I just finished talking on the phone with a neighbor (now living in Alaska) and I was so shocked when he told me he lost about 900$ for a cockfight during their vacation in the island. Wow! It’s almost like a month salary.
You know what? I can’t believe I was so ignorant about cockfight when I was a kid. One Sunday, we went to visit my Mom’s officemate and I was so surprised to hear a lot of screaming from afar. They lived near the coliseum. I didn’t know anything about the cockfight. I never even thought it’s such a huge deal to some people especially rich guys who can afford to gamble their money.
Did you know that the estimates put the number of fighting cocks being conditions at about 12 million pesos (300 thousand US Dollars) at any one time? This estimate does not include the chicks, the growing game fowls and the brood fowls. With the price of a trained fighting cock running by the thousands of pesos, the value of all game fowls combined, each of which is a prized possession compared to meat, egg or native chickens, should be in the tune of billions of pesos, making the game fowl industry similar in size to or even bigger than the chicken meat and egg industries.
When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, cockfighting was already very popular in the country. It’s even more surprising to me when I see a neighbor’s backyard full of this specific and high-breed red jungle fowl. Of course, that's a lot of money so they take care of it more than their own families. Amazing, eh?
Currently, millions of Filipinos take part or enjoy the sport even just form the sidelines. Obviously, the recent status is definitely the result of the Filipinos love for cockfight. While I don’t consider it as a sport, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Even so, it still remained a part of the culture I was born with.