Invention is 5 percent inspiration and 95 percent perspiration, Thomas Alva Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors, said.
For Filipino inventor Virgilio “Billy” L. Malang, who invented a vitamin-laced beer, that 5 percent inspiration came from the Filipinos’ love of drinking.
“Tubig sa atin ang beer (Beer is like water to us),” he told the Inquirer. “The Pinoy’s weakness is beer, and his next weakness is the next beer,” he added
A 2004 Kirin Research Institute study ranks the Philippines as the 5th highest beer consumer in Asia (next to China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand), with 1.4 billion liters consumed annually and projected growth of 15.6 percent per annum. A Filipino drinks an average of nearly 20 liters of beer a year.
“Sa Pilipino kasi, tatlong okasyon lang na pwedeng uminom siya—Kapag siya ay malungkot; kung siya ay masaya; at yung pagitan ng dalawa (Filipinos drink only on three occasions—when they are sad, when they are happy and in between),” Malang noted in jest.
Malang’s Vitamin B complex-fortified beer or Vitamin Beer takes some of the guilt out of drinking. “If you are looking for an excuse to take a swig, this is it,” said Malang, who claimed that Vitamin Beer replaces the essential Vitamin B which is lost when excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed.