NC II Bartending in the Philippines: Is It Necessary?

If one will go to and search, ”What do I need to be a certified bartender?,” there is a link that would say that one must be at least 18 years of age since it is the legal age of drinking. There are some states that would say 21. It really depends on the law of each state. I also read that to get a certificate you must attend classes, in this case “bartending classes,” that go thru 8 sessions for 4 hours each, after which, you take a final exam and get a certificate.

Here in the Philippines, “Bartending” is part of the course Hotel and Restaurant Management. It is divided into lecture and lab parts and is better known as beverage or bar management which is usually taken by students in their 2nd or 3rd year in college. In this regard, we can say that we are following what other countries are doing in terms of following the legal age for drinking. If one finishes the course, one gets a diploma since a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management is good for 4 years.

Although now, since I believe there is an Associate course which lets the student finish the course in 2 years, it is here they get a certificate.Another thing I know is that there are really “bartending schools” in some countries, not just short courses but schools. And the more credible schools do placements in establishments.

So after reading these I would say that so far I am a certified bartender based on the information I got. I searched another website and I would say that I need this training to be really certified:

(Taken from the link

Bartending Licenses

As a general rule most states do not require specialized training, certification or licensing for Bartenders, however, some localities (counties and cities) require Bartenders apply for a license to Bartend. It is strongly encouraged that you check with your local city hall to determine if one is required where you plan on working. The licensing fee varies but generally it it costs between $25 and $50 and takes less than 1 month to receive — usually it can be processed in a couple of days. Most do require Bartenders to go through some sort of Certification program such as the B.A.I.’s Certified Bartender course.

What Is T.I.P.S.? Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol.

If you serve alcohol or employ people who do, more and more of our courts have a message for you. You’ve got to do more to stop intoxicated customers from driving drunk. To help you avoid that risk, and help save lives, there is a proven training program called TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol). Generally your employer will provide this training to you either as an ethical choice or potentially to receive a reduction in liability insurance rates.

What Is L.E.A.D.S.?

The L.E.A.D.S. (Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs Alcohol Seller/Server Training Program) is a free, voluntary prevention and education program for retail licensees, their employees, bartenders and applicants. It began on January 1, 1991 with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Since February 1995, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has funded the program. Since 1991, the L.E.A.D.S. Program has trained over 100,000 people.

The curriculum is designed for licensees, managers, bartenders, and employees. There is no separate management curriculum. Program length is 3-1/2 hours, except for Fairs/Special Events Training, which is 2 hours.

Benefits Of L.E.A.D.S Training

Reduces risk of liability, including criminal (court action), civil (lawsuit) and administrative (ABC accusation).

1. L.E.A.D.S. Training can help reduce the risk of license revocation.
2. Possible reduced insurance premiums.
3. Provides ways to deal with difficult situations.

So you see, these 2 training programs are very important. I have asked this question before, how come we aren’t really strict in serving alcohol to minors? The answer I got from one mentor is because of our economic situation. This I believe shouldn’t be an excuse because we shouldn’t limit our learning based on what we have in our country.

When I worked on ships, serving alcohol to minors was strictly monitored and followed. One could lose a job right away when found out. I being in a situation where I was with a mother and daughter. The mom ordered a bottle of champagne from me and asked me to give her 2 glasses and pour champagne in them. Based on dramshop law, L.E.A.D.S. and T.I.P.S., what would you do?

I have been in the bartending profession for about 11 years now and I have been connected in the academe for about 5 years. When I arrived here n the country supposedly for my vacation, I was fortunate enough to have been invited as a judge in one in-school bartending competition. Upon conversing with some people from the academe I found out that it is now required for educators to take competency exams so they could teach aside from taking up a masteral course eventually. Wow! Actually, it is a good idea to be “certified” but at the back of my head, is it worth taking the exam? One will pay a fee and for what, to get a piece of paper which states that you are qualified to teach Bartending which here in the country, I believe there is really a need to certify educators into teaching bartending since not anybody can really teach this profession . And I have been in both academe and industry for what, more than what is necessary?

