Bacolod-based breeder Nestor Leonida Espinel, 47, had always been a hardworking man. While finishing his management course from the West Negros College (now a University), he was a working student in order to support himself and his studies.
After college, he worked as Chief Security at the Riverside Hospital from 1983 to 1989, and since then he got into bodybuilding and eventually became a Progressive Resistance Training (PRT) Instructor in the same institution.
But aside from his regular job, Nestor was also a part-time karate instructor and on weekends, he was a gaffer to many clients on the pit. Sometimes, he would also accept conditioning jobs from some breeders.
All these things he did, not wasting a moment and life had been good to him.
Nestor and His Game Farm
Eventually, the beckoning of the breeding industry became too loud to bear that Nestor gave in and followed the call. He left his full-time job to concentrate on his breeding in 1995 and since then, he has never regretted that life-changing decision. His body building principles have been shifted in the body building of game fowls.
For someone who had been in love with game birds ever since he was a preschooler, going into commercial breeding was a dream come true. He first occupied a small space in the farm of his friend Jessie Divinagracia in Mambukal, Murcia with materials from another friend, Leo Dano. His bloodlines were primarily of the Blue Face Hatch lineage from the late premier breeder, Emmanuel “Mame” Lacson.
Nestor admits that his breeding then was pretty much the result of a lot trials and corresponding errors. But he persisted in his experiments and eventually established his own system, proving first hand the things that work and those that don’t. He admits that even being a gaffer, he was self taught.
In 2000, Nestor was blessed to be able to acquire new materials. From known Negros breeder Joe Laureño, Nestor got some Dink Fair, Hatchett, Cowan Roundhead, and Sweater breeding stock.
Because of his expansion, the place in Mambucal became too crowded already. So Nestor moved his breeding to a one-hectare lot in Bendito, Brgy. Alangilan, Bacolod City in 2005. Aside from the move, the year 2005 was a big year because during this time he got married to his supportive wife Ritchel with whom he now has two daughters, Althea Nichelle and Athena Nicolette.
Two years later, Nestor again moved to a four-hectare leased property in Cabutungan, also in Alangilan. At present, he is producing around 700 heads per season of his signature breeds—the Dink Fair and the Blueface Hatch. These are sold to buyers that mostly come from Cebu and Manila.
Given ample finances, Nestor plans to grow his farm to produce 1000 heads per season and to sell more breeding materials.
Memorable Derby Victories
Nestor admits that his main reason for venturing into breeding is for business. He has proven that the breeding of game fowls, with the proper management, can be a profitable source of livelihood.
But breeding is the kind of business that requires one to join associations and their subsequent derbies. Nestor is a member of the NGBA, GF-BAN, Bakbakan, and NSSA where he meets new friends and clients.
And since he joins in derbies, even for the purpose of marketing, he is given the chance to fight and prove that his game birds are of the superior kind. In 2007 and 2008, he was co-champion in the GF-BAN 8-Stag Derby. As if the two championships are not enough, he was also hailed as GF-BAN Breeder of the Year in 2008 after earning 13 straight wins in the 8-stag derby and the 5-stag clean up derby. It was also in the same year that his entry was the only one that qualified for the Bakbakan finals in Manila, earning 8.5 points in the 10-stag event.
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