I would venture and guess that the fighting cocks and style were brought over and adopted when Spain took over the Philippine island. Some were also brought to the island when Japan and many travelers from different part of Asia do trades.
i have in my collection, a very long fork style knife that belonged to a tattooo artist, he was a sailor who fought in the philipines in the 30s so they have had AG blood there a long time. i think almost all of the knife fights there are all mostly imports from the states now days
The origin of Philippine fighting cocks can be traced when the Lemons dominated the Philippine pits. This is the story written by Robert "Boy" Ocampo, Jr.
ALL ABOUT LEMONS
by: Roberto "Boy" Ocampo Jr.
Recent International Derby Champions, Breeders and Cocker of the Year awards have been attained by people who had put their faith in the capabilities of a local strain, the "LEMONS".
For almost 40 years now, this magnificent bloodline has preserved it's tradition of winning in the highest levels of competition.
Stories about it has been repeatedly told, both verbally and in print, but for the sake of those who are unfamiliar with it's beginnings, I will again do so.
HISTORY OF THE LEMONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Mainly responsible for the popularity of those "lemon-hackled" gamecocks of Duke Hulsey here in the country was the father-son tandem of Don Amado Araneta and son Jorge (Nene) Araneta.
Fighting under the name "THUNDERBIRDS", the Araneta's in partnership with Duke Hulsey dominated the competition in Manila's cockpits from 1963-1967.
During the same period mentioned, several "mains" were held at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Q. C.. These events were billed "U.S. vs. Philippines".
The U. S. team was composed of the Aranetas (RAFAEL “PAENG” ARANETA) and Duke Hulsey while the "Philippines" was represented by the cream of Phil. cockfighting some of whom were: Mssrs. Peping Cojuangco, Johnny Veloso, Mayo Lacson, Eddie Araneta and Esting Teopaco.
In all of the said encounters, the U. S. team prevailed. They fought uniformed looking cocks which typically were red, straight comb and yellow legged. Duke called them his "Lemon Hackles". He claims they were a blend of HATCH-CLARET-BUTCHER blood that he had proportionally set and established as a family.
DISTINCTION OF THE LEMON 84
While the "Lemon Hackles" rooster was famous internationally, the "Lemon 84" strain is only true in the Philippines. It was originated by Mr. Paeng Araneta. Based on his personal account, which I read in a book about Philippine cockers and breeders, this is his story.
Mr. Rafael Araneta's first visit to the Amicizia Farm of Duke Hulsey in Tangipahoa, Louisiana in 1967. It was there that he came upon an "unusual lemon". It was a peacomb.
He had it shipped to Manila. As friends kept asking him what he called the rooster, he noticed the leg band number and coined the name "LEMON 84".
He states the pedigree of this strain as follows:
* He bred the Lemon 84 cock (peacomb) to two Lemon hens which he had also bred from a battle-scarred winner he had acquired earlier.
* He got some pullets which he bred back to 84' cock (father-daughter mating) and from the bunch picked two specimens which he bred to each other (brother-sister mating).
Again, he chooses 2 of the most vigorous pullets and bred back to the 84' cock.
* This time a pair of pullets showed up with green-legs.
From all the breeding of the "Lemons", Mr. Araneta was able to establish two families; One, typical "Lemon" with yellow legs. The other, looking more like peacomb, green legged Hatches which were dark red.
In 1970 and 1971, the "Lemon 84's" were entered in the International Derby. They finished with runner-up honors in both occasions.
However, the crowning glory of the Lemon 84 came in 1972, when they claimed the title in the International.
Though they shared the honor with 2 other champion entries, it was nonetheless a monumental feat for it marked the first time in Philippine cockfighting history that a team of island-bred roosters were successfully pitted against an all imported line-up of opponents.
ANOTHER FAMILY OF LEMONS
Stories about the "Lemons" vary depending on whose hands they are with. One should remember that this strain has been in the country for almost 40 years. now.
Recently, I was told the story of another family of Lemons by Mr. Boy Palileo.
Boy, who is 58 yrs old now, used to condition the shows of his late uncle Manolo Lovina. Manolo bred what he called his "MASSA or SUNSHINE LEMONS". This line of Lemons came from Mr. Emmanuel Massa, who in turn was a partner of Duke Hulsey. Boy believes that Mr. Massa is still alive and a member of the board of directors of the U.G.B.A..
