Kokak Warriors – an update

What does it take to be one?

In the middle of 2019, we announced the Kokak Warriors.  This aims to form a pool of freelance baristas, or those who welcome a sideline.  So how did it go?  In this post, we give an update about Kokak Warriors and tips on how to be one.

Unexpectedly, we received a lot of applications, and we would like to thank everyone who expressed interest!  The following were the events Palakape joined in the 2nd semester when Kokak Warriors was already announced:

July 6-7, 2019 – Bike King Tri 2 in Subic

This was at the time the most challenging set up for Palakape, hence the idea of pooling freelancers and side hustlers came about. It required two days of selling in different locations in Subic – so the set up (with espresso machine) had to be transferred after the 1st day.  We were able to hire 2 Kokak Warriors for this event. Both of them were available for 2 days.  One lives in Olongapo, while the other one was from Manila.  The one from Manila was just determined to join in spite of our priority for locals, and caveat that we wouldn’t pay for his full travel expense to Subic.  The two of them did a good job, so thanks guys!

August 19-23, 2019 – 4th National Conference on the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism at UST

This was a simple set up, using coffee percolators, but for 4 days and with high influx of people.  We needed 2 Kokak Warriors per day, and gave chance to those who weren’t available all throughout the event.  Also since the set up was simple, we also allowed beginner baristas or those with zero experience.  One owner was there on the first day to guide them, and then they were entrusted to man the set up for the rest of the event.  

We tapped 3 Kokak Warriors for this event.  1 with experience, 1 with zero experience, and 1 with barista training but no job experience.  They did good for the event’s requirement, so we’re thankful yet again.

August 25, 2019 – Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 2

By this time, we decided that the espresso machine set up is standard for multi-sports events.  This was a one-day set up only, and both owners were present.  So we only got 1 Kokak Warrior – a resident of Imus.  She had a few years barista experience already and so she did well as expected. 

September 8, 2019 – Alviera Duathlon in Porac, Pampanga

In this event, Palakape sold out coffee for the first time.  Well, that’s also due to a more accurate projection of buyers.  Needless to say, we were busy.  2 Kokak Warriors from Mexico Pampanga were tapped: 1 with experience and 1 with zero experience.  We couldn’t find experienced baristas from Porac, and good thing the guys from Mexico had the means to go despite the very early call time. So in this case, the owner was the 2nd barista while the one with no experience was assigned as cashier.  The newbie did okay, and the experienced barista excelled.  So we thank them for that.  

October 13, 2019 – Sunlife Aquathlon at Vermosa Sports Hub

In this event, we got the same Kokak Warrior from the August 25 event.  She excelled in this set up, especially considering we again sold out.  One owner teamed up with her in providing coffee goodness to the athletes.  

Actually, we were expecting another applicant with zero experience, but could be of help.  However, she didn’t show up on the day.  So this person is now banned from Palakape engagements.

October 22-25, 2019 – Mercedarian School’s Foundation Week

This was another multi-day event, with lighter but a bit more challenging set up.  After more than a year, we took the blenders for a spin again! It was a school event, so we decided to serve frappés for mostly kids in the event.  Palakape tapped 2 Kokak Warriors, both with experience, as frappé preparation really requires such.  We had Chemex and cold brew coffee ready for any adult who might need the pick-me-up.  The baristas were great!  One of them already joined us in the UST event 2 months prior.

November 10, 2019 – Medicard Sprint Tri at Fontana Leisure Park

This was the last event that Palakape joined for the year.  We wanted to hire 1 barista, so we contacted the guy who joined us in Porac.  However, he couldn’t commit due to the distance.  We projected a relatively low foot traffic for the event, so we thought we could get even 1 non-experienced applicant who could be the cashier.  However, we couldn’t find one from the area.  The set up pushed through, with 1 owner’s brother incidentally joining the event organizers for a minor participation, and then helping out Palakape as well.  So we managed and sold out yet again (though we really brought less ingredients per the projection).

How can you be a Kokak Warrior?

Simply put, we assess based on location, experience and attitude.  The following are pointers that you can use to assess or gauge your chances of being a Kokak Warrior:

  • We prioritize location first.  The main purpose of having a pool of baristas is to be cost effective.  So, we need people who can go to the event without us having to shoulder a high cost of transportation, and certainly not accommodation for multi-day events 😉
  • If you’re in for the experience and don’t really need the money, you can insist joining us in locations out of your town.  But note that we won’t be paying for full transportation expense.
  • For set up that would require espresso and/or frappé preparation, we would really look for those with barista experience.  Only if we have the luxury to train someone would we accept those with zero barista job experience for such set up.  And honestly, we’re not in that position yet.  So your introductory experience can only happen if we have a light set up: using automatic drip coffee maker or percolator.  In some occasions where the set up is not busy, and there’s already 1 experienced barista joining, you can be tapped as the cashier, and if time permits, you can have your training on the spot. 🙂
  • We contact those who sent resumes/CVs first. We reply to all applications and part of that is the request that you send your CV to us.  Some do so, but a lot don’t.  This to us is a reflection of your enthusiasm.  So we only contact those that didn’t send their resumes if those who did couldn’t make it or wouldn’t respond to the follow up.  Those who apply with cover letter get a plus too!
  • Speaking of enthusiasm, if you’re contacted for your first event invitation, and we didn’t receive a reply, we would take it as a sign that you’re not willing to join in the first place.  In such case, we won’t be contacting you again.
  • Online correspondence can be tricky, so we have high regard for honesty.  If you signed up for an event and didn’t show up on the day without any reasonable notice, you will be banned from Palakape. The same goes if you did show up but do something criminal. 😀
  • Those who joined us and performed well would definitely be contacted again and prioritized should there be events in their area.  The ultimate goal is to build a network of trustworthy baristas!
  • Those who joined us and were contacted again, but didn’t reply, would be flagged up to 2 times.  Then, they would no longer be included in the pool.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t been contacted again since our last reply, the pointers above should cover it.  It could mean we still don’t have the opportunity for you, or you turned us off.  In any case, we hope you have learned from this blog post!  We intend it to be helpful not just for Palakape, but for any job application you have. 

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