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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

For the love of cockfighting

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The book features cockfighting which has remained popular through the years not only in the country but also in other parts of the world

He did not seek popularity. But for years, Leandro D. Enriquez, popularly known as Biboy, hogged the limelight especially during the ‘70s and the ‘80s.

He was often photographed with scions of wealthy families and beauty queens.

Founder and organizer of the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty pageant, he was also a hotel and restaurant executive, franchisee of the Playboy Club in Manila and a good-looking bachelor.

Now an octogenarian, his popularity has not waned. In the country’s arena of cockfighting, perhaps no other name is as famous as Biboy.

Biboy leads a quiet life away from the glitz and glamor, enjoying the fresh air at his farm in Tanay, Rizal. It is on this 26-hectare farm where Biboy breeds bloodlines that are ranked

among the best gamecocks in the country.

Biboy first witnessed cockfighting through their family driver.

He became interested in the sport and, while studying, found time to watch cockfighting at the La Loma Cockpit.

For some time, his interest in cockfighting took a back seat as he concentrated helping his parents on the booming family restaurant and hotel business.

Know more about Biboy and cockfighting, and the game fowl industry in a book launched on June 20, 2024 at the Estancia de Lorenzo in San Mateo. This is the 45th book I have authored and published by Media Touchstone Ventures, Inc.

Titled Biboy The Inspiring Story of Leandro Diaz Enriquez, the coffee table book is a tribute to Biboy by Dr.Eulalio Lorenzo, DVM, who financed the publication of the book.

Biboy is the top endorser of Tatak Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialist Inc. whose products are manufactured and distributed are topnotch in the industry.

This year, Tatak Excellence is celebrating its 30th anniversary and it’s the premier company now led by COO Eulo Lorenzo among the more than 20 companies under Dr. Lorenzo’s EDL Group.

Incidentally, this is my second book project with Doc Ayong, the first one was on his inspiring and remarkable life story published in December 2019 in time for his 60th birthday.

The Biboy book is more than 16 months in the making brought about by some health challenges that I encountered over the last 10 months — surviving two major colon surgeries – one in the Philippines in August and the second one in the US last January.

By God’s grace, I’m now on my way to full recovery. Although declared cancer-free by my US surgeon, I still need to undergo follow up check up every six months with a CT scan.

I am just happy to be alive and this BIBOY book has been part of my journey as a book author and publisher since it helped me recover not only physically but also mentally and intellectually to go back to my roots of writing biographies.

It was a lovely and intimate evening for Biboy who was surprised to see old friends and contemporaries the likes of Ms. Cory Quirino, sisters Peachy and Chiqui Veneracion, Chef Philippe Berthelemy and wife Gina, Chef Ulrich Williman, Zeny Cruz, Dr. Gil Nicolas, among others.

The coffee table book chronicles Biboy’s growing up years in Quezon City, his years as a business executive, to his pursuit of a passion—cockfighting– discovered as a young boy.

Giving up his career in the hotel, restaurant and tourism industry, he pursued this passion and today, he is one of the country’s popular cockers.

What occupies his time is breeding gamecocks in his Firebird Gamefarm and joining expositions to promote cockfighting and the game fowl industry.

Of course, Biboy’s three Firebird angels — Lunny, Andrea and Mary Jhoy – accompanied him at the book launch.

The book also features cockfighting which has remained popular through the years not only in the country but also in other parts of the world. It has been and continues to be a source of entertainment for Filipinos.

Aside from entertainment, cockfighting is also a sport and considered a part of the Filipino cultural heritage.

Its importance has given rise to the crafting and issuance of several laws to govern cockfighting and the game fowl industry that is a source of revenues for the government and livelihood for many.

The prospect of the game fowl industry is tackled in the book as cockfighting evolves with the rapidly changing information and communication technologies that have given rise to e-sabong.

(The author, book author and publisher, is president and chief executive officer of Media Touchstone Ventures, Inc. and the president/executive director of the Million Trees Foundation Inc., a non-government outfit advocating tree-planting and environmental protection.)

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