Cockfighting in the Philippines can not be separated from the inclusion of American culture during colonial times in the country.
The sailors who come from America sometimes bring some tools or even animals, which are their hobbies.
Actually in the Philippines itself since ancient times has been known to compete with chicken in a country with a majority population of ethnic Tagalog. Starting from the time of Spanish colonization in this country, it was noted that cockfighting was already known at that time. Nowadays, cockfighting can be watched and played on online betting platform. It is indeed a breakthrough innovation from that day to this day.
In the book that records the journey of the famous Spanish Seaman Ferdinand Magellan who arrived in the Philippines in 1521 (Jocano, 1975. The Phillippines at the Spanish Contact, p. 80). It was said that at that time he saw several people practicing the show pitting two chickens in the market or place of sale and purchase transactions at the time.
However, there is no record of chickens being pitted using the Filipino chicken breeds we see today in the arenas. There is no record of Tari, a knife paired with chicken legs pitted at the time.
The American and Philippine War broke out
After its defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain surrendered its old colony from the Philippines to the United States in the Paris Agreement. In 1899, precisely on February 4, fighting broke out between American troops and Filipino nationalists took place led by Emilio Aguinaldo, two days before the U.S. Senate had ratified the agreement.
The subsequent Philippine-American War lasted for three years and resulted in the deaths of more than 4,200 Americans and more than 20,000 Filipino fighters. As many as 200,000 Filipino civilians have died due to violence, hunger, and disease.
In 1907, the Philippines held its first elected assembly, and in 1916, the Jones Act promised eventual independence. In 1935 the islands finally became an autonomous commonwealth and the US granted independence in 1946.
During the American occupation of the Philippines, there was a mixture of cultures between the two countries, America, which at that time was a hobby of Hackfight, finally spread their hobbies in the Philippines.
Hackfight is an activity to pit chickens using a special fighting chicken race from America, which at that time was known as Texas Gamefowls. This type of chicken is indeed very beautiful, and at that time, only certain people were able to own and maintain it.
Because only people who are rich and influential have this type of chicken, sometimes there is theft of eggs or chickens from farms that lack security.
Until finally, many people have this fighting chicken. Finally, in the Philippines, Hackfight cockfighting grew rapidly and became the identity of the residents there. Until modern times, in America alone, Hackfight activities have been strictly prohibited because they are thought to torture animals.
But in the Philippines, the event was legalized and was not banned or even supported by their country. No wonder the Philippines is a paradise for Cockers (People who like to pit chickens). The Philippines reportedly also benefited more than 1 billion U.S. dollars per year only from the Cockfighting Betting in that country.
For people who spend their free time watching chickens tearing each other apart, cockers are friendly men, wanting to ensure their sport gets a fair hearing. “It’s like a purebred horse,” commented Ray Alexander, an American Cocker. “Everything is in the bloodline.”
A cockpit is a place where poor people and rich people gather. “Where else can you find a senator and someone from the wild competing on the same footing?”
Is cockfighting a cruel sport? “(Chicken fighting) is no crueler than pitting a chicken with a man weighing 150 kilograms in the kitchen with a large knife.”