Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dernier jour à Siergo / combat de coqs

My last day in Siergo was spent relaxing. Constant, heavy rain made me decide to forego the 3 extra days I was considering to spend here, at Kermit.

I played with the kid a little since it was sunday and school was off, and read some of my Game of Thrones book.

At 3pm me and Sam decided to go check out the Coq fights.

The stadium and the ambiance was exactly the kind of local experience I was looking for.

You first walk in a cement courtyard. The front and back sides are covered by small crude roofs in the local fashion, with benches for people to sit. It is here that the rooster owners prepare their fighters.

They check them, see if they're alert, and prepare their talon blade. Tied backwards to one leg, a blade like the claw of a velociraptor is installed.

A group of onlookers watch the preparations, others smoke.

After a few minutes of me and Sam trying to figure out where the fights will be, people start moving towards a tiny entrance in a wall. A woman is there with a tiny wooden table. 20 pesos and a big purple stamp gets you in.

Inside, it is completely roofed. On the right are several levels of benches, and they circle an elevated, caged ring.

A microphoned voice greets us, amongst the chatter and laughter of the locals. We pick an elevated spot.

After a few minutes, the owners of the birds and a relative walk in with them, each a rooster in hand. Every fighting rooster has another bird held in front of them, and have to receive a few pecks to piss them off before the fight.

At the same time, the gambling begins. I won't pretend that I understood how it worked... Everyone is yelling at no one in particular and repeating the same word over and over again, which I later learned means "chicken".

3 fights take place. It is over in a matter of minutes. Feathers fly. Blood drips heavily from chicken carcasses, people smoke and yell.

After this people go back to the courtyard, where I am besieged by hunger. I decide to try the fish chips for 1 peso, and some sweetened bread that reminds me of funnel cakes. The old woman says "dunkin donut" as she hands me one.

Julie comes by. She is half-swiss and half-filipino, and by far the prettiest girl I have seen in this country. She smiles at us and comes to talk to us, telling us to bet on her rooster, she and her husband trained it. I decide to put 50 pesos on him.

Going back to the stadium for another round. Julie's rooster fight ends up in a tie: both coqs stabbed themselves and became locked in, and died like that.

A little later, back at the resort, Rasta is there, relaxing. A friend of Captain and Babal, he makes a living being a liaison between contractors and foreigners who open businesses on the island, mostly resorts.

He starts to explain that fighter chicken are trained every day, fed twice a day, and are injected with steroïds.

He then explains that he knows a man on a neighboring island who owns "magic farm". He is the main supplier of meat for the province, and very rich. Rasta tells me he has a private army to protect his livestock. Also, that years ago that man went to Brazil to buy a fighter coq, and all the fighter coqs of the region are descandents of this Brazilian poultry.

He then tells me how to meet women in Cebu, and his trick to get 3-somes.

The surfers come back from their run, and the sun goes down. Since me Dam and Sam are leaving the next day, we all decide to put some music on and get a few drinks.

I go to bed at 1am. My taxi is at 4h30 the next morning.

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