Manila Turns Into Munich As Beer And Bavarians Take Over Sofitel Harbor Tent For The 2014 Manila Oktoberfest

Manila Turns Into Munich As Beer And Bavarians Take Over Sofitel Harbor Tent For The 2014 Manila Oktoberfest

Once a year, a small part of Metro Manila readies thousands of liters of beer, raises the Bavarian flag and starts to speak with a funny German accent. This can only mean one thing: It’s time for the Manila Oktoberfest! The Philippine version of this world famous event took place last week and has by now become a firm staple on the local entertainment calendar. Once again organized by the German Club Manila and Sofitel, with San Miguel providing the beer, the 2014 Manila Oktoberfest saw the Harbor Garden Tent transformed into a Bavarian beer hall of impressive dimensions. Follow me as we take a look at partying, Bavarian style.

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First held in 1810, the original Oktoberfest in Munich is still classed as the biggest funfair in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year. Having been born and raised just south of Munich, I naturally volunteered to report about the Manila version of it, an event that by now has gained a reputation as being one of the best beer festivals outside of Bavaria. The organizing team went all out to provide an authentic Bavarian beer tent experience, even going as far as flying in the original band from the world famous Hofbräuhaus in Munich.

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Music and drinking songs are a vital part of the Oktoberfest, as is proper Bavarian food. The heavy meat based Southern-German diet provides a perfect foundation for liters and liters of beer to be consumed, and nothing was left to chance on that front either. The Chefs from Sofitel and German Club worked together to create a magnificent feast of all that is good and tasty from the Heimatland, with tons of sausages, meat and other wonderful treats available on multiple buffets. It was like a little bit of food heaven had appeared in front of me, with the authentic taste of the various dishes being spot on throughout. Everything tasted just like home.

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So what’s there to do at the Manila Oktoberfest? Well, the main thing you should be doing of course is drinking beer. Loads of it! That task was made easy, with plenty of amber nectar available for consumption. The cold and tasty thirst quencher seemed to be supplied in endless streams, resulting in rising levels of cheerfulness as the night progressed.

Here’s a short video on how to raise your beer glasses, Oktoberfest Style. It’s like saying Tagay, in Bavarian, while drunk:

Click here to watch the video on YouTube
Another typical Bavarian showpiece is Cow Bell Playing. Possibly invented by very bored cow farmers somewhere in the Bavarian Alps, it has over time evolved into a proper musical art form, demonstrated here by two of the members of the Hofbräuhaus band from Munich:

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Of course no Oktoberfest, or Bavarian festivity in general, is complete without the traditional folk dance known as the Schuhplattler. The dance itself can be traced back as far as the year 1050, and is said to have originated as a type of courtship display, but these days the real fun is in getting unsuspecting drinkers on stage to try it out for themselves while hundreds of beer drinking patrons watch on:

Click here to watch the video on YouTube
I’ve been to the real Oktoberfest in Munich plenty of times over the years and we even had school trips to it, which our teachers possible regretted doing afterwards. The legal drinking age for beer in Bavaria is 16, meaning there was nothing stopping us from indulging in some beer tent based education on those occasions, and we certainly took our research about the effects of alcohol on the human body very seriously! I’ve also tried a few versions of the Oktoberfest away from home, and as far as beer tent atmosphere is concerned, you will be hard fought to find a better one than the Manila edition. Everything was meticulously organized and done, as you would somehow expect from a German festival, with food, drink and entertainment giving an authentic beer tent experience.
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If you missed the 2014 Manila Oktoberfest, then worry not. There will be another one next year, which no doubt will be equally great and entertaining. Don’t forget to also check out the Sofitel Facebook page for some more pictures from the nights. I’m already looking forward to the 2015 edition of this great event, but until then it’s time to say Pfüa Gott und Auf Wiedersehen!
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Manila Turns Into Munich As Beer And Bavarians Take Over Sofitel Harbor Tent For The 2014 Manila Oktoberfest