• Cocks are left ‘handed’; they take the first swing with their left claw.

• The white cocks are called ‘irish fighters’, because they were originally bred in ireland

• There is an elaborate system of hand signals used to place bet amounts, because the noise drowns out any words.

It was at an enormous arena full of men on a Sunday afternoon, and we happened to sit beside a kind man who had spent 25 years working in the states, and who shared these little details of the fight, along with some good jokes and insightful historical facts.  The sticky coconut and rice balls, that the vendors were selling, tightly wrapped in banana leaves; those were thrown to American POWs during the Bataan death march, and kept many alive.  In the cockpit, the fights were brief; tiny white feathers floated through the air.  The decorated rooster above is another variation of the sarimanok carving, this one being a panulong, or roof eave found more on the old houses in Mindanao.

And Sarah spotted these small wax people waiting beside the flames in the marketplace, during our shoots comparing markets + malls.  The 3rd largest mall in the world (the largest being in Dubai) is close by, huge, LED lit spaces as big as air hangars.  But the markets outside have the sky, the sounds of mass, fresh flowers and these little wax guys, melting in the heat with me.  I’ve found that looping sampaguita (the national flower, like a stronger jasmine) around the armpits works like a charm…