Taking One Final Look at 2012.

Before 2012 comes to an end, come join me as I take a one final look at a year full of love, friendship, challenges, opportunities, and everything else in between.

New Year's Eve 2012

My very first photo with T. We spent New Year's Eve watching fireworks from a cliff in Tagaytay Highlands before joining our friends back in Manila for the parties.

The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences (part 3): Hotel Tour & Brasserie Boheme.

continued from part 2...

Day 2

The morning after our mustache theme party, T and I went around The Picasso to explore the different parts of the hotel.

The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences (part 2): The 'Stache Bash.

continued from part 1...

T's birthday was coming up though I knew he was never really for hosting big parties. But it was his big three-oh and I wanted to do something for him. His high school friends usually have an annual Christmas get together and I thought that would be a good cover-up for a surprise party.

Months before, I booked a loft at The Picasso Boutique and planned to order food from Conti's, so that left only the theme for me to take care of. I wanted a "Mustache Bash" for T since it was his 30th and what better symbol of manhood than a mustache. It was also timely since T was really growing a mustache. Serendipity!

Dear Santa, I Want An Apple iMac.

I knew I was good this year so I'm planning to get myself a nice gift. It was a toss up between a nice watch and the new iMac. Practicability won so I'm going for the computer.

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas! I am such a Christmas person. I look forward to Christmas even more than my birthday.. Seriously.

I was just surprised that it's almost Christmas already. Been too busy with other worthwhile things (those who follow me on Twitter know what I'm talking about), that I didn't notice that my favorite holiday is here! I wasn't able to do Simbang Gabi or wrap presents -- things I love to do -- because my brain is still tired from all the frenzy. Good thing, T and I went to the mall yesterday and a little Christmas spirit rubbed on us both. We even met Santa! ;)

The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences (Part 1): Tour of the Loft.

For T's early birthday celebration, I booked a loft at The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences.

Create A Smile: An Acacia Toy Drive.

If you're planning to give back to those in need this holiday season, Acacia Hotel is having a Christmas Toy Drive.

Be one of the first 200 people to donate a minimum of toys with a retail value of at least P250 and be treated to a FREE breakfast buffet at the Acacia Hotel.  Succeeding donors will get 15% dining discount at the Acaci Restaurant.

Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss.

After the Nike We Run Manila 10K race, I told T I needed comfort food for my aching joints.

Nike We Run Manila 10K 2012: The Race Pack.

T already got our race packs for Nike We Run Manila 10K 2012 scheduled on Sunday, December 2!

Antonio's Tagaytay.

For two weekends in a row, T and I were at Antonio's in Tagaytay to celebrate two wonderful ceremonies. The first one was the Precilla-Dy Nuptials and the second one was the Mago-Guanio Renewal of Vows & Scarlet Mago's Dedication.

Precilla-Dy Nuptials

RJ Prescilla and Fleur Dy had their wedding at the beautiful San Antonio de Padua Church in Silang, Cavite.

Slice High St Goes To The Podium!

Good news for those who live in Ortigas, Slice Express is visiting your area!

TWG Tea Company Now in the Philippines!

My other blog post on TWG Tea Philippines:
TWG Tea Salon Now Open in Resorts World Manila

I got excited when I saw a TWG Tea Company poster announcing that they opened a branch in Manila. I'm a coffee person as much as I am a tea person. I know, I know. I see eyebrows raising from both caffeine junkies and tea fanatics (because it's like saying I'm a hip-hopper and yet a rocker as well) but it's true! I love them both so much. I drink coffee every day before going to work and tea every night before going to sleep.

TOMS Give Fair.

I've always loved TOMS for their shoes and their advocacy (read my previous blog posts on TOMS). And on November 24 to 25, TOMS is inviting us to their annual Give Fair at the Alabang Town Center as their way of saying thank you to all their supporters.

Giveaway: Nats Nook Tag-Along Reversible Bins. (CLOSED)

Update (1/14/2013): The winner already received the prize and sent me an email:

"I got the items already. I love them! :) Thanks again to you and Kat for choosing me as the winner."

To spread the holiday cheer, Kat and her daughter Natalie are giving away a set of tag-along reversible bins from Nat's Nook!

Guimaras (part 2): The Island Tour.

Trappist Monastery

After lunch at The Pitstop, our tour guide slash driver brought us to the Trappist Monastery.

Guimaras (part 1): Mango Capital of the Philippines.

Note: Writing this post while waiting for our transfers in Palawan.. :)

I am part of the crazy few who think a day trip to Guimaras is possible.  Yes, a day trip from neighboring Iloilo perhaps but what T and I did was a Guimaras day trip from Manila!

Tsukiji Restaurant.

Pasay Road is a haven of Japanese restaurants. This is where T and I go when we crave for really good, authentic Japanese cuisine. One of the best (and one of the most expensive ones) that we've tried is Tsukiji.

Ganso Shabuway.

I was never really a fan of hotpots because I couldn't see how a bowl of soup can be a substitute for my whole meal. But Ganso Shabuway changed my mind about this!  Coming from the airport last May (read my post on Boracay Labor Day Weekend), T and I went here to have dinner before heading home.

Food De' Sentosa.

BF Homes in ParaƱaque has been quite a mecca for hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I previously wrote about a good steak place along Aguirre (read my blog post on Borgo Cafe). Now, let me introduce you to a place that serves authentic Singaporean fare.. Food De' Sentosa.

Borgo Cafe.

When it rains, the best thing to do is to eat, eat, eat! I've been craving steak recently so T suggested a good steak place in BF Homes that we haven't tried --- Borgo.

PAL & AirPhil: What's My Terminal?

Philippine Airlines (PAL) recently transferred some of its flights to AirPhilippines (AirPhil). For those going out of town next week, better check your flight status to avoid airport frenzies.

Go to www.whatsmyterminal.com to know your new designated airport terminals.

Remembering Las Vegas (part 3): The Ride Home.

The Ride Home
2 January 2011

The next day, we were ready to say goodbye to Vegas.

Remembering Las Vegas (part 2): New Years Day.

New Year's Day
1 January 2011

Everyone woke up early the next day except me. Sleepyhead! My other friends went ahead to Aria while Lizbeth and Rudi waited for me. Since Lizbeth wanted to explore The Strip, we decided to walk instead of taking a cab.

Remembering Las Vegas (part 1): New Year's Eve.

Since it's beginning to feel like the holidays with the cool breeze outside and Christmas songs playing everywhere, let me share with you a previous trip to Vegas for New Years.

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt.

I first tried Pinkberry at Fashion Island in Newport Beach (California) with my sister and cousins and I loved it! There's usually a long line around this place so that alone says a lot about their yogurt.

Marcia Adams' Tuscany.

To start the month, allow me to give you a burst of sunshine through this place that looks like a scene taken out of The Secret Garden --- Marcia Adams' Tuscany.

Powerbooks' Promo for 'Casual Vacancy' Gone Wrong.

J.K. Rowling, sounds familiar? She's the author of the famous Harry Potter series, which I "grew up" reading. So when news came out that Rowling is coming up with another book, I immediately pre-ordered a copy from PowerBooks.

Image credit: PowerBooks

Bellini Champagne Bar & Anzani Mediterranean Restaurant.

Recently, my iPad has been acting up and I discovered the culprit --- tons of photos and videos eating up my storage space. I don't delete because I want to blog about the places I've been to and the restaurants I've dined at but more often than not, I tend to forget about the photos because of my schedule. So, starting today, I'll start blogging about these places bit by bit so I can give my iPad some breathing room.

Let's start with this restaurant I went to in 2011 called Bellini.

What's New at Slice High St.

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I'm currently on a mission to cut down my consumption of sugar. As much as I love chocolates and everything sweet, my not-so-healthy eating habits have taken a toll on my immune system. I'm always sick! 

Thankful for healthy treats at Slice High St!

Seven (7) Corners International Buffet.

The UAAP season is almost over and I haven't published this post yet! Before the 1st Lasalle-Ateneo game, T and I had lunch at 7 Corners at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Makati Street Market.

For almost a decade, Legazpi was home to a Sunday Market. Now, GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc. (GMCI) and the Sunday Market organizers realized that what the street market currently presents to its customers can, in fact, further be developed.

Hence, GMCI, together with its partners and sponsors, are transforming the Legazpi Sunday Market into the Makati Street Market, the first and biggest artisanal market of its kind in the Philippines. This is just timely because T and I are really planning to go to one of Makati's weekend markets next week.

Stylepilot: Personal Style Engine For Men.

I know majority of my readers are female but I'm pretty sure you'll find this personal style guide for men interesting for your boyfriend, husband or brother. I know I did. It's called Stylepilot (www.stylepilot.com).

Sebastian's Ice Cream.

Craving for something sweet, we went to Sebastian's in Mall of Asia.

Pipol on ANC.

Just this week, Senator Pia Cayetano was featured in Ces Drilon's Pipol on ANC. Catch the replay on Sunday 10:00 am & 5:30 pm and next Monday 2:30 am.

Apartment 1B and Everything Rockwell.

My friends and I used to eat at Apartment 1B in Salcedo Village often. More so when I started reviewing for the bar since we studied at Starbucks Valero just across the street from the restaurant.

Melo's: Home of the Certified Angus Beef and Authentic Wagyu Beef.

Yesterday was a really long day for me and T. So when he sent me a text message saying that he wanted to eat really good steak, I knew exactly where to go.. Melo's.

Venice Piazza's Ultimate Asian Destination Promo.

Venice Piazza at the McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio brings everyone a chance to travel to an Ultimate Asian Destination. Get a chance to fly to the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia simply by shopping and dining at the Venice Piazza and other McKinley Hill establishments from August 1 to September 30.

For every P1,500 worth of single or accumulated receipts from any establishment at Venice Piazza, Woodridge, One World, Three World, 810 Building, and 1820 Building, customers are entitled to one raffle stub, which can be claimed at the Venice Piazza Atrium.

Buona Vita Ristorante Italiano.

Before T and I went to the new Metro Gaisano, we ate lunch at Buona Vita Ristorante Italiano in Molito Alabang.

The New Metro Gaisano Alabang.

Some of you might think that this isn't really something blog-worthy but like I said in a previous post, I'm amazed at how Alabang Town Center has expanded. And now, there's even another mall connected to it. Curious, T and I went inside to take a look.

Swensen's Ice Cream & Sundaes.

As much as I want to eat that slice of cheesecake in our freezer right now, I can't because of my sore throat. So to satisfy my cravings (and hopefully yours, too!), here's a short dessert entry. Ironically, I also had a sore throat when we went to this place.

After the La Salle vs Ateneo game almost a month ago at the Mall of Asia Arena (read my entry on the new MOA Arena), I had dessert with T and some friends at Swensen's Ice Cream & Sundaes.

The Coffee Passport: Another Krispy Kreme Birthday Treat Heading Your Way.

Krispy Kreme furthers its 75th birthday blowout with another treat in store for everyone.

Starting August 17, Krispy Kreme will be providing perks for those who delight in its Signature Coffee and wide variety of espresso-based drinks crafted just the way they like it—whether rich and bold, topped with thick foamed milk, or drizzled with syrup—as the Coffee Passport makes a comeback.

The Coffee Passport, granted to each Krispy Kreme aficionado upon purchase of a medium or large cup of Signature Coffee or espresso, gives everyone a chance to get free treats from Krispy Kreme.

