Cockfighting is a true bloody sport that pits two roosters against each other. Spectators may place their bets, and the fight ends after one or both roosters die. Cockfighting is very common throughout all of Southeast Asia especially in the Philippines. They often called it “Sabong”. In fact, sabong is one of the Philippines’ national sports. There are illegal and legal cockfights. But in the United States and in most places of Europe, cockfighting is strictly prohibited. Besides being cruel to animals, cockfighting is closely connected to other crimes like gambling, drug dealing, illegal firearms sales and even homicide.
In 2000 BC, cockfighting was originally a pastime in the Indus Valley Civilization. The sport was very popular in ancient times in India, China, Persia, and other Eastern countries and was introduced into Greece in the time of Themistocles. Then, the sport spread throughout Asia Minor and Sicily. For a long time the Romans affected a despisement of this “Greek diversion,” but they ended up adopting it so enthusiastically that the agricultural writer Columella complained that its devotees often spent their whole patrimony in betting at the side of the pit.
Cockfighting is very popular in the Philippines. Many Filipinos would love to gamble on the fight. Legal cockfights are held on cockpits every week. Illegal cockfights, called tupada, happen any time in open areas. In both kinds of cockfights, knives are used. Gloves are used for training purposes only. Derbies are also held. These are cockfights where owners will field a fixed number of cocks. (E.g. 3-cock derby or 6-cock derby). The one with the most wins wins the jackpot. The Philippines has hosted several World Slasher Derby. There are 2 kinds of knives used in Philippine cockfighting. The single blade (use in derbies) and double blades. All knives are attached on the left leg of the cock. But depending on the agreement between owners, blades can be attached on the right leg, or even on both legs. Sabong and illegal tupada are judged by a referee called sentensyador, whose verdict is final and not subject to any appeal.