Photo: Flores expects the return of big time derby next year.
WHETHER small or big derby, Thunderbird is always around as event sponsors.
Recently, the country’s leading brand in gamefowl products organized the Manila Challenge 6-Stag All Star Invitational Derby at the Manila Arena in an effort to strengthen the camaraderie of the brand’s endorsers but also to raise funds for charity programs and equipment of the Health Center it built in Palawan.
Alimario Flores, Thunderbird’s Trade Marketing Head, asserted that the cockfighting industry has been deliberately affected by the pandemic for the past three years, which is why Thunderbird is actively promoting program to help all stake holders in the industry.
“During the pandemic, everyone didn’t know what to do. Everyone is lost. Since cockfighting stopped, we came out with an idea on how to help our partners and support the industry. We identify our partners and dealers. The stores, especially the small ones, we extends financial aid to the ‘takal boys’ and shopkeepers. In the farms, we also supported the workers, gaffers and gamefowl doctors.
“We didn’t just give aid to people, we also provided vitamins and food to the chickens, especially from small farms,” said Flores.
He said that Thunderbird regularly raised funds for charity, but during this pandemic they intensified the program to raise additional funding.
“Actually, the concept started through the idea of the late Sabong legend Ka Lando Lusong. One time he brought together Thunderbird endorsers for ‘Sabong Nation’ in a photo shoot and tournament in Palawan. We used the proceeds to build a health center in a barangay in Palawan,” said Flores.
“So we decided why don’t we have a derby, Paglaban-labanan natin yung ating mga endorsers and then we will give all the proceeds to the institution and buy supplies for the health center para maserbisyuhan yung mga residente na naapektuhan ng bagyo,” he said.
From Luzon to Mindanao, big names in the industry have joined the Manila Challenge including Patrick “Idol” Antonio, Rey Briones, and former Palawan Governor and Congressman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra.
“Apart from the home for the aged and other institutions that we support. Here at the Manila Challenge, we gave all the proceeds to buy equipment and repair the health center,” said Flores who personally gave the aid when the Thunderbird management went to Palawan for a meeting this past Sunday.
“Yung Manila Challenge was designed to earn funds to help the needy. Walang napunta kay Thunderbird dyan, lahat ibinigay namin. Yung mga endorsers naman, hindi na namin kinunan ng ayuda kasi may pot money na silang ginamit sa derby,” added Flores.
Now that everything is returning to normal activity, Flores said he hopes that the vitality of the industry will return once and for all so that the livelihood of small-scale workers in the industry can also recover.