THE ‘TARE-TARE SA TABO’  or cockfighting on market days is held for the in-coming fiesta of Brgy Lower Lamac, Oroquieta City. This blood sport will continue every Wednesday afternoon until 28 May, the day of the fiesta.

Photos by John D. Simborios 09April14, Oroquieta City

‘Masyador’ or hawker offers and close deals with other bettors outside the cockpit. Inside the cockpit the ‘masyador’ is called ‘kristo’.









Cocks are matched outside the ring and the owners or handlers agrees on initial bets. On this occasion, matching is done by simple visual assessments of the handlers and if the matched cockfighters start to engage a fight with the other.
It is ‘ilogon’ if the amount put in is higher the regular bet or ‘biya’. The cardboard is moved either to the left or to the right sides of the cockpit to mark which fighter is ‘ilogon’ and to guide the bettors.
The ‘tare’ or razor-sharp blade is attached to the leg of a cockfighter, this marks the real bloodsport. The sheath is removed only when the fighters are poised to fight on the ground.
Agitating the cockfighters ensures a fierce and steady fight. Handlers makes the cockfighters touch each others beak or make a quick push to the other cock to fix its eyes each other.
During the cockfight, ‘kuymidor’ or referee oversee the fight and ensures that the pit is cleared from bettors and the cockfighters are inside the pit.
The ‘kuymidor’ or referee make sure which of the cockfighters is still able or willing to fight. The beaks are knocked together to excite the fighters and peck with each other or put back on the ground to continue fighting.
The last fighter standing or still moving after a peck or two is declared winner by the ‘kuymidor’ or referee amid the cheers of the crowd and the collection of winnings.
After the intense fighting, cuts from the razor sharp ‘tare’ or blades attached to the feet of a cockfigter is examined and mended by their handlers to be healed and readied for the next fight.
The cock doctor fixes cuts right after the fight. It is a spectacular sight for curious kids and a very long wait for the next patient lying on the ground or caressed by its owner.
The winner takes it all and clean ready for soup. After the bloodsport it is a common practice that the winner will bring home the fallen fighter. A gamely drinking spree will follow to enjoy the soup and the meat.
After all the bettors and crowds are gone, others who stayed behind enjoyed the silence and snacks sold by the transient stalls vendors who gathered around the cockpit grounds to chance for the winnings of the bettors.