Gentleman’s game

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


MORE than a week ago, I was invited to the 25th anniversary celebration and induction of the new set of officers of Cebu’s so-called Game of the Gentleman. The name purportedly came about because the participants are considered deeply honest. When they play the game and place their bets, they do so only in gesture with the amount honored afterwards.

Nobody has been known to shirk from his obligation to pay the amount of his bet if he lost.

Thus, in Cebu, the Cebu Gamecock Breeder and Cocker’s Association has existed across 25 years since 1989, and has quite consistently survived while many other similar organizations perished along the way.

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When I was in my early teens during the war years, my late grandfather was a cockfight aficionado. Early during World War II when we were out hiding in the hills of our town Balamban, he introduced me to the game he loved so much. He gave me a white stag to tend early in the war, and when it was ten months old, he taught me how to care of it and to prepare it to fight in a weekly “tabo” or barrio market day.

That was how I was hooked on the Gentleman’s Game to this day. And when one day in August 1989, as regional head of the Central Visayas Department of Public Information, I was invited to attend a meeting with some well-known names in Cebu, I willingly went. And so it was that I became sort of a charter member of the Cebu Gamecock Breeder and Cocker’s Association (CGBCA) up to this day.

After 25 years, I shall try to recall some of those I met during the organizational meeting in a downtown restaurant near Plaza Independencia: the late Manuel del Rosario, who was then in the real estate business and who became the first CGBCA president but later slid down as secretary to give way to Joe Mari Miranda, a sugar planter and political leader of Medellin and Bienvenido M. Tan, proprietor of the Atlantic Hardware treasurer until now.

Then there is Dr. Mario Mabalay, who always led the invocation at the start of every monthly meeting; the Pilapil brothers, Manuel and Antonio, gentlemen farm owners of Balamban; and Engr. Byron Bunagan. Last Monday, August 18, the elected CGBCA board secretary, Rudy del Rosario, who took over from elder brother, Manol, who died last year, informed us of the 25th anniversary
celebration.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. At 84 years old, I am not quite up to staying up late into the night as before. But the group, I was told, had businessman Ricardo Alba as guest speaker and induction officer. His firm is into the manufacture of various animal medicines, including the popular Thunderbird products.

CGBCA treasurer Bundo acted not only as keeper of the group’s fund, but he has always been acting as master of ceremony, and to introducing the guests. One of the honored guests was the prominent Cebu businessman Nonoy Chiongbian, who is also the owner-operator of Cebu’s famous Tejero Tourist Cockpit almost at the heart of the city. And of course, the Rajah Hotel Dancers for the night’s entertainment.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 27, 2014.

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