Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: AN EPIC ODYSSEY OF EPIC EPICNESS


          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.



       It was also the month wherein I held the very first giveaway in my blog, which was P5,000 worth of GC's from Cathy Valencia Clinic (Won by KC Astroboy!). Hehe.. Seems so long ago..

FEBRUARY: Opening Doors




       February was a busy month for me.. I met the winner of AFC's "Next Celebrity Chef, Dino Ferrari during his cooking demo at Mercato Centrale!



         i also attended my very first event as a blogger, when I was invited to the launch of Breakfast Magazine! Lo and Behold, I even won a slow cooker.. which to this very day, I have yet to remove from the box hehe.. 

        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!  




          When I got back to Manila, I was able to attend Yummy Eats, and that was the first time I met Frannywanny for the first time.. another blogger that I have followed even before I started this site! 

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 was also the month that I attended the much talked about Lechon Degustation at Pepita's Kitchen, wherein our group of 15 was tasked to take on Four stuffed lechons and Nine other courses before the night was over (we failed, but I didn't go down without a fight).



          This was also my first time to attend an event of Yabu: The house of Katsu, when I was invited to be part of their "Katsu for 25" event. I finally met the beautiful Denise in person, and was shocked (and deeply honored) to find my picture on their wall! 

          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




        In July, I managed to witness the insanity that is known as Zark's Burger's Jawbreaker Day! known for causing traffic jams along Taft, Zark's Burgers managed to implement a new system that eliminated the ludicrous lines that made people think there was a people power rally going on in Taft. 


  
              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!  


         This was also the month that I was invited by Oreo to be a part of what would be their "Blogger AmbasadOREO" Contest. Being up against The country's top food blogger, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, as well as an amazing blogger that happens to be 1/2 of a showbiz couple in Yen Dreyfus of The Tummy Traveler, I didn't think I had a ghost of a chance. 

           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"! 

SEPTEMBER: BEST. MONTH. EVER.



         September started with the awesomeness of Our Awesome Planet's Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell


        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. 



         Rina and I were actually planning just a small get together with family, but my mom wouldn't have it, so she threw the most amazing Sesame Street themed party for Baby Rain!


         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!! 


          This was also a very special day for me, because I met two of my reader for the very first time, when I invited them to join Baby Rain's Birthday party. Rosa and Jamie are two girls from way down South, so it meant the world to me that they drove all the way to Antipolo to join us! Love ya girls! 

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. 



         November began rather awesomely, as I was invited by review app Looloo to be among their beta testers! It was there that I met The lovely Peanut and the.. umm.. equally lovely EJ in person, after months of being Twitter buddies! 

         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!


        The ultimate highlight for me prior to Christmas, was our stay at Taal Vista Hotel.




            We spent the weekend with other bloggers, namely Nikki Tiu and Joanne Tan.. 




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!!

24 comments:

  1. Definitely a good year for you, Richie. Hope you'll have a better year next year! :)

    Happy Holidays!

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  2. Here's to good things this year has brought to all of us, and may many more great things await us for the coming 2013! CHEERS, Richie! :)

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    1. Cheers Guia!! Happy New Years to you and your family :)

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  3. What an awesome and blessed 2012 for you, Richie. I wish you an even more awesome and blessed 2013. God bless.

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    1. Thank you Lori! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead as well!

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  4. HAPPY NEW YEAR Richie, Rina and Baby Rain!!! Here's to a fun 2013 ahead!!

    - Frannywanny and Paul -

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    1. Wishing you all the best on your new adventure, Franny! Much love to you and Paul!

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  5. I'm not surprised at all at how epic your year has been, Richie! You deserved it all. Ci grats on all your successes and i'm sure 2013 has greater things for you. It's such an honor to know you and be in touch with you. Having a photo with you is still on my bucketlist! Haha. God bless you and your beautiful family! Hope to meet you someday. Thanks for everything! :D

    Babe for food - your BFF in Cebu dining! :)
    http://babeforfood.blogspot.com

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    1. You and I will definitely meet some time in the future Justinne! There's a good chance I'll be going to Cebu next year, and I promise you that you'll be the first one to know :)

      Have a wonderful 2013, Justinne! Im looking forward to seeing more of my BFF in Cebu Dining! :)

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  6. Greetings from Davao, B in B!!!

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  7. woohoo i'm so very excited for you, richie! happy new year! :D hi to rina and baby rain! :)

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    1. Wishing you an amazing 2013 Leslie!!

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  8. You really deserve all the blessings from 2012. Wishing you a superb, breathtaking, jawbreaking and extraordinary 2013! GOD bless idol! ;p

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    1. Zai, ang wish ko for 2013 is ma meet ka na in person! (Nax)

      Hoping you have a wonderful New Year!

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  9. Wow! You are truly blessed Sir Rich! Congrats and more power to your blog! Wishing you more blessings to come to you and to your family :)

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    1. Thank you Mylene! God bless you and your family as well :)

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  10. Happy New Year to you and your family! It was truly awesome to finally meet you! Please continue on with the great job that you do! :)

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    1. Im so happy I got to meet you too :) I went to Cucina Andare last week but you weren't there! hehe

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  11. Happy new year mr Bacon man :) I still would like to apologize again for that miss on where did I first meet you. ;) It was nice meeting you and hope we can go for a food trip soon. :D

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    1. Haha dude! We first met at Cafe Breton during the first breakfast club meeting! But you were all the way at the end of the other table so we didn't get to formally meet :)

      after that, we met at Pepper Lunch :)

      the food trip sounds like a plan, bro!

      Have a wonderful new year :)

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  12. LOL EJ IS LOVELY HAHAHA! Happy New Year and belated happy birthday again Richie! <3

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes he is! in his own special way! hehehe

      Thank you Pea! Thank you for the gift!!!

      Are you back na?

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