives credit to his other friends and mentors namely Atty. Jun Mendoza, Mayor Jesry Palmares, Tim Cash, Bill and Tommy Hull, Bobby Markholt, Jay Gentry, Red Hat, Joe Penor, Manny Malejan, Atty. Jojo Gairanod, Roland Tagsip, Raffy Yulo, Ed Rentuza, Keith Juaniza, Jojo Oquias, Benny Lim, Tennyson Chiongsy, brothers Junjun and Frederick Sy and his farm consultant Doc JBT, “Those guys never get tired helping me. This victory is also theirs,” he adds. “I would like to thank again my very supportive wife Gemma and my family in San Pablo City for being my prayer brigade. They didn’t stop praying the rosary up until I won that BOTY title,” the attorney said proudly. He also would like to give special thanks to Pit Fighter and Derby Grains who have been with him since he started fighting in Cebu. “I fully know that half of the breed is in the feed. I’m lucky to be partners with Pit Fighter, Derby Grains and their maker Unifeeds. Because of their feeds, I know I’m not compromising on health,” he said with gratitude. “And lastly, I would like to thank the good Lord and Mama Mary for all the blessings they continuously shower my family. I’m nothing without them,” the attorney ends. With an innovative mind and a dedication seldom seen in sabong — the best is truly yet to come for the People’s Champ.

*This article was originally published in Pit Games Magazine Bakbakan Special Edition 2013.

Thunder Bee Game Farm — The Home of Multi-Time Winners

“I only select a rooster that fights and usually the first to hit the opponent,” enthuses Art de Castro, a professor-lawyer-game fowl breeder and cocker who not only excelled academically and professionally but also made his mark in the sport of cockfighting with flying colors.

Academically, Atty. de Castro graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines School of Law in 1970 and was one of the topnotchers in the bar exam with the third highest score. “I took my master’s and doctorate degrees from the Michigan University,” he shares with a smile.

Professionally, Atty. de Castro has been teaching law at the Ateneo de Manila University for the past 30 years and served as dean of the College of Criminology of the University of Manila. “I also taught law for some time in UP,” recalls the professor-lawyer.

Of course, as a game fowl breeder and avid cocker, Atty. de Castro had emerged as World Slasher Cup champion not only once but twice. The first was in 2010 and the second this year. The World Slasher Cup, known as the “Olympics of Cockfighting,” is held bi-annually at the Araneta Coliseum with local and foreign participants, many of them noted cockers from America and other countries.

Curious with his success and accomplishments, the team from Pit Games asked Atty. de Castro his secrets and tips for a successful breeding and cocking career and share them with Pit Games, your favorite magazine for game fowl.

Here are three sure-fire tips from Atty. de Castro that work when you’re aiming to get a better score in big-time derbies like the World Slasher Cup, and eventually become a champion, not just once…but twice or more.

1. Select roosters that fight

Atty. de Castro gives importance to the proper selection of excellent roosters. “The key is to select a rooster that fights,” advises the attorney.

Atty. de Castro says he goes for a rooster that’s tall, fast, and throws powerful single punches. A rooster that doesn’t fall under these criteria doesn’t deserve an opportunity to undergo his conditioning program. Consider the attorney’s criteria in selecting an excellent rooster that fights:

* Height. Harnessing a rooster’s height for his advantage can dominate shorter opponents. In Atty. de Castro’s strict standards, height means longer thighs, shorter shanks. “If the shank is longer, the rooster will not hit the opponent,” he explains. “If the thigh is longer, the rooster will throw punches with precision,” he adds.
* Speed. Atty. de Castro’s roosters win over their opponents mostly because of speed. No showing of sensational maneuver, but the cutting ability is extremely well. According to him, small roosters are fast. Thus, speed accompanied by height is an advantage. “The excellent rooster should also have a short body, broad shoulders, and small hips,” he emphasizes. He points out that a rooster with a large hip is slow, while a rooster with a long body isn’t only slow but also heavy.
* Power. “A rooster with crooked foot is no good,” points Atty. de Castro. He calls a rooster with crooked foot “komang.” To him, a komang has no stable foothold especially upon touchdown following a squabble in the air and tends to sit on its feet upon touching the ground, giving the opponent an opportunity to throw a dangerous punch. A komang may be caught off guard in such a situation. “The first thing experienced handlers examine when selecting a rooster are the feet,” he stresses. “The feet should be straight, strong and powerful.”
* Throws powerful single punches. Atty. de Castro automatically rejects game fowl that have a ‘telegraphic stroke’. A telegraphic stroke, according to him, is a punch that’s very obvious, careless, and seems slow to the eye of the opponent. “Such a punch can be easily avoided,” he explains. The attorney fights four and five years old game fowl, and doesn’t put one under his conditioning program unless it throws powerful single punches.

Aggressive roosters are a no-no to Atty. de Castro. If he has to choose between an aggressive rooster and a man-fighter, he would choose the latter.

Atty. de Castro tames a man-fighter rooster by holding it upside down by the feet. “I place the rooster upright on my chest level. Once the man-fighter begins to chirp merrily, it means he has calmed down,” he shares.

2. Bring out the best in your roosters

“The timing of strike is very important,” reveals Atty. de Castro. The rooster should have well-timed punches, otherwise he would reject it.

Atty. de Castro trains an aggressive and careless rooster to have a calculating move. “Each time the rooster shows aggressiveness and carelessness, I allow its sparring mate to hit. This way, the rooster will be cautious the next time and learn to throw timely punches,” the professor elaborates.

Aside from training his roosters to throw well-timed punches, Atty. de Castro also brings out the best in his arsenal of fighting roosters by exposing them to different combat styles.

