So, yesterday could be counted as probably the greatest day I've had so far in the Philippines.
Not only did I go to a cockfight, but I got to ride a carabao and visit a giant waterfall as well. First, the cockfight. I know it's illegal, and cruel to animals... but this is probably one of the biggest cultural events you can go to in the Philippines. First the roosters are brought into the ring so everybody can see them from the stands. This is when the most commotion happens, everybody starts standing up and shouting out their bets. Picture the New York Stock Exchange, and that's about what it's like. They make special hand signals; if the hand is pointed to the side or up it's the number they're showing meant in hundreds of pesos, a hand that is pointed down is representing thousands of pesos. Next they check and inspect the roosters, and finally they let them go at it. It's a fight to the death, and the loser takes dinner home.
Next on the agenda for the day was carabao riding. Ok, too cool! Willard, my host brother-in-law is from the country, so he arranged for my friend Loren and I to ride an actual carabao. They hosed it off for us, and basically let us ride it like you do a pony when you're a little kid; lead rope and all. His family all came to watch us, they said it was their first time seeing an American ride a carabao. We said it was our first time too :)
Lastly, we headed to the Casa Roco falls. It's this really tall waterfall, which required us to walk up the mountain, just so we could climb back down to get close to the fall. It was quite a hike... but the view was amazing.
It was a really good day.