sabong

Death in the arena, cockfighting in Cebu

Ready for the kill

The arena was circular, like most cockfighting arenas found in Cebu and I was just fortunate that when I visited this place in San Nicolas, Cebu City’s old quarter, el pueblo antiguo, that Rizal visited, there was a cockfight going on. Motorcycles and cars were parked infront of it.

I’ve always been curious what happens inside. While I’m familiar with the tigbakay, impromptu cockfighting sessions which are illegal and made in some open place in the barangay, like spider fights, I haven’t stepped foot inside an actual arena. This time, I fed my curiosity, entered, paid the P20 peso entrance and went about shooting.

Its better organized, legal and with big game players gracing the event. When the betting begins, it can get noisy and rowdy with the kristos, one who get the bets, calling out and with strange gesticulations that only the other players now. Once bets are placed, all is in a hush as the battle ensues, all eyes are at the center as the cocks fight it out to the death. Within a minute or two, its over.

Another death at the arena.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

10 Comments

  1. marco
    June 21, 2011 @ 21:26

    woh..aus ah..sabong..tagal ko ng di nakakita nito hehe

  2. estan
    June 21, 2011 @ 23:28

    @marco, thrilling siya panoorin 🙂

  3. edmaration
    June 24, 2011 @ 17:39

    => You know what sir, mga ganito ang gustong story gaya nang spider fight article mo dati. Dun talaga ako na-impress kaya fave ko tong blog niyo. eto merun na naman, stories about our society which I fail to make but trying so hard to make one. hehehe. Mas like ko ganitong stories than mga travel blog [although I also blog a lot about travel hehehe].

    More of this type please! hehe..

  4. estan
    June 24, 2011 @ 17:52

    @ed, as long as its something about a place, its still travel related, thus the reason na i include it here. 🙂

    baka meron ka alam na mga aphrodisiacs, balitaan mo ako 🙂

  5. Ronilobinasbas
    January 2, 2012 @ 21:15

    personnaly i dont like cockfighting…. a another form of maltreatment to animals…. the fighting cocks dont even know that the tari that was tied on their feet will kill them…

  6. Liezlhermosa
    February 10, 2012 @ 15:16

    ask lang po, pano po malalaman ang sked ng cock fight? regular poh bha ? anong day at oras ?

  7. Anonymous
    February 14, 2012 @ 22:17

    Leizl, it really depends on the gallera. just ask

  8. Edgardo Bitancur
    March 17, 2012 @ 11:04

    cockfighting really considered blood sport but for me it is one way of releasing week long hour working stress for those cockfighting enthusiast…. breeders like me I seldom bets and go to cockpit arenas to see it live..

  9. Michelle
    April 5, 2016 @ 8:03

    Saan po sa Cebu itong cock fight?

  10. estan
    April 5, 2016 @ 9:37

    sa Banawa

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