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Cockfighting Is A Lucrative and Legal ‘Sport’ In The Philippines


Locally called as “Sabong,” cockfighting is a popular sport in the Philippines – and it’s actually a lucrative one. In fact, it’s considered a legal, billion dollar industry in the country where games are usually held on a weekly basis.

Although history tells us that cockfighting dates back to over 6,000 years ago, it was only witnessed and documented in the Philippines by Antonio Pigafetta, chronicler of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, when they discovered the country in 1521.

Fast forward to the present, the sport remains very popular, especially among male cockfighting enthusiasts and there are about 2,500 dedicated stadiums scattered across the Philippines.

In fact, VICE Australia took an interest on the game and flew to Manila to make a documentary about it. So they met with “breeders, trainers, and philosophers who help make sabong one of the Philippines’ national obsessions,” the site said.

One of the people they interviewed was economist and filmmaker Larry Henares who described the game as “a noble sport.”

Henares said:

“Its like no other sport in the entire world. Commercially, it’s probably one of the biggest industries in the whole Philippines.”

He also explained the system of betting during games and pointed out that “there are more honest people in the cockpit than there are in the church.”

Henares likewise added:

“Cockfight will never be declared illegal in the Philippines. There would be a revolution if it were.”

Watch the video here:

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Over at YouTube, commenters have different insights about cockfighting. Although some call it a primitive sport, others are defending the practice.

For example, one user wrote:

“At least these roosters have a chance to fight for their survival, unlike the millions of chickens killed every day for food.”

Aside from the Philippines, cockfighting is also legal in many countries such as Brazil, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, and Peru, among others.


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