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Book on hotelier Leandro ‘Biboy’ Enriquez, cockfighting off the press

MANILA – Perhaps no other name is as popular as Biboy in contemporary cockfighting.

Born Leandro D. Enriquez to Modesto and Trinidad Enriquez 82 years ago, Biboy first witnessed cockfighting through their family driver. He became interested in the sport and while studying would find time to watch cockfighting at the La Loma Cockpit.

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

Know more about Biboy, cockfighting, and the game fowl industry in a book launched on June 20, 2024 at the Bistro Manuel at the popular farm resort and events place, Estancia de Lorenzo in San Mateo, Rizal.

Authored by veteran writer and publisher Melandrew T. Velasco, the Biboy book is published by Media Touchstone Ventures, Inc. (MTVi), an outfit that has produced several coffee table books among these are biographies of the Ramos family; institutional books of MWSS, the Philippine Public Safety College, RPDev; and on local government units, among others.

Titled “‭Biboy: The Inspiring Story of Leandro Diaz Enriquez‬,” the coffee table book is a tribute to Biboy, once a first class hotelier and entertainment icon, by its co-publisher, EDL Group of Companies Chairman Dr. Eulalio D. Lorenzo, DVM.

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

Incidentally, Tatak Excellence is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and it’s the premier company among the more than 20 companies under Dr. Lorenzo’s EDL Group.

This is MTVi’s second coffee table book collaboration with Dr. Lorenzo after “‭Doc ‬ Ayong The Inspiring story of Dr. Eulalio D. Lorenzo, DV‭M” published in 2019.‬

The coffee table book chronicles Biboy’s growing up years in Quezon City, his years as a business executive and hotelier at Silahis, Philippine Village and Sulo hotels, as the founder of the Mutya ng Pilipinas and Asian Pacific pageants, franchisee of the Playboy Club of the Philippines, to his pursuit of a passion —cockfighting — discovered as a young boy.

Giving up 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.

Biboy has developed champion bloodlines sought after by cockfighting enthusiasts and breeders alike.

The book also chronicles the unprecedented struggles and success of Biboy’s parents Trinidad Diaz and Modesto Enriquez from teachers to D & E and Sulo restaurants to hotel tycoons.

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. Cockfighting has provided revenues to the government and generated employment to people. It has contributed to the expansion of the game fowl industry. 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.  

Old friends and contemporaries the likes of Ms. Cory Quirino, former television host Chiqui Hollman-Yulo, sisters Peachy and Chiqui Veneracion, Chef Philippe Berthelemy and wife Gina, Chef Ulrich Williman, Zeny Cruz, classmate Arturo Favis Jr. and a Northridge, California-based brother., Dr. Gil Nicolas, among others, were special guests at the book launching. 

Interested parties for autographed books by Biboy and the author may contact MTVI thru Ms. May Pedrosa at +63 910 263 5886.

Book author Melandrew Velasco delivered an emotional speech during the launching of his latest book. Here’s excerpts of his message:

“At the onset, let me take this opportunity to thank my dear Rotary classmate (fellow past club president), Kumpadre and Big Brother Doc Ayong Eulalio Lorenzo, the big boss of the EDL Group of Companies, for this wonderful opportunity to write and publish the colorful story of Mr. Biboy D. Enriquez. Thank you Pards. 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. Thank you also to Eulo Lorenzo, COO of Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialist Inc. and the other big boss of Estancia de Lorenzo, Pastora Mayette Lorenzo for sponsoring and hosting this book launch.

“This 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.

“The other challenge that we faced as a book team was the lack of materials especially photos of Biboy who kept on telling the book team that he regretted not keeping mementos and memorabilia on his inspiring and colorful life.

“But I take pride with the book creative team for taking the initiative in mining photos of BIBOY and other landmarks just to enliven the book.

“I also thank my two senior writers and editors Mr. Alfred G. Gabot, former National Press Club president and Manila Bulletin editor, and Ms. Girlie Canlas for their contributions to the fruition of this milestone book. I also acknowledge the contribution of Ms Mads Miraflor Miraflor for helping out with the interviews notably with Biboy’s friend Louie Ysmael.

“Lastly, I offer a toast to the man of the hour and a rara avis (rare bird), Mr BIBOY Enriquez for allowing the publication of his life story as a lasting gift not only to his family members and friends but also to his bigger constituents in the game fowl industry.”

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