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Pinoy pride alert! Another Filipina has just made history — just in time for the celebration of International Women’s Day.

Rizza Umlas was recently hailed as the 2015 TGIFridays World Bartender Champion in a face-off at Dallas, Texas. She was also the youngest and the first female bartender to ever win the title in the competition’s history.

Blessed with beauty, brains, and the skills to make those hearts and bottles flip with glee, Rizza bested 10 of the best mixers and shakers behind TGIFridays bars from around the world. But that was just for the final round! Prior to facing 10 of the best in the male-dominated competition, she braved her way through 60 contenders and proved that a young girl has what it takes to shine.

At the age of 21, Rizza was able to captivate international judges through her exemplary liquor mixing skills, flawless bottle flipping techniques, suave moves, engaging personality, and fun guest interaction. Even though the bar is often equated to the likes of people who are usually down and out in life, having a bartender like Rizza makes any bar burst with happiness because of her cheery disposition.

Being able to attend her victory party held at TGIFridays in Bonifacio High Street last Wednesday (March 9, 2016), Rizza revealed what she did in order to score a winning performance during an interview with MB Life.

Rizza Umlas, 2015 TGIFridays' World Bartending Champion
Rizza Umlas, 2015 TGIFridays’ World Bartending Champion

Here are seven tips from Rizza in order to nail a world-class performance:

1. Practice makes perfect

Rizza advices everyone who is about to make a nerve-racking performance to just practice, practice, and practice. Make it a habit to work on your routine every day for a successful performance.

Her message to all aspiring champions: “Tiyaga lang! (It’s all about hardwork!)”

2. Self-discipline is key

“Kung lahat ng turo (ay) ibibigay sa’yo pero kung ikaw, ayaw mo i-absorb, walang mangyayari… Tulungan mo lang ‘yung sarili mo (If you don’t absorb all the teachings/trainings given to you, nothing’s going to happen… You have to help yourself),” said Umlas .

3. Believe

“Magtiwala ka sa mga taong nakapaligid sa’yo, lalong lalo na sa sarili mo, (Believe in the people supporting you and most especially, believe in yourself),” explained the young bartender who was cheered on by friends and family during her victory party.

Don’t lose hope. Believing that you can be more than what others expect from you and believing that you have what it takes can help you reach your dreams and more!

4. Pray

Always ask for God’s help. Faith, prayers, and a strong will can boost your confidence.

5. Enjoy!

“Tulad ng sabi ko sa World (Bartending Championships), winning is just a consolation. Experience is the prize. So once na nag-enjoy ka, kahit hindi ka nanalo, ikaw pa rin yung panalo,” she happily proclaimed.

6. Don’t expect anything

“Don’t expect anything. Mas masayang lumaro nang wala kang expectations sa sarili mo. Mas masayang lumaro na ineenjoy mo lang (ang) lahat ng mangyayari, (It’s more fun to play without putting expectations on yourself. It’s more fun to play while enjoying everything that happens),” said Rizza.

7. Keep your feet on the ground

Stay humble, no matter how far you’ve gone. As the bartending world champion puts it, “’wag na ‘wag kang makakalimot lumingon sa pinanggalingan mo (don’t you ever forget where you came from).” Rizza grew up in Pampanga and worked as part-time at TGIFridays Glorietta branch while she was studying. She graduated Tourism early this year.

Rizza Umlas2
Rizza being interviewed during her victory party at TGIFridays Bonifacio High Street on Wednesday (March 9, 2016).

With the success that she has achieved, Rizza still wants to continue her passion for her craft. Being asked on what’s next for her, she told the media: “We’ll see.”

She is open to teaching people about bartending but we’ll have to wait for more updates on that.

We will definitely be on the lookout for her next journey!

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