1.How did your journey to being a Barista World Champion start?
This journey started at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, KCC in General Santos. It’s my home store and it’s where I fell in love with my job. I am very dedicated and passionate in serving the perfect cup of coffee or tea to my customers. My colleagues even tease that I take my job too seriously sometimes. But they also saw my passion, together with the rest of Team Bean, and because of this I was chosen to represent our store in the Interdistrict Barista Competition. With the support of my team, it was a success. From there, the journey only moved forward. A lot of people from different branches guided me in my training, which really helped me hone my skills and gain confidence, believing that I can make it.
2.What steps did you take to prepare for the World Barista Championship?
I worked hard to master my skills. I wanted to learn, so I listened. I took advice, especially from the training department, on how I should create the drinks I have to make perfectly, as well as how to present myself- how to speak and act as a representative of our country. I also reflected on my past journey to condition myself and take in all the learnings I have gathered throughout the years. Most importantly, I practiced the right discipline. I lived and breathed training, and even at work, I made sure that I will meet and even surpass our standards every single day.
3.How was your experience representing the Philippines in an international competition and competing with participants from different countries?
It was a roller coaster ride and was truly overwhelming, but I kept my focus on the competition. I am happy to compete for our country, and it made me become more grateful for all the support that I got from day one.
4.What learnings did you gain from the competition?
Ultimately, I learned to be more focused and conditioned myself not to be swayed by challenges that come my way. My focus was put to the test especially when the ingredients of my Signature Beverage that I brought from the Philippines, cucumber and calamansi, were confiscated during my arrival. I was worried for a while but I stayed focused, found alternatives for my ingredients in Korea, and surpassed the challenge.
The competition has also taught me to be more disciplined and always look at life with a more positive perspective. Most importantly, I learned to always be thankful to the Lord for everything He provides, especially wisdom and strength in times of need.
5.What advice could you give those who are also aspiring to be a World Barista Champion like you?
Always work with purpose and do it from the heart. Be proud of whatever abilities you have and always give your best. Show everyone what you can do, and do that with faith and love. Stay humble and keep this verse from Philippians 4:13 as a daily guide: ”I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”