follow us on

Inside The Search For The Best Bartender In The Philippines

Who could be the best bartender in the Philippines? Now on its 6th year in the Philippines, the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year competition is set to find out who deserves the 2018 crown, with 27 bartenders from 23 different bars across the Philippines competing for the title of World Class Philippines Bartender of the Year 2018.

World Class PH 2017 winner Royce Pua


All 27 bartending hopefuls were recently introduced at Versus Barcade in BGC, where Manila’s bartending who’s who gathered to celebrate the country’s growing community and to officially kick off the 2018 Bartender of the Year competition. The launch was also graced by the presence of Global Ambassador for Ketel One Paulo Figueiredo, and World Class Global Cocktailian Lauren Mote, who gave the opening remarks. Lauren, who was named the 2015 “Bartender of the Year” by both the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and DIAGEO World Class Canada, is a well-respected speaker, educator, mentor and industry advocate, whose reach extends well beyond the bar. The event also featured parlor bar games and guest bartending shifts by former World Class PH winners Yoma Rivera (2014) and Royce Pua (2017).

To become World Class Philippines Bartender of the Year, the contestants have to contend in four different challenges, with the best in each round automatically moving to the next. To make this year’s competition even more exciting, the others will be given another chance to get back in the running via a wild card challenge. “We will go from 27 to 15 to 8 and down to 6 finalists—until we crown our Philippines’ Bartender of the Year who will represent us all at the Global Finals,” shares Rian Asiddao, Brand Ambassador for Diageo Philippines.


Diageo PH Brand Ambassador Rian Asiddao, Ketel One Brand Ambassador Paolo Figueiredo, World Class Cocktailian Lauren Mote


The Diageo Reserve World Class is the cocktail industry’s most renowned and respected mixology training program and competition worldwide. Since its world launch in 2009, it has truly become instrumental in shaping the fine drinking and cocktail culture around the globe, as the World Class Bartender of the Year competition brings together the best bartending talent. At this year’s finals to be held in Berlin, contestants from 50 countries, including the Philippines, will once again pit their skills and techniques against each other in front of experts in the global bartending industry, to find the most talented and creative bartender.


27 Bartender Competitors


There’s a reason why World Class will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Berlin this year, as it is one of the world’s most dynamic cultural hotspots. “Berlin is famous for its diverse nightlife and vibrant bar culture—a perfect place to host our 2018 World Class finals. The streets are lined with cutting edge bars, all pushing the boundaries of cocktail culture and helping people get more for their drinks. Not just that, the style of the city and its creative and diverse cultural make-up, means that it will be a spectacular experience for everyone,” shares Lauren Mote.


Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa and Chris Clemente
Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa