Disclaimer: Yet another random blog but is surely something from the bottom of my heart (and tummy).
I can’t believe that today is the end of 2011 and awesome 2012 will begin. So many things happened to me this year and I do not regret any of it. I have experienced a lot and visited so many different places this year and met awesome people who are as passionate as I am when it comes to food and exploring Manila.
To end the year, I’d like to highlight some things that made this year extra special.
Oh how I love this place! The Old Manila feel plus the numerous kalesa makes this place an ideal dating and hangout place for me. I remember touring a not-so tourist here and I was the one who ended up enjoying it more. It was like a blast from the past. Educational, fun and truly memorable.
I have mentioned before that I have never been to Binondo till June 19, 2011. It was a rainy, rather, stormy day when we decided to explore Binondo in search for some warm soup. We went to Ying-Ying, a popular Chinese (well, almost every food establishment there is Chinese) restaurant in Chinatown. The congee was bland but the experience was… delicious. (Okay, perhaps that sounded a bit wrong.) Now I always find myself in Binondo searching for food; may it be exotic dishes like Soup #5 or ice cream from the Chinese supermarket or the got-almost-everything Korean mart. Plus, this was the place where I got my first kalesa ride!!!
The Cheesecake Factory
Ever since I heard that this place serves the most awesome cakes and after checking out their cool website, I had my heart set on visiting The Cheesecake Factory. I just have to dine there! And I did last October. I fell head over heels with their Red Velvet Cheesecake. It was simply divine.
I would have never thought that I’d miss potato balls badly. I feel tears fall on my cheeks every time I check my Porto’s photos. Those crispy on the outside, baked potatoes with ground meat on the inside were really addicting. I am salivating right now just thinking about it (for the nth time).
A colleague once asked me what was the highlight of my US trip and I said that it was my trip to IKEA. I got hooked watching IKEA videos and got mesmerized how creative they were in terms of maximizing space. Innovative solutions and stylish furniture yet offering it at affordable prices. I cried when I saw the actual set up that was featured in one of the videos I saw on YouTube. The meatballs were forgettable compared to the happiness I felt when I posed beside the cute living room-slash-bedroom-slash-children’s playroom.
As a person who hardly goes out of town, I consider Antipolo as a very far place. I never knew that Antipolo is a creative minds’ center. There were lots of art galleries everywhere. Plus, there were a lot of interesting restaurants around. The highlight of my trip though was when we ate at Balaw-Balaw and tried Uok, larva of beetles. It was my first time to eat an exotic dish and I got addicted to it.
I was quite disappointed when I wasn’t able to join the other CSers during the Pampanga leg of the Rizal Rediscovery Tour as part of the itinerary was to visit Everybody’s Café that serves exotic dishes. But I got an unexpected chance to visit this place on the day right after I arrived from my 3 week vacation. I got to dine at C’ Italian Dining and tried Aling Lucing’s Sisig, that shaved Buco Lychee ice dessert near Everybody’s Café, and the famous Baked Mac from Toll House (well, my mom and sister did). I need to practice my Puss in Boots look so that I could convince my parents to drive me there to try the exotic dishes next time.
Disney World and Universal Studios, Florida
As a certified child at heart, I enjoyed amusement parks. I was thrilled when I got to meet some of the famous characters in the flesh (or cotton and foam form). Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Shrek and so much more. I just didn’t like the 2 hour line to the Space Mountain in Disney World (and the fact that Disney World was sooooo big!) but the wait was totally worth it. It was the most exciting ride in Disney World. I just regret that I missed the most magical moment in Disney… the part when the Disney song will play and the night sky will be filled with fireworks. I was ready to cry that night but I was stuck in a line for another ride. I promised myself that I will experience that magical moment this coming 2012.
I actually enjoyed Universal Studios more as the place was smaller thus we were able to check out all of the places and ride all the rides we wanted to try. I super loved the Disaster ride. It wasn’t scary but it was highly interactive and entertaining. I wouldn’t mind visiting Universal Studios again. :)
Organizing Yummy Eats was indeed tiring, but seeing how many people enjoyed the event, my mom and sister included, skipping 3 meals was worth it.
Getting invited to food events… as a blogger
I started to take blogging seriously late this year. I thought that I was on a roll last February but my entries became fewer and fewer over summer till I promised myself that I will be a committed blogger. Thus came August, I try to blog as often as possible. I thought that I could do it daily but for some reason, I still can’t. That will surely be part of my 2012 goals.
Paintball a.k.a. Painball
I was so glad when a fellow CSer organized a paintball activity. I quickly confirmed despite not knowing many people in Couchsurfing then as I was just days old in the organization. I had fun at La Mesa Eco Park. Who knew that you could do so many things there aside from having a picnic? There’s wall climbing, zip line, paintball, biking, and yes, fishing and swimming. I hope to visit again soon.
Food Warrior Eating Contest
To really claim the name “glutton” I tested myself and joined an eating contest last September. I was quite scared at first as one of the lines in the agreement was that the organizers will not be liable in the event the contestant loses his or her life during the competition. Who wouldn’t be scared of that? But I brushed it off and sent my application.
There were several dishes prepared for each batch of contestants. I prayed so hard not to get the Giant Chicharon and guess what I got? Giant Chicharon. I lost but I was proud of myself as I was able to eat more than some of the male competition. Hah!
Having one great birthday
It was my first time to celebrate my birthday 3 times in one day. I had lunch with my dad at Fish & Co. as my mom and sister had to attend an event at her school.
I went out with a good friend and watched RENT (theater plays are the best!).
Then I went to Shangri-La to have a quick dinner at La Creperie with my UP friends and we headed to one of their school events.
Meeting new and interesting people who helped make this year an awesome one
You all know who you are. Let’s make 2012 even better with more food trips, impromptu whatnots and laughter.
Thank you everyone for visiting my blog. You motivate me to eat, explore and try new things more than I used to. Cheers to a even more tummy filling 2012. *big hug*