BEAUTY QUEENS and exotic cocks at the Araneta Center. At right, even Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Pinol is a gamefowl breeder himself as shown in his farm in North Cotabato.
MANILA (PhilAmPress) – Do you know that the Filipinos’ national sports and pastime is “sabong” or cockfighting?
Do you know that even before the Spanish colonizers set foot in the Philippines, the natives of the country were already engaged in cockfighting?
Do you know that the Spanish colonizers included reports on “sabong” on their chronicles of their arrival in the country which later was named Philippines after King Philip of Spain?
Do you know that even national hero Dr. Jose Rizal wrote on “sabong” in his famous novel “Noli Me Tangere?”
Do you know that the gamefowl industry is a big industry involving millions of Filipinos?
Do you that “sabong” is a game of honesty that’s why it has become part of the Filipino culture and heritage for centuries?
Do you that that the Philippines hosts the biggest cockfighting event in the world?
Do you know that the world’s largest arena for gamefowl show and cockfighting is perhaps the famous Araneta Coliseum at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, which is also home of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier bout called “Thrilla in Manila” and other top sports, entertainment and showbiz events?
Yes, Virginia, “sabong” or “cockfighting” is very much a part of Filipinos which is here to stay, said aficionados and industry leaders Dr. Eulalio Lorenzo and Emmanuel “Manny” Berbano, president and CEO and COO, respectively, of the EDL Group of Companies, an agri-business conglomerate which is engaged gamefowl, poultry, fisheries and livestock production, animal health and research.
And since 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, there’s no better way to welcome the year than with exquisite roosters themselves.
Greet the Chinese New Year, which starts on January 28, and celebrate with the majestic roosters of various amazing breeds, many coming from countries like the United States and shipped to the Philippines, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on January 23 to February 1.
The occasion is also the 2017 World Slasher Cup, the annual invitational derby reputed to be the world’s biggest cockfighting event and biggest international gamefowl show and touted also as the toughest cockfighting event in the world – known to all as the “Olympics of Cockfighting.”
The 2017 World Slashers Cup comes on the heels of many prestigious international events hosted by the Philippines like the Miss Universe Pageant and Coronation Night at the Mall of Asia Arena on January 30 and the well-attended and acclaimed World Gamefowl Expo, World Pigeons Expo and Exotic Pets Expo at the World Trade Center on January 20 to 22.
Well-known breeders and cockers from the United States, Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other places will join forces with their Philippine counterparts as they show off their skills in cockfighting, a part of Filipino heritage even before the arrival of Spanish colonizers and considered the Filipinos’ national sports and pasttime.
It is expected that close to 400 entries will vie for the World Slasher Cup title in the 9-day global spectacle.
Magno Lim, last year’s World Slasher Cup II champion, will defend his title in this year’s event.
The foreign contingent that has reportedly confirmed to join the World Slasher Cup include Darrel Mack of Texas, and Hall of Famers Mike Formosa of Hawaii and Ray Alexander of Texas, the two being prominent fixtures in the event.
This year’s nine-cock derby will start with 2-cock eliminations on January 23 until January 25. Qualifiers will then move on to the 3-cock semi-finals set on January 26 to 29.
Individual entries with a score of 3.5 or 4 points will compete in the 4-cock pre-finals from January 29 to 31. Undefeated entries with a score of 4.5 or 5 points earn the chance to be named this year’s World Slasher Cup champion at the grand finals on February 1.
Lim’s entry under the banner MLG 63, with his teammate Gary Tesorero, won the pot money and the prestige at the 2016 World Slasher Cup II in May last year.
Earlier, 2016 World Slasher Cup 1 yielded tie champions, namely the entries from Blueblade Farms AA, and Phoenix II (the team composed of Mario Villamor, Ed Aparri and Art de Castro).
Catch breeders, cockers and enthusiasts as they slug it out at the prestigious 2017 World Slasher Cup, sponsored by Thunderbird, B-Meg and Petron and partners like Pit Games Media Inc. and Excellence Group, also known as the EDL Group of Companies. (PhilAmPress)