It’s superb company whenever relatives, friends, and the family get together for a drink. San Miguel beer is pre-eminent in its popularity. It’s the nation’s leading brew which brings Filipinos together. OO! Samahan na walang katulad! (friendship like no other!)
Be it on a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation, a throw-away party for someone going abroad, a returning OFW’s welcome, a dead man’s wake or a sulking footnote of a love-relationship gone sour, San Miguel beer is arguably our drink that perks up the day. It sets the tone of our celebrations. It brings a lot of delights and sometimes trouble.
San Miguel beer, the popular amber-colored brew, a proud product made in the Philippines, carries mild alcohol which easily knocks out our inhibitions, makes us dreamy, relax, loquacious, and merry. Desirably taken icy-cold to ward off tropical heat in the country, the beer goes well with scrumptious food: pulutan like sisig, chicharon bulaklak, ligo, balut, kinilaw or caldereta. It’s just the perfect bubbly concoction which defines fun in our gatherings.
On September 5, 2008, the city of Manila embarked on a San Miguel beer drinking fest which brought a crowd of more than 15,000 people in Ortigas to start a long celebration, hoping to set a world record. The road from Lourdes Avenue to Julia Vargas became an amazing 603.5-meter-long beer bar, with four concert stages for the fiesta patterned from Germany’s Oktoberfest. PDI (O9/06/08, Natividad, BT)
The beer-fest was mainly for merriment, but strangely unusual, it was attended by 15,000 people. With tinge of self-importance and hubris which commercial organizers thought could topple a record in the Guinness Book, they eyed on making Las Vegas’ distinction of 13,000 people gulping beer at the same time obsolete.
The event was disturbance-free with tight security details in place. It was a successful fun-filled “samahan” like a large gathering of “barkadas” around a pitcher of beer, but an accidental electrocution of 20 workers (causing burn injuries) occured during the dismantling of the props.
One ponders on the event’s undertones, its meanings when the din of merriment has subsided. Can casual beer drinking lead to alcohol dependence and abuse? Is it beneficial for us to win a drinking distinction in the Guinness Book of Records? Where will a whole-scale commercial promotion of drinking bring our nation? What impact does it have on the campaign to control alcoholism in the country? What effect will it have in the next generation?
A disorder characterized by unusual craving for liquor, alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is a problem in the Philippines. Just like in other countries, it’s a major cause of job loss, family fued, car-crash, and accident. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 140 million people in various countries have alcohol dependence and 78% aren’t treated.
MAG-BEER MUNA TAYO! SO GOOD, AYOS ANG KASUNOD!
“Alcohol dependence increases the risk of liver disease (hepatitis and cirrhosis), dangerously irregular heart rhythms (“holiday heart” syndrome), stomach ulcers, brain damage, stroke and other health problems. In pregnant women who drink alcohol, there is also the danger that the child will develop fetal alcohol syndrome, a cluster of health problems including unusually low birth weight, facial abnormalities, heart defects and learning difficulties.
In most Western countries, including the United States, the lifetime chance of developing alcoholism is about 10% for men and 3% to 5% for women. Although there is strong evidence that at least part of a person’s risk for alcoholism is inherited, having a family history of alcoholism does not guarantee that someone will become an alcoholic. Other lifestyle factors a social setting where alcohol is a regular part, easy availability of alcohol, severe personal problems may be even more important than heredity in determining whether some people develop alcoholism. For those who have a strong family history of alcoholism, a supportive family and healthy friendships often can prevent the illness from starting.”—MensHealth.com =0=
“Come to think of it, isn’t the presence of Ambassador Kenney in Kuala Lumpur an anomaly? The US has never been part of the peace process in the South unlike the OIC, Malaysia and Indonesia.” — MyTy, Philippines (Photo Credit: http://www.sjsu.edu)