Sunday, September 10, 2006


The two protagonists squared off in the center of the ring. They were of equal build, armed with blades and presumably of comparable skill. One could feel the animosity and tension between them.

At a pre-arranged signal, the combatants lunged full-tilt at each other. Flesh, bones and blade clashed in violent fury. In just a few seconds, one of the combatants lay dead on the dirt floor of the arena, its white and black feathers now streaked with red. Another fighting cock had bit the dust in the arena at the Dagupan City cockpit arena in Dagupan, Pangasinan.

A cockfight in the Philippines is probably one of the most organized chaos you will see in the world. After some ritualistic presentation of the fighting cocks, the betting starts. It consists of bettors placing bets against each other with hand signals, yelling, whistling and clapping to catch somebody’s attention. None of the bets are ever written down on paper. At the bloody conclusion of the cockfight, bets are quickly and quietly settled with money being tossed at or passed down to the winner.

This is an excerpt from “Philippine Odyssey 2006” by Jay de Leon where he chronicles his “Balikbayan” trip to the Philippines, including attending the 3rd World Filipino Martial Arts Festival in Manila and Cavite, sponsored by the International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines (IMAFP).

The e-book “Philippine Odyssey 2006” is now available from the online store at .


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