THE PHILIPPINES (Boracay). 2009. Gamblers are reflected in the glass surrounding the cockpit as they make wagers with each other while two birds are prepared for the next fight at the Boracay Cockpit, Boracay Island. Photo Tim Clayton
Cockfighting, or Sabong as it is know in the Philippines is big business, a multi billion dollar industry, overshadowing Basketball as the number one sport in the country. It is estimated over 5 million Roosters will fight in the smalltime pits and full-blown arenas in a calendar year. TV stations are devoted to the sport where fights can be seen every night of the week while The Philippine economy benefits by more than $1 billion a year from breeding farms employment, selling feed and drugs and of course betting on the fights...As one of the worlds oldest spectator sports dating back 6000 years in Persia (now Iran) and first mentioned in fourth century Greek Texts. It is still practiced in many countries today, particularly in south and Central America and parts of Asia. Cockfighting is now illegal in the USA after Louisiana becoming the final state to outlaw cockfighting in August this year. This has led to an influx of American breeders into the Philippines with these breeders supplying most of the best fighting cocks, with prices for quality blood lines selling from PHP 8000 pesos (US $160) to as high as PHP 120,000 Pesos (US $2400)..