Brand Name: La Razo

La Razo

As I pushed the shovel to the ground in an attempt to further deepen the mud pond, I asked myself again if it can be done.

Not counting all the other mud ponds I once had, and after the purchase, it has been six months since me and my farm hand have been toiling particularly on this little piece of land that made up this little Koi farm I named La Razo. It has always been like this, resorting to doing manual labor even though we’ve had ideas that could have made the job faster and easier. Needless to say, since the beginning we never made excuses but dealt with the hand we were given and stubbornly forged on towards making some modest dream a reality, one snail-pace step at a time.

Thinking of simultaneously doing farm development and farm production I can say that despite every challenge thrown at us along the way, we already had a few harvests and was fortunate enough to select what we thought are decent tategois.

I am not koi savvy at all. However, even though we have limited knowledge on this field of koi breeding, koi culling, mud pond management, all the problems we’ve had that led to enormous losses gave me valuable lessons to learn from. It gave us information that only those who go into koi breeding, cull koi frys and manage a mud pond will ever experience and learn firsthand. It is hard to go into details but it made me aware of the important things about mud ponds and myths.

I am not sure but maybe, just like anyone who’ll go into this hobby and feel like a kid again each time a topic of koi comes up, that immaturity led me to read and read about things NishigiKoi.

I cannot say that it was the best way to learn about koi, but it did conveniently give us references after references. I also developed this habit of saving every high quality pictures of koi being posted on the web as well as saving each picture of selected fishes fresh from culling from the famous bloodlines. It is safe to say that tategoi selection wise, we are using any information we can get that we believe we can possibly use now or along the way as we thread in this endeavor. Always using whatever we thought useful to us and as early as now despite blurry, it somehow gave us ideas about what our last harvest would be.

Looking back since I took this hobby seriously, all I can see are mistakes after mistakes. I can say that as much as I like learning that way, I am also overwhelmed sometimes thinking of the time that needed to be spent just to realize future targets we set for ourselves. Plus, it is also quite scary to think the money spent already and the money that we have yet to spend just to end up with one high quality fish if we are lucky. Simply put, being a Koi farmer is not easy.

If you are trying to have a partner in this business, make sure that you have some sort MOA signed by an attorney just so to protect yourselves from yourselves because koi breeding and koi keeping that aims for best results involves money, lots of it. So that when sometimes the partnership won’t work at all, all of you have some signed agreement or document to fall on.

I had one bad experience when a certain municipal councilor approached me and proposed a partnership. Naïve as I was, I jumped into the idea spending a few thousand cleaning and fencing the mud ponds in his own lot only to be told a few weeks later of the budding partnership that he cannot do further because of so many lame excuses. Later, I figured that the real reason was that the dream was just to big enough for him. Needless to say no matter how disappointed I was trusting someone so easily, the experience pointed me in a direction of buying my lot that is now La Razo.

I’ve fired farm hands for stupidly harvesting the ponds on their own without me telling them simply because they thought it was the best idea.

There was also this time after making a low dike on my first mud pond, I then proceeded to put my 1 month-old koi fry in the still shallow pond only to be feasted on by the birds. It did not stop from there as a few weeks after that, I put in a new Sanke Koi fry only to be almost obliterated by the few Kohaku fishes that survived and were big enough to feed on it. Luckily enough, of those debacles I ended up keeping two 5-month-old tategoi that measures 13 inches now.

It is fair to say that we’ve had our share of challenges shoved down are throats already and maybe a few more along the way.

Another thing also that I learned is that when someone will try to get their hands dirty in koi breeding, one has to inevitably also embrace the business side of it. Simply because as much as you hate or have no idea in selling koi fishes, one has to also understand that growing also in this hobby will mean more and more fishes.

We’ve figured that we are having more and more fishes than we can ever take care of. We’ve figured that no matter how grand a champion is your koi Oyagoi is (We do not have a koi show Grand Champion yet… hehehe), not all of its offspring are the fishes you would like to keep and develop. We’ve figured that there is just no use debating the difference between a koi hobbyist who only collects and a koi hobbyist who collects and sell koi fishes. We’ve come to understand that the one who grows into the path of doing koi business is only sufficiently nurturing in a different way what both have in common in the first place, the hobby itself.

So many things happened already since I started breeding koi and a year removed from deciding to grow in the hobby further.

So far, we have what we think are decent tategoi as results while also acknowledging that not all will be impressed by it as each hobbyist has its own belief and standards based on knowledge and preference of the hobby.

We are far from satisfied from our results and modesty aside we have big goals that can be achieved if not sooner, maybe later.

