Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
On Sunday, in the Philippines, there are cockfights. Neal, our dive guide to Siquijorand Raul, who runs the Kiwi Resort, offered to take us to the nearest cockfighting arena, the cockpit arena from the village ofEnrique Villanueva.
Marika, Shareef and I have gladly accepted this unprecedented Sunday release. To the cockpit arena from the village, the fighting succeeds all afternoon. Entry: 10 pesos.
In the small dirt road that leads to the arena, messy motorcycles are already parked. This is to say if the show is popular ...
Finally, "show" is a way of speaking. This is obviously not a place frequented by sensitive souls or animal friends. People come here mostly to bet and / or fight their rooster. Some bet huge sums and as in all games of chance and money, we can leave feathers (it is the case to say it) ...
Hundreds of guys are there, around a small square arena, surrounded by wooden bars. Few women, the public is overwhelmingly male.
People gather around the fence and it gets excited when betting and fighting. One guy harangues the crowd at the microphone. Everyone gives their voice and we see tickets crumpled from one hand to another.
A sharp blade like a razor
The fight itself is very brief. Each cock has, fixed to the paw, a long curved and pointed blade, like a little sword. It is guessed sharp as a razor and carefully sharpened for the occasion.
The two cocks are presented to each other, held at arm's length or by the tail feathers by their respective owners. It is a matter of exciting a little bit the critters by approaching beak against beak. They are released for good in the arena when the amount of paris is balanced on both sides.
After, it's going very fast. A swirl of feathers, everyone shouts and shakes behind the wooden bars. In a few minutes, it's over.
One of the two critters remains sprawled in the sand. It's bleeding. If ever the rooster on the ground moves again, we raise it and we put it back in front of the other, just to see if it is still a little fight. If the opposing animal repels the other three more times, it is considered that he has won, as I understand Neal's explanations.
Most of the time, the cock on the ground is already dead. We pick it up to make room for the next fight. A guy goes behind with his brush and shovel to pick up feathers and blood. The air is a bit sticky inside the arena.
UPDATE 2018. Sorry for the poor quality of the images, shot with a modest compact camera of the time (2008) whose video mode filmed at 480 or 640 pixels only, I do not know anymore (at that time, the 4K did not exist yet and the iPhone3G would become the new fashionable technological jewel).
Valuable fighting cocks
In the clay court in front, men of all ages come and go, carrying their precious gallinaceous in the hollow of the arms: one crouched in a corner to examine the most beautiful roosters, to make the chat with a neighbor, to carefully tie the strap around the leg to secure the blade ...
Few smiles here. We are not here to laugh. It takes three years to raise, a fighting cock. With special diet and everything and everything, as for sportsmen. The chicks are sorted from birth. There are farms specialized in this breeding.
At the time of the fight, it seems that they add alcohol to the mixture that is used to feed the rooster, history that it is very aggressive.
In short, we attended a total of four-five fights, then we dragged a little in the yard among the roosters and people squeezing roosters on their hearts, then again at the exit in front of the fish merchants waiting for the customer who bet on the good cock ...
In the evening, Neal went to the stove to simmer ... a chicken! Indirect tribute to all those cocks passed from life to death in the afternoon. ???? Too good his chicken, stewed in a species of spicy stew, Filipino! We feasted.
All this poultry in the arena will have finally opened our appetite. It was also a farewell meal for me. Very nice conclusion of my stay in Siquijor.