Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr., BicolToday.com
Not contented with the cockfighting at the license cockpit arena, aficionados of the game are having a field day to indulge their passion. The lack of police actions and the consorting approval of the public officials unplugged the holes of this illegal activity that it seeps to the membrane of a community.
The illegal cockfighting is a far dot in the things to do for local police and public officials, both has leverages from it. The local police source funds from the group financiers for various reasons while some public officials are big bettors for majority of them enjoy the thrill and spiels of cockfighting and sometimes bankrolls it. Not winking, the concern authorities made an illegal act legal.
The practice of hosting a “tupada” even on ordinary days outside of the license cockpit exposed the lack of interest among adults in the community to pursue creativeness for growth among the youngsters, instead they are inculcating that illegal cockfighting is an easy source of money. It buttresses laziness thus fields become dry, foods are scarce, uneducated populace balloons and it becomes a tradition. The core issues transcend a generation that inhibits its potentials for growth. Its prevalence is in the backyard for fighting cock farms are better managed than households.
It maybe a hobby for others, can be a source of income but the ratio of losing far out weights the winnings. Most say that those who indulge in cock fighting are the honest men, they wager by nodding, a silent agreement established collecting winnings and losses, but far from it, it keeps the wife guessing where the money went. It put to test sincerity to a family for winnings becomes source of thrills in beerhouses and other seedy places. Why do I hark about illegal cockfight? It defies the law, corrupting public officials and authorities, depriving local treasuries of revenues and paternal responsibilities to the family are left out.
The professionals, politicos, the ordinaries are distinct, but they converge in the cockpit, though with different purpose. The monied may lost heavily poor Juan may loss his family meal for the day, others are looking for “balato”, some are eyeing for a loan and politicos pockets are bulging with the cash we hope sourced legally. While the vendors hawk their trades, they too are not immune to the thrill of the game they place bets not caring if it may take their earnings and capital away.
The thrills of fighting cocks bloodied, lame, dropping dead are deafening cries of merriment to the aficionados, the hush are in unison for the killing punch, it offers a high five to winners and sweated losers. The arena became one place of rejoicing for collecting bets in crumpled bills are signs of machismo. Jokes, stories of vivid scene during aerial entanglement of the fighting cocks are retold and brag about. Losers are nary losers for they have excuses to tell.
It’s not only the bettors who earned their keeps, the medicine man, unschooled in veterinary science but experienced in dressing the wounds of a limping cock, he is a picture of confidence, tucking the wound here and there, removing blood clots and giving prescriptions for the early recovery. You would believe, he was at it years before you raise your first fighting cock.
Take the gaffers. They have the tools of death, armed to perfecting their trade by figuring the knifelike armament to give a clinical kill. They will exalt death to your dreams of winning. Inside the gallery, howling crowd place bets solicited by the “cristos” playing out one bet with the other, reconfirming before the green zone erupts in pandemonium. The “lamesadors” gave the green light, then, the drama in the cockpit arena becomes a new story to tell.
Winners got another trophy, a wing band perhaps, a rich tale to tell, a chicken for “pulutan” bragging to his drinking buddies how good his “tinale”. With action while re-telling the fight, it is his pride, and the loser, less in money, foul mood perhaps yet, readying for his next big fight.
They never are contented, losing and winning is not that matters, it’s the pride of his brood of cock fighters, becoming a famous cock breeder legit his name, earns him more, added more friends, being loathe and feared in the game of wits and skills. Some of them, have more time with their brood of fighting cocks than remembering what little time spend with their families. They are inglorious yet famous, they behave as if they have the money vault, don’t know when their wallets are empty, flashy and skillful in many ways. They’re sort of brothers, cross breeding for the perfect bloodline, yet adversaries in more ways. The pressure of believing is not limited in their skills, luck played sometimes, a near loss can become a draw, near wins becomes a striking loss. It’s the “sentenciador” who will end it all.
That’s inside the cockpit arena, the “senticiador” will end the fight either in a “tupada”, but the ultimate stop should not be pass to them, it is the people with authority who should end it.
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