The Philippines: Cock-Fighting Tradition

Cock-fighting remains a popular local sport throughout the Philippines, a hotbed of gambling and death.  Fights are held in a variety of venues, from the largest sports arenas (Araneta Coliseum seats approximately 15,000 people) to local coliseums to the most unassuming places in the barangays.  Gamblers will continuously point fingers and shout at anyone nearby, in the hopes of finding someone interested in taking a bet.  So, unless you want to bet on the life of one of the contestants, keep a low profile.  Over one hundred birds may compete in a series of fights staged throughout the day, starting in the early morning and continuing well into the afternoon.  Curved blades are tied to the back of the fighter’s leg.  The breeders allow the birds to face each other.  Then they attack, jumping into the air, slashing at each other.  A referee is on hand to assess whether the fight can continue; he will hold a falling bird down and assess whether the fight resumes or ends.  The animal rights concerns are apparent.  The practice is vehemently opposed by numerous animal rights groups.

Araneta Coliseum, located in Quezon City, F2 0810, hosts fights throughout the year, including the The Rizal Gamefowl Breeders Association end of year tournament, with elimination fights held throughout the Philippines.  Smaller coliseums with fights staged by local associations are plentiful.  If anyone is interested is establishing their own cock-fighting enterprise in the Philippines, then you’re sorely out of luck.  Cock-fighting is one of the few industries set aside exclusively for Filipino citizens under the Foreign Investment Act of 1991.

Written by Jason Summerfield

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