It took roughly 26 years from 1886 to 1912 for Coca-Cola to reach Philippine shores, and it was serendipitous that we were an American colony at the time, or we would probably have had to wait longer. I am an unabashedly loyal coke fan. Have been drinking the stuff for over forty years, and best I can figure, may have consumed some 60,000+ cans (regular, diet, zero or other variants) in all those years! My family has always been addicted to the stuff, even though it had no more real cocaine extracts in it by the time we got our first taste of it. My paternal grandmother eschewed softdrinks, so I wonder if she deigned to have even just a taste of the newfangled drink when it hit our shores in 1912, when she was a teenager. My parents probably had their first cokes by the late 1930′s or so.
Over the years, I recall coke bottles on many an occasion, and it’s a bit weird how obsessive we were about insisting on Coke, and NEVER EVER Pepsi. :) Coke with chippy. Coke with champoy. Coke with barbecue. Coke with french fries. Coke with burgers… Those classic curved glass bottles are etched in my memory, as was the time Sister pulled a “family size” bottle out of a freezer, it slipped, crashed, exploded and nearly cut her toe off and I had to take her into the emergency room at Makati Med and I then proceeded to literally faint as they sewed her up! My brother, I think, worked briefly for Pepsi, and we were all in shock, but he worked longer with San Miguel/Coca-Cola so that made up for the temporary lapse in judgment… After my consulting days, I was “headhunted” into a regional strategy job for an unnamed company, and as I questioned the headhunter about location (Hong Kong), nature of job (Head of Strategy), housing allowances (critical issue for Hong Kong, and they assured me the allowance was positively MASSIVE, and it was) and they started to describe the company some more… I blurted out, I only drink Coke, so if your client is who I think it is, I don’t think I would be interested in proceeding further. The headhunter went silent and I knew it was my cue to say goodbye. :) So from a fiercely loyal consumer, Happy 100th Birthday, Coca-Cola, Philippines!!!
Note: I was NOT asked to write this post, I simply noticed the special cans at above at a grocery and decided to send greetings. :) I did this for another childhood favorite, Hershey’s Kisses, when it turned 100 a few years ago as well. :)