Who Rules the Philippines: the President or the “Emperador”?

The Philippines is a republic and it has a president. Yet, under certain aspects it is similar to ancient Rome.

Rome, the city I live in, used to be an empire and it used to have an emperor.

Well, although the Philippines is not an empire and it has a president, it also has an Emperador or emperor and the emperor is definitely higher than the president.

Why? Because the president seats in his office while the Emperador always stands on the table.

Now, it stands to reason that the one who stands is higher than the one who sits, therefore there is no doubt that ang Emperador ay mas mataas kaysa (higher than) sa Presidente and all the more so because mataas ang leeg or it has a long (bottle)neck.

Emperador is not a person or a title, rather it is a popular brand of brandy in the Philippines. The Spanish brand Fundador is also very popular.

Filipino men are, in many cases, heavy drinkers and one person can polish off at least half a bottle of hard liqueur in one evening.

That is why the Emperador has more influence on some Filipinos than the president himself.

Obviously Emperador is just one of the several options Filipinos have when it comes to drinking.

Gin is probably the most widespread along with rhum and strong Red Horse beer.

Women generally don’t drink in the Philippines (and I’ve written a post about how they actually often frown upon this habit) but, if you are married to a Filipina, her male relatives likely do and they do it in interesting ways:

  • During a party the boys sit around a table and snack on pulutan (food that kind of reduces the effects of alcohol, usually pieces of meat) while drinking.
  • Sometimes they don’t even isolate themselves from women and children, rather they just have their juice na timplado or na may halo (juice mixed with alcohol) not to stumble women and children.

The Tagalog expression for “a little bit” is kaunti-kaunti. The standard amount of alcohol they actually consume is actually kaunti-container.

Yes, the Philippines is a republic and not even a very powerful one. Some consider it a “mere footnote in history”.

Yet the Philippines, in addition to having a president, also has an “emperor”.

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