Glad to see this interview with Ramon Mitra Jr.
Hope Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra and “Dado” Mitra are still breeding original the Mitra 54, Mitra 55 and Mitra 56. From Baham’s Bakbakan 2009 National Stag Derby team, he fought stags that are not the Mitra gamecocks I am used to as a child.
Baham/Dado, if you find this online, hope you find it interesting. Maybe we can get connected and enjoy chatting about your father’s gamecocks.
As a child I saw Mitra gamecocks being fought against the best looking american gamecocks that are a lot bigger and taller. But Mitra gamecocks can destroy these foes in a overwhelming dominance.
In fact the best fight I have seen in my life is between a grey Mitra gamecock and a red american gamecock.
The Mitra gamecock started hitting forward from one end of the arena pit and continued hitting until they reached the other side of the arena pit. The opponent is really a great gamecock too. The opponent keep backing up but hitting with multiple strokes as well – snapping and strapping going backwards. The Mitra gamecock actually plows the ground from one side of the arena into the other side. About 24 feet of ground getting plowed. The knife made a lot of holes in the ground on this offensive attack by the Mitra gamecock.
I am not sure if they were not cutting well or they were just evenly matched. That is the reason, I having doubts of my choice of this fight as the best cockfight ever in my life.
I was thinking if the Mitra gamecock is really great cutter there should be no need to plow the arena that long. The opponent must be dead in the first blows.
But I could not come up even a far second to this fight.
The opponent died after they reached the other side.
I was just a young child when I witnessed this awesome fight.
So, what is a Mitra gamecock?
Hope Baham and Dado will write a formal history of Mitra 54, Mitra 55 and Mitra 56 according to Ramon’s record books.
But here are some common knowledge (myths and facts) I picked up along the years with some insights from one of Ramon’s farm manager.
- Myth? Mitra 56 is composed of 56 different breeds from all over the world and of Philippine type gamecocks
- Japanese Shamo or Japs
- Brazilian Shamo
- Pakistani Aseel
- Indian Aseel
- Philippine Parawakan Aseel from Palawan “island” Province
- Philippine Igon Aseel from Bicol Region
- Ga Don
- Ga Cua
- Spanish gamecock
- American gamecocks; including a $2000.00 speckled red gamecock bought by Ramon in early 80’s which I had the pleasure of picking up and holding when I visited Ramon’s farm as a child.
- And many more gamecock breeds from all over the world.
- Myth? Mitra 56 is a cock with a band number 56.
- Fact! Mitra 54 are red, Mitra 55 are grey and Mitra 56 are blue.
- Fact! Mitra’s system of breeding is that he will provide the brood stocks, with all the gamecock roosters and gamecock hens, to the breeder (raiser/feeder) to breed and raise. Ramon will provide the feeds and all other supplies. Then Ramon will buy them at a pre-agreed price when they turned and start fighting. This system is used also by many commercial poultry companies where they provide you with the chicks, feeds, supplements, and veterinary supplies and they will buy the produce at 45 days for the broilers.
- Fact! Mitra has bred a little of “cowardliness” into his gamecocks in his own words but I prefer to call it “intelligence” because I never seen Mitra gamecocks quitting in actual fights and even on spars. The purpose is to have a fighting style which does not mixed it up (a blow for a blow infighting) but is one with timing and deadly as a sniper. Very clever ring generals that side steps, backs up, waves, ducks intelligently, and the powerful blows (one stroke or multiple strokes).
- Fact! Mitra gamecocks are winning against the top big time cockfighters’s best winning lines in Ramon’s lifetime.
The farm of Ramon that I visited as a child do not have teepees. More than 7 feet roost in every coconut tree trunk. Just enough tie cord for the gamecock to find shade behind the coconut tree trunk. Even day time, gamecocks are up in the high roost especially when they sensed strangers are approaching the area. Curiosity make them fly up the roost. The tie cord must not be too long as the gamecock must not be able to go beyond 180 degrees around the coconut tree trunk.
Hope to see them as bred when Ramon is alive. Ugly looking in american gamecock standards. But devastating with single or multiple strokes.
This how a true grounder gamecock must play the game. Plowing the ground.
Below is Ramon Mitra Jr. wikipedia entry and I highlighted the part about breeder of gamecocks.
It is good that true cockfighters always say the term “gamecocks” instead of improper term “gamefowl”.
Remember, Ramon is not breeder of gamefowl even Ramon might also own and raise Galliformes aka Gamefowl (an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game bird, containing turkey, grouse, chicken, quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, and the Cracidae).
