Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cocktails – shaken, stirred and….political…

Yesterday I went to watch a flair bartending competition, I am always impressed by the standard of flair tending in the Philippines…it takes the art to a whole new level, with synchronization to music, costumes and a fair amount of dancing. Of course it is all totally impractical for the real job of bar tending but it is fun and gets the bartenders out of their ‘shells’…everyone know that bartenders need to be fairly gregarious…but not all are..

Yesterday’s competition saw them being tested on their free pouring skills, flairing, cocktail presentation and obviously the cocktail taste…30% of the marks were on taste..the rest on presentation.

Whilst we were sitting watching the competitors, my eyes wandered over to the table with the final drinks on which had the names in front…the names were the usual mish mash of competitors imagination….frostbite, summers day, mangotini…etc etc…but one was called Hackel 1017…now for anyone who has been around recently the number 1017 will immediately attract attention….so I asked my colleague what or who (a) Hackel was? ideas were forthcoming and they thought that the 1017 was maybe the time the cocktail was created or something as trivial…my thoughts were that there was no way this could be a coincidence.

On my return to work I googled ‘Hackel’…..only one result…an article from the Manila Bulletin.

A hackel is the “feather attached in front of a cadet’s parade hat .."

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will implement tight security measures on the foundation day celebration of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City on Feb. 19 after it uncovered an alleged plan by some disgruntled cadets to embarrass President Arroyo who was invited as the guest of honor. some disgruntled cadets will stand during the anniversary celebration and make gestures to disrupt the program as a gesture of protest against the government.

Dubbed as "Oplan Hackel," the cadets are reportedly aiming to lure junior officers in the AFP to join their destabilization efforts against the Arroyo administration. "

It just goes to show that politics is everywhere innocent cocktail competion with competitors which include student and professionals and someone still makes a political statement of some sort.


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