Sunday, March 29, 2009
Emerging voice of masang sabungeros
“The common sabungero, may now yet emerge as an organized sector and contribute a voice to the affairs of the sabong industry. Thanks to all who extended support right at the very beginning, when it was needed most.”—Kamana Rey Bajenting, founder Masang Nagmamanok (MANA)
The growth of cockfighting in the Philippines is evident in the entry of giant companies to the gamefowl products market; the proliferation of publications, tv shows, commercials and advertisements about the game; the enormous increase in the numbers of derbies and hack fights nationwide; and the mushrooming of gamefowl breeders and cockers organizations.
Indeed sabong has come a long way from being a lazy Sunday afternoon pastime to a full-blown industry.
Apparently, the millions of common sabungeros such as Juan who takes care of the chickens of rich sabungeros, Pedro who earns a living in the cockpit, Pablo who has a few gamefowl in his backyard, and Jose who regularly pays his way to derby promotions to enjoy his favorite sport, are the backbone of the industry.
Yes. Because for every bigtime breeder how many farmhands tend to his chickens? For every cockpit operator, how many workers earn a living in his cockpit? For every derby participant how many spectators pay for admission to see the fights? For every big-time cocker how many common sabungeros own just a few chickens in their backyards?
Unfortunately, the workers in the gamefowl industry belong to the non-formal sector, thus, they have no access to mainstream socio-economics structures. They have no protection by the labor code; as such they don’t enjoy insurance, medical, educational and pension plans, nor any kind of security. They can’t even get loan from banks and other lending institutions.
Something has to be done about it.
Now, comes Masang Nagmamanaok (MANA), an organization of ordinary sabungeros, mostly small time cockers, backyard breeders and workers in the gamefowl industry— the common cockfighting aficionados.
The first members of MANA were readers of the column LLamado Tayo by Rey Bajenting in the tabloid Tumbok. Bajenting a veteran gamefowl conditioner, handler and breeder from Cebu and founding director of Central Visayas Breeders Association (CVBA) also writes for a number of sabong magazines, and author of manuals, pamphlets and books about cockfighting..
Sometime in mid 2007, a reader Boying Santiago of Camarines Sur, then the PIO of Bicol Gamefowl Breeders Association (BIGBA) suggested that common sabungeros form a nationwide organization through the column LLamado Tayo, with registration for membership done through text messaging. In 3 months, membership reached 2 thousand. This encouraged the primemovers to undertake direct recruitment through seminars and chapters. Numerous seminars have been conducted in different places and provinces in cooperation with companies engaged in the gamefowl industry. To achieve its goal, MANA needed partners from other sectors of the sabong industry.
The very first seminars of MANA were held in regions 7 and 8, all in coordination with Sagupaan Superfeeds. MANA and Sagupaan had a memorandum of agreement wherein MANA members and its gamefowl dispersal projects in Central and Eastern Visayas enjoyed substantial discounts on prices of Sagupaan feeds and medicine.
It was Dr Marlou Sabit, Sagupaan company veterinarian, who coordinated with MANA. Jorge Sales, Sagupaan national sales manager. extended full support to the project.
While MANA had a potential wide mass base, it lacked the logistic necessary for organizing. Sagupaan provided this and well complemented the efforts of the start up organization
In the process, Sagupaan identified with the cause and projected an image of responsiveness and sense of concern for the common sabungero. Thus, Sagupaan’s contribution to the growth of MANA had been well acknowledged by MANA officers and members.
Sagupaan products, particularly Selectrogen, B50/2 and Complexor 2000 figured prominently in MANA’s manual on conditioning, the “Manwal ng Mana sa Makabagong Pamamaraan ng Pagpili at Pagkundisyon.”. These Sagupaan products are widely used by MANA members nationwide.
Now MANA has more than 11 thousand members. The bulk, about 70%, were garnered through text registration. The 30% of the members registered through seminars and chapters. Certainly thousands more have heard of, MANA and supports its objectives. MANA hopes to reach out further to its wide mass base well distributed to every region, province, city and municipality in the country, in order to attract more members and supporters.
Sabong is a P50 Billion-a-year industry in the Philippines. Some estimates put the number of Filipinos involved in the industry at as many as 10 million. MANA’s conservative estimate puts it at 5% of the male population or, at least, more than 2 million.
Of these, an estimated 100 thousand are directly making a living at cockpits as sentensyador,mananari, taga-ulot, kasador, house kristos, medics, gatekeepers and utility workers. There are about 1,500 licensed cockpits in the Philippines. A much greater number are working at big farms and cocking stables as handlers, feeders, and farmhands. And, there are those who engage in the micro-industry of making and producing cocking equipment and paraphernalia.
