Koi Event Blues

Philippine Koi


Slinging Bacardi on the rocks sitting on the bermuda grass under a rather starless sky beside the pond… First, because the electricity went out and I’ve got to check on my 2 fishes in QT; and then conveniently I can’t be at Cebu this weekend for the club’s Koi Seminar and Central Pond Tour.

And what better way to kill time than to spill out some lullabies of a melancholy to an event I wanted so much to hear but can’t attend. LoL

Ever since I started going out of my little world of a box in koi, I think this will be the best seminar for kois in the Philippines I came to know of.

Forgive my ignorance and honestly no disrespect but, I know that this will be more than just history of koi from Niigata or drawing in a piece of paper what your perfect koi might possibly be, though I admit that would have been fun dreaming while drawing as well. This will be more than just vague discussions but rather, this might possibly be more like Umagang Kay Ganda Ka-Tonying’s “punto por punto.”

Please excuse the metaphor but, I pictured it to be two speakers spewing out koi nuggets after koi nuggets after koi nuggets… and who wouldn’t want that?

I really admired what PCKC is doing here. For starters, they will theoretically get both KnP and Koi Hob under the same roof that night. Not far behind is Max Koi Farm’s presence and no one who considered himself the king or queen of the koi hobby will ever accomplish that.

As they say two heads will always be better than one and in this case, two different koi hobbyists up in the ladder of koi keeping. Two koi keeper’s themselves that might share out many best pratices of the hobby as well as koi knowledge that all participants will greatly come to benefit from.

So much for those I mentioned above for I cannot help but get envious to all those attending it already but, did you get to read the PCKC President’s post of a JT koi from Momotaro to be raffled? That got me drooling and got me almost getting a plane ticket online until common sense came knocking in. Simply, because who gives out a Jumbo Tosai for free? Not any koi dealer who earned millions already. It is not something I can afford(?) and I guess no one but only PCKC will give it out, and I say KUDOS!

10 kilos of FD koi food, the koi food used by a certain Mike Snadden (Yes, I am reading Mark Gardner’s Nishigikoi website rather frequently.. a shout out alert) and a few hobbyists whose fishes you might not be able to see at your local koi shows and many more.

Nonetheless, whatever will be given out for free at the said event, the most lucky of all are each one of us who loves koi. The “baguhan” like me who don’t know anything about koi and my fellow “baguhans,” the “karaan” of the hobby, the “return of the comeback” hobbyists who once thought their hobby dead until recent club activities that lit up that fire again to renew the beautiful hobby of koi keeping, the koi dealers who will cater to all returning hobbyists buying new kois; upgrading kois; koi keeping bandwagoners and the rest.

So much musings already and almost done with the bottle of Bacardi now, the electricity is back and I am left with one question… Where could local koi breeding possibly fit in to all of these?

Anyway, wherever local koi breeding might end up, I want to say my praises to the organizers of the event I cannot attend.

As for the drinking? Bacardi is best drank “on the rocks,” or maybe with Sprite or whatever chaser drink you prefer. Honestly, the only hobby I’ve ever been good at since, GULP GULP GULP GULP….

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Koi Fishes


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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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