The most favorite entertainment of the Filipinos is cockfighting, which is called “sabong”. 

In many countries of the world, such things are prohibited, but in the Philippines, everything is absolutely legal, and such a hobby is almost a national sport. Cockfights are even broadcast on TV here, as well as allows you to watch pinoy online sabong on your mobile phone. In the Philippines, cockfighting originated in the 16th century. They were invented by the Spanish colonialists.

Cockfights usually take place on Saturdays and Sundays.

How do Filipinos create fighting roosters?

Preparation for the battle begins in advance. Young roosters-warriors are raised separately from family roosters, not intended for fighting. They feed the fighters with special dietary food – selected grains of corn, walk them in special wicker cages, groom and cherish them, polish their beaks and even massage their paws. In six months, they cut off the scallop – this is done to avoid extensive bleeding if, during the battle, the enemy gets a spur on the crest. 

On weeknights, in the courtyards and alleys, you can meet the owners, proud and brag about their roosters, as well as introducing their “child” to future rivals.

The usual age of fighting roosters is 1-2 years.

Roosters are cared for in the best way for up to two years. And then they are treated the same way as athletes before an important event.

The fighting rooster itself can cost up to several tens of thousands of pesos, so having a good rooster is quite profitable.


So, back to the fighting, the camouflage event lasts quite a long time – from 3-4 to 6-8 hours, depending on the number of participants (usually up to 10 fights are arranged), which can not be said about the fleeting fight itself from 2 to 5 minutes.

All the action takes place in the ring, the size of about 3×3 meters. Along the perimeter, logs are laid, on which players and just onlookers sit down. Those who can not sit still watch the action standing up.

As a rule, the ring hosts flaunt with their fighters. The opponent is chosen not from the same weight category, as you might think, but by temperament.

It is important that the fighters are similar both in fighting spirit and spirit and in strength, then the fight will be equal and interesting. There are many people who want to participate in the battles. The roosters are pitted against each other, fueling not only the interest of the public but also helping to determine the opponent to the end.

When the choice is made, sharp steel knives – “taji” – are tied to the paws of the participants with red threads. This requires special dexterity and dexterity. For combat, special, expensive sets of knives are used, which are sharpened only by moonlight. If an equal opponent still could not be found, then the weaker one is tied with a larger spur. In the Philippines, two types of knives are used for cockfighting – with one and with two blades. All the knives are tied to the left leg of the rooster. Although if the owners agree, you can attach it to the right one, or even to both. In some areas, special spurs are used.

Аfter the battle, the “surgeon” busily examines the patients for wounds and injuries. Then the banal darning begins. The bird, not having time to move away from the heat of battle, experiences a new shock. Wounds are sewn up without anesthesia. But a skilled surgeon works quickly and carefully so as not to cause unnecessary pain to the bird. He tries to tighten the wound with fewer stitches. And even splashes something on the sore spot after the first stitch. Hopefully, it’s still a painkiller.

Next, they place bets, raising the amount with shouts and excitement in the crowd, collect money. 

There are several types of bets available:

  • collective, inside the ring, between the owners of the roosters and other participants in the fight – there, as a rule, they bet big, for someone it is a high income;
  • individual bets with the rest of the audience, which are already placed in a small way for the sake of pampering and entertainment.

A few minutes before the fight, the intensity of passion increases. The audience goes into a rage, vying with each other to shout the amounts and the suit of the rooster, concluding in ecstasy additional bets with the neighbors-a life-and-death battle is ahead.

Not always a bloody duel ends in death. Sometimes a wound is quite enough to determine the daredevil winner. In rare cases, the hero rooster is given the opportunity to finish off the enemy. And again, the fight, long pauses are not made, there are no congratulations to the winner, the owner just takes the hero away. There is no booing for the loser – not up to it. There are new fights and new bets ahead. The next participants can’t wait to join the battle.


If you come to the Philippines, and you still want to watch this action live, just ask the locals where and when the “cockfighting” takes place. They will definitely tell you – there are fighting roosters in almost every third house. Or watch online sabong philippines from your phone.

And finally, our advice – if you are looking for housing in the Philippines when choosing a house, pay attention to the neighboring houses, namely, the presence of roosters in them, especially fighting ones. They start yelling at 3-4 in the morning, and even if you are a lark and are used to getting up early, it is unlikely that you will enjoy the morning crowing every day. 

Cockfighting is hardly an aesthetic or, even more so, a beautiful sight, but at the same time, it is an ancient cultural custom of the wonderful Philippines, which, despite its blatant cruelty, attracts with its pagan roots, giving rise to the desire to understand someone else’s culture.