Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What is Sabong?

Cockfighting is a rich man's and poor man's past time in the Philippines. It is called sabong. In the Visayas islands, it is sometimes referred as tari or tari-tari. It is also called tupada or tigbakay.

Gamecocks are the center of the game!

Sabong is best described as a bloody sport of gamefowls or gamecocks. Usually held in a cockpit (sabungan), two roosters (cocks) would fight until one is severely get hurt or die. In sabong, metal spur (called gaff) or knife is tied to the leg of the animal.

Pinoy sabungero use two types of knives or bulang. One type is a single-edged blade which is used in derbies. Another type is the double-edged blades.

In many countries, cockfighting is considered illegal. For example, in the United States most states declared it illegal. It is also considered as illegal sport in Brazil and in most nations in Europe.

In the Philippines, sabong can be either legal or illegal.

Derby is an example of legal cockfight help in cockpit. These happen weekly - usually weekends. In derby, cock owners will field a fixed number of gamecocks. For example, three cocks in a 3-cock derby or six in a 6-cock derby. The sabungero who got the most wins would get the jackpot. Derby is where the rich sabungeros play.

Tupada or tigbakay is considered illegal because this cockfight happen anywhere, not in cockpit. This usually held in open areas. Poor sabungeros are the typical organizers of tigbakay.

In tigbakay, there is a game referee called sentensyador or koyme, who decides who wins. No one can question his decision. It is final.

Many Filipinos believe that a fiesta is never complete with sabung!