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COCK FIGHTING AS PART OF PHILIPPINE'S NATIONAL HERITAGE?

Manila, Philippine - A letter submitted to the House of Representatives calls for declaring cockfighting as part of the country's national cultural heritage.
Representative Rodolfo Plaza, author of the letter, said cockfighting is deeply engrained in the customs and traditions of Filipinos and that the sport is already part of their identity.
  • Cockfighting, a sport which pits two roosters fitted with razor sharp blades against each other is a popular, traditional and customary form of recreation and entertainment among Filipinos especially during holidays, fiestas, fairs and other events.
  • Plaza, who represents the congressional district of Agusan del Sur, is urging the National Commission for Culture and Arts and the National Historical Institute to declare cockfighting as part of the intangible Philippine cultural heritage.
  • "Intangible cultural heritage includes practices, representations expressions and skills, as well as the objects, instruments and artefacts that communities, groups and individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage," Plaza said.
  • Presently, cockfights are allowed inside purpose built arenas where betting is legal, but clandestine matches also abound.
  • Plaza argued that even the law that bans illegal cockfights, Presidential Decree No 449, or the Cockfighting Law, recognises that cockfighting is a vehicle for the preservation and perpetuation of native Filipino heritage that enhances national identity.
  • "Cockfighting should neither be exploited as an object of commercialism or business enterprise nor made a tool of uncontrolled gambling," Plaza said.
  • "Cockfighting must be recognised and institutionalised as part of the national cultural heritage and must be promoted, protected and enhanced," Plaza said.
  • Reacting on the news that cockfighting may soon be declared as part of the country's national heritage, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society said they were "aghast".
Source:Gulf News
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