Cockfighting raised money for Guam Memorial Hospital


In the article below, it was great to find few “para-phrases” of few sentences in my article titled “Cockfighting – Sports and Lifestyle

Gayu is rooster or gamecock in Chamorro, the language of indigenous people of Guam (the largest island of Marianas Islands in Micronesia).

– Gameness til the End

Doctor’s Notes: Who’s your gåyu?

Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 00:00
Written By Dr. Vince Akimoto

WASHINGTON, D.C. — I sit in huddled silence on the shores of Chesapeake Bay where Francis Scott Key once watched the rockets’ red glare and I ponder the lead crime story emerging from San Benito County, Calif.

“Police seize 101 more cockfighting birds from Fairview Road home,” the headline blares. Last Friday, police officers seized numerous roosters they say were raised for cockfighting at a residence where authorities had previously seized 120 birds last December, according to the Hollister Police Department. Police also confiscated paraphernalia related to illegal cockfighting.

Shocked by the cultural dissonance of such an event, I gaze pensively over the land of our founding fathers — George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, particularly — who so respected the sport of cockfighting that they nearly succeeded in selecting the fighting rooster as the national bird.

Cockfighting is the world’s oldest spectator sport. Persian records detail cockfights held more than 6,000 years ago. A cockfight is a blood sport between two roosters ,or more accurately gamecocks, held in a ring called a cockpit. Many times, the roosters are fitted with sharp metal, plastic, or fish bone spurs that fit over or sometimes replace their natural spurs.

The roosters fight until ultimately one of them dies or is critically injured. Referees watch the contest and separate the roosters when they become too tangled up to continue fighting. According to legend, Abraham Lincoln was nicknamed “Honest Abe” not for his politics, but because of his honesty as a cockfight referee.

Today, the different gamecock breeds and strains come from different continents and countries and reflect the worldwide interest in fighting birds. Notable gamecock breeds are the American Game, Indian Aseel, Japanese Shamo, Malaysian Malays, Vietnamese Ga Noi, Indonesian Sumatra, Old English Game, English Modern Game, Spanish Game, Persian Rumpless Game, Cuban Cubalayas, French Nord Game, Belgian Flamand Game, Filipino Igon, and Filipino Parawakan.

According to Wikipedia, in the Mariana Islands, the sport of cockfighting has been considered a “cultural tradition” dating back to Spanish rule. Cockfighting became more popular with an influx of Filipino immigrants to the islands before and after World War II. Fights are held throughout the week at a government-licensed pit in the village of Dededo, Guam, and in other villages during fiestas, where a patron saint of the village is celebrated.

The Philippines is the cockfighting capital of the world. Some of the most lucrative derbies or mega-fights featuring the best birds on the planet are held in Manila’s Araneta Stadium each year. Contrary to popular belief, “sabong” or cockfighting was not introduced to the islands by the Spanish. Cockfighting was already flourishing in pre-colonial Philippines, as recorded by Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian diarist aboard Ferdinand Magellan’s 1521 expedition.

Imported roosters and hens from the U.S. mainland fetch heavy prices that can reach as much as $1,000 each. According to my cockfighting contacts here on Guam, prized roosters can be mailed through the U.S. postal service, although I have never seen this done legally myself.

In the United States, cockfighting is now illegal in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The last state to implement a state law banning cockfighting was Louisiana in 2008. Cockfighting remains legal in the United States territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.

Cockfighting has long been controversial around the world, partly because of the bloody nature of the event. This year, the Guam Liberation Carnival festivities feature cockfighting for the first time in decades. This has led to an islandwide debate about animal cruelty, the definition of gambling, and the cultural significance of cockfighting.

Guam’s first civilian governor, Carlton Skinner, recalled in his autobiography how he authorized a month-long cockfight derby at the Paseo to raise money for Guam Memorial Hospital. Local cockfighters helped raise more than $50,000 for the hospital in the summer of 1952. Maybe our contemporary hospital administrators should pay a visit to the Tiyan cock-o-dome before Guam goes the way of San Benito County.

poultry gamefowl chicken gamecock


One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s