I am not a huge fan of cockfighting but curiosity got the best of me so
I decided to check one out yesterday.
We are down in Donsol in the Bicol region of Luzon to see some whale
sharks. It's raining and windy so it didn't look like a good day for
spotting the sharks so rather than just sit around we decided to check
out the fights.
This one was a small local set up, but the entire economy of the
Philippines is based on cockfighting so some cockfighting arenas are
Thousands of Dollars and Pesos Fortunes
are made and lost on these roosters. Daily
A mans reputation is dependent on how long his cock can remain
standing! It is very important that he have a regal cock.
These Cock or Rooster have long razors attached to their feet and fight
till the death. We witnessed one fight where they both lashed out in a
fierce display of bravado but they both fell over dead. Somehow the one
we bet on was declared the looser but the winner was also held by his
feet with its head hanging limply and blood was running out of its
mouth. They claimed that it lived a nanosecond longer than the other
Once a rooster has the razor blades
attatched to it's feet, a sheath is placed over the blade. It's removed
just before the fight. One bystander got cut on the leg by a flying
blade because the crowd was allowed to be inside the cockpit during the
fight adding to the excitement.
Even the dead roosters are treated gingerly because a nerve spasm could
cause it to lash out and could really injure a person if it caught an
artery. Literally someone could be killed.
Blood spatters on our clothing bore
witness to the fierce battles. The fights did not last long because the
daggers were sharp and efficient.
There was one cock considered to have the advantage in most of the
fights so the pay out was not as good as it was if you had bet on the
underdog had it won.
In one contest the advantaged one was chasing the smaller one around
the arena. Suddenly the smaller one had a burst of adrenalin and tore
after the big one. It appeared that the rules are that if the small one
could turn tables on the big one like that he was declared the winner
without actually having to deal the mortal blow.
All the other fights were to the death.
Up on the hill a small cadre of young boys kept busy plucking the dead
roosters for the owners. They are taken home and eaten.