Over two bottles of Stormhoek white wine, my friend Bun and I were fantasizing about what it would be like to drink from a bottle of Magnolia Chocolait once more.
Chocolait in a bottle. Ahhh. Those were the days.
When a page was created on Magnolia Chocolait in Facebook, I promptly listed myself as a fan. Like Sesame Street and patintero and Nancy Drew, Magnolia Chocolait was an integral part of my childhood. I remember how my mom would go to the grocery every three or four days and come home with three big bottles of Magnolia Chocolait. Growing up with four elder siblings and a younger one meant perpetual fighting in the kitchen over those three bottles.
It was like war-time food rationing: my mother, being the frugal type, would pour each of us a glass of cold Chocolait, making sure that we had our just share. We weren't allowed to have more or less. Of course, I would at that time try to come up with creative ways of getting more than my share--like sneaking into the kitchen in the dead of night to pour myself one-fourths of a glass. But such a plan remained purely theoretical in nature, because I had never mustered enough courage to go downstairs and help myself to even just a few extra milliliters; I was always afraid that my kuyas and ates would discover my nefarious scheme, strap me to a chair, and force-feed me with spoonfuls of ampalaya and liver (my idea of the most abject form of torture at that time).
As a kid, I wished a lot that my mom had enough sense to buy each of us a bottle, so that we didn't have to look so greedy every time she poured us a glassful each. But in retrospect, Magnolia Chocolait wouldn't have probably tasted as great if it had been too readily available to me and my siblings back then.
And then there's the fact that it came in a bottle. There's something about that glass bottle that brought out the natural chocolate-y goodness of Chocolait. And there was definitely a magical element to that entire ritual of standing in line with my siblings, watching my mom take out a chilled bottle of Chocolait from the fridge and pour thick brown liquid from the cold glass bottle into my own tall drinking glass.
Some 20 years later--Sunday, March 15 in particular--I'm sitting outside Mini Stop, icing my shins and ankles with a small bag of crushed ice after an evening 6K run, and drinking a tetra pack of the newly formulated Magnolia Chocolait. (Bun tells me it's the yellow-colored tetra pack with a cartoon image of a little girl on a swing while a little boy looks on in delight. I don't get the drawing, but heck, it's still Chocolait.)
As I take long sips from my 250mL Chocolait drink, I realize two very important things:
1. I now have absolute purchasing power to buy a dozen tetra packs of Magnolia Chocolait (or even two dozen, if I wanted to) but all the money I have now won't bring back the blissful experience of drinking Chocolait that came in a bottle. Hell, I'd give 200 bucks now to drink Chocolait directly FROM the bottle. I hope someday the Magnolia people would have a Eureka! moment and bring back the bottled Chocolait that everyone knows, loves--and totally fantasizes about in Facebook.
2. Magnolia Chocolait in a tetra pack doesn't taste as great as the bottled version, but it still tastes like a real treat to me. Especially after a sweat-filled, sore-muscled run. It's good to know how the small things that made me happy in childhood still manage to thrill me.