Today in Philippine history, May 9, 1974, President Marcos created the Cockfighting Law of 1974

Monday March 12, 2018 ()

On May 9, 1974, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 449 creating the "Cockfighting Law of 1974". This law governed the establishment, operation, maintenance and ownership of cockpits in the Philippines.

Cockfighting or "Sabong" or the illegal "tupada", a national and cultural sport, has been and still is a popular, traditional and customary form of recreation and entertainment among Filipinos during legal holidays, local fiestas, agricultural, commercial and industrial fairs, carnivals or expositions.

Filipinos cockfighting

It is so popular in the provinces such that in most towns, there is a cockpit where aficionados go every Sunday.

Cockfighting was already flourishing in pre-colonial Philippines, as recorded by Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian diarist aboard Ferdinand Magellan's 1521 expedition.

Bets are usually taken by the "kristo", so named because of his outstretched hands when calling out wagers from the audience and skillfully doing so purely from memory.

Knives are attached on the left leg of the roaster, but depending on agreement between owners, blades can be attached on the right or even on both legs. They are judged by a referee called "sentensyador" or "koyme", whose verdict is final and not subject to any appeal.

There is now an annual cockfight through the "Slashers Club in Manila". Lovers of the sport show off their roosters and bet on them by the millions. It is almost always held at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

There is also the Manila Cockers Club, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Manila Jockey Club.

A world-class cockpit arena was also built at the San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park in Carmona, Cavite.

PD 449 was amended by Republic Act 7160 of 1991, making the local government units the exclusive authority to grant licenses to establish and operate cockpits, conduct cockfighting and regulate the same.



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