I had second thoughts but I figured since I wanted to go back to the academe again, then “let us do what the Romans do.” After 2 weeks of delay I finally came to the assessment center with my picture, resume, and P900. I didn’t study deliberately to see if I will pass or not based on mere stored knowledge.

After taking the exam which I would say lasted for about 2 hours since it contained written and practical exams, I would say I passed. As I write this blog I did pass! But here’s the catch, I felt that I was shortchanged. I was expecting more since I paid P900, I didn’t get what I paid for. I could have been happier if I found the exam hard and it would be easier for me to accept if I failed having known I didn’t prepare. If there would be readers from TESDA, let this blog be an appeal, I am not mocking this exam but please make it more worth its fee. There were some instances that kind of affected my ego.

I took the same exam with a fourth year college student and we paid the same fee. I am not being arrogant or something but can’t there be a level so there would be an appropriate exam for a certain bracket or group? I used to teach in TESDA Women’s Center and I would think that the things that I have been teaching them to pass the NC s the same questions I answered. I only look up to a handful of people that I consider mentors in the area of Bartending, and none of those are connected with TESDA.

I paid for an exam which was photocopied poorly. with some misspelled and missing words, and some poor grammatically constructed questions. I believe that nobody’s perfect. I have nothing against the assessor for he was just tasked to assess. I have nothing against the assessment center for the questionnaires I would think is centralized. TESDA is supposed to be highly regarded as the center of skills development. But where is the skill in developing a well thought of, well-produced exam?

We are talking about economic crunch, so why charge so much for something of low value? If I may I can help suggest making the exam a more dignified one and as I have mentioned a separate exam for the students and instructors. I think this goes back to what I have observed that the bartending profession here is very much taken for granted. I cannot blame them for there are really very few qualified and credible individuals who can teach the profession. It is not just flipping of bottles. Again, I call to all educators, with the COHREP’s theme of MOVING FORWARD AND BEYOND, let us indeed do this in every little thing we do so we can teach our students to be globally competitive.

6 Comments on “NC II Bartending in the Philippines: Is It Necessary?”

  1. Hi, im carlo rama, we are looking for a bartender for our bar that will open early this july,interested applicant may send their resume to my emial address at for inquiries txt or call me at 0917-819-0049

  2. i'll be taking my NC2 this friday, and so I've been told that the assessment was really easy. I paid P5,500 pesos for that competency course alone which i attended for 5 hours every week in 5 months and another P400 pesos for the tesda assessment. It was so disappointing because i already learned the course when i was in high school in my food arts class (not to mention that it is more advance than the NC2 because of the basic flairtending inclusion). It's like i just scanned my high school notes. Well actually i'm just after the certificate, if only they would just give it away. They have the payments anyway.

  3. Chung, Jit Yin, HRM132 AH01 Mapua,
    Dear Sir Richie, I found your blog is pretty interesting. The reason I have said that, it is because of your posts. What you have posted on here, have a lot of information. And different information, not just from one direction. There are things from events, to new things, from drinks, to your personal life as well. Some of the bloggers only do their daily lives, or just what they interested in. And for example the NCII test even though is only for locals, but after i have written it i might think that, may be i should take it as well. that might help my career. And your life working on the ship, that was cool. well some people might think that is a good job, and yes it is a good job. But sometimes if you are not that lucky to have some good roommates, or co-workers, those months on the ship could be very hard, and very long.
    i will keep reading your blog to upgrade myself a bit more

  4. This school teaches a wide range of diversified people how to be top class bartenders in real life situations. There are many new classes that are being instructed at the every week. At all of these classes, students are granted pragmatic lessons in bartending and mixing drinks. Another words, they are taught from a real live perspective, not a lot of theory. The students learn the fine art of bartending behind a bar.

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