Friday, May 15, 2009

Cock fight letters

The question has arisen, especially after that stirring Mothers’ Day tribute, who really writes the stuff in this newsletter. So far, I have written every article. Marcia edits what I’ve written to make sure my sentences are clear and grammatically correct. She will often expand and sometimes put in thoughts which I missed. She often spends more time editing than I do writing.

We got enough responses about the cockfighting that we thought you might want to see them. You will see some very different and sometimes very strong opinions. So we are letting you, our readers, write this newsletter. Thanks to the contributors.


Fascinating cultural difference. Interesting that the loser is dinner.


Randy and Shelly


My two brothers Paul and Antonio enjoyed cockfighting also, they also have some roosters in the house, sometime they bet a small amount just for fun. You are right, that cockfighting has been part of the culture. I hope you too enjoyed watching.


From a Filipino:

Cockfighting is really barbaric and crude. Unfortunately a lot of Filipinos assimilate closely to this way of living. They still have a lot of growing up to do...perhaps it will take several generations for them to realize how un Christian the whole exercise is...


Thanks for sending [this] Steve.....I found it very interesting...I come from a cockfighting enthusiastic family ( just the men) but had never witnessed a fight once again, "it was like being there!"........Hope it's okay with you......I forwarded your article to : Singapore, London and Belgrade, to each of my three children's location as I know they would enjoy reading this and experiencing a cockfight too.

Warm regards to you and Marcia,



Hi guys,

I live an hour from San Francisco. On the way to SFO I have to pass a town named Vallejo. On a side road in a gully there is a huge rooster farm. Perhaps there are 85 small huts with roosters tied to each hut. It has been there for years. It is illegal in California so I surmised these birds were being shipped to the PI.

On my last trip to Manila a couple of months ago we had an eye opener. As soon as the plane doors opened we heard a symphony of roosters crowing. It was coming from the tarmac under the plane. Sure enough, the attendants told us they were cocks shipped for the fights in the Philippines from a spot in Vallejo. They told us that this method was a lot better than asking the attendants to store the eggs in their bras to keep them warm and protect them. It seems this was a practice some years back with PAL.

When I lived in Hawaii my Jewish girlfriend and I made Lumpia and Babinka and sold them at roving cockfights around the island. We made bets on the side and came out well. She made the Babinka and I made Lumpia. Cane fields were great spots, but the time limit would be 1 hour. Then we moved on. We got busted one day with the group. So end the sojourn of two fifty year old women trying to make a buck on the side. It was fun.

I am now trying to find a ring tone of a cock crowing for my cell - the official Filipino ring tone!

You could always tell if there was a cock fight going on in a cane field. When you saw a long string of cars with only hats showing through the windows heading into the cane fields, you knew these were Filipino people going to the cock fights. Because they were short people, their hats were a dead giveaway. Then there was the Rooster or Chicken Mafia, which is another story better left alone.

Aloha – Sascha


Steve and Marcia,

Thank you for your detailed description of Philippine cock fighting. This brought back memories of 1944 on Leyte to me. After we were pulled from the front lines the day before Thanksgiving, we move back to a Philippine civilian area. Sure enough, many men watched or had roosters taking part in cock fighting every Sunday afternoon, The men called it "Sunday School." Betting was as you described and was participated in many of the Filipino men present. Not fair to the women I thought, as some of the men were betting what their wives had made washing GI clothes during the week.



When I think of cockfighting, I think:
One must win.
One becomes dinner!!!


Dear Steve,

That was an interesting story about typhoons -- I am glad you and your friends "survived" but you ain't seen nuthin' yet. During your stay in the Philippines, you are bound to experience a few that are strong enough to take away your dentures. During my time in the military, we used to celebrate unit anniversaries as an important tradition -- with serious and not-so-serious events. Sometimes, we have cockfights -- yes, they are prohibited in the military -- so we make it a non-lethal event.

In a makeshift arena, we bring in our roosters. These are not the money-making (or money-losing) gamecocks, these are the barnyard roosters from the people's farms. They have NO bladed spurs tied on one leg, they are "au naturel" sans accoutrements. The roosters fight until one runs away -- and the remaining one is declared the winner. And then, the next two roosters enter the arena. After the tournament, everyone goes home happy, especially the vanquished roosters.
The roosters return to the farms, where the hens await them and their important services. And life goes on once more.


PS Yeah, yeah -- we officers say nothing, see nothing and do nothing regarding any betting that goes on during these "humane" cockfights.

Steve talking: To me, “humane” cockfighting is to cockfighting what boxing is to the gladiators. Each may be enjoyable to the spectator. In boxing the referee can usually step in before someone dies.


And finally…

I saw my last cockfight in 1948. My pal's cock also was a loser. And since it was white it was rather obvious instantly. I think that cockfighting is nearly as stupid a thing as the mania for cell phones.-pp

When we asked PP how he could have failed to mention Karaoke, which he says should be banned from the planet or at least Corregidor, he further replied:

Ooops and double ooops. You got me. Definitely a horrid omission. Put Karaoke in the #2 spot behind the cell phones. Drop the cockfighting into 3rd.

On third thought, put jeepneys at the top of the list. And on top of them put, wearing a crown of basura, crooked politicians (i.e. all of them?).

And the ubiquitous plastic bag has to get into the top ten somewhere.

Thanks for the reminder.

And have I told you lately how much I enjoy your writings? PP

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