Hey, hey, hey, dearest Seniors, do not be turned off by the title of this post. “Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa!” is a Bavarian drinking cry which means “one, two, three, drink!” Make sure to use this during Oktoberfest1.
It is October and even if I am in the Philippines this time of the year, I needed to experience Oktoberfest, and what better place to celebrate it than along the picturesque beach of Calatagan!
Yes! This Oktoberfest which I attended was held at Aquaria Water Park2, Playa Calatagan3, at the municipality of Calatagan, in the province of Batangas! Calatagan South Beach (CaSoBé), in partnership with German Club Manila4, hosted this biergarten5 on October 12, 2019.
I got an invitation to this event and, of course, I immediately said “yes”!
I tried to recall basic German terms that I learned from my 2 German language courses in Goethe House, Quezon City decades ago.
It was my first time to go to the venue and my first time, too, to experience an Oktoberfest. My husband and son accompanied me to this special event. We arrived before sunset the day before, and were mesmerized by the beautiful beach and facilities. Wait for my Playa Calatagan3 post soon.
The following day, it drizzled a bit in the morning but that did not stop the preparations for the evening’s event. Meanwhile, Germans and Filipinos enjoyed the beach and the facilities of the resort till sunset, then proceeded to the big tent set up at Aquaria Water Park for the main event of the day – Oktoberfest!
A big stage was at the center of the tent. Tempting Bavarian buffet tables were inviting to see at the left and right of the stage. My husband and I were a bit late because we had a relaxing full body massage. All the attendees were already eating so we proceeded to the buffet table near our group’s wooden picnic-table, with checkered white and blue design.
We were so hungry and tried all the treats in the buffet, but I concentrated on the sausages, cheeses, roast chicken, and sauerkraut, in anticipation of the freshly baked bread, pretzels, and of course, the desserts!
Before long, the host, Michael Scheile6 went up the stage to welcome everyone.
He gave us a brief background about Oktoberfest, the German Club Manila4, as well as the band, and facilitated the initial ceremonies of this event. He called all the VIPs, including Calatagan Mayor Peter Oliver M. Palacio and Casobe managers for a symbolic beer toast.
He also introduced us to a catchy Oktoberfest song (more about this later), along with the meaning of basic words therein and the motions we had to do while these words were sung.
This Oktoberfest by the beach was so memorable because of :
1. The German draft beer – Of course, this should be the main reason, it’s Oktoberfest, right?
Can you imagine unlimited ice-cold, full-bodied, golden yellow draft beer? Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier was the beer served during the event. It is brewed by the world’s oldest continuously operational brewery, the Weihenstephan Brewery7, dating back to 1040. This beer has a fine-poured white foam plus a smooth yeast flavor.
I did not forget to say “Prost!” whenever I made a toast, meaning “Cheers”.
By the way, beforehand, a friend of mind warned me to practice my cheers for this event. She told me that whenever someone raises a glass, I was obliged to raise mine, look in his/her eyes, clink glasses, and shout “Prost!”. She emphasized that I should make sure to meet the other person’s gaze or else, we will both be cursed with 7 years bad sex! Can you believe that? I LOLd after she said that, but what the heck, that night, I saw to it that I would do so since there is no harm in following that tradition, right?! LOL
2. The sumptuous buffet – What an awesome Bavarian feast, courtesy of Chef Stephan Langenhan, the Sous Chef of New World Makati Hotel!
Specialties included roasted calf, assorted cold cuts, roast chicken, different cheeses, grilled German sausages, sauerkraut, and potatoes, among others.
Freshly baked bread (“semml” or “semme”), pretzels (“brez’n”) and lava cakes were served from one table to another, straight from the oven. Happy tummies and burp!
Chef Stephan personally offered freshly baked lava cakes. To die for!
3. The Oktoberfest vibe – The Bavarian Sound Express provided live band music and performed not only German songs, but also popular songs of the ‘50s to ‘90s, and even a Filipino song.
They wore authentic Bavarian costumes (more of that later) and this added to the authentic Oktoberfest vibe.
They provided live music which I could relate to till past midnight! Feels all night long!
