If there's one thing you should get pumped up for in October, it's Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest is a traditional German festival that celebrates everyone's favorite things--food, beer, singing, and dancing! It isn't just a traditional beer fair, it's actually one of the best celebrations of them all.
The official celebration takes place in Munich, Bavaria, but so many other places try to copy this awesome festival, including Manila, Philippines! However, no matter where you celebrate, there are always a few things you can expect: mouthwatering food, lively people and music, and huge amounts of beer.
This year, Oktoberfest came to two of the best hotels in the city. Sofitel held its 79th German Club Oktoberfest on Oct 7 and City of Dreams, Manila hosted their own version of the festival on Oct 12. Both were grand, fun, and with lots of merrymaking!
Here's a photo essay of Oktoberfest in Manila...
First Things First
Do's and Don'ts for Oktoberfest
• Do wear comfortable shoes!
• Do drink responsibly--assign a designated driver and plan your trip back home ahead of time.
• Do wear the costumes--Drindl for women and Lederhosen for men! It's more fun to blend in with the crowd in these events. Don't be shy! (Here are a few suggestions on where to get them: Camp Suki Costume Rentals, Mame's Cosplay, Regine's Boutique)
• Don't forget to eat before and in between drinking! Food will prepare your stomach for all the beer.
• Buy your tickets in advance for the best Oktoberfest Celebrations in Manila.
German Club Oktoberfest at Sofitel Manila
What's Oktoberfest without a wide array of Bavarian meats? They have chicken, pork, and beef sausages that can satisfy any palate. These celebrations always have a wide selection of encased meats, ranging from the common Bratwursts to the pale but tasty Weisswurst.
There is, of course, the ham. This tender piece of meat is paired with an array of mustards or with a hot pretzel or bread. The mustard is tarty and complements the flavor of the ham.
Traditional Oktoberfest Roast Chicken. The skin is light and crispy while the meat is soft and juicy.
Expect to see lots of glasses and mugs being passed and swung!
The German Club tries to emulate the authenticity of the tradition, starting with the traditional barrel tapping, which usually kicks off the beginning of merry men and women filling their mugs with beer!
The women wear the traditional Drindl with blouse and apron. The men, on the other hand, wear the traditional Lederhosen, breeches made of leather and worn under the suspenders.
The male costume also comes with a Trachten shirt, which is often white or checkered blue in design and worn under the Lederhosen. The whole outfit also comes with high socks and haferlschuh, the Bavarian shoe designed for the Alpine terrain.
German Club Oktoberfest is also the biggest expat event of the year. Lots of Dutch and German expatriates celebrate this time-honored tradition in full force! Their presence makes the event feel even more authentic.
One of my favorite Oktoberfest moments was when everyone started dancing and singing the night away.
Be prepared to overcome your shyness so you won't miss the full event experience. The program is also filled with fun beer-drinking games to get everyone excited.
Beer and food aren't the only things that bring everyone together! Love is in the air as couples dance to the more romantic tunes of the night.
The Bavarian Sound Express played a medley of Oktoberfest songs, my personal favorite being the Fliegerlied. The lyrics are fun, the melody is upbeat, and it gets everyone dancing on the benches!
German Club Oktoberfest
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Mobile: +63 2 894 2899
City of Dreams October Beer Festival
City of Dreams also has a diverse selection of sausages. Make sure to come with an empty stomach!
I loved the Bockwurst, which is boiled Frankfurt sausage made from veal. It was salty and a little more on the spicy side.
Lechon lovers will surely enjoy the Bavarian Spanferkel (roasted suckling pig). The meat was so tender and juicy and the skin was crispy.
They also had the pork roll with beer sauce. These were enough to satisfy the hard drinkers of the night!
They also have your selection of side dishes. The most popular one is the Saurkraut, which is fermented finely cut cabbage.
The taste is a combination of sweet and sour. My favorite would have to be the Käsespätzle, the German version of Mac and Cheese. This is pure comfort food with a slight smokey taste.
End your gastronomic journey with their selection of desserts. The Apfelstrudel or Apple Strudel is the most common one. Fresh, sweet apples are needed to make this dessert.
Free-flowing beer is always present in any Oktoberfest! Indulge yourselves with unlimited San Miguel Beer along with the authentic selection of German Ales and Lagers.
Weihenstephan is German Wheat beer with bitter and dark notes. I recommend this beer to anyone looking for a full-bodied, smooth taste.
The women also wore the traditional Bavarian Dirndl. However, not many men were in the Lederhosen.
What's a celebration without some music? Filipino bands, such as the Part 3 Band, delighted the crowd with classic 80's to 90's hits.
Although they didn't have the authentic German band, the audience still enjoyed singing with them karaoke-style!
Overall, both events were thoroughly fun and enjoyable! At its core, Manila Oktoberfest aims to bring people from different backgrounds and celebrate the enjoyment of life. It’s really about coming together and having a great time with family, friends, and even strangers!
Both festivals had great food, awesome energy, and a LOT of beer! If you want a more authentic experience--complete with merry German people and music--I recommend attending the German Club Oktoberfest. But you can also check out City of Dreams' version if you want a more subdued ambiance.
No matter what you choose, Manila Oktoberfest celebrations will always make sure that everyone gets to have fun! Make sure to check one out next year!
Live an Awesome Life,
PATTI of TEAM OUR AWESOME PLANET
Disclosure: We were media guests for both Oktoberfest events. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. These gingerbread cookies with sweet messages are staples of the festival. If you have a loved one with you, make sure to give them these to neatly tie up your whole Oktoberfest experience.