Time was when cockfighting in Iloilo was mentioned, the Iloilo Coliseum was inevitably what was referred to. Big time and quality derbies are being held in that venue and has attracted the top breeders and cockfighters nationwide. Not only are the facilities good enough and can compare with the best in the country, its main man or manager is Mr. Luis “Chito” Tinsay, known for his being a gentleman and an able manager who makes decisions instantly based on his appreciation of the situation and the fair outcome that can result from his decision.
But the world of cockfighting is complex and complicated and one has to adapt or fail. There is a need to develop cockpits that can offer alternatives to the Iloilo Coliseum in case of distance, size or number of entries and preference of the promoters and aficionados. There are many cockpits outside of Iloilo City but none has achieved prominence to become an alternative venue for big derbies, offering convenience not only to the public who will watch but more importantly the comfort of the participants and their chickens which should be prepared to their utmost best at the time of fight. There is also that profit angle for promoters: they usually choose to hold their derbies in cockpits that offer them the best possible profit margin for their efforts.
Comes now the New Camp Cavaliers’ Cockpit located in Cabatuan, Iloilo, just 20 minutes drive from the city proper and a few minutes from the Poblacion of Sta. Barbara. Owned by the Gaudencio Condes Jiloca family, it was leased in January 2017 by Mayor Frankie Locsin since Mr. Geloca is now advanced in age and wants to take an easier time. Mayor Locsin immediately embarked on improving the facilities like the cock houses comfort rooms and built a VIP room, a necessity especially during big events. Since he is an endorser for Salto Feeds, owned by the Aboitiz group, he asked and was given the electronic sign board and timer, a necessity to project an image of class and to be at par with cockpits in Luzon.
He also made the whole cockpit more orderly with an area for each major activity within the cockpit during actual cockfighting events. There is an area for cock medics where the wounds of the cocks are treated after battle. The knife tying area was also improved to make the knife men and the cocks being tied more comfortable. While the vendors are scattered all over, they are located in a way not to impede on the movements of the aficionados and handlers looking after their chickens. The result is a cockpit that looks orderly and made going to a cockfight event fun and enjoyable. “I had always been known as an organized man. I follow the rules and the law so I expect my people to follow me. If I assign them tasks, I expect them to follow my orders and to accomplish the task as ordered. If no they get out or I fire them. If there are designated areas for each activity, I expect people to abide by the rules. So they can smoke only in designated areas because I follow my own orders. I smoke only in designated areas”.
“I’m not new to managing a cockpit. I once took over an old cockpit and by the time I turned it over to the owners, it was a profitable operation. The same will be true with the New Camp Cavaliers’ Cockpit. I expect to make my time here profitable and with good rapport with the owner, Mr. Geloca, I expect to make a small profit and yet improve vastly the facilities. Hopefully, our early arrangement of 3 years with 2 years extension can still be extended so that I can turn this into the first air-conditioned cockpit in the island of Panay. Providing comfort to the habitues and the participants particularly the owners and handlers and their chickens is the best way they will return and participate again in the derbies we organize in this cockpit”, said Mayor Locsin.
“I believe people especially promoters will patronize the New Camp Cavaliers’ Cockpit because they know I am in charge. They know I always honor my word. Last December, I fell short of my expected number of entries and lacked more than P200K in prizes but I still gave the promised prizes because I have committed to do so. I cannot reneged on my word. After all, money is just money, it can always be found or earned. But one man’s word once broken can never be recovered. I always honor my word”.
“We are not out to compete with the Iloilo Coliseum. We want to complement the said institution that is already famous in the cockfighting world. We will cater to the segment that they won’t get into. For example, if the event is smaller and the promoters will favor us, we will accept them. We will also provide the best possible deals for the clients. For example with UGBAP, we will give them the best possible arrangement like no deduction on the pot money, 70/30 income division and other reasonable privileges that will make their stay at our cockpit more enjoyable”.
“The recently concluded “Dinagyang 6 Cock Derby Series is a proof of that. We held 2 eliminations here (Oton also held 2) and the finals. The unprecedented number of entries in the finals proved we can handle a large derby. In the past, we had at the most 75 entries, but with UGBAP we had to manage the large turn out. In their last elimination, January 19, we had to prepare extra stalls for their 76+ entries and in the finals, we had to prepare for 136 entries. We were able to accommodate them, giving them the best comfort possible. We are happy that the association had no major complaints on how we managed the derby. There are still rooms for improvement however”.
“I believe we are off to a good start as the alternative site of major derbies in the province. We are offering good facilities, fair officiating, good accommodation, competitive pricing of food and an ambiance conducive to enjoying a day of exciting cockfighting experience. I am positioning the New Camp Cavaliers’ Cockpit as the best cockpit outside of Iloilo City”, concluded Mayor Locsin.