It’s not like I’m Michael Vick or anything, but I did gamble twice on a cockfight. Me and a couple of friends headed off long ago to the Lamtang Cockfighting Arena, made fifty-peso bets on a politician’s cock (so to speak), and came away winning P500. Given how far Lamtang is (it’s a good 20 minutes away from Baguio), and given that I’m not an expert in cockfighting, I haven’t gone there since.
The newest Internet sensation today (or so I’m told by my friends here at The Shop) is Japanese “bug fighting.” JapaneseBugFights.com (JBF), which I assume is the World Wrestling Entertainment of bug fighting, has only three rules:
- Two bugs to a fight.
- Bug fights go on as long as they have to.
- No outside weapons in bug fights.
For those of you tired of Manny Pacquiao matches or scripted ballet in pro wrestling, JBF offers matches like Scorpion vs. Beetle, Praying Mantis vs. Cockroach, Tarantula vs. Stick Insect, and Wasp vs. Cricket. Surprisingly, I find JBF entertaining: as a kid, I used to play with small spiders that come inside wooden match boxes. This is basically an extension of it, only that JBF comes with color commentary. I’m starting to think that Big Black Beetle With Big Claws is the Undertaker of JBF, with Scorpion as its Batista.
While it took me a while to appreciate soccer and that my interest in basketball has dwindled, I find myself increasingly being a fan of bug fighting. Surely this is the pinnacle of entomological machismo: gladiatorial events in the insect world. I’m sure that something like a ladybird or a grasshopper dreams of being the JBF champion. Maximus’ most overused quote in Gladiator applies to insects as it does to humans: what we do in life echoes in eternity.
Or at least in the short lifespan of a bug.
Animal activists, of course, find this appalling. The Jains, for example, would sweep aside a cockroach than to kill it. The sanctity of life, universal as it is, should apply to insects: after all, they have “feelings.” I think that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will consider this “barbaric:” that anthropocentric cruelty will endanger the well-being of bugs, which “are people too.”
That won’t stop me from watching it.