Sure, betting boosts its popularity. But at the end of the day, it is the competition that drives the cockfight enthusiasts back to the cockpit arenas again and again.
Competition, as long as it is healthy, creates a bond among competitors. It forges friendship and brotherhood that go beyond the arenas and cockfighting itself.
“For most Filipinos, going to sabong is not only for the sake of gambling,” said Calvin Randall, in an article he wrote for The Sabong Chronicles. “It is considered as a meeting place where men nourish their friendship.”
Randall, a retired U.S. military, had a few more kind words for Filipino sabungeros.
“I have found the truest joy in the simplicity of life shared by Filipino cockfighters,” he said.
“The value of respect they attributed to their birds is indeed very inspiring. Giving the best care for their birds, carrying them with so much pride, enjoying the sport despite poverty and adversity are just among the few of the Filipino traits I sincerely admired.”
Randall also noted that Filipino sabungeros show genuine fundamentals of passion (in cockfighting), true love for the sport and an aspiration for greatness.
He sure knows what he’s talking about as Randall moved to the Philippines a decade ago. He is married to a Filipina and is the only American to win a stag championship in Negros.