We are not planning to produce “Island-born,” fishes because we totally hated that term as we thought it is a diss to all Koi breeders outside Japan. I am not sure but the connotation that term brings feels like it meant less. As naive as it may sound we are going to produce La Razo koi using established koi bloodlines.

While we learn not to divulge the idea (it is really not that much.. hehehe) how to achieve it and no matter what others may say, what we are trying to do (we are certainly dreaming on this one now..) is produce koi that will at least match quality wise to those imported koi fishes that are quite expensive and wishfully thinking of winning a few koi show awards using our own fishes from our breeding.

It is really a big task that needed lots of sacrifices, constant learning, “gut feel,” patience, and lots and lots of time and no matter what will go wrong along the way there is no giving up because the fun and happiness delving into this is just awesome and too addictive to let go of. Besides, all the moolah, time, effort and everything else we have given for it was just too big enough to fail already. So in any case we feel tired and lazy the worked we’ve put on already should motivate us more to keep going.

I know that we can only go as far as the budget and the time that would be spent on it does not make the wife angry. And then maybe soon, in a few years or so, if we are fortunate enough to be sprinkled with some dusts of luck our way, we will harvest our modest results.

Maybe, maybe, maybe soon, at La Razo. :)


Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Random Thoughts, Reviews


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My First Birthday Blues

Birthday Cake


After emptying dry their bottles of brandy and beer, my last guests said their wishes and bid goodbyes.

It was past midnight as I washed the used dishes clean. Everyone but me was asleep now and as I thought of how my day went, it crossed my mind again… tick-tock.

I am 31-years-old now and looking back; I can say that it had been a great ride.

I had many challenges and made lots of mistakes that lead to my losses. I had little victories, love, and lots of fun. Best of all, despite all the wrong turns I made, I still had little dusts of luck sprinkled my way that somehow brought me to where I was today, at least, happy.

And then, tick-tock…

As I am forcibly lead into marching where my age will inevitably fall out of any calendar month, I am thinking of the gazillion of things I still needed to do for both personal and marital dreams planned to be realized and no matter the belief that I will succeed, there are moments that it seems all of the challenges that lay ahead just kinda looks gigantic to surmount.

I am not sure of any other man my age, but do they still have dreams that Time can surely ran over? Because honestly, I have some of those in here.

I can say that sometimes despite my prayers and effort, I do foolishly worry about it now. Not that I cannot feel joy, but I sometimes worry that as another birthday comes along, the celebration might just become a big reminder of how I am running out of time to fulfill it.

Thinking about it more, I do miss those past celebrations where all I did was celebrate my ass off without any care in the world. A period where everything was just a blur of booze and people celebrating it with you. Where you wake up the next morning thinking that that day was the only thing that matters because it sure does not feel like that anymore now.

I am not sure if it has something to do with the age I am wearing this time, but I am thinking more about tomorrow and the next year after that because I can sense that there was no way I am getting any younger. I am thinking that in everything that I do, it must have something to do with the things I needed to do next to continue that journey getting to fulfilling those dreams that is glaring back at me very unfinished at the moment.

I did have a blast intimately celebrating it yesterday with my family and friends, surrounded by warmth of love. However, in a few times while at it, I heard it loudly, tick-tock…

Ugh, birthday blues.

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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Family Activities, Random Thoughts, Reviews


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A Hero



I haven’t moved on yet.

I am still lost in that space in time where he knocked-down Marquez in the fifth round after being knocked-down himself by the same man previously in the third round.

I am still lost in that moment in the sixth round he clearly won and the clock was less than 7 seconds before the bell where he could’ve have just stayed where he was rather than lunge forward throwing a right that sorely missed his opponent.

Somehow, though I came to accept that he lost the boxing match, I am still trapped now in those pockets of time where he was winning or could have won the fight.

I am not sure but I am really looking for moral victories to cling on to, to at least make this broken heart thread along a little lighter after a heartbreaking loss.

As I’ve looked for something to make me feel better, I never knew that the man whose loss gave the heartache to me and to many would be the same man who would provide soothing to the sad uber-fan.

As I went searching for something to hold on to, the man himself reminded me that such is boxing and ultimately such is life, you win sometimes and you will lose sometimes, and I couldn’t agree more because that indeed was life.

We lose, we get hurt, we break down, we get knocked-out and we fail sometimes and such is life.

It happens to the best of us until we get up, we dust ourselves off, we learn, and move on to start and try winning again.

For some reason Manny Pacquiao in that quick interview where he had to painstakingly threw out those lines to the interviewer as “pahabol” became more real to me not just an icon but as a human being.

