For Filipino cockfighting enthusiasts in the United States, the sport is worth the long flight to and from their home soil.
Many Filipinos in the US are into game fowl farming in the Philippines and regularly commute between the two countries to raise their birds. They also enjoy the competition inside the cockpit arena.
Among them is Vency Maranan, a graduate of the San Beda College in Manila and a long-time resident of New Jersey. He hails from Rizal, Laguna, a town named after national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, who must have loved cockfighting himself as he devoted a chapter in his masterpiece Noli Me Tangere entitled The Cockpit.
Maranan was featured in Pit Games Magazine (Issue No. 41) for his success in breeding at his game farm in his home town and his winning ways in the derbies.
His breeds include Kelsos, Hatches, Whitehackles, Greys, Clarets, Blacks, Doms and various types of Roundheads, some of whom were acquired from American breeder-friends like Jerry Lawrence of Pleasanton, Texas, Doyle Watson of Leoma in Tennessee, Ray Collins, and Thomas Falkenberg and Filipino Americans like Noel Dimatulac of Carson Farm and Celso Evangelista.
According to Maranan, he has learned to love cockfighting because it connects people from around the globe who share their expertise, talents, pride, passion and prestige.
“Treat cockfighting as an entertainment, never as a gambling,” Maranan said. “Let your chickens do the talking. Cockfighting is something that brings friends and families together. Don’t let others destroy it.”
As a resident of the US for many years, he is disappointed that his adopted country has banned cockfighting in all of its 50 states.
“The sport of cockfighting is dying because cockers and breeders fail to defend it. Americans are willing to give up their lives to defend freedom, but are not putting up a good fight to protect their right to engage in this sport,” he said.