5 Filipino Myths About Alcohol Busted!January 13, 2019
- Nico GocoWords
Conversations during drinking sessions can be a lot of fun. People are more open, and a lot more willing to call their ex when they shouldn’t to share great stories. When the alcohol is flowing freely, and everyone is chiming in with their own tales of comedic debauchery, it makes for a great night with friends.
Inevitably, though, all drinking sessions soon spiral down to become a discussion where everyone is just basically lying. The fibs range from the slightly believable (“I’ve been vomit free since ’93!”), to shameless fantasies (“I swear, Angel Locsin’s been texting me non-stop since I helped her change a flat tire”).
This magical period of inebriated lies and bragging is where a lot of the alcohol myths I know come from. They’re usually from people who want to share “personal” (but really third or fourth hand) stories that can’t be verified, but are too much trouble to disprove either. Next thing you know, the stories become urban legends, passed down from one passed-out alcoholic to the next.
Just like a bad hangover that lingers, here are 5 alcohol myths that people still inexplicably believe once they’re sober.
5. Beer + Gin = Red Horse.
Whenever a drinking session involves Red Horse beer, this topic is sure to surface in the discussion eventually. Red Horse is said to owe its gasoline taste high alcohol content to the addition of gin. On the one occasion that I actually drank the damn thing warm and straight from the case, I understood why people might find the notion of gin mixed in with the beer believable.
Red Horse, like most extra-strong beers, falls under the malt liquor category. It’s still a beer, just with more malt added for extra alcohol conversion. Malt comes from cereal grains, like barley, rice, and corn, that have reached germination (or are ready to sprout), which are then dried and fermented to alcohol. That higher alcohol percentage translates into a stronger flavor (like how gin would taste) which downplays the hoppy flavor of the beer.
4. Tanduay Rum Turns to Plastic
I’ve been told several times to stay away from the stuff since they say that it turns to plastic when left out in the sun. Imagine, then, what it’ll do inside your body?
Still, the threat of customer plastification never stopped our local bars from using it as the base for their cocktails. That Boracay cocktail, Long Island Iced Tea, and Rum Coke you’re enjoying? It’s probably made with Tanduay.
Rhum is traditionally made with sugarcane, which already makes the drink sticky-sweet. Tanduay blends their alcohol with even more sugar, as a shortcut, to make their basic rhum. When the rhum is left out in the sun and the water content evaporates, the sugar makes the drink thicker, giving it the appearance of plastic goo.
3. Cerveza Negra helps with Menstruation
This particular home remedy I heard from one of my older co-workers. I was happily drinking a Cerveza Negra when he said, “Pampa-regla yan di ba?” (That’s to help menstruation along, right?) Why he thought this information would be useful for me, I would never know. Suffice to say, I never drank Cerveza Negra in front of old folks again, lest I be mistaken for a woman who just wants to regularize her monthly period.
Okay, I’m not too sure on this one. All I know is that I’ve drank my fair share of Cerveza Negra and I’ve never had sudden heavy flow problems stemming from it. I’m guessing the dark color of the beer is thought to help out with blood related problems? Maybe? Any girls want to chime in? We’re very open to hear about your theories and experiences.
2. Gin Bulag
You may have heard of the phrase “You’ll drink yourself blind.” Locally, that belief has led to the term gin bulag (blind gin), traditionally associated with the famous Ginebra brand. They say that when you abuse the drink too much, it’ll cause you to go blind.
Now here’s a myth with a grain of truth to it. Alcohol blindness is a real thing, but mostly it’s due to the presence of either lead, or methanol from backyard-made alcohol. Lead can come from moonshiners using old parts that contain lead. Methanol, on the other hand, is added by unscrupulous distillers that want to increase alcohol content cheaply. Both lead and methanol can cause blindness when ingested, but you should be very happy to know that commercially produced hooch contains only ethanol. It won’t blind you, it’ll just kill your liver instead. Great news, right?
1. Happy Horse
Another Red Horse myth, one which happens to be a favorite of mine. Back in college, we would always look for the “Happy Horse” bottle (named after the smiling horse logo) whenever we would buy beer. It was reputed to have an even stronger kick than the normal bottle with the non-smiling (unhappy? Uninterested? Emotionally unavailable?) horse. It was even said that each case held only one happy horse, a special treat for the lucky guy that draws it out (sort of like an alcoholic golden ticket).
The happy horse logo was actually the just old design of the brand. When the company updated its look, they still made use of the older bottles in order to save money. With the increase in production of bottles with the new logo, though, the Happy Horse soon became quite rare. This gave rise to the myth of the special bottle with higher alcohol content. Though, even if it were true, the myth doesn’t seem to make sense. If you’d already bought an entire case, who cares about the one bottle (no matter how high the alcohol content) if you can just drink all twenty-four?