Atty. de Castro executes this technique by first keeping reserves of sparring mates with aggressive, calm, breakers, swift and other fighting styles. “No one can tell how the opponent will implement his plan of attack during an actual combat. That’s why I always make sure that my fighting roosters are well-prepared,” the professor claims. To develop the speed of his rooster, he spars it against the bantam. “The bantam has good cutting ability and makes prompt turns,” he says.

3. Use multi-time winners

Most of the cocks Atty. de Castro entered in the World Slasher Cup were multi-time winners, aged four and five years. His Grey was a three-time winner, while his White-Legged Roundhead was an eight timer.

Atty. de Castro says he entered the 2016 World Slasher Cup-1 8-Cock Invitational Derby with two entries. It was Mario Villamor who financed the entry that won as co-champion of Engr. Sonny Lagon.

“Most of the cocks used are imported and have genes that originated from the game fowls of Jesse Horta and bred by Victor Gamboa,” Atty. de Castro reveals. He says that their entry that won the championship used seven cocks only. “We fought in the finals with the same cock that won on the first day,” the attorney reveals.

Aside from his multi-time winner Grey and White-Legged Roundhead, Atty. de Castro’s arsenal of fighting cocks includes the Leiper Hatch Roundhead, Dark Kelso, and White-Legged Sweater which are noted for their gameness and cutting accuracy.

According to Atty. de Castro, the White-Legged Sweater looks like Kelso to him. He admits he couldn’t distinguish the difference between the two in terms of appearance. “The Kelso that we have from Doc Robinson looks like a White-Legged Sweater,” he describes.

“The White-Legged Sweater demonstrates aggressiveness, while the Kelso shows style and calmness,” Atty. de Castro explains. The sources of his White-Legged Sweaters are Jesse Horta and Joe Sanford. His cocks from Sanford had scored seven wins, he says.

Atty. de Castro’s other entry, the Thunder Bee Angry Birds, also made it to the finals and scored 5.5 points. This entry used graded Peruvian fowls, he says.

When the large Peruvians fowls were introduced in the Philippines, cockers were impressed and began a craze for them. But Atty. de Castro already had his own even before the craze started. He takes pride with different Peruvian fowls at his Thunder Bee Game Farm in Las Piñas City, among them the Open Air and Carmelo.

Atty. de Castro selects Peruvian fowls that weighs no more than 2.4 kilograms. The Peruvian fowls in his game farm were acquired from Gamboa and originated from the authentic line bred by Victor Emmanuel Centeno.

Atty. de Castro claims that his Peruvian fowls has speed. They dodge assault by side-stepping and watching out defensively for the opponent’s attack. They fight non-stop and are known for their vertical flight.

Asked what brand of feeds he gives to his Peruvian fowls, Atty. de Castro says: “It’s Vitarich Titan Panabong Feeds.” He reveals that he feeds his Peruvian chicks with Vitarich Titan Panabong Stag Developer Crumble Muscle Builder. “Feeding my Peruvian chicks with Vitarich Titan Panabong Stag Developer Crumble Muscle Builder made them grow fast. They never catch cold and never get sick,” he shares.

Atty. de Castro’s Peruvian fowls are made available at the World Gamefowl Expo for backyard breeders who want to acquire this formidable bloodline at affordable prices.

With the tips from Atty. Art de Castro, there are three things you can do now to start your quest to winning your first-ever championship title:

* First, you may start selecting roosters that fight based on the two-time World Slasher Cup champion’s criteria.
* Second, train roosters that are available in your game fowl farm to adjust to different fighting styles of possible opponents.
* Third, condition your multi-time winner cocks for their next battle.

Who knows? You might be the next World Slasher Cup champion…soon.

*This article was originally published in Pit Games Magazine Issue No. 69.

Ready For Take Off

Dust off your bookshelves as Pitgames Media, Inc. adds yet another magazine that is made especially for pigeon fanciers like you.

Fifteen years ago, we created Pit Games Magazine for game fowl lovers and it it remains to be the top authority in the industry where it belongs. Two years ago and up to this day, Farmbook: All About Agriculture magazine is fulfilling its vision for the agriculture industry. Now, we finally made a magazine that gives due importance to what the pigeon industry deserves—The Global Pigeon Fancier!

On the cover of our maiden issue, meet Mr. Jaime “Jimi” Lim, the so-called “Master Breeder in the Rising Philippine Pigeon Industry”. He is the current president of the Philippine Homing Pigeon Association.

Get to know the three rising stars of Philippine pigeon racing, Benito Go Que, Nelson Dacillo and Jose Torres. The three are good friends from Valenzuela City and share the same hobby of racing pigeons.

Learn the history of pigeon racing in the Philippines through the help of Joel Regalario. He shares trivia and must-know information for pigeon fanciers.

Also meet the marketing team behind Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialist’s products for pigeons, Rock Dove.

Listen to what these pigeon fanciers have to say about the launching of The Global Pigeon Fancier: Ron Ejercito, Gilbert Laurel, Benito Go Que, Nelson Dacillo and Jose Torres.

Take a glimpse of the different associations and events in the pigeon industry: Philippine National Pigeon Association’s Second Championship / Open Show at Malabon Zoo, YonaPro General Assembly, Philippine Fancy Pigeon Federation’s Fancy Pigeon Show, and Breeders Cup 2013 by EDC Loft.

Check the latest schedule of the Pilipinas Federacion Colombophile’s 2014 North Young Bird Training / Race.

The Global Pigeon Fancier is now ready for take off! See you at the World Pigeon Expo on 17, 18, 19 January 2014 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

*This is my editor’s note originally published in the maiden issue of The Global Pigeon Fancier Magazine.