Culture

Where Do Real-Life Filipino Cowboys Go?

Giddy up, city slicker.
IMAGE Sonny Thakur
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They call it the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines. Every April hundreds of cowboys congregate in Masbate for the Rodeo Masbateño. Coming to the city from ranches across the province and beyond, teams of cowboys compete against each other in bull riding and whipping, cattle wrestling, lassoing, and other cattle-ranching activities.

For these Pinoy cowboys it’s a week to relax and enjoy the festivities, seven days away from the tough toil that is cowboying. But it’s also a chance to showcase their skills and pride in their profession, and an opportunity to represent their ranch in the town that represents the heart of cattle country.

For this special project of his, photographer Sonny Thakur travelled to Masbate for a couple of years to capture these striking, intimate images of the cowboys competing at the rodeo.


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