Team Visayas wins National Beer Drinking Contest Finals in Iloilo

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


WEEKS and weeks of preparation for the event that will be held for the first time in Iloilo City made everyone busy in the organizing circle composed of the responsible men and women of San Miguel Beer Inc. led by Ms. Susan Javier, alongside with the venue organizing team led by this writer who is the Event Director of Plazuela de Iloilo.

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Iloilo City is proud to host this big event attended by thousands of residents in the vast 2,200 square-meter Plaza Mayor of Plazuela de Iloilo, owned by the Florete Family of the Bombo Radyo Group. Details were done to the smallest details as it was a test for the local organizers from the SMB working core teaming with the Plazuela group.

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Beer day came last Friday when thousands walked thru the impressive Plazuela de Iloilo to witness several of the finalists of the beer drinking contest coming from up Luzon down to Mindanao. I got word from Bacolod Territory Sales Manager Mao Vecera that Team Visayas is the reigning team to beat. I was amused and happy that the defending champion is from our area.

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The host company of SMBI brought four of Manila’s hottest bands to entertain the Ilonggos like Sponge Cola, Silent Sanctuary, Join the Club and Tanya Markova bands supported by local Ilonggo bands. It was indeed a fun night and organizers were ready for all avenues of preparation.

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Friday came up with a rainy morning and cloudy skies fearing of rain to fall on event moment. But the Heavens were just too good that the event pushed through without a tiny drop after lunch until all the way.

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San Miguel Brewery Inc. Vice-President and National Sales Manager Ms. Debbie Namalata led the corporate sales and marketing family to ensure the finest of the competition to happen. Around the SMB circle, we met our friend Ilonggo Rex Lebrilla now taking charge of the Northern Luzon sales operations; Bacolod Territory Sales Manager Mao Vecera; TPM group led by Raymund Jolingan and John Coscolluela; Rene Napial, Biboy Pe; Albert Palermo who was kind enough to help me with the financial angle.

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Of course, my dear friend and colleague in media Toks Lopez who is now the Panay-Negros SMB PR charmer was there too. Low-key Toks took care of the media faces from up Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Davao. She even treated them all to a great lunch galore at the famous Beakthrough Restaurant.

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But the best part of the event was when the competing finalists were readying themselves to compete to grab the Grand Champion title and the pocket money of one-half million pesos. Yes, that’s five hundred thousand pesos to the pocket of the five-member team who wins the night’s final moment. At the end of the exciting evening, Team Visayas composed of Ilonggos and Cebuanos finished the deal with five members of the team gulping the world-wide popular San Miguel Pale Pilsen in forty seconds. And that means the average of eight seconds gulp per bottle by each team member.

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No wonder Ma’m Debbie’s SMBI established the breweries of San Miguel Beer in Mandaue, Cebu and in Bacolod City. That should mean no stocks of SMBeer get to be wasted in these cities. And Plazuela de Iloilo wishes to thank Ms. Debbie Namalata, Ms. Susan Javier, Raymund Jolingan and the rest of the SMB Core Team for selecting it as the official venue. Next Year na naman! – shouted the Ilonggos as they exit the venue that night.

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In another angle, for sure Silay City is also happy that Cebu Pacific Air opened the runways here for the Bacolod-Cagayan de Oro destination. That’s giving Silay and Bacolod another opportunity of business and tourism. So long as Silay City will be active in providing its simple tour of old Silay, it will remain there as a destination. Silay City Tourism Officer Ver Pacete knows what he is doing for his City. But did I hear it right that the City will be a contest between the Montelibano and Gamban camps? Oh but there is no doubt the ever young, ever active Vice-Mayor Mark Golez will be the figure to remain as a stalwart to make Silay City continue its endeavours to greater heights.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on November 20, 2012.

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