Despite the big heartbreaking loss, Manny Pacquiao is still a hero to me and hopefully to many too.

Besides, who really needs a hero that does not fall sometimes?

Mabuhay ka Manny Pacquiao! (“,)

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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Random Thoughts, Reviews


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Some Things Single Women Could Learn From a TV Wedding Special





I opened up my Facebook account and the posts of the “secret” wedding of Zoren-Carmina seems to be still raging on.

Posts coming from both ladies about how “kilig” they were and post-shouts “Zoren!!” coming from the guys. LOL

Honestly, I watched only some parts of Part 1 of the TV special as I woke up seeing my wife looking for a website that featured the wedding which she found out by the various posts of friends.

However, of those little parts, I was able to get some things that I guess women should know something about relationships.

First, when Zoren said that after what they initially had went kaput or vague and he went on his single ways, there was this one day where Carmina called him that made him get back to her and allowed them to start what they have now.

I do not know, but it goes to show that for some dream-come-true relationship to materialize, it really needs a very bold move/call from the ladies. No ifs or hesitations but a gutsy move that could really sway the guy your way to jump-start the possibly altar-bound journey.

There was also Zoren’s confession that when the two of them got back together, he used to sleep in Carmina’s bedroom until something happened between them.

I am not sure, but while I respect those who do, but holding one’s virginity till marriage is kinda overrated.

The confession only shows that it shouldn’t change the way you look at each other or of whatsoever if the both of you will get down to it.

I really think sex is a gift to be enjoyed wisely not to be abhorred. Besides, if both your first sex is right after marriage, I think it would be kind of awkward, messy and non-spontaneous that might possibly tune out the magic it was supposed to give. LOL

So ladies go out, reach out and um, undress!

Anyways, if it won’t work the first time around, you can always try again because no one is stopping you from achieving that dream romance, or love affair that most of you so want.

More importantly before I forget, I think Zoren said that Carmina used to pray for him too even before their relationship started and I do believe that really works as well. Perhaps, it might even work best if done right before you go reaching out and undressing. (“,)

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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Random Thoughts


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A Simple Wish


I never noticed that I was spending way too much time already at the farm lot until someone told me so in a way I never really saw coming.

Yesterday, I was just lying lazily on the bed tinkering my phone after the day’s work at the little Koi farm when suddenly my little tyke Lyka came in the room sporting a tiara and holding a plastic wand.

As I went on minding my own thing, she came up to me and asked me, “Daddy, what is your wish?”

Thinking a wish I answered her back, “I wish to visit the pyramids of Egypt.”

Just after I said that she then swished her wand slicing the air as if making my wish come true.

Right after that, she then went to her mum who was doing something on the laptop. She asked her mum the same thing she asked me to which my wife answered back promptly that was then followed by another swishes of her wand in the air.

Amused and trying to let her in in the little game she herself started, we then asked her that if she could have one wish what would it be.

Thinking that it would be another malling, or a toy she would like us to buy, or maybe her longtime wish of a pool day, she then looked at me and sheepishly blurted out, “I wish daddy would not go to the farm tomorrow so that he could spend time with us!”

Hehehe… It’s really kinda disarming if you ask me.

Today, I am stuck here at home while she is minding her own business because I think it wouldn’t hurt just sitting here where she can see me whenever she want to even if it is just for today. ;)

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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Family Activities, Random Thoughts


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The Reason Behind It

Photo by Bruce M Liron

I am not sure if this is true to most people, but in the two cemeteries where I paid my respects today, I came to believe that the reason why most of us will pause and trek towards our cemeteries in this time of the year where our dearly departed are physically resting is only because of Love.

I came to thinking as well that of all things, Love is the most powerful feeling any man can ever feel as it can let us extend Love itself even to the dead.

I thought that the proof was all around me as I’ve seen people from all walks of life cleaning tombs, offering flowers, food, lighting candles and offering prayers of salvation to all who had passed away from the world of the living.

Also, in between all of those things are the hopes and the prayers for the best to those that might not be seeing and hearing it all anymore.

However, as I saw some people preparing to hold some parties complete with alcoholic beverages that might have been in full swing as of this writing, I wished that with all the shebang that is probably going on tonight, the reason why they trooped to see their resting loved ones in the first place, will never be lost or forgotten.

Happy Halloween everyone…

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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Family Activities, Random Thoughts


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In My Own Farm



As I let go of the sling shot and was successful in thwarting the Maya flock from ruining the still milky rice grain that was still hanging on the plant, I let out a big “Yeay!,” and right there are then I realized that happiness comes so easy in this place… (“,)

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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Family Activities, Random Thoughts


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