Feathered Gladiators of the Philippines

Since ancient times, people have sought to the cities where cockfights were held in search of entertainment. The brutal and bloody contest aroused interest among representatives of all classes – from the poor to the aristocrats. Some of them even managed to make a fortune on this bloody entertainment. And someone lost the last one and finally went broke. Some people have tried to ban cockfighting, but they have not been very successful.

Cockfighting sport in the Philippines

Locals get up at 5-6 in the morning, as soon as the sky begins to lighten, and start their day by cleaning the surrounding area. On the paths, through the palm groves, you will not see a fallen dry leaf. And the ground is covered with a soft green carpet of low-growing grass.

From time to time, the roll call of the roosters, who live on personal poles, begins. But these are not ordinary birds. They are the pride of their owners. Many birds participate in cockfights. There are also veterans of gladiatorial art. You can’t just buy a fighting rooster. They are not sold on the market. In some courtyards, you can see more than a dozen poles standing in straight rows. The choicest birds perch on them.


In the Philippines, cockfights are held on Sundays, near the markets, starting at 16.00. A small area with an arena in the center attracts more than a thousand people. If you saw hundreds of parked bikes standing near the road, and from behind the fence, you can hear gambling multi-voiced screams, then this is the right place. Pay 60 pesos and go inside. You immediately find yourself in a special world of harsh sports.

There is no place for amateurs here. The owners of the feathered fighters sit in small groups, holding their pets in their hands, and, with knowledge, discuss the fights that have already ended. There are fans in the stands and around the arena. Their eyes sparkle with excitement. This is a very serious matter.

There is a small betting booth near the arena. The amounts are large. The bet on each bird is several thousand pesos. Someone can leave here a real rich man, and someone will leave the last money. Some people do not like such noisy events and are used to watching pinoy online sabong. This is a great opportunity for those who like this kind of excitement. You can even watch cockfights online sabong philippines, without being in the Philippines, from your devices.

Near the arena, the fighters are preparing for the upcoming battle. Roosters, like real gladiators, fight to the death. A razor-sharp spur is attached to the left leg of each bird in a special way.

It is tied so that the fighter does not injure himself. The person responsible for the” weapons”, in a special box, laid out a whole arsenal of scythe-like, polished knives. Tying such a spur is quite an art. We need ribbons, special linings, silk threads. When the “weapon” is fully ready for use, it is put on the “scabbard”, which is not removed until the start of the battle. Otherwise, the restless birds may injure their owners.

Then the next fighters are called to the ring. The host with a microphone represents the contestants. The bidding process begins. Money rustles from hand to hand. Nimble brokers, with incredible speed, move along the stands, taking bets. All the cash flow flows into the sweepstakes booth. Through the transparent fence, you can see what kind of money is spinning here. Solid stacks of thousand-dollar bills are added separately. And this is despite the fact that for most local residents, an income of 3 thousand pesos per family is considered quite good.

Before the battle begins, there is a “pitting” ceremony. The owners of the roosters bring the “gladiators” to each other. These birds have fighting qualities at the gene level. Immediately, the necks stretch out, and the raised feathers become like a collar. To enhance the effect, the owners give a couple of times to the opponents to bite each other in the neck.

The roosters are ready to fight. The owners of the birds spread their fighters on different sides of the arena. The “scabbard” is removed, and the referee checks the “weapon” in turn by wiping it with a white cloth. After that, the battlefield belongs only to the roosters.

The opponents converge, and the first attacks begin. Jump, and one fighter tries to hit the other’s chest with his paws. But he has a worthy opponent. Ducking his head, he makes a quick dash forward and is behind the opponent. The paws of the first strike the void. A new U-turn. Rapprochement. Lunges. Birds, flapping their wings, collide with their chests. Feathers fly to the dirt floor. The movements are so fast that it’s hard to tell who’s hitting who. At some point, the exhausted birds fall.

The referee approaches and lifts them behind their backs. Bring them together. Again, the raised feathers on the neck. So, the fight will continue. The fighters are lowered to the ground, and the fight breaks out with renewed vigor. After several collisions, the birds fall again. After an attempt to “playoff,” one of the roosters can no longer continue the fight. His head drooped. The winner is determined. The audience reacts violently. A new cash flow movement begins.

The owners take their “gladiators” from the arena. Very often, such fights end in death for the birds. The leg with a spur is cut off from the dead, probably so as not to suffer from the dead bird, removing the “weapon”. The injured but surviving roosters are treated by a surgeon.

On the platform in front of the arena, where the surgeon is working intently, several dozen people are sitting with their feathered “gladiators”. There are more than 30 fights per day.

The fight itself lasts no more than five minutes. Sometimes, everything is solved almost immediately, literally, in a few strokes. But a lot of time is spent on organizational measures. The announcement of the winner, the introduction of new participants, the resolution of controversial issues. In between fights, employees clean up the feathers lost in the battle. New participants always enter a clean arena. It is difficult to say whether the birds are nervous while waiting for their turn to enter the ring.

Photo of author

Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind alltheragefaces.com, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
Share on:

Leave a Comment