The year Two Thousand And Twelve, became the most incredible year of my existence. It was the year that my dreams started to come true.
Though I have countless reasons to be thankful for reasons for these past twelve months, There are three significant ones that stood out. And because of that, I declared the year 2012, one for the ages..
The first reason being that, my blog's readership has grown exponentially since I first began. Still not to the level of hits that I would like, but the growth is highly evident.
A huge part of that was my willingness to attend blogger events. Prior to 2012, I choose to shy away from events, but then I made it my new year's resolution to be more active as a food blogger, and it paid off. Not only am I attending exclusive events, I made some wonderful friends in the process (more on that later). It's such an incredible feeling to be told by a complete stranger, "I read your blog!". I really hope that I can sustain the upward trajectory that it's currently on, while keeping the writing fresh and entertaining at the same time.
The second is that, I got to take Rina to New York this year. It had always been a dream of ours to go to the United States together, but ever since Rain was born, we put any idea of travelling on hold, because we knew all our resources would be best kept for something Rain would need in the future. However I always promised her that someday, I would fulfill her dream of going to America... And Oreo Philippines gave me that chance. We had the time of our lives in the Big Apple, and the best thing about it? ALL EXPENSES PAID.
The third reason and most vital reason for me calling 2012 "The Best Year of My Life", was my daughter Rain. Watching my daughter grow up made me feel good just to be alive. Any hardship or disappointment that I faced throughout the year, all I needed to do was remind myself that the Lord blessed me with a healthy & beautiful daughter, that did not give her mother problems during pregnancy.. So I have no reason to feel bad with anything in the world.
Becoming a father really made me grow leaps and bounds (Fine, not physically). It made me more responsible, and helped me become more selfless. I didn't even realize it until this year. For the past two Christmases, whenever someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas.. I would draw a blank. I couldn't think of anything I wanted for myself. No gadget, clothes, or any thing of that sort interested me. And suddenly a light went off in my head.
Why ask for something for myself when I could give to my daughter?
And that is why, for the past two Christmases, I have gotten Milk and Diapers from my relatives. Baby Rain was taken care of and happy, so I couldn't be happier.
I wanted to take you on a quick look back at the year that was 2012 for The Pickiest Eater In The World...
JANUARY: A Christening
January was memorable to me, because Rina and I introduced Jesus Christ into Baby Rain's life in her Baptism.
FEBRUARY: Opening Doors
I also met bloggers The Food Scout and Fitz Villafuerte for the very first time!
The second event I ever attended was the preview of concessionaires from Best Food Forward. I met three people there for the first time.. Jean of Trip Or Treats, a blogger that I had been following even before I began my site, as well as Richard from Tales from The Tummy, and as Dedet, of the legendary "Pepita's Lechon".
MARCH: Coming Soon
In March, I concentrated on a project for my blog that I never told you guys about. It's still "In The works", and I can't give you much details, but I'm really excited about it, and I hope by 2013, I'll finally be able to show you guys what me and my friends have been working on!
I hoping its gonna be HUGE! (No "That's what she said" jokes please)
APRIL: Making Friends
April was very memorable for me, because I had two restaurant visits that helped me create a nice relationship with two wonderful restaurant groups. The first being The Bistro Group. After reading my posts about how I love the food from all Bistro Group restaurants, but I still had a bone to pick with them because I never received my Bistro Card, Mitzi and Lisa of The Bistro Group reached out to me, to explain what exactly happened to my card.
Ever since then, it was a start to a beautiful friendship!
It was also my first time to visit Yabu: The House of Katsu. Who would have thought that this silly little picture would make a huge impact to my blog a few months later.. (More on that in a bit).
MAY: Yummy Cebu
The month of May was very significant to me because it was our first time to take Baby Rain on an airplane, when me and my entire family (Including my Parents, brother, sisters, nephew & nieces except one) flew to Cebu for our first family vacation together in years!
JUNE: Giveaways and Degustations
June is when the madness all began... It was the month that marked my second year anniversary, which I celebrated by hosting a series of give aways provided to me by several amazing restaurants, including Pepper Lunch (with the GC's courtesy of no less than Mr.Jeroen Van Straten himself)! The response was so overwhelming, I was holding "Anniversary" giveaways all the way until October!