All a customer has to do is to collect stamps to fill it: one cup of Signature Coffee or espresso for one stamp, and a Brew Box or a Brew Box Jr. for two.

Metro Manila's Hidden Gems: Cafe Ysabel.

T and I didn't make plans for the long weekend because both of us have work. Only yesterday, I had to go to my friend Ivy's couturier to have my measurements taken (she's getting married and I'm a bridesmaid!) so T drove me there. After the fitting, T and I were hungry so we decided to go to Cafe Ysabel.

Pet Safety During Calamities and World Cat Day.

Happy World Cat Day! If you're from the Philippines, I hope you and your family (including your pets) are somewhere safe and dry. If it rains again, please do not leave your pets behind!

Emergency Hotlines & Other Information.

I will be adding more information as I go along. If you have any other important info to share, please leave it in the comments box below so other people can read as well.

*As of 4:36pm

During this time of disaster, it's important to know the following numbers. Save this image on your phones or tablets. I got this off Twitter. Feel free to share. You can also click the Facebook or Twitter button below.

Dessert at Le Petit Cheri.

We were supposed to go Tagaytay but decided against it because of the weather. So T just asked me out to dinner at the new Omakase in Molito Alabang while I suggested dessert at this place which I've always wanted to try since it opened --- Le Petit Cheri.

McDonald's Twister Fries.

Starting this week, I promised myself that I will try to refrain from fastfood. I also made a mental note to myself not to post an entry unless it's the last installment of my Coron trip (read my blog entries on Coron). But...

Coron (part 4): Atwayan Beach, Twin Lagoon & Kayangan Lake.

This is the last installment of our Coron Trip. If you haven't read the other posts, I suggest you start from the beginning. The links are at the end of this post. Just click "Read More" :)

Day 2

From Malcapuya Island, we traveled back towards the Coron mainland to see the other tourist spots in the area -- Atwayan Beach and Coral Garden, the Twin Lagoon, and Kayangan Lake.

Coron (part 3): Malcapuya Island.

If you haven't read my first 3 blog entries about Coron, scroll to the end. The links are all there so you can start from Day 1 :)

Day 2
23 July 2012

T and I had a whole journey ahead of us so even if I'm not a breakfast person, I knew I had to eat before leaving the resort (read my blog entry on Sunz En Coron Resort). I ordered the American Breakfast (P230/$6) consisting of toasted bread, eggs, bacon or ham, fruit, and coffee.

Coron (part 2): The Town Tour.

Day 1

After eating, T and I did the Coron Town Tour. Our itinerary: Mount Tapyas, Nanay Lita's Cashew Place, and Maquinit Hot Springs.

Mount Tapyas

I must have been crazy to climb Mount Tapyas with a healing ankle (and in a dress!) but I really wanted T to see the view of the whole island from up there. But to reach the top, we had to climb 800+ steps!

Tip: Buy water from the vendors at the entrance before climbing. You'll need it, believe me. I'm not a water drinker but I felt the need to drink every so often.

There's a marker every 100 steps up Mt Tapyas. T took a photo of me at each one. You'll see my energy dropping as we reach 800.

100 - Super energized and hyper to reach the top!

Coron (part 1): Sunz En Coron Resort.

Day 1
22 June 2012

How To Get There

Manila to Busuanga

Coron town is in Busuanga Island, and not Coron Island. Our tour guide explained that the town transferred from Coron Island to Busuanga Island, but retained its name. Hence, the confusion.

There are 2 ways to get to Busuanga.

1. By air
Air Philippines
Cebu Pacific
Zest Air

2. By sea
Super Ferry
Negros Navigation

Air travel is at least P8,000/$25 per person. Taking the sea route is cheaper at only P1,500/$3 per person (and that's for a suite already!) but will consume 12 hours of travel time.

Obviously, T and I chose to fly.

Wondering about the sign below? Well, I mixed up our time of departure in Manila with our arrival time in Busuanga. Thank heavens we got there 5 minutes before the counter closed!