Dionisio Magbuelas, known to his followers as Papa Isio, was a historical figure who, through rallying a group of babaylanes in Negros in the name of agrarian reform, was said to have stoked the first embers of the Philippine revolution. Papa Isio hailed from the sugar capital of the Philippines, so it is no surprise that Don Papa Rum, distilled from the finest sugarcane in the country—perhaps even in the world, one would argue—was named after him, each bottle honoring his legacy and spirit.
Though Don Papa Rum has existed for only three years, it has made its name known in sixteen different countries, from Japan to Singapore to various parts of Europe. One can attribute its global success to the meticulousness of its aging process. Don Papa is aged for over seven years in American oak barrels, and carefully looked after in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon. This method of preparation is responsible for Don Papa’s signature flavor profile, which boasts hints of vanilla, honey, and candied fruits.
As of late, Don Papa has undertaken the task of exposing its brand to different companies all over the metro, making itself known as the ultimate de-stressing drink. According to Brand Manager Cristhel Molina, Don Papa hopes to make itself a part of the popular after-work ritual of those working in high-stress jobs—from advertising to publishing to media—which is “to gather together and basically share a drink or two.” Because of Don Papa’s distinctly sweet flavor profile, it can take the form of various cocktails, their recipes created and curated by professional mixologists Kathryn Eckstein-Cornista and Matthias Cadeac D’Arbaud.
Like Papa Isio, who adopted the battle cry of “¡Viva Filipinas Libre” along with his followers, Don Papa makes a similar proclamation to the Philippines, a country that consumes 90% of all rum consumed in the world. Drink, be merry, live long and live free.