15 Highlights of 2015

While some people continue to rant on Facebook about everybody else’s year-end recap posts, here I am, writing my own. It may be true that the majority probably doesn’t care, but I know that a handful of people appreciate personal blog posts such as this one—which are rare as I normally talk about restaurants and hotels. With my daytime job and my blogging, my 2015 was so busy, that I almost never had enough time to sleep, or almost never stayed at home during weekends; but it was also so blessed, that I somehow found time to spend moments with people I care about, and to engage in my other passion, dancing.

So… as I always say every year for 3 years now, I’d like to thank everyone who believes in me and my blog. Thank your reading, thank you for sharing, thank you for commenting, thank you for giving your inputs, suggestions, and criticisms. Thank you reading between the lines and thinking beyond the otherwise meaningless words you see on screen. Thank you for trusting me and coming back to this website. Cheers to a more successful and awesome 2016!


15 | Guesting on Poptalk TV

Poptalk wasn’t my first time on TV (hello, disastrous LG Quiz! LOL), but it was my first as a food blogger. Thanks to Richie and Chuckie, I got into the Christmas Potluck episode wherein we visited home sellers and taste-tested their products. I was one of the reviewers along with Ms. Ryza Cenon and Ms. Love Anover. The shoot took almost all day, but it was totally fun meeting a lot of cool people.

14 Celebrating my birthday out of town with the whole family for the first time

Every year, we normally just celebrate it at home. A simple feast plus some beers—we’re a simple family; we are happy as long as we’re together, and we can think of things to make any day fun even without any activity whatsoever. But this year I was feeling especially celebratory so we went to Tagaytay (along with a few cousins) and bonded there. Fun, as always!

13 “Camping” in Pampanga’s famous adventure park

I’ve never gone camping before, and the Alviera Brightscape Campfest was the closest to camping I could have. Still, it was loads of fun spending a whole day with bloggers, families, artists, and adventure-seekers at Sandbox, where we enjoyed the popular attractions such as the Giant Swing, participated in camp activities, learned poi dancing, and watched a concert. This was my spectacular summer ender.

12 Doing a Baguio food tour with blogger friends

In mid-December, my blogger friends Ramil and Edgar of PinasMuna and I went to a Baguio food tour, where we visited old and new restaurants in the summer capital. Having been to Baguio but not having had the chance to explore much of it yet, I was incredibly excited to go. The weather was especially chilly at night but tolerable by day even in just a T-shirt. We tried a couple of nice places which I’m going to feature here really soon.

11 Staying at Pan Pacific Manila’s Executive King Suite

Pan Pacific Manila’s Executive King Suite is a lavish one-bedroom, two-bathroom suite that befits visiting heads of state, so I consider myself incredibly lucky that I got to experience it. The suite had its own dining area, living area, and kitchen, with TVs inside bathrooms, an entire wall of windows, and a personal butler. Indeed, this was my best staycation in Manila.

10 Winning a dancesport competition with only 1 hour of sleep

The annual competition we organize, the Philippine Summer Ball, changes venue every year, and in 2015 it was held at Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna. Not only was I part of the organizers, I was also a competitor. I couldn’t believe I was still manning the registration booth a few minutes before the Latin rounds, and understaffed as we were, we managed to pull it off. The events was a success and Jerlyn and I even managed to bag silver and bronze medals!

9 Getting reunited with old friends (and flames … joke)

My 3 female best friends all work as nurses abroad, and this year, all of them came home for a few weeks/days to spend some time with family—and me! Joan’s vacation was last February and upon returning home, I took her to my favorite restaurants and she cooked for me in her house. I saw KC last December after we missed each other in Boracay (long story, LOL) and a few days after, I met up with Steph and went on a food trip with her in the neighborhood—just like old times. Needless to say, I had tons of loot and gifts—hahaha!

8 Exploring Davao with my aunt

Here’s a funny story: I booked our Davao tickets for the 3rd week of August for the Kadayawan festival, but as August approached, the schedules changed—Kadayawan got moved to the fourth week. Incredible, right? This didn’t stop me and my aunt from having a fantastic time though, as we still got to visit Davao’s popular spots and even got to experience Banana Beach Resort in Tagum City!

7 Receiving my first out-of-town blog invitation—and Boracay, no less!

It’s true that for every shit you go through, there’s something good that comes. The day I lost my phone and ran to the store to buy a new one was the day I got an email invitation to visit Hennan Resort in Boracay. I remember it so clearly: I was testing my new phone’s Wifi capabilities and decided to open my email—and then I saw it. The invitation. Suddenly spending a few thousand pesos for a new phone didn’t suck anymore.

6 Arriving like a VIP in Boracay

As one of the few bloggers who went to Boracay for the reopening of Sea Breeze Café, I was treated like a VIP all throughout the three-day trip. Henann Resorts owns Sea Breeze, so we stayed in one of their properties there: Henann Lagoon. We flew via Philippine Airlines, had our own private speedboat to the resort, and received a very warm welcome upon entering the hotel. What an awesome first time!

5 Arriving like a VIP in Bohol

And yet again, because of Henann Resorts. Damn, these people really know how to make you feel special. We boarded a special Air Asia-Henann aircraft from Manila, were welcomed with water cannons as some kind of blessing, got greeted with fantastic staff and jovial dancers in Tagbilaran, and rode special coasters headed to the luxurious Henann Bohol Resort in Alona Beach, Panglao. The trip was one of my favorites last year. 

Crossing off Panglao in my bucket list

Ever since I went to Bohol in 2012, I’ve been meaning to go back for Panglao Island, because somebody told me this was where the party happens in Bohol. There were, of course, no booze in the countryside tours, so my excitement was again overflowing when we heard we were going to Henann Resort in Panglao. To tell you the truth, it wasn’t like Boracay at all, but it offers a different kind of leisure that’s far from crazy partying and noisy bars. I enjoyed here quietly gulping down my favorite Pale Pilsen while watching the endless sea.

3 Getting into Grade C finals for the first time

I’ve never joined the Grade C category in the Dancesport Council national ranking before, so imagine my happiness when we got into the finals—on our first time to join! I literally cried when one of my teammates told me we were in. The funny thing was that after only a few drops of tears, I hurriedly grabbed Jerlyn to the waiting area, wore my game face on, and started practicing for the next round. Yes, I’m kind of bipolar like that.

2 Making loved ones' wishes come true

This is too sappy and I myself would have vomited had it not been a customary year-end/new-year post, but it’s true. I had been blessed so much in 2015 and I was so happy that these blessings were overflowing—they enabled me to share some to the people closest to me. These came in the form of being able to give my loved ones their dream trips, or taking them to their desired places myself.

1 Exploring the most beautiful place in the Philippines: Batanes

I don’t know how many more times I need to say it: Batanes is the BEST TRIP I HAD IN 2015. BYE.

What are your most unforgettable memories of 2015?

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