Basically, Mr. Massa bred two families of fowl, with stocks either full brother or full sisters of the Dukes' personal brood fowl.
His yards composed of: "Lemons" which were basically: 1/2 Butcher (MARSH) 1/4 Blueface 1/4 Kelso and the "Cecils" which were basically 1/2 Bumblefoot (Grey line) 1/4 McLean 1/4 Kelso.
This particular family came 99% peacomb and though the Bumblefoot was a family of greys no grey rooster ever came out of Manolo's breeding.
Some of the feats that Manolo and Boy accomplished with this family of Lemons are:
A. In the five years that they fought this "MASSA or SUNSHINE LEMONS" they accumulated 49 trophies (champions).
B. They won a 5 cock derby in the prestigious Candelaria affair.
C. Under the "MESCALEROS" entry, which was a combine of Messrs Lito Lacson, Herman Lacson, Brothers Joe & George Zubiri, Brothers Manolo & Nonie Lovina and Rafael "Paeng" Araneta, the group placed runner-up behind Bago City combine in a circuit held in Bacolod in 1976. Though the BAGO CITY GROUP won the circuit with an over all score of 28 pts., the "MESCALEROS" scored 27 1/2 pts.
What is worth mentioning here is, that Boy claims he only used 9 cocks the entire affair to accumulate the said total score of the combine.
The breakdown is as folows:
-4 cocks were purchased from Mr. Tony Trebol (which had 84 blood in them)
-1 cock purchased from a certain DEWIT of Bago City. This particular cock won 5x losing its 6th fight because the blade was cut off and fell entirely during the 1st buckle and completing the line-up were 4 "MASSA" Lemon cocks.
In another story, Boy narrates that it was because of their fine performances with the breed, that prompted Mr. Leandro "Biboy" Enriquez to ask if he could purchased some of their Lemons.
Manolo replied that he was not been on selling but that he could refer Mr. Enriquez to a friend who Manolo claims had better "Lemons" than him.
The first batch of roosters that Mr. Enriquez purchased either became champion or did pretty good with them. The second batch of Lemons that he got were stolen in his farm in Tanay.
Then Mr. Enriquez financed on all occasions the entries of Manolo's friend in the 1970, 1971 and 1972 International Derbies at the Araneta Coliseum. They fought under the banner "SJ FIREBIRDS".
Manolo's friend was Mr. Rafael "Paeng" Araneta.
*Note: Sometimes, the story you hear about the exploits of the "LEMONS" sound fictional; they're not!
Hi Abreu - North America have the ideal climate and land for raising game fowl. They had the old gaff blood lines which gave them a monopoly of supplying cocks to Mexico and the Pacific. Upto not all that long ago a breeder could raise 500 stags every year, send 200 of them to Mexico, send another 200 of them out to the Pacific islands and keep the other 100 back for himself. Just before cocking was outlawed in North America some of the big breeders had already relocated to the Philippines with their best fowl. After the ban many of the biggest breeders either relocated to the Philippines with their best fowl or they just sold up. These American breeders are the ones who were / are in it for the money.
Thanks for sharing Stormer. There are similar set ups in Mexico. However like you stated Mexico lacks gaff shows which encourage gameness and bottom. Historically Mexico has depended on American gaff breeders for seed stock. In the area where I have my property, there are 1/4" gaff shows and 1" knife shows. 1/4" is dominated by Spanish, Cuban and Tuzo Asil crosses. 1" is dominated by American Game.
Short : - some of this might have something to do with the land South of the border ? Also only certan parts of North America is good for game fowl. The North East and the Appellations are the best areas for game fowl.
There are different micro climates in the area my parents are from Michoacán Mexico. Our property is located in high elevation Oak Tree forest. Higher up there is Pine Tree forest with constant mist, similar to the Smokey Mountains. Closer to the coast it's hot and humid like Miami Florida.
Back then in the usa their was money to be made for american fowl breeders.Specially in steel weopons contest.A lots of scientific research on genetics was done on game genetics,almost as much as,other agriculture live stock and racing horses,and others.Just simpley because their was big money to be made.Their were breeders that ship thousand of birds every year for pretty good money.At the time most of scientific breeder were here in the usa,and in american game fowl .a lots of different countries wanted their fowl ,sinpley because for steel game they were the best at the time.Every year the the people over in other countries had come back to the usa and buy more.They simply couldnot reproduce as good as good.The americans sinpley sold them the product thats the milk,not cow.