Arnau Elias documents cockfights in Malapascua, Philippines

The Spanish conquest left a controversial tradition in the Philippines. Converted practically into a national sport, cockfights move crowds and large amounts of money. We can usually see them on Sundays. There are “galleras” (the cockfights spaces) in almost all the cities and towns of the country, from small sands built with four woods to coliseums with capacity for thousands of people. The rules are simple, they face two roosters, loses the one that stops fighting, flees or dies.

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Malapascua is an island frequented mainly by divers, all concentrated in the south of the island. This allows the rest of the island to largely preserve its appearance and traditional life. That’s why we chose this place to attend the fights. Dozens of motorcycles at the entrance of the enclosure, the “gallera” is little more than some wood and a canvas. They are all local men and there are only two women charging the entrance fee. Before each fight you bet on the winning rooster, the money runs fast, the fights are short and not suitable for sensitive hearts and the veterinarian has a job taking care of badly injured birds. The level of excitement of people, both during bets and during the confrontation is crazy. For them it is a cruel form of fun while making money. A raw experience that does not stop being necessary to understand a little more the culture of this country.

Text and photographs by Arnau Elias Valenti, you can see more on his website or on his Instagram.

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

Peleas de gallos arnau elias contrafotografia

We have fanzines!

We want you to enjoy them, so we have a wonderful store where you can buy all of them.


We are a little collective that loves black and white analog photography. We live in Barcelona, but we ship our work worldwide. Click and check our latest publications!

Go to the store