These workers do not enjoy protection under the labor code and most do not have pension, medical and insurance coverage. It is about time somebody look after their welfare.
The objectives of MANA are:
1. To uphold the interest and promote the welfare of common sabungeros, especially the workers in the industry such as the handlers, mananari, kristos, and others who make a living from sabong;
2. To fight for the preservation of sabong as sport, livelihood, industry and cultural heritage.
3. To inform and educate the common sabungeros of the advanced technologies in cockfighting.
4. For the members to work together; and for MANA as a whole to work with others for the good of sabong and the welfare of the common sabungero.
MANA continues to impart gamefowl management knowledge and promote awareness through seminars and trainings, hands-on-at-farm technology transfer; information through publications, radio; and the regular monthly pasabong at Pasay Cockpit, held every 3rd Wednesday of the month starting January 2009. More MANA pasabong are exspected. On June 20, 2009 will be MANA’s inaugural pasabong in Cavite Coliseum in Bacoor, Cavite. Another one will start in Las Pinas Coliseum in July 2009. More are expected to start in Bicol, Cebu and other parts of the Visayas before 2009 ends.
MANA is also setting up gamefowl dispersal projects for members in Teresa, Rizal, City of Naga and Ronda, Cebu and in Lawaan, Eastern Samar.
Its books and publications include Tilaok newsletter; Manwal ng Mana sa Makabagong Pamamaraan ng Pagpili at Pagkundisyon; Manwal ng Mana sa Praktikal na Pagpalalahi; Power Pointing; Don’t Leave Luck to Chance: Introduction to modern science of cockfighting; and Gamefowl Dispersal Program’s Nutrition and Supplementation. The column Llamado Tayo is now carried by the sabong newsweekly Larga.
Now, the common sabungero, indeed the real backbone of the gamefowl industry, may yet emerge as an organized sector and a voice that may be able to contribute its share to the affairs of the industry.
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- ▼ March (4)
Mana: Dami at Pagkakaisa
Walang duda napakalaki na ng pinagunlad ng sabong mula sa paging libangan tuwing araw ng Linggo, ito ngayon ay isa nang napakatanyag na isport, malaking industriya at kaakitakit na mapagkakitaan.
Napakarami nang nagpapalahi ng manok panabong. Nagsilabasan ang mga babasahin at programa sa telebisyon ukol sa sabong.
Sa bawat nagpapalahi, ilan ang tagapagalaga ng kanyang manok? Sa bawat may-ari ng sabungan, ilan ang naghahanapbuhay sa sabungan niya? Sa bawat kasali sa derby, ilan ang nagbabayad sa pinto upang manood? Sa bawat malaking sabungero, ilan ang mayroon lang iilang pirasong tinale sa kanilang bakuran? Dapat lang, at napapanahon na siguro, na ang masang sabungero ay mapagtuonan ng pansin, mabigyan ng kinatawan, at, marinig ang boses sa isport at industriya ng sabong.
Ito ang nais abutin ng MANA (Masang Nagmamanok), isang pambansang kilusan at samahan ng mga masang sabungero. Ang mga layunin ng MANA ay ang sumusunod:
1. Ang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga maliit na sabungero, partikular na, ang mga naghahanapbuhay sa sabungan. Inaasam na sa darating na panahon, ang mga handlers, mananari, casador, kristos, sentensiyador, farm hands ay magkakaroon ng mga benepisyo tulad ng insurance, pension at iba pa.
2. Ang mapatingkad ang kaalaman ng ordinaryong sabungero sa pagmamanok. At, sila’y mabigyan ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng angkop na materyales sa pagpapalahi at paglalaban.
3. Ang ipaglaban ang sabong sa gitna ng banta na itoy gawing labag sa batas tulad ng nangyari kamakailan lang sa Estados Unidos, at ipreserba ito bilang isport, hanapbuhay, industriya at bahagi ng ating kultura at tunay na mana.
4. Ang magtulungan at makipagtulungan sa iba pang haligi ng industriya sa ikabubuti ng sabong at ikauunlad ng lahat na mga sabungero.
Inaasahan na matupad ng MANA ang nasabing mga layunin pamamagitan ng pagpakita ng dami at pagkakaisa.
Ang pagkatatag ng MANA ay bunsod ng mungkahi ni kamanang Boying
Ang Llamado Tayo ay tumatalakay sa ibatibang aspeto sa pagmamanok at binabasa ng napakarami arawaraw, kaya di nagtagal marami ang sumapi sa MANA.
Kasunod nito, ang MANA ay nakapagpaseminar sa ibatibang lugar at rehiyon ng Pilipinas, sa tulong ng mga kumpaniya tulad ng Excellence Poultry & Livestock Specialist, Bmeg-Derby Ace, Sagupaan, Secret Weapon, at Thunderbird.