Google+ Cockfighting Excitement At The Candelaria 7 Cock Derby 2014 Edition | Iloilo Metropolitan Times

Cockfighting Excitement at The Candelaria 7 Cock Derby 2014 Edition

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View of the pit as cocks are being released

View of the pit as cocks are being released

Cockfighters and cockfight aficionados will again excitedly flock to Iloilo City for the annual Candelaria 7 Cock Derby, 2014 edition which unfolds on January 29 and culminates on February 2, the annual patronal fiesta of Jaro. The guaranteed prize of P5 million is back to offer more excitement for participants who even with a “win as much format” are eager to participate. Guaranteed prize or none, the Candelaria derby had always been a badge of honor among the toughest cockfighters here and abroad. The same format for schedules and prizes will prevail.

Boy Mirasol checking bookings for accuracy

Boy Mirasol checking bookings for accuracy

At least 120 participants are expected this year with more than 20 of them from other parts of the globe, mostly from the United States of America. The Candelaria derby had gained worldwide renown as one of the toughest competitions in cockfighting. Winning a Candelaria is one of the most coveted distinctions among game fowl breeders worldwide. Some however, like Negrense breeders Johnny Jalandoni and Nene Abello have done it several times already, a feat that had made many of their peers green with envy.

The Pot Money needed to join the event is P50,000.00 where the total prize is P5million and broken down to Champion, then First to Third Combo where one can share in the winnings of the pool by winning straight 5 wins like Fight No. 1-5, 2-6, 3-7 and the Insurance. The event follows a 2-2-3 format where a participant chooses when he will join: Set A or Set B then if at Set A, he will fight 2 cocks each on the first and second days for his elimination or inclusion in the finals event of 3 cocks. If at Set B, he will fight on the 3rd and 4th days. All those who qualified for the finals or still have the money to fight will join the other qualifiers on the final day which is on the feast day of the Candelaria. One other requirement in the event is the minimum bet of P22,000 for the first 4 Cocks.

Boy Mirasol and Ed managing the booking of cock houses

Boy Mirasol and Ed managing the booking of cock houses

Being a tough event, and the amount invested, the participants prepare for years to join. The majority field at least 3 years old cocks that had been ranged in their farms for most of the year and only brought into the conditioning pool may be 45 days before the event. The more audacious ones try their luck with younger cocks, hoping that their genetics and training/conditioning methods will prevail over their much older opponents. Classic examples are the bravado of American cockers who in the past belittled the capacity of locally bred roosters as well as the conditioning prowess of local handlers. From past to present, not many foreigners prevailed to take home the Candelaria Cup. Now even the foreigners adopt the techniques of local participants who condition roosters locally so that they can adopt well to the local climate and perform with much less stress.

Mr. Luis Chito Tinsay, actively managing the event from day 1 to day 5

Mr. Luis Chito Tinsay, actively managing the event from day 1 to day 5

As always, the management of the Iloilo Coliseum has prepared for this annual grand event. Weeks prior, the cock houses are cleaned and sanitized since all the cockers are so sensitive about the safety and health of their birds. With so much money bet on the cocks, they can’t afford to make a single mistake. Also participants reserve in advance, the cock houses of their choice. Late comers have no choice but to make do with what remained unreserved. Others who come from afar even finish their conditioning right at their cock houses and use the grassy spaces to pasture or cord their cocks.

Through the years, the Iloilo Coliseum has built its reputation as one of the premier cockfighting destinations south of Manila. The structure had been built for permanence and stability that its Manager, Mr. Chito Tinsay once said during an intensity 5.3 earthquake said on the microphone that the coliseum can withstand an intensity 8 quake. Its parking space can accommodate a large number of cars and during the Candelaria, an open space is also made available by its owner to take in more cars for a modest fee.

Mr F.A. Ong, aka The Archangel in the popular forum: sabong.net.ph, showing a set of “Ka Larry’s Pointing Capsules”, which he hopes to distribute in Metro Manila.

Mr F.A. Ong, aka The Archangel in the popular forum: sabong.net.ph, showing a set of “Ka Larry’s Pointing Capsules”, which he hopes to distribute in Metro Manila.

 

Like in the previous years, coliseum employees say that this year’s edition is expected to be as if not more exciting with the participants from other parts of the Philippines and abroad already reserving their cock houses. These as the employees said are the hottest names in the national scene with several of them consistent winners in big events. For purposes of security, names will not be mentioned except those earlier written about.

Also expect the array of world class roosters being brought to fight. Most if not all are already winners and had been ranged or aged on the farms purposely for this event. Some birds have already won in the co;iseum in the previous year too and the owners hope to duplicate their feat this year. A case in point is the famed “Poster Boy” of Mr. Eddie Boy Ledesma who won two times in the coliseum in the mid-2000s.

Many of the participants join because they want to prove their breeds or genetics as world class, proof of which is to win against the best breeders also joining the event. This is not only to satisfy one’s ego but also more on the business side. Once proving one’s superiority, claiming also the bragging rights, the Champion’s game fowls will now be in demand and often at a high price too. Nene Abello’s famed Sweater breed which comes mostly from his American friend Carol Nesmith, has become a hot selling item which is a money maker for the breeder whose main line is sugarcane farming. Others like Congressman Patrick Antonio join where he banners the various products sold by his company.

Others join to just experience and hope to snatch the prize from the famous competitors. There are friends who pool together their resources and roosters so that they can come up with enough money and pool of roosters where they can select the best contenders. Despite their limited pool and minimum betting, many championships of the previous years were taken by these groups. A case in point is that of now Antique Mayor Jojo Fornier whose team of Antiquenos got the solo prize in the mid 2000s.

The art and science of breeding, conditioning and pointing also comes into play at the Candelaria. Breeders like the famous Nato Lacson show their beautiful birds. Mr. Lacson is said to be picky and goes only for beautiful and well proportioned birds. So does the perennial winners Johnny Jalandoni and Elwin Javelosa. Most of them show uniform looking birds that is a trademark of a true breeders.

Atty Marbhen Lumbo and Mr Calvin Randall, an american breeder posing with a bevy of beauties of Supremo, a feed product for gamefowls which exhibited during the event

Atty Marbhen Lumbo and Mr Calvin Randall, an american breeder posing with a bevy of beauties of Supremo, a feed product for gamefowls which exhibited during the event

Local Ilonggo breeders like the Palmares clan should be visible too. Mayor Jesry and brother Ricoy who is the founding leader of the now prominent NFGB or the National Federation of Game fowl Breeders should be able to come up with a show. So will their cousins fred and Noe who are also winners in previous years.

Known cockfighting personalities like Mr. Lance de la Torre had already reserved his cockhouse. His partner Loy Seiza who is a prominent US-based businessman is expected to jet in anytime to enjoy his yearly cockfighting sojourn. Like in the previous years, this tandem will surely be pitted against the other tough contenders not only for the excitement but also to even big time bets. It is customary for the management to match the known tough entries against each other because of the bets placed.

In the Candelaria, there is a saying that it’s not over until it’s over. By sheer toughness, you cannot really say that you have won until the referee has raised your rooster in victory. Even a downed rooster may show some surprises by getting in a killing blow despite being mortally wounded. And with the Coliseum’s tough and enduring manager, Mr. Chito Tinsay, one can only say that the Candelaria is one cockfighting event worth attending and enjoying.

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