One thing that’s true with almost every single Filipino is that we always have room in our lives for a couple of beers with friends. For Filipinos, drinking is a social affair and isn’t complete without the “pulutan” or the snacks, the ice-cold San Miguels, and of course, your pals to complete the circle.
People from other countries are always surprised to find that things are equal in a Filipino drinking Culture session, in the sense that everyone has to drink the same amount of beer per round. We call this drinking style “Tagay,” which means that one person will fill the glass to the same level every time, and each person in the circle will drink all of it, one at a time. Guaranteed equal portions and absolutely no cheating when it comes to drinking your share.
This “Tagay” style of drinking is less about the competition (even if it is a little bit about the game) and more about camaraderie, keeping all things fair, as the night goes on. The term “Sablig na!” or “let’s start the drink,” and that glass of beer will start to go around, you’ll find that there are different kinds of drinking Filipinos – some funny, some might even start crying for no reason, and some suddenly turn into singing superstars.
Purely for the sake of fun, here are the top twelve types of Filipino Drinking Culture icons in the Philippines:
- The Boss
He is the one who’s friends with everyone, who’s always the one asking for a drinking session, and who’s more often than not the one paying for all the booze to snacks. The Boss is the person who calls for the get-together and foots the bill for the whole rounds. And please don’t call him “Sir.”
- The Runner
He is the runner – or at least he’s the one who always picked to run to the store for more ice and booze when the beer runs out. It’s funny, but there is still a runner in every Filipino drinking session because there is never enough beer, ice, and pulutan.
- The Gunner
The Gunner is the designated bartender to keep all things fair. He pours the drinks and measures them out equally to all who come before him. He’s got eyes like an eagle, so you have to drink every last drop, and please don’t try to cheat. Good beers, especially San Miguel and Redhorse, are not to be wasted. He will “Tagay” you wherever you go, even if you are in the toilet—just saying!
- The Nightcrawler
All things are equal in the “Tagay” world of drinking, but not everyone wants to play by the rules. Do you know the best way to skip out on your turn to drink? Make the Nightcrawler move, in which you change your seat from one place to another, and when your friends are drunk enough, they’ll never get you to notice.
- The Xmen
Do you have that friend who starts telling everyone, “I love you” after a glass or two of beer? That’s the Xmen for you. Pour a little alcohol into him, and he starts hugging everyone and expressing his profound passion for everyone. “I love you, man!”
- Sleeping Beauty
Self-explanatory but hilarious nonetheless. Sleeping beauty is the one who always falls asleep first and stays asleep through the rest of the night. Be warned if you are the group’s sleeping beauty – you will often wake up with hilarious but truly embarrassing photos of you in your social media group.
- The Concert King or Queen
They don’t call alcohol liquid courage for anything. Filipinos hardly need a reason to start belting it out, and a little bravery from the beer is all it takes for some of our friends to turn into Mariah Carey or Bon Jovi. With a few more beer glasses, they’ll bring out the guitar too, and soon you’ll have a full-fledged singing session in your hands, and that makes the party about to start.
- The Werewolf
There is always that one friend who thinks he’s invincible as soon as he has a pint or two. It’s usually the Boss’s job to keep an eye on the Werewolf and make sure that he stays out of trouble. If he insists, though, throw him a bucket of ice-cold water, and that should sober him right up.
- The Escape Artist
The Escape Artist is faster than anyone – when it comes to pulling a disappearing act, especially when it’s time to pay up. To qualify for the Escape Artist, you have to (a) not tell anyone when you’re leaving, (b) go home unnoticed without catching anyone’s attention, and (c) you have to skip out on paying for your share of the bill.
- The Walking Dead
Some people can’t hold their alcohol. The Walking Dead is the first person to get infected by alcohol, and he is the first to drop dead during a Filipino drinking session. He blacks out even before the beer is halfway gone and growls like a zombie. He’s always the same person and is entirely expected by everyone to lose the battle, but the show must go on.
- The Drunken Master
The Drunken Master is the group’s majestic legend. He has the immunity of the “Tagay” session, the last man standing of the group, and is often left with the cleanup duty. Do you know what the best part about being one of the Drunken Master is? You get to enjoy the most exciting features of the conversation as the drinking goes on well into the morning, long after everyone else has fallen asleep, blacked out, or even disappeared.
12. The Clown
As the name suggests, he’s the funny Juan of the group. He will make the most of the hilarious side comments. He mocks you with his witty insults and makes you laugh till you drop dead. The Clown’s talent is a vital member of the core group.
Well, there you have it! The next time you’re drinking with a bunch of Filipinos or if you’re invited to a “Tagay” session, keep an eye out for these icons. They’re present at every hangout and won’t be hard to spot. Or better yet, try to see which one of these classic characters fit your personality best. Who knows, you might even be one of the Drunken Master; or maybe perhaps you’re the Sleeping Beauty. Whatever that is, only your real friends will know.
Are you one of these Filipino Drinking Culture icons bayan? Please leave a comment below of what type of Pinoy Social Drinker are you in the group.
If you like this content, please support Barok and Takya Blogs and hear their podcast conversation topics at Barok and Takya Bisaya Podcast, the best Pinoy podcast in the Philippines. You can download their Filipino podcast on Podbean, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. Please support Barok and Takya Youtube Channel by SUBSCRIBING to BISAYA PODCAST. Daghan Salamat Bayan sa pagsuporta sa Barok and Takya Bisaya Podcast, and the Best Pinoy Comedy in Cebuano language or dialect!