When in Manila, nothing beats drinking delicious cold beer, feasting on sausages, and partying Bavarian-style in the middle of the day. That’s exactly what we did last September 17 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza to officially welcome Oktoberfest Manila 2013.
While it’s still a few weeks before September ends, the German Club Manila, with the help of the amazing Sofitel staff, ushered in the annual celebration in a fun-filled event that’s overflowing with beer and food that brought everyone–from sponsors to media partners to invited guests–up to their feet, singing and dancing merrily and participated in games that included downing a huge mug of beer.
Anyone who thinks he’s been to an Oktoberfest party before will discover that the usual fare we’ve been accustomed to isn’t remotely close to a real Oktoberfest celebration.
I’ve been to a couple Oktoberfest parties before where beers are sold at dirt cheap prices and hordes of party animals are all expecting to get drunk as their favorite bands blasted tunes from the stage and thought that this is how it’s supposed to be.
My idea of Oktoberfest is people gathering in malls’ open parking areas, drinking lots of booze to the point of being rowdy at times, which is why I never went again. But that all changed when we attended the press launch of Oktoberfest Manila 2013.
A brief history of Oktoberfest
Just how long has this been going on? 10, 15 years? Try 200 years.
Yes, it’s that old. The first Oktoberfest celebration happened in October 12, 1810 when the Crown Prince of Bavaria, Ludwig, married a German princess, Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and organized a horse race where all of Munich was invited. The 5-day merrymaking was so successful it spread to other countries and was celebrated annually.
Oktoberfest as we know today
Ask anyone if they’re familiar with this celebration and you’re sure to get the same response: an excuse to get drunk. It’s very fun to partake in. However, many of us are still unaware of how truly awesome this can be.
What’s admirable about Oktoberfest Manila 2013 is that its proceeds will all go to good cause. The German Club is a non-profit and they’ll use the 2-day event’s earnings to fund feeding programs in Leyte and other projects in Baguio and Manila.
Thanks to the club and Sofitel, I finally got a taste of what it’s really like to party like a true Bavarian.
As soon as we walked into the ballroom, which was transformed into an authentic Bavarian setting complete with banderitas, barrels of beer, and tables and benches, I knew we’re in for loads of un.
What instantly caught my attention was the huge backdrop that had the number 75 (number of years the German Club has celebrated the event) and it was made entirely of pretzels! I resisted the urge to snatch and eat one. Just kidding.
Then there are these cute women clad in traditional Bavarian dresses called dirndl (pronounced dern-del) carrying mugs of beer and other refreshments. The guys were also channeling their inner German with a trachten shirt, suspenders, and white socks.