Sabong, as a blood sport, is a popular activity and pastime in the Philippines. Only a few betting games and sport can rival the popularity, longevity, and importance of sabong to this country. More than a game, that is also considered as a cultural activity for many Filipinos and one that helps define the Filipino culture. By following and watching the game, you don’t just see game fowls fighting it off in an arena. Through these games and your participation in the entertainment and betting, you also learn more about the long tradition and colorful history of the country. In this guide, we take a look at the game, how it’s played and its history. And if this is just your first time to learn about sabong and sabong online betting, then this article can serve as your guide.
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Brief History of Sabong
This popular game in the Philippines traces its roots during the pre-colonial times. According to records, the game between gamecocks traces its roots to the Indus Valley and the first civilizations in the world. Records also show that sabong was a popular sport and pastime in ancient times in China, Persia, India, and other Eastern countries. Also, the Romans played this game. In the Philippines, cockfighting has been around since pre-colonial times. This was first officially chronicled by Antonio Pigafetta during their expedition in 1521.
What is Sabong?
Also known as cockfighting, sabong is considered a blood sport where two gamecocks are pitted against each other, with an intent to stop, weaken, or even kill the other. In short, this game is a fight to the finish. If you are not familiar with the game and you participate in the activity, then you will find it to be gruesome, unforgiving, and can disgusting to the eyes. But if you stay long enough to watch and hear the crowds, then you will instantly know that people love to follow and watch it live and in the flesh.
In the Philippines, sabong can be both legal and illegal. In many areas, the legal cockfighting often happens in designated cockpits and the games are known to the Local Government Units (LGUs). There are also other related activities that are hosted in makeshift halls or even in the streets and these are considered as illegal activities. Although these sabong cockfighting activities are considered legal due to their arrangements, the authorities are not that strict in apprehending those that are involved. In both games, the gamecocks are made to wear knives or gaffs.
Two kinds of knives are used in sabong games – the single-edged blades that are often used in popular derbies and the double-edged blades. The length of the blades will depend on the owner, the host of the derby, or based on the understanding of the participants before the start of the derby. These knives are then attached to the left leg of the gamecock. There are instances in sabong live and derbies wherein the knives are attached on both legs. Again, the length and the attachment of the knives will eventually depend on the owners and the operator of the derby.
Referee and ‘Kristo’ as Important Personalities in the Game
In the sabong live, the derby promoter will assign a judge or referee called the ‘sentensyador’. It is the role of the referee to start the game and his verdict on which wins is final and not subject to an appeal. In sabong ph, there is an element of betting which makes the game more exciting and lively. The ‘kristo’ is the one who will collect the bets from the players and gamecock owners who want to take part in sabong derby live. His arms are often outstretched while collecting bets for players in sabong sports live, hence the name. The great thing about this ‘kristo’ is that he can expertly collect the bets from anywhere in any direction and retain all these in memory.
Sabong as an International Competition
Although the game is local with a lot of cultural underpinnings, it has managed to go international in recent decades. The Philippines plays host to several World Slasher Cup derbies that are often hosted at the Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines. This is considered as the ‘Olympics of cockfighting’ primarily due to the nature of the derbies and the participants. Also, these international derbies attract the attention and participation of the top breeders from different parts of the world. Thanks to these international derbies, the traditional cockfighting in the Philippines have been elevated into international status. And the traditional Filipino pastime with pre-colonial heritage becomes a true gentleman sport.
Sabong as a Betting Game
Aside from being a popular blood sport, this is also a popular form of gambling among Filipinos. In the Philippines, the sport is never complete without the bets for and against the gamecocks. The bets can vary in amount depending on the locality or the persons involved. Derbies are common in different parts of the country and almost all barangays host sabong live or derbies during special occasions. According to experts, the betting industry that center on this sport is now considered a billion-dollar industry and more than 10 million stakeholders. One can see the popularity of betting by visiting major derbies that are hosted during public celebrations. Here, patrons and bettors will spend thousands or even millions just to place bets in this game. Also, the amount of jackpots and prizes help sustain the popularity of betting on sabong sports live. For bettors, they can receive great payouts if their bets are correct. And for the owners and breeders, they can receive the jackpot prizes that are often offered as part of the game.
Online Sabong and Betting
Although sabong has been around for centuries, recent trends and activities suggest that the popularity is not slowing down. Even in the face of tightening laws and regulations, it seems that locals always find ways to play and host and bet on this sports. The popularity of the game is also boosted by the presence of TV and media. For years, these kind of games and derbies have been covered by live TV. There was a time when local TV stations cover the sports and they offer sabong derby live. Thanks to sabong sports live that is streamed on TV, enthusiasts can still follow the derbies even if they are not present in the actual event. Also, the advent of the internet helped sustain the popularity of the sport. Today, some online sabong sites are designed to give tribute to the game. Furthermore, these online sites serve as online resources for enthusiasts who are passionate about the game. You can even find online gambling platforms that offer sabong live 2018 betting on mobile and desktop. For example, sabong888live and aa88ph as the leading websites that accept bets on sabong live. Also, some of these online sites feature resources and even live betting facilities.
In short, the sport has transformed in recent decades. It is no longer just a popular hobby; it’s now a sporting event and a gambling platform all rolled into one. And when you want to take part or follow sabong derby live, you are now given options on how you can get information and bet on games. Instead of the usual venues, you can now enjoy the resources, games, and bets online.
FAQs About Sabong in the Philippines
- What is sabong?
This is the local equivalent of cockfighting which is considered a popular blood sport between two cocks. Cockfighting traces a long history and this is played in different cultures and civilizations for thousands of years. In this game, two gamecocks are pitted against each other and bettors will bet on the results of the game.
- How is the game played in a traditional game or derby?
In the Philippine setting, the game is played with a referee who will guide the conduct of the game. Also, there’s a ‘kristo’ who is in charge of collecting bets from participants. The amount of bets that one can make depends on the local arrangements or based on the agreements among players, breeders, and owners.
- Can I place bets on sabong and derbies? Is this allowed and legal?
Yes. Games and derbies allow you to place the bets. The amount of bets you can make varies depending on the internal arrangement. In terms of the legality of the game, the local laws are clear: this is an illegal activity. Although the laws are strict, some operators still host these derbies and allow locals to play and participate. Also, there are informal sabong and derbies that are often hosted in many barangays in the countryside.
- Are these sites that are focused on sabong and betting?
Yes. There are several online sabong sites that you can check online. Again, local laws state that betting online and offline on sabong are prohibited.
- What are my options if I want to enjoy sports betting online?
There are several offshore licensed casinos and sportsbooks that accept bets from local bettors. In these platforms, you can bet on the outcomes of several sports like basketball, tennis, boxing, and cricket.