Philippine's Michael Jordan
1988 saw the arrival of one of the Top Filipino Fancier on record: Mr. Rey Gonzales. With the likes of Mr. Jaime Lim as his mentor, Rey caught the limelight easily with his astonishing local club victories.
Rey started it all by joining then young racing institution Pigeon Sportsmen of the Philippines (PSP). And thereafter affiliated himself to full grown clubs like PHA & PRPF.
He lives with the principle of quality over quantity and right there he immediately formed his family through the intensive crossings of lines: van den Brouke, Taiwan, Janssen, deWeerdt, Melucci, Fabry, Derere and the latest introduction, the Simons.
There in his loft at Caloocan City, Philippines the systems runs counter against the typical feedings and medications. From the time he commenced racing late 1988 he never used medication! 2000 was the year he decided over the regular vaccination especially against PMV-1 when damages were already been suffered. In addition with this a routinary shower is being given to birds 2x a week. Very odd in his system was the non-usage of highly favored imported and priced vitamins. He only uses a local Vetracin Powder, which is soluble in water and often comes in cheap prices.
His claim for perfection is so constant that his lines were the same family the other fanciers were using in claiming the top sheet. Bizarre it may seem again Rey never uses fancy supplements EVEN during the races. Upon the bird's arrival, simple plain water is what awaits the lone racers. He concentrates best during the breeding stages and there only he uses Brewer's Yeast mix with his own feeds. And as he repeatedly pointed out, minerals & calcium should always be present inside the loft through grits, pickstones and pink mineral unless one administers Vaccination. Only PMV-1 and nothing else demands unto him prevention via early medication. He says continuously "its all up to the birds to recover naturally... for starting in the basketting, there in the air, and upon homing to the loft they fly alone by themselves".
He let the birds out 3x a day and not more than 30 minutes each. Although he never uses the widowhood system he still separates the sexes on their 4th month. As I & my friend Allan discovered during our visit, 2-3 months old birds were being put under the heat of the sun for more than 3 hours without water. This is to "force" the birds' configuration into adapting the environment under extreme measures come longer races.
Rey is not fond of the theories available in the market. Like the eye, muscle or wing theory he never take heed of any of these "commercial products". Bloodline is name of the game although he still considers luck as a factor. "Always breed a medium size bird ... more advantageous in our tropical country like ours" he cited.
He never culls birds in cases of fractures or any body disfiguration due to accidents unless such were due to "strong" illness. This is to secure his efforts of crossing towards his aim to perfection.
His racing record made him well internationally. 7pm June of 1995, a Japanese accompanied by 2 interpreters and a driver suddenly visited Rey. Exclusively for a 2-day loft visit, the Japanese took 9 of Rey's best birds. This man "imported them out" to improve his birds he left in Japan. Previous importation by this Japanese was made from Europe yet he laid his hat in salute to Rey hoping to win big out here. After a straight 7 hours discussion he flew back to Japan.
Some of his victories as Champion:
FPA 89 North Race Aparri Champion & 2nd (only day
Birds! ), Rey almost claimed the 1-20 prizes! 1989
PSP Naga Champion 1990
PSP Sta Fe Champion
Tuguegarao Champion (4/7)
1991 PSP Santiago Champion
1992 PRPF Legaspi Champion (YB & OB!)
1st Overall Champion
1995 PRPF Tuguegarao Champion
1st Overall Champion YB
Laoag Champion 1996
Tacloban Champion YB (Solo Winner)
Overall Champion South NRPC
1st Overall Champion
1997 PHA San Francisco Car Winner.
Above cited are some of his achievements as Champion yet it never justifies Rey's complete performance on record because we just finished scanning 1/10th of the list of his results!
To conclude with, there are close similarities with this man and my idol Superstar Michael Jordan although their sports are remotely different. While the latter is an epitome of sports in the court, the former claims princely position in the skies . . .yet both are born to fly.