I figured that the best way to cure the blues I’ve alluded to in a previous article is with blue skies and blue seas.
That said, I thank my lucky stars that I live in an archipelago where there are thousands of islands to choose from, each with a different, enviable beach a hop, skip, and a jump away.
My family decided to book a couple of trips in the span of a week: An adventurous trip to one of the best surfing destinations on Earth, Baler; and an exciting wildlife exploration in Bohol.
As I always say, however… This is a drink blog (no, readers haven’t accidentally stumbled on someone else’s travel blog), so I guess I wanted to share a few must-have drinks from these destinations.
Craft Beer from Charlie Does (Baler) – There are board games, surfers, vegetarian food… And proper craft beer. Baler Beer is a very light, flowery beer that’s guaranteed to keep a person drinking in the notorious tropical Filipino heat. Our country is becoming more and more adventurous in craft beef making (see previous articles here and here), so there’s a huge chance visitors can stumble upon a decent local brew almost anywhere in the country.
San Miguel Beer – I was drinking the Light variant during most of our trip because I was feeling bloated, and I needed to fit into my bathing suit. I normally go for the Super Dry variant, which for me has a more defined character. This is best enjoyed in Bohol Beach Club, where for the first time in ages, waiters actually gave me my alcohol (waiters always assume my husband ordered the alcoholic drink and immediately give him what I order… It’s shallow, but it makes all the difference in the drinking experience). Bonus points for knowing to serve the beer extra chilled when ordered by the beach… Also, all variants of San Miguel Beer go very well with pinoy food (like the chicharon bulaklak I had).
Mango Shake – There are a few things Filipinos do well. They include awesome beaches, and ripe mangoes incomparable to anything in the world. When we turn it into a shake, man… It’s just paradise.
Tsokolate (or apparently, Sikwate in Visayas) – I haven’t had our native hot chocolate in ages. It’s a bizarre thing to recommend during a beach trip, but in the right areas, the beachfront cools down from the late evenings to the early mornings. This is why I recommend this for breakfast. It’s made out of tablea, which is pure cacao in little tablet like forms about an inch and a half in diameter.
So, whether a person is looking for a surfing adventure, a hike in majestic falls, tarsiers, to find romance in having to look at the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean (like I did, because the last time I looked at it was in Valparaiso, Chile), or to chase sea turtles and beautiful fish (my body is still reeling from chasing a pawikan, or a local giant sea turtle, at full speed at sea), I highly recommend a dose of Philippine “vitamin sea” to cure the blues. Chances are, there’s also a great local drink to match.
Special shoutout to my sister, Paulette, who surprised us by climbing rocks and an inflatable mountain like a total bada$$. Thank you for keeping me sane with your insanity.