4. The best time ever among Germans and Filipinos – Together, two cultures from across the globe enjoyed a Bavarian feast, along with unlimited draft beer from the oldest working brewery in the world, live band music, and dancing! At first, the Filipinos were hesitant to dance with the Germans, but after a few rounds of beer, the dance floor was packed!
I could really feel what the Germans call gemütlichkeit, meaning friendliness, cheerfulness and social acceptance.
We were not obliged to wear Oktoberfest costumes. We simply wore shorts and t-shirts after a long day at the beach, yet we enjoyed every minute of this event!
Exciting raffles and beer drinking contests were held in between performances of the band. It was really fun, fun, fun till the end!
5. The venue – I was told that this is the first authentic Oktoberfest along a beach in the country! A big tent was set at the Aquaria Water Park, Playa Calatagan, at Calatagan South Beach (CaSoBé). It is so memorable indeed!
6. A better appreciation of German culture – The free-flowing, well-chilled Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier and yummy Bavarian feast, along with the fun-loving German Club Manila leaders and members, Michael Scheile’s sense of humor and wonderful hosting, and the live music of Bavarian Sound Express made all guests learn more about German culture and celebrate Oktoberfest together along the beach at Playa Calatagan. (insert pics of attires) with caption
The Germans wore full tracht, traditional Bavarian clothing – lederhosen and shirts for the gentlemen, and dirndl for the ladies. Lederhosen are leather trousers or shorts for men. A dirndl is a peasant-style dress for women which typically comes in 3 pieces: a white blouse, a knee-length skirt, and an apron.
They say the lady’s marital status is revealed by the way she ties her apron: if it is tied on the left side, she is single and ready to mingle; if it is tied on the right side, she is taken; if tied at the back, she is a widow; and, when tied at the middle, she is still a virgin.
7. The Ohrwurm – The host, Michael Scheile, introduced the attendees to the Oktoberfest song “Fliegerlied”8, with words like flieg (“fly”), stark (“strong”), groß (“tall”), spring (“jump”), schwimm (“swim”). It is indeed an Ohrwurm, literally: an “ear worm”, denoting a tune that gets stuck in your head. You get to exaggerate your hand movements, jump higher, sing louder, and have a good time after imbibing more liters of beer, while the song is being played! See the lyrics below.
There were attendees who were drunk, called Ogschdocha in Bavarian, but did not overdo drinking so I was not able to witness die Bierleichen (literally: “beer corpses”), i.e., people laying on the grass or floor due to over-drinking.
The last song of the band was the Beatles’ 1970 hit “Let It Be”. However, the guests kept on requesting more songs till past midnight so, if I recall, there were 4 more songs before the band bid “Pfiat di!”, meaning “May God protect you!”.
Congratulations, Casobe and the German Club Manila for this successful Oktoberfest!
Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you re Oktoberfest. Have you attended an Oktoberfest in Germany, the Philippines, or elsewhere? Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post. Thank you.
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1Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest, i.e., a large German event consisting of a beer festival9 and traveling fun-fair10 . This is a 16- to 18-day event has been held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, since 1810, and is celebrated from mid- to late-September until the first Sunday in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending. Visitors also enjoy numerous attractions, such as amusement rides, side stalls, games, and a wide variety of traditional food. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia pages “Oktoberfest” and “Volksfest”.11, 12 Wait for my next post about Oktoberfest so better follow me now.
2Aquaria is a fun destination in Playa Calatagan3, in the municipality of Calatagan, province of Batangas. It offers 525-meters of fine beach and Aquaria Water Park, with a giant 3-storey high pool slide and cove pools. For inquiries and reservations, call +632-8-553-8888 and fax no. +632-8-874-0426.13
Four pictures in the collage were obtained from https://www.facebook.com/aquariawaterpark/photos
3Playa Calatagan is a 92-hectare residential village cum resort in Barangay Sta. Ana, Calatagan, Batangas. It boasts of master-planned, exclusive seaside residences of Asian Tropical architecture.
