Tag Archives: Philippine gambling sport

#121 Sabong


Tupada, a small-scale version of the sabong or cock fighting

Sabong or cock fighting is a popular Pinoy sport particularly in the countryside where raucous gambling remains more or less an established tradition.

To sabong afficionados the sport is similar to the Spanish toro where the fight is a battle to death. Specially trained cocks or roosters are equipped or literally armed with sharp slipper-moon shaped blades which are attached to their claws. When the cocks attack each other, the blades cut their rivals in the frenzy and those that are fatally wounded are left to bleed to death.

On Sunday afternoons when the sabong contests reach its peak, the sabong  or cock fighting arena is often packed to the rafters with a mostly male audience, with the air filled with shouts of bets and support for the fighting cocks, a chaotic scene of blood, flying feathers and men desperate for winning bets.

Cock fighting fans also have pintakasi or an informal cock fight which involves a person requesting another to make their roosters fight. The cock owners call their neighbors and friends to witness and bet.  Tupada is another kind of normal cock fighting where the aficionados build a small cockpit or arena exclusively for the fighting cocks.

The cock fighting tradition has become an iconic Sunday pasttime and is popular among tourists and foreign visitors who are out to see something colorfully local. Besides the curiosity for bleeding roosters fighting to death, the whole exercise is a perfect excuse to earn some extra money via gambling.

Long live Pinoy traditions!

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Filed under Animals, Traditions