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A Bartender's Journey

Born 1976 in the shoe capital of the Philippines, Marikina City, Richie generally lived a conservative and introverted childhood from having studied in a Catholic school. Never did he realize that things would open up once he stepped into college. He first chose Mass Communication as his major seeing it as a way to improve his self-confidence but fate apparently had a different plan for him. He shifted courses to Hotel and Restaurant Administration at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, which is the premier university in the country. In here, he was exposed to the different facets of Hotel and Restaurant operations. Richie noticed that the opportunities were too many that he got confused initially about which path to take. It was not until he watched Tom Cruise’s classic movie "Cocktails," that he realized that BARTENDING was the career to take although at that time (in the mid-90’s) BARTENDING was a road less travelled.

Convinced it was his destiny, he took the following paths after college:

  • Virgin Café – Opening Team Bartender
  • Peninsula Manila – Bartender
  • The Barn Katipunan – Bar Supervisor
  • Casa Armas Makati – Bar Supervisor

Fate, however, took another twist, as his bartending skills and knowledge, backed up with his degree as well as command of the language, allowed him to enter the academe under the following institutions:

  • College of St. Benilde – Angelo King International Center
  • St. Paul University Manila
  • TESDA Women’s Center
  • Center for Culinary Arts
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman
  • University of Sto. Tomas

With the things Richie learned from his experiences, he decided to put up PINOYTENDER MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY to help improve the bartending profession in Manila as well as the neighboring provinces through the students of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

The first major contribution of the Pinoytender Management Consultancy was establishing THE LAST CALL! Bartending Challenge and Kolehiyala Flair Showdown. These two competitions were made especially for students to showcase their talents and teach them the art of working flair thru solid bartending mechanics.

Richie’s journey continues as he gains more experience internationally by working in cruise ships:

  • Holland America Llines
  • Celebrity Cruises

For now, Richie is trying to juggle his lifestyle as a seafarer and an entrepreneur. During vacations he conducts seminars, judges school bartending competitions, attends to bar catering gigs, and continuously improves his website.

Richie is an advocate of the bartending profession, he always makes it a point to be the first (may not necessarily be the best since that you can be the judge of that) but he sets an example to inspire others in his league to take the same path--all for the glory of BARTENDING. Here are some of his advocacies:

  • www.PhilippineBartending.com – The first online bartending portal in the Philippines
  • Pinoytender Portabar - The first mobile bar which is proudly Philippine-made
  • Pinoytender VCD – The first instructional and interactive VCD on bartending in the Philippines
  • Last Call! Bartending Challenge – The first student bartending competition that introduced “REAL” working flair in the country
  • Pinoy Bar Store – The first Philippine Online Bar Store
  • Official Distributor of Flairco Bottles

The journey doesn’t end here for Richie, he is a work in progress ... Be part of his journey as he regularly blogs at A Bartender's Blog.