Ramon “Monching” Villarosa Mitra, Jr.
(born February 4, 1928: Puerto Princesa, Palawan — died March 20, 2000: Makati City, Metro Manila), was a prominent Filipino statesman, diplomat, and a renown pro-democracy activist of the Philippines.
Early life and career
Mitra was born inside the Iwahig Penal Colony in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan to Ramon P. Mitra y Mariño and Purification Villarosa. He attended public school for elementary education and took his secondary education in San Beda College, Manila. He finished his Liberal Arts degree in Baguio City and obtained his Bachelor of Laws in San Beda.
Mitra was appointed as a Philippine Foreign Service Officer in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations from 1954 to 1961; in 1961 he was appointed as special assistant to the Office of President Quirino. He then became a senior technical assistant to the Office of the Mayor Villegas of Manila from 1962 up to 1965.
Mitra was elected congressman representing Palawan for two terms from 1965 and was minority leader within five years.
Senator of the Philippines (1971-1972)
He resigned during his second term to run for the senate and was elected senator in 1971. During the campaign, he was nearly killed in Plaza Miranda by hand grenades at the anti-Marcos political rally of the Liberal Party. In September 1972, his term was cut short by Martial Law. Mitra was one of the first arrested and jailed when Marcos declared martial law. “I am a Martial Law Victim,” he would say.
In 1978, Monching ran for the Interim Batasang Pambansa together with Sen. Ninoy Aquino. In 1984 he was elected as an Assemblyman to the Regular Batasang Pambansa. After the People Power Revolution in 1986, Mitra joined the Aquino administration and was appointed as Agriculture Minister.
Speaker of the House (1987-1992)
1992 Presidential Campaign
In 1991, Mitra, who was also the party president of the LDP Party, was selected in a party convention as the candidate for the presidency ahead of Defense secretary Fidel Ramos. Ramos bolted the party and formed his own party- the Lakas ng Tao Party. Mitra’s bid was difficult because he was branded as a traditional politicianand suffered many controversies including the alleged use of the congressional printing press for his election materials. Taken these all into account Mitra, Jr. was finally unsuccessful in the 1992 presidential election.
In 1995, he agreed to create a coalition with Fidel V. Ramos and formed the Lakas-Laban Coalition. In the 1995 elections, he ran for senator but lost. In the 1998 elections, he returned to the political spotlight as a key supporter of Joseph Estrada‘s successful presidential campaign. Estrada rewarded Mitra by naming him President of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Corporation.
“Monching,” as he was popularly known, was married to Cecilia Aldeguer Blanco in April 1959; they had six children, all of which are boys. Mitra’s sons are politically active; his third son, Ramon who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1988 served in the Philippine Marine Corps and is now part of the senatorial slate for May 2010 elections of the Nacionalista Party. Bernardo, his fourth son, has been working for government in various capacities since 1989 and his youngest, Abraham, is currently the Governor of Palawan.
During a night rally of farmers and fishermen in the midst of the 1992 presidential elections, he told his story about his poor life:
“All candidates say they’re going to do something about poverty, I don’t doubt the sincerity of their words. But do they really know how it is to be poor? Do they really know how it is to be hungry, really hungry? I do. Do they know how to throw a fishing net, how to fish from a boat through the long night? I do. The farmer who follows the carabao, what he thinks and what he feels, is something I know very well.”
With that, Mitra, Jr. confessed he was a “love child” born out of wedlock, reared barefoot and hungry, who caught crocodiles as a youth and was shunned by his affluent father. From those humble roots, Monching rose to be a lawyer, diplomat, senator and martial law prisoner, millionaire rancher and eventually, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Ramon V. Mitra was one of the nation’s most powerful politicians.
He had a life-long involvement with cattle. He was Chairman of the Farm Management Enterprises Corporation which owned and operated farm cattle ranches and was a breeder of gamecocks, thoroughbred horses, and cattle. When Monching conceded defeat in the 1992 presidential race, he found solace within the fences of his ranch and after which, continued to live his life as a farmer.
Mitra, at the age of 72, died at the Makati Medical Center from liver cancer. One of his last requests was to be buried beside a lighthouse in Palawan, with simple funeral rites unlike his predecessors in the House. In one of his last interviews, he said “the lighthouse overlooks the ocean where all boats entering and leaving Puerto Princesa Bay pass by. By making that my final resting place, I can continuously guide and protect my people.”
A building was named after him serving as the West Wing in the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.