“There is no such thing as difficult. It’s just a matter of how bad you want it,” said bartender Ioanniesse Jara.
He wanted to win so badly that he gave his all, with eyes, heart, and mind focused on the prize.
All his efforts paid off on Aug. 7 when, representing Solenad branch, he was declared champion of the 23rd TGIFridays Shake, Rattle and Pour Bartender Competition.
Jara brought home a plaque, a cash prize, the much-coveted TGIFridays propeller trophy, and the privilege of representing the Philippines at the Asia-Pacific Barchamps to be held in Manila this October. The winner of the regional tilt will then move on to compete at the World Bartending Competition to be held in Dallas, Texas next year.
Jara hopes to duplicate what fellow bartenders Rizza Umlas and Jholan Penafiel have accomplished. Umlas and Penafiel were proclaimed World Bartending Champions in 2015 and 2017, respectively in historic competitions held in Texas, USA.
“I am indeed very happy with this win and doubly excited over the prospect of representing the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific competition. I will give it everything I’ve got!” enthused Jara.
This was not the first time that Jara competed as he was named first runner-up last year. Not one to give up easily, he outdid himself and ultimately grabbed the title this year.
“I underwent rigorous training, on and off the clock, months before the competition. It was surely difficult. But it didn’t matter really. It was supposed to be difficult because if it weren’t, everyone would win,” he quipped.
He shared his job brings with its everyday challenges. “Overcoming these challenges on a daily basis fulfills me mentally and emotionally.”
Jara’s journey in this year’s competition began when he battled it out with 22 bartenders who were all winners in their respective branches. Before the finals, they had to go through the Compulsory Round.
At the end of the Compulsory Round, only the top eight finalists moved on to the Freestyle Round which gauged their overall competency and confidence through an eight-minute routine showcasing their flairtending style and guest interaction—while preparing four different drinks under pressure.
John Jerick Galacia won first runner-up while Marinel Paguia was named the second runner-up. Both are from TGIFridays Glorietta branch.
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