Tuesday, December 31, 2013


(December highlight: Wild night at Chihuahua!)

         I'm gonna go all out and say it. 2013 was the best year of my life.

       In a way, its kind of unfair, because ever since Rain was born, it pretty much became understood that every year that I spend with her, watching her grow, will just get better and better. But no doubt, despite the fact that 2012 included an all expense paid trip to New York for Rina and I, 2013 was the best year ever. Maybe not for my blog, but for more personal reasons. 

        My goal last year was to expand my blog to include more travel posts - not just food from different regions, but hotels as well.. And I think We did a pretty good job for one year.

       I'm looking forward to more food and travel posts in 2014! I hope you are too!

        Here's a quick review of 2013.. The Year That Was...


     On the home front, January was the month in which my beautiful wife finally embarked on a journey of her own, when she started www.rinasrainbow.net. She started off wanting to blog, but worried that people would mock her ideas and thoughts.. But the next thing she knew, she quickly became a media partner for events, and even a brand ambassador for a few products! 

     I've known how amazing Rina is from the moment I laid my eyes on her, and I'm happy that through www.rinasrainbow.net, you all can see it for yourself as well! 

    She started in January, but it was in December that things came full circle for her. Early in her blogging "career", when she would go to mommy events, people would ask her, "You're the wife of the pickiest eater, right?". So in her mind, people recognize her solely because of me. But in early December, when she helped man a booth with my sister during a bazaar, at least three of the customers saw her and said, "Oh wow! You're Rina's Rainbow!". #ProudHusband 

     For the Pickiest Eater, 2013 started with a bang, as me and my other Food blogger buddies were among the first to dine at Spectrum at Raffles/Fairmont hotel. Months later, we would return to try the Bar Chow of the hotel's famed Long Bar.



         The month of love brought out the hopeless romantic in me, as Rina and I tried the Valentine's set menu of the legendary Lolo Dad's. It was great to be able to sample their amazing dishes, and meet Masterchef Ariel Manuel, before they closed their doors to the public. :(


          IHOP finally opened their doors in Manila, and was single-handedly responsible for the most hits my website has ever had in one day, proving that it truly was the most searched restaurant in the country in 2013.


             This was also the month that I was introduced to the excellence of Bono Artisanal Gelato. Not to mentioned Co-Owner Rea graciously gave me a short demo of how REAL Gelato is made. 



         Just a month earlier, I was signed by Nuffnang as an exclusive talent. March marked the first time I would attend one of their exclusive events, which was "Churp Out", the launch of "Churp Churp", where I got to meet some blogger friends for the first time, including the all mighty Yugatech (Abe Olandres), Nuffnang Country Manager.


      It started off as a "What If...?" to Rina. Then we started talking about hilarious possible scenarios we could do. The next thing I knew, I was standing in a grassy knoll, hugging a tree, and Rina was directing me, yelling out instructions, such as, "More kikay pa!". 

      Little did I know that you readers would love our little April's Fool's Day prank! Hehe.. Did I actually fool anyone? Don't worry, for those with a weak stomach, I won't plan anything for 2014... Or will I?  ;)


       Rina also was able to attend an intimate event at the home of Celebrity Chef Sabrina Artadi!


          Nuffnang also held a special summer outing at Manila Polo Club! I got to meet the other members of the Nuffnang family, not to mention Baby Rain had a wonderful time! 

         Rina and Rain also got a photo opp with the delightful Meagan Young, who as we all know, months later, went on to claim the Miss World crown. (No pic with me.. You know.. Restraining order and all)


         I'm going to be honest.. When I first got the email inviting me to be a guest speaker at the Belle Du Jour Street Chic event at Edsa Shangri-la Mall, I did a little research on the group, and the first thing that popped into my mind was.. "These people know that I DO have a penis, right?" There was nothing about my blog that would have led me to believe that this lovely ladies would ever stumble upon it. 

       When I started my talk, I realized that this amazing group of women also shared my love for food and.. dare I say it? Pigging out! On the whole, I had so much fun with them :) 

           The trick of doing the talk was not to look directly at Karen Bordador. I swear, I've had the biggest crush on her for the longest time, and I only found out she was going to be the host, the moment I got to the event.. No Joke, I seriously contemplated walking out for fear of being unable to talk at the sight of her. 

        See the way she's looking at me? It's like she's not sure if she should call the cops or not hehe

         May was also the month where I was able to visit Spiral at Sofitel, once again. Many wondered how the country's most incredible buffet would bounce back from the horrors of Ondoy. But it came back.. With a vengeance. With its 21 ateliers, it reclaimed its throne as the standard for buffet dining in the Philippines. 



      Rina, Baby Rain and I, Together with a group of my blogger friends, enjoyed a Staycation at F1 Hotel Manila, kicking off would be our first staycation of the year! 


      Rina was also able to meet The Rude Boy.. AKA AFC's Chef Aaron Craze in the flesh! 


