Cockfighting in the new age
MANILA, Philippines - The centuries-old tradition of cockfighting is evolving into a modern sport.
Devon Wong reports.
What happens when you combine flashing lights, speakers on blast, grown men cheering on a fight, and girls in bikinis...
A room full of co... roosters.
Cockfighting in the Philippines may be an age-old sport, but new technologies have injected the industry with a cool millennial makeover.
HERNANI JIMENEZ JR., BREEDER: It’s part of the culture you know. And now it encompasses the whole society in it. It involves the poorest of the part, and the richest… the politicians… and everybody.
Hernani says that raising game fowl is highly scientific.
The billion dollar industry is fast evolving from dusty roadside cockpits into a sophisticated sport.
This keeps gamefowl enthusiasts constantly chasing the latest technology.
HERNANI JIMENEZ JR, BREEDER: I think that’s what separates the men from the boys. How the upkeep, the place you raise your chickens, the area… you know it has to be plush, large, big, huge… So that they can develop into really good warriors.
Cockfighting is sanctioned by local governments in the Philippines, making the sport accessible to many Filipinos.
Despite protests from international animal cruelty organizations, the Philippines proudly maintains cockfighting as a revered cultural tradition.
And lovers of the game have no intention of stopping.
ANTHONY GARCIA, BREEDER: There’s a sport to it. We’re not just out here trying to kill a rooster. There’s a sport to it. All of the chicken breeders are friends. All of the chicken breeders have ‘gentlemen’s agreements’, you know what I mean? It’s a fair sport. There’s thousand and thousands of dollars or pesos that are being gambled and spent on chickens everyday.
So next time you pass by men ogling their chicks in the street, remember, there’s a technique.
Devon Wong, Rappler, Manila.