Cockfighting is a bloody activity historically widespread throughout the world for cultural and religious reasons, which today continues to survive for betting and playful purposes, in most countries of South America and Southeast Asia.
There are several areas where combat is legal and widely followed, others where it is strictly prohibited by law; in the Philippines, for example, both practices are very popular.
SABONG indicates the legal struggles that take place weekly in the appropriate areas and broadcast by local TV stations. Often slow and boring fights, and above all
unprofitable. By TOPADA, on the other hand, we mean illegal struggles organized in remote areas difficult to reach by the police.
Every weekend, in Manila, real cockfighting tournaments are organized, full days dedicated to this, for fun, tradition and clandestine betting. We find ourselves in places hardly beaten by law enforcement and wives of bettors, each with his own cock under his arm, well trained for the occasion.
A man scans all matches and memorizes all bets, calls them with sudden hand gestures and code words, starts from 500 pesos (€ 7) but varies according to the skill of the rooster and, just like in a real boxing match , the coach wraps the left leg of the cock, the strongest, with a well sharpened blade.
Quickly a circle of people is formed where it is difficult to keep the balance, the two coaches in the center of the imaginary ring instigate the two contenders, just before starting, making them peck each other on the head, two steps back and, at the signal of the referee , let themselves be fought until the death of one occurs. Each match can vary from 2 to 4 minutes, sometimes even a few seconds, depending on the roosters involved, many die after just one match, others resist up to 10 and become real combat senators.
The show offered is rapid and brutal, at the end of each match the winner is immediately looked after and guarded ready for the next challenge, while the losing coach, according to tradition, pays a man who, a few meters away, takes care of the rooster who, in the hope that he is definitively dead, he is entitled to a pot of boiling water and instant plucking, the body is given to the winner as a prize that adds up to the money, the left paw with the blade still attached is up to the rightful owner while the man who took care of it he keeps all the heads of the roosters who died in the day as a meal and gratitude for the work done. Looking forward to another weekend of blood, betting and cruel entertainment.