This night was also extremely memorable for me, because this was the first time a complete stranger approached me to have a picture taken with me. She just happened to be the lovely fashion blogger, "Capricious Club".
JULY: The Game Changer
Rina and I also got a tour of Acacia Hotel in Alabang, as well as a taste of the lunch buffet of their restaurant, Acaci! Thank you Marla and Chiara!
As I would find out two months later, fate would respectfully disagree.
AUGUST: Judge Richie & More Katsu!
Robinsons' Malls finally opened their location in New Manila whcih they dubbed as "Magnolia". One of the first restaurants to open there, was the second branch of Yabu: The House of Katsu. I managed to attend the opening, where I was fortunate to meet the men behind the Katsu craze.. John Concepcion, and Chef Kazuya Takeda, Yabu Co-owner Mr. Nakamura.
I was also asked to be among the Blogger Judges by The UP Economics Society, for their event, "Foodgasm"!
And A few days later.. It was off to New York for Rina and I!
Together with Oreo Brand Manager Nano Betita, and the Official Philippine AmbassadOREO Jennifer Sarmiento, we toured the beautiful city of New York!
We got to meet some of the most wonderful people of different cultures, as several countries from around the world fielded their own "AmbassadOREOS"!
And two huge highlights of the trip for me was our visit to Monica's apartment (From Friends) at the Greenwich Village...
I was able to visit the iconic Katz's Delicatessen.. Something that's been in my Bucket list of places to eat for the longest time! Not to mention, with Spanky Enriquez, someone who had a great deal in contributing to the growth of my blog! (Thanks Brother-in-Bacon!)
The end of September was extremely emotional for me, because I was finally reunited with my lost love.. One of my all time favorite restaurants based in Cebu, Harbor City, finally came to Manila in their incarnation of "Dimsum Break". I've waited YEARS to be able to enjoy their Sweet & Sour Pork here in Manila. So when that moment finally came, it was rather emotional for me. Good thing my cousin Paolo (who shares my love for their food), was there to support me in my time of need.
OCTOBER: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY RAIN!
October 17 marked a year to the day that the most magical moment of my life happened. The moment I laid my eyes on my daughter for the very first time. The first time I heard her cry as she was pulled out from her mother's womb.. The first time I became a father.
While the amazing people behind Masatami Shaved Ice gave Baby Rain a wonderful birthday present.. Her very own Masatami Shaved Ice booth for her party!!
NOVEMBER: Of Lola's, Laloo's and Looloo's
November was very special to Rina, because it was the first time for Baby Rain to meet Rina's beloved grandmother that lives in La Union. Affectionately dubbed "Laloo" by Rina as a child, the name has stick to this very day, and is the same name that her other younger cousins now call her as well.
Not to mention I would meet my girl Mimai, aka the awesome blogger Sharkmaine for the very first time! We still need to go on that epic food trip!
Other significant events were my short trip to Davao for work (Haven't posted about it yet), and I was a judge at the Manila Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards.
DECEMBER: AWESOME END TO THE YEAR!
And Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet!
I've wanted to write for a magazine, so when Breakfast Magazine asked if I was interested in contributing an article to their December issue, I jumped at the chance. I was elated to find that I was joined in the bloggers section by some of my "Tropa sa Katakawan", Yedylicious and Food Reviews Manila (Sorry Purple Doll and Peach Kitchen.. wala kayo sa picture)!
That was pretty much 2012 in a nutshell... and as you could see, it was nothing short of Epic.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION
My blogger's New Year's resolution for 2013 would definitely be to incorporate more travel posts in my blog. I'd like to think that I've hit my stride as a food blogger, but my travel blogger skills need sharpening (I notice when I go out of town, the only thing Im concerned about is where to eat). Travel posts need not be out of the country or even out of town, as I plan to do a series on Staycations as well :)
It's a dream of mine to be able to invite you all to one big Eyeball party so I could finally meet each and every one of you and thank you personally for your unwavering support! That day will come, as soon as I win the Lottery, I promise!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
HERE'S LOOKING FORWARD TO AN EVEN MORE KICK ASS 2013!!