Chika Muna!: Racecalling’s Young Guns

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Chika Muna! with racecalling’s young guns

Christopher “Tophe” Ora and Roden Sambajon have long been apprentices to racecallers Victor Sandig and Ernie Enriquez at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, calling barrier and novato runs. Finally, they have received their racecaller’s licenses from Philracom and launched their debut performances last May 23 at SLLP. Roden called Race 2, Tophe Race 7.

With guidance from Santa Ana Park racecaller Ira Herrera, both young ‘uns “broke their maiden” successfully. Roden buckled only slightly pronouncing horse Blue Print’s name due to first-time jitters, while Tophe’s call was practically flawless, earning him a “grade of 95%” from Ira.

Tophe (21) finished a two-year Communications Technician course, while Roden (22) recently graduated from the Philippine Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication. Both are single, both consider themselves “batang karera”, and both say that racecalling is their dream profession, a way to be part of the industry that they love.

LENGTH OF APPRENTICESHIP:

Tophe:Inabot po ng three years kasi ngayon lang po na-approve ng Philracom ang lisensiya ko.”

Roden: “1-1/2 years. Matagal po bago kami bigyan ng lisensiya kasi kailangan hasang-hasa kami sa terminologies. Nationwide po tayo [broadcasting], pag nagkamali kami, Club ang mananagot. Kaya kailangan, perfect.”

HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN RACECALLING?

Tophe: “Batang karera po kasi ako. Kada umaga, nanonood ako ng ensayo sa Santa Ana Park. Pero wala pong iba sa pamilya ko na nagtatrabaho sa karera. Hilig ko lang talaga. Exciting kasi, lalo pag ikaw ang tumatawag.”

Roden: “Karerista ang father ko; everytime nanonood siya ng TV, naririnig ko ang racecaller, nakakatuwa, magandang pakinggan. It’s challenging and exciting.”

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?

Tophe: “Nakita ko konti lang ang sumusubok na mag-apply. MJC lang po ang nagha-hire, kaya I tried na mapabilang sa kanila.”

Roden: “Naisip ko rin mag-racecaller kasi sa tingin ko, paangat ang industriya. MJC lang ang open to applications noon. Gusto ko na sa pamamagitan ng pagtawag naming, makatulong kami sa industriya ng karera at makapagbigay ng saya at tamang impormasyon sa mga karerista.”

IDOL RACECALLER AND MENTORS:

Tophe: “Ira Herrera. Nag-guide din sa akin sina Vic Sandig at Ernie Enriquez.”

Roden: “Vic Sandig and Ira Herrera. Ang pinaka-adviser ko si Vic Sandig.”

HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF TEN YEARS FROM NOW?

Tophe: “Still a racecaller.”

Roden: “To be someone like Ira Herrera, who can racecall and also host the live broadcast coverage.”

ADVICE TO ASPIRANTS:

Roden:Kailangan karerista sila, updated sa races, sa mga nananalo, familiar sa mga kabayo at diviza. Kailangan rin matandain sila at may voice talent. Pinakamahalaga, may lakas-loob sila.”

QUOTE:

Tophe:Hilig ko lang po talaga ito. Gusto ko lang maging part ng industriya.”

Roden: “Malapit sa puso ko ang racecalling. Mahirap siyang iwanan. Di ko ma-explain.”

Photo, L-R: Tophe and Roden at SLLP’s Announcers’s Booth, 23 May 2007.

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9 Comments on Chika Muna!: Racecalling’s Young Guns

  1. mang efren
    21 October 2010 at 4:22 pm (2556 days ago)

    i’m a 57 year old man from tatalon,quezon city and an avid fan of horse racing since my felix huertas day where i learned how to bet on horse racing.gusto ko lang malaman on where to contact mr.ira herrera.i admire his tips because of it’s consistentsy.gusto ko sana minsan kapag ako ay mangangarera ay malaman ko ang mga tips niya.hindi rin ako madalas pumunta ng otb to hear his tips and wala naman akong cable.sana you can send ira’s e-mail address to mine. maraming salamat po if you can do this favor to me.more power to you!

  2. Jenny
    27 October 2010 at 9:13 am (2550 days ago)

    Hi, Mang Efren, as far as I know wala pong email address si Ira.

  3. reginald burgos
    30 October 2010 at 3:21 pm (2547 days ago)

    taga manila ako

  4. arnel
    1 November 2010 at 7:39 pm (2544 days ago)

    bakit po pinapayagan ng santa ana na magbigay ng tips sa karera ang mga hinete.may mga intances na wala tips ang may sakay na hinete na tipster pero hugando manalo kabayo nya parang niloloko lang nya mga bayang kareresta dapat cguro mam hindi dapat magbigay ng guide o giya ang mga hinete para d maimpluwensya mga bayang kareresta.

  5. mang efren
    29 March 2011 at 4:44 pm (2397 days ago)

    dear jenny,
    sana minsan naman i-post mo tips mo so we can have at least a guide to
    bet.since i can,t have ira’s tips,ok na sa akin yung tips mo.i saw you before sa committee meeting ng games and amusement sa congress
    with commissioner bokbok.i just want to greet you kaya lang you’re too busy at that time and hurriedly went out.sayang yung chance.
    anyway,congrats sa iyong column sa manila standard regarding race horses.more power to you jenny!!!!!!!!!!

  6. moonriver0712/dljr
    24 May 2011 at 1:10 pm (2341 days ago)

    mam jen ask ko lng wla bang blog c ira herrera or facebook accnt? i cant find him…ira is my idol in terms of horsecalling mas lalo na nung nag race announcer na cya pag san lazaro he is also a good racing analyst like comm. boboc domingo…hope to see u two be in tandem again in covering the races although it may be impossible bcoz ira is doing it during SLLP and you nman pag PRCI.

  7. Jenny
    24 May 2011 at 3:47 pm (2341 days ago)

    Mang Efren, thanks! Pero hindi po ako magaling mag-tip, ipinapaubaya ko na po iyon sa tunay na experts tulad ni Comm Boboc at ni Partner Ira.

    Moon, walang blog si Ira pero may FB account siya. Have you searched FB for “Ira Herrera”?

  8. John Mc Donald
    13 June 2011 at 6:00 pm (2320 days ago)

    While I was watching thru the live streaming. I was so surprised to hear the word NICE which is being pronounced wrongly by one of your race callers. I know for sure that that is not a Filipino word.

    NICE is being pronounced as NI SE.

    Please listen to the replay
    http://www.youtube.com/user/badgeofhonour#p/u/5/OFWTbW6H7mY

    I also overheard one of your anchors. He mentioned NIS or NEES.
    I believe he was pertaining to the horse NICE.

    Race 8, June 11, 2011, NICE with JB Guce won that race against ABA TEKA, PREMIER AFFAIR, IDOL BORONG and MAPAGMAHAL.

    So how are they going to read “NICE GUY”

    HAVE A NICE DAY Ms. Jenny