This bull’s for fighting
October 4, 2015 Leave a comment
Livestock raising is one of Batanes’ major industries, apart from farming and fishing. Cattle, goats and carabaos, sometimes horses, freely roam the countryside–by the hundreds in some areas. That’s one reason why communal pasture lands, the most popular being the Racuh a Payaman or vast (racuh in Ivatan) graze lands (payaman) dot the Batanes landscape.
As in Masbate and Bukidnon, Batanes also boasts a rich ‘cowboy’ tradition; and in Brgy. Sanakan in Sabtang, instead of having a rodeo, bullfighting is one of the highlights of the local fiesta.
I know, I know…. I also thought the ‘bullfighting’ the locals were talking about involves a matador. I was mistaken. Instead, their version of a ‘bullfight’ features two, well, raging bulls egged to fight each other until one quits or runs away.
The bull-fight ‘arena’ is set against a backdrop of the raging waves of the Sabtang-Batan Channel, away from more populated ‘centro’ (Oh, by the way, the term ‘populated’ is a misnomer in Sabtang, as the island municipality has only about 1,500 residents–men, women and children–as of the last Census of Population).