3/31/2021
Stock up

I found myself in that rabbit hole of Philippine television advertisements in the 1970s.

It's interesting how it all looks and feels a particular way: shot on film, written like a radio play, and almost always punctuated with sung jingles. Well, it hasn't all changed, but considering how we do things on digital nowadays, and how jingles don't sound as lush as they used to, and how all these came from a time before I was born, well, it feels quaint and fascinating and, oddly, nostalgic. I mean, I wasn't born yet.

I was watching this San Miguel Beer ad. I assume it's action star Max Alvarado on there. It is him, right? Anyway, it was about why Filipinos would stock up on bottles of beer.

Kay Mr. and Mrs. Vergara, ang beer ay pampagana!

I remember being a kid in the early 1990s and having the impression that only men drank beer. This feels oddly progressive for its time, or I'm just a stupid person.

Sa mag-asawang Jun at Jane, beer ang madalas na pang-entertain!

Again, arguably progressive for its time. But then, beer does feel more apt for entertaining guests than as an appetizer. But then, I never really saw beer as an aperitif. But what do I know?

Ang beer stock naman ni Max, siyempre, para sa pagre-relax!

That is Max Alvarado, right?

Yeah, I can imagine how beer can help you relax. My parents have recently taken this habit of drinking soju before going to sleep. I joke - and also, quietly, fear - that they have become backdoor alcoholics. It's not something they've done before the pandemic struck.

But anyway, yeah, I can imagine how beer can help you relax. I'm a beer drinker myself, but I don't often drink it. I'm not the guy that has to have alcohol at least once a week. Once per trip abroad, yes, but not once a week, or once a day. I think the last beer I had was during my birthday, and that was just one can.

Since Shalla doesn't drink much either, we don't stock up on alcohol. (There is this one bottle of Vodka Cruiser in the fridge, though, and it isn't mine.) So we haven't been particularly bothered by liquor bans. It's still weird, though, how banning the sale of liquor has become a tool to combat whatever it is that needs to be combatted. Like, now, we're going through a big spike in COVID-19 cases, and the local government's answer has been to stop selling booze. I guess you stop drinking outdoors by stopping the sales of beer. But it never added up, because it's not like beer causes the disease any more than incompetence and a lack of accountability, yes?

Not to mention the whole "let's keep the economy going, but let's ban alcohol production" thing. If you want people to spend money, you have to let them spend it on what they want. (Same goes for the "cash assistance" that has somehow become "in-kind assistance" and will most likely become "campaign materials".) I'm sure, right now, with all this stress and anger, people would want to relax, and what better way to relax than to drink beer, right? I mean, that's what the ad said, and I kinda get it. I imagine it's just more stressful for them to go to the convenience store and see fridges in the dark, with "LIQUOR BAN" plastered all over the doors.

Well, the ad also has the answer to that: stock up on beer. It's 2021, so you're not just limited to buying them in bottles, but in cans, too. Better for storage, although not better in flavor. Of course, it's only an option for those with money and space in their refrigerator, and I don't have either.

And your responses...

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