Subaraw’s second mixology league cocktails challenge this year aims to elevate the bartending profession in the city, encouraging participants to showcase their expertise and skills of mixing cocktails and other drinks.

Held at the Astoria Palawan on November 8, bar supervisor Glenn Almaiz, who also won the 2018 challenge, said the Mixology Subaraw League 2nd Cocktail Challenge staging this year demonstrates that the city government and the organizers of the biodiversity festival are also focused in improving other professions that also serve the tourism industry.

Almaiz said one positive effect of the event is encouraging young people to engage in mixology because, in the beverage world, it is a craft that goes beyond bartending as it creates an experience for clients.

He said those who practice it take enormous pride in delivering beautiful, thoughtful drinks that are anything but boring.

“Nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na maipakita namin ang aming mga talent as bartender. ‘Yong ibang kabataan ay nagkaka-interes na rin sila. Hindi na lang ito traba-trabaho lang. The management of the Puerto Princesa Underground River ay gumagawa ng magandang hakbang para makarating sa ibang bartender ‘yong ganitong klaseng competition. I believe magiging maganda ang epekto nito sa mga tulad ko na bartender,” he said.

Around 20 participants from the academe and bartending industry joined the challenge, aspiring to win this year as the best mixologist.

During the contest, they underwent the preliminary round before their number was reduced to eight for the Bartender’s Choice Category. From this, four were selected to proceed to do the challenge for the Sponsor Award, where the two remaining participants will battle for the Mystery Box.

The box contains a cocktail mix recipe they know nothing about. It is up to the challengers to create it based on their own style and by employing local ingredients.

The winning cocktail will be launched as a new selling mix which will be offered in various establishments province-wide.

Almaiz said his previous cocktail mix, the Dirtymansi, was made of the local white rum, Palawan honey, calamansi, mint leaves, and woodworm or tamilok. It is already being offered now at Astoria Palawan.

Almaiz said that competing individuals from the academe and practitioners are all talented and through the mixology challenge, an avenue will be opened for new bartending ideas and learnings particularly for first-timers.

“As bartender, hindi naman kailangan na super talino ka o super good looking as long you have the Filipino culture na very accommodating, very friendly, and approachable, you can do the job. I can see that they are all very talented naman, ‘yong effort ay to the highest level,” he said.

Almaiz served as an on-stage judge of the competition.

The presenter-sponsor of the activity are GSM Blue, Ginebra San Miguel, and Astoria Palawan along with Hospitality Career Philippines.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.