Its latest feature is Crusoe, consisting of 13 innovative stand-alone beachside cabin accommodations using 40-footer air-conditioned containerized vans.Left picture taken from http://www.news.abs-cbn.com
Guests can enjoy the following attractions:
The Boardwalk, a beach promenade with cabanas for day visits, outdoor showers and for-rent water sports equipment
The Swing Bar, a circular bar with swings as seats
The Sands, a Filipino-themed seaside restaurant; the ConBar, a beer shack; and, Aquaria Waterpark2 which offers 5 cove pools, a kiddie pool, and a giant 3-storey high water slide, open to the public.14 Wait for my next post about Playa Calatagan, so better follow me now.
4German Club Manila (Deutscher Klub) is a social club which started in January 16, 1906, with headquarters currently located at the penthouse of the Eurovilla II Building in Legaspi Village, Makati City. This 113-year-old club could trace its roots from Casino Union, a social club with a clubhouse in San Miguel, Manila, that was founded through the initiative of Otto Franz von Möllendorff who served as German consul in Manila from 1886 to 1896.15
Learn more about the German Club Manila at https://www.germanclub.ph/.
5Biergarten is the German term for a beer garden. It refers to an outdoor area where beer and local food are served, typically at shared tables, with entertainment such as music, songs, and games. It originated in Munich, the capital of the German state of Bavaria, in the 19th century, and remains common in Southern Germany. It is usually attached to a brewery, beer hall, pub, or restaurant. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Beer Garden”.16
6Michael Scheile is the former president of German Club Manila4 and resident emcee of its Oktoberfest celebration for the past 10 years.17
7The Weihenstephan Brewery can trace its roots at the Benedictine Weihenstephan Abbey to 768, based on a document from that year which refers to a hop garden in the area paying a tithe to the monastery. A brewery was licensed by the City of Freising in Bavaria, Germany, in 1040, the founding date claimed by the modern brewery to authenticate it being the oldest working brewery in the world. When the monastery and brewery were secularized in 1803, they became possessions of the State of Bavaria. The brewery is now a company called Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan (Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan). The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Weihenstephan Abbey”.18
8Here are the lyrics of Fliegerlied in German and English19:
SO EIN SCHÖNER TAG (FLIEGERLIED)
Ich lieg gern im Gras und schau zum Himmel rauf.
Schaun die ganzen die Wolken nicht lustig aus?
Und Fliegt ein Flieger vorbei,
dann wink ich zu ihm rauf.
(Kinder: “Hallo Flieger”)
Und bist du auch noch dabei,
dann bin super drauf.
Und ich flieg, flieg, flieg, wie ein Flieger
bin so stark, stark, stark,
wie ein Tiger
und so groß, groß, groß, wie ‘ne Giraffe
so hoch uoh-oh-oh
und ich spring, spring, spring immer wieder
und ich schwimm, schwimm, schwimm
zu dir rüber und ich nehm, nehm, nehm dich bei der Hand weil ich dich mag
und ich sag: Heut ist so ein schöner Tag – la, la, la, la la
TODAY IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY (FLIER SONG)
I like to lay in the grass and look up at the sky.
Don’t all the clouds look funny?
And a plane flies past,
And I wave up at it.
(Kids: “Hello flier”)
And if you’re there too,
then I feel fantastic.
And I fly, fly, fly, like a plane
am so strong, strong, strong
like a tiger
and so tall, tall, tall like a giraffe
and tall all-oh-oh
and I jump. jump, jump
and keep on jumping
and I swim, swim, swim
over to you and I take, take, take
you by the hand because I like you and I say
Today is such a beautiful day – la, la, la, la la
9A German beer festival is not only an annual beer drinking event, but is usually held along with fun fairs and folk festivals. It has been held for centuries, with origins in parish fairs, markets, trade fairs, and other historical reasons. One or more tents called Festzelte, is usually sponsored by a brewery. A large tent can have hundreds of wooden benches with a seating capacity in the thousands, and may offer live music in the evening. Beer gardens are set up where it is possible to order traditional food and try Festbier, beer specially brewed for the season. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Beer festival”.20
10A traveling fun-fair or carnival is an amusement show that may be made up of amusement rides, food vendors, merchandise vendors, games of chance and skill, thrill acts, and animal acts. It does not have a permanent site, instead, it is moved from place to place, in open fields, near or in town. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Traveling carnival”.21
11“Oktoberfest,” accessed October 13, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oktoberfest
12“Volksfest,” accessed October 13, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksfest