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   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.

1 comments on “Nein”

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