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Beer, Gin and the Filipinos

Posted Jun 11 2009 6:37pm


Filipinos are heavy drinkers, do you still doubt that?

In 2008, research by Synovate, a global market research company, said that alcohol consumption in the Philippines is rising particularly among affluent Filipinos who consumed 37% more alcohol than in other countries like Thailand (34%), Singapore (32%), Malaysia (28%) and Indonesia (8%). The research also found that locally-brewed beer was the top choice of 30% of wealthy Filipinos among alcoholic beverages.

Beer is still the favorite among Filipinos and it accounts for 15% of the Philippines’ 4-billion-bottles-a-year market. In 2006, on a per capita basis, beer ranks third among the items that average Filipinos most commonly purchase, next only to infant milk and cellular-phone loads.

But other alcoholic drinks may not be too far behind. in 2005, the Impact Databank, a US alcoholic beverage research firm, cited the Filipinos as world’s top gin drinkers. The study noted that Ginebra San Miguel is the top gin brand in the world in terms of sales at 27.4 million cases or P12 billion.



And of course, the indigenous alcohol like tuba (coconut wine), basi (rice wine) and others are very popular in the rural areas.

Drinking alcohol is deeply embedded in the Filipino culture – it has symbolic roles; a situation definer; a status indicator; and a statement of affiliation. That is why alcohol advertisements regard highly of “manliness and manhood” and “measure of true friendship”. With such shallow message done in glossy advertising, no wonder alcoholics have feeble brain.



The brain and nervous system, liver, skin, heart, blood, stomach and reproductive systems become at risk because of excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol slows down reactions, lowers a person’s inhibitions and makes a person aggressive and hostile. In higher doses, it causes blackouts and impairs concentration, judgment and emotional reactions.

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Photos from Dr. Jose Pascual's
powerpoint presentation lecture.

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