images-cola2There is a current slogan which is being popularized by government functionaries here in the Philippines who are involved in tourism promotion which goes: “THERE IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES”.  Indeed, there is more fun in the Philippines, in a country where people, after having been inundated and ravaged by typhoons could still manage to laugh, smile and put up a cute image before news photographers’ cameras documenting the calamity.

Just recently, COCA-COLA celebrated its 100th year anniversary for its use of the peculiarly-shaped COCA-COLA bottle. Loyal and valued customers were treated to a memorabilia-filled event at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Metro-Manila complete with a venue for a silent-type auction of enticing COCA-COLA collector’s items.

Years ago, even when I was still a toddler, I could hear teen-agers and adults alike referring to the COCA-COLA bottle as the virtual paragon of a beautifully-shaped body for women. Every time a bachelor would brag about his most endeared girlfriend, he would ecstatically and proudly announce to his “barkada” that he has gotten a dame with a “COCA-COLA-shaped” body. And with this announcement, the lucky bachelor would continuously receive plaudits and adulation from his buddies.

COKE which has been the adopted abbreviation for the COCA-COLA drink has even acquired some kind of generic connotation. In the halcyon days of the past, and even up to now in the far-flung areas of the archipelago, whatever is the brand of a softdrink maybe, it is plainly referred to as COKE. And the appellation COKE has actually become synonymous to softdrinks in this part of the globe. But more than that, some personalities have even regarded the COCA-COLA drink as some kind of physical and mental energy booster.

The grand and gracious Madame Shirley Halili-Cruz of the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet (“HCSB“) religiously refers to the COCA-COLA drink as her daily VITAMINS. Indeed, I owe a lot to the “COCA-COLA induced” energy of Madame Shirley, who seemed to be so indefatigable –as under her solicitous tutelage at the HCSB, he cared for like a mother, and educated my youngest daughter Alee, on DISCIPLINE and DANCE. For this, I will be forever grateful to Madame Shirley and to COCA-COLA. Another personality who was so close to me and who regards the COCA-COLA drink as VITAMINS too, is my friend, former law partner and UP Law classmate, Jimmy Nagrampa. There is in fact, a common denominator which in the perspective of COCA-COLA, would sort of tie Madame Shirley and Jimmy together. Well, as I have eventually learned, having seen Madame Shirley’s photographs during her teens, Madame Shirley sported a COCA-COLA shaped body then; while Jimmy married a demure and statuesque lady who also had a COCA-COLA shaped physique.

Lately however, there has been some blogs and postings, accompanied even by video clips repulsively pointing and boisterously indicating that COKE is a harmful drink. Well, in the Philippines, we have a saying which goes like this: “KUNG MATAMIS ANG BUNGA, AY BINABATO AND SANGA”; which translates roughly into English, thus: “WHEN A TREE BEARS SWEET FRUIT; ITS BRANCHES ARE STONED TO GET THE SWEET FRUIT”.

Indeed, there is more fun in the Philippines. But, it would further seem that COCA-COLA is much more fun!


  1. It was called coke because it is processed laced with the addictive cocaine…. Only in the later years that I came to know about it.

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