It’s easy to get around a problem surrounding the lack of your favorite cigarette: you look for a substitute. In the absence of Marlboro Lights, there’s always Winston Lights or Marlboro Reds. The same is true when it comes to drinking… or is it?
Two summers ago, when I spent the summer term at UP Diliman, me and a few friends from the boarding house decided to drink a round of beers to celebrate the end of my exam. I didn’t know much about Manila, so I expected that they drank the same kind of San Miguel Beer I was used to guzzling here in Baguio. It was a relatively rural area (the irony of it), but the nearby stores didn’t carry SMB. After a few stores – and a trip to MiniStop – we finally got San Miguel.
For the non-alcoholics, it’s a different sort: back in those days, I literally had to train myself to drink RC Cola. Here in Baguio, there’s no such thing as “not Coke:” you’d have to be a lowlander to appreciate Pepsi. Coke Sakto was just about as far as the Coca-Cola continuum will go in that neighborhood, where the nearest Coke-selling place was the soda fountain at CASAA. The soonest I got to the bus terminal on my way out of Manila, I drank Coke to my heart’s content.
Nein. So the Germans say.