A betting heritage sportBrutal, bloody, and entertaining—all that, but it's also a betting sport. Betting is a sine qua non of sabong. In fact, without betting sabong will be transformed into an unrecognizable namby-pamby sport. Betting discharges the adrenaline and stokes the din and theater of the kristos. With the Cockfighting Law of 1974, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, stamped his imprimatur on sabong with Presidential Decree No. 499, essentially designating it as a "vehicle for the preservation and perpetuation of native Filipino heritage and thereby enhance our national identity." The cock-a-hoop endorsement provided legal status to kristos and the culture of cockfight betting.Superstitions, while providing comic color to cockfighting, are taken seriously by many rural sabong devotees.(1) The arrival of a female visitor on the day of the cockfight is inauspicious.(2) Do not sweep the floor of the house on sabong day.(3) Avoid cockfighting on Fridays.(4) Avoid going to the cockfight with a hole in one of the pants' pockets.(5) Don't look back when walking to the cockpit arena.(6) Bet on the "mayahin" and white cocks on days with moonlit nights.(7) It is an unlucky day if one runs into a funeral procession on the way to the cockfight.(8) Shaving is avoided on sabong day for fear it might cause the game cock's blade to break.(9) Avoid having sex the night before.Cock with training glovesThe Derbyand the Hack FightHack fights are literal to the root word: Hack, to cut, chop, hew, slash or gash. These are the generic ulutan-paired cockfights, 20 to 30 in an afternoon of cockfighting. This is when the masa can mix blades with the deep-pockets and burgis.The derby, once referred to as the "pintakasi," is the cockfighting event for the serious aficionado and deep-pockets. The cocks are paired according to weight. Each team enters with a team-name and a fixed "pot money" amount (ex: P10,000 for each of 10 teams makes a 100,000 total pot) that becomes the prize-money for the team with the most wins. A 3-cock derby may last deep into the night or past the midnight hours; a 7- or 9-cock derby may last for days.Cockfights for the Dearly DepartedTupadahan para sa PatayIn the rural areas, the dead is occasionally an opportunity for cockfighting. To help defray funeral expenses, a complimentary permit is obtained from the municipal government to allow cockfighting during the 3-5 days duration of the wake. Usually, 10 percent of the winnings (palisada) from each cockfight (soltada) is contributed to the funerary coffers. The come-one-come-all invitation easily spreads through the rural grapevine, and die-hard sabuñgeros come, many not to grieve the dead but for the delight of the game.Carambola is the occasional sabong sideshow - an entertainingly wild and zany labo-labo event that pits six to sixteen or more cocks at one time, simultaneously slashing-and-parrying until one cock remains standing. The winning owner claims all the dead cocks plus the prize pot money.