SABONG: Beliefs & Superstitions in Philippine Cockfighting

SABONG – Here are some beliefs and superstitions in Philippine cockfighting that many Filipino sabungeros believe.

Sabong or cockfighting is a popular sport deeply embedded in the Philippine culture. This traditional practice involves two gamecocks fighting each other, often to the death, while spectators place bets on the outcome.

Although it is deeply rooted in the culture of several countries, cockfighting has been met with criticism and even bans in many parts of the world. Critics argue that it is inhumane, cruel, and promotes animal cruelty.


However, this game comes with a plethora of superstitions that have been passed down through generations.

While some of these beliefs are taken seriously, others are followed with skepticism due to a lack of clear reasoning. These superstitions are believed to bring either good luck or bad luck to those involved in this traditional pastime.


Here are some superstitions about Sabong:

For Good Luck

  • Shaving on the day of the cockfight is discouraged because it’s thought to dull the rooster’s fighting spirit.
  • It’s said that you should not look back as you head to the cockfight, emphasizing the importance of staying focused on the present.
  • When a fighting rooster crows seven to ten times in the evening without response from other roosters, it’s seen as a sign of impending victory.
  • If a rooster kneels down to eat, especially during the evening, it’s considered a sign of triumph in the upcoming fight.
  • Special symbols or words are etched onto the rooster’s legs, believed to bring good luck during the match.
  • Carrying matching items in your pockets is thought to enhance your luck in cockfighting bets.
  • Collecting a feather that falls from a rooster during a match and keeping it in your pocket is believed to bring good luck.
  • Wearing black clothing to the cockfight or sitting next to someone dressed in black is considered a sign of bad luck.

Superstitions Associated with Bad Luck

  • Many believe that having a woman as a companion on a day of cockfighting will bring bad luck.
  • Some claim that if you find a hole in your pocket, you should refrain from going to the cockfight.
  • Fridays are considered unlucky for cockfighting, potentially diminishing the chances of winning.
  • During moonlit nights, it’s believed that betting on shy, white-feathered roosters can bring good fortune.
  • Encountering a funeral procession on your way to a cockfight is viewed as a bad omen.

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