Gerome, who works for Holland America, created a cocktail "inspired by his travels" and triumphed over 2,500 other creations.
Winning the prestigious Bacardi Cruise Competition represents a significant achievement for a cruise ship bartender, plus a $5,000 cash prize, according to Bacardi.
Gerome will see his floral martini Passion Blossom 13 – equal quantities BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin and ST-GERMAIN elderflower liqueur combined with passion-fruit syrup, lemon sour and cranberry juice – featured on the Oosterdam.
Bacardi will work with Gerome over the next year to help further develop his craft with professional training and development opportunities.
“It’s really amazing to win this competition, because I have been working towards it for such a long time. This week, being with the Bacardi team and competitors in South Florida, has been phenomenal and it has been a privilege to compete. Winning the Bacardi Cruise Competition gives me great personal pride with the added kudos of such professional recognition. There’s no doubt it will help me develop my bartending career," said Firmalo.
Originally from the Philippines, Gerome is a bartender on Holland America’s Oosterdam based out of Rotterdam.
The other finalists were: Kenneth Tuason from Holland America’s Maasdam, Richard Anderson from Carnival Glory, Nilesh Patel from Carnival Sensation and Royal Caribbean’s Oleksandr Lurchenko.