           If our first staycation happened in the start of June, our second Staycation happened at the end of it, courtesy of Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. We really got the celebrity treatment! 



     In July, my blogger friends and I were introduced to the awesomeness of  Diplahan Lechon, Zamboanga's best kept secret no more! 



     Continuing my resolution of traveling more often, Rina and I were flown to Davao together with some of our blogger friends, by Marco Polo Hotel, to witness the fun festivities of the Kadayawan festival!


       A couple of weeks later, The Bellevue Hotel Manila was a gracious host to our third staycation of the year! I was simply blown away with how much the hotel has progressed, and can stand toe to toe when compared with some of the biggest names in the international hotel scene. 


       Not to mention, this was the first time that I appeared on television as a blogger, when I was a guest reviewer in GMA News TV's, "Poptalk".

 Check it out here!


         The gang got together once again and tried out the newest lineup of Pepita's Hayop na Degustation dinner, which featured two stuffed Lechons... 


  Speaking of two stuffed Lechons...

           Rina's Rainbow also scored an invite for an overnight stay at F1 Hotel, so this happy little blogger and his family enjoyed yet another staycation!        

    I appeared on television for the second time, when GMA News TV got me again as a Guest Panelist for their "Top Food Crazes" episode of "Ang Pinaka".

  September 2013 was probably the biggest turning point in my life. It was the month that I decided that I needed to move on from my old job, and try something out of my comfort zone.  

    This is when I decided to resign from my job of 10 years. 


       Given that I was on a budget because of my resigning from my work, Rina and I planned to have a small and simple dinner with a few members of my immediately family for Rain's birthday. My mom wouldn't have any of it. 


         I was nominated for the "Jokebox" award.. Aka the funniest social media influencer in the 2013 Nuffnang Awards! Knowing that I was against Ramon Bautista, Petra Halimuyak and Sam YG, i knew I had zero chance of winning, but to have my name and picture side by side by those three was such an exhilarating feeling.  

      I was also invited by WeChat Philippines as a social media influencer during their bloggers night! Together with my fellow Pinoy bloggers, I got to meet the brilliant minds behind the hottest communications app today, that flew in all the way from China just to meet their Filipino users!

        After two delays (the first because of the Earthquake, and the second because of Yolanda), my trip with my blogger friends to Movenpick Resort in Cebu finally pushed through! It was amazing, and I can't wait to tell you all about it! 

            After over a year of exchanging tweets, blog comments and facebook messages, I also finally got to meet Cebu's best food blogger.. Babe For Food :) (Little did I know, I would be seeing her a couple of weeks later...)

      I also started my new job! From Makati, I now work in Emerald Avenue :)  


            After going to their secret taste test a few months earlier, I scored an invite to Ramen Nagi, two days before they would open their doors to the public, where I dined with Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera.

        My blogger friends and I were invited by Aristocrat Restaurant to spend a day with them, dining at their Jupiter branch, and being taken to Subic, and back to Makati!


   I also came out on TV again, at the TV show, "Philip Lifestyle Guy". 

            I also made a new friend this month, in the blogger, Jane Go, whose blog is lovingly named "Sugar and Spice"! Meeting Jane & Kap, and their amazing children, Jana, Jonah and Jena, was truly an inspiration to Rina and I. Like the Go's. we hope that as our family grows, our bond will be strengthened, and our support for one another will never waver in everything we do.

        That's a tribute to great parenting! 

             Our families, together with other blogger friends of ours, spent the last weekend of 2013 at The Bellevue Hotel once again, for a relaxing staycation!                            

      Something that I was really happy about, was finding a blogging community that I am proud to be a part of. Prior to meeting them, I had heard horror stories of these "Loot Bag Bloggers" with a "Holier than thou" mentality that I despise. I really have a distaste for bloggers that feel they "deserve" special treatment, simply because they're bloggers. Please. The best bloggers are the ones that don't go door to door begging for freebies. They are the ones that happily blog their experiences, regardless of the expense, but are thankful for any privileges graciously afforded to them by any establishment.  

     I'm happy to have found a group that are amazing human beings first and foremost that just happen to have a blog. 

     Check em' out on my blog roll :)

      For 2014, what do I have planned? Well, definitely more travel posts, and features on hotels. In 2013, I went to both Davao and Cebu, but in 2014 I've got my sights set on not one, but TWO international destinations! (Fingers crossed)

      Aside from that, don't laugh.. but.. brace yourself... I plan on losing weight. 

      I've said it time and time again, I know, but this time it's getting out of hand. I used to be thin, so there's no reason why I can't do it again, with the right discipline. Right now, I feel like I look like a giant slug when I look at my pictures (Feel free to say, "No Richie! It fits you! You look so cute!" in the comments). But more importantly, health-wise, its time to start. I don't want to use my being a Food Blogger as an excuse. Food blogging takes up one meal. If I go to say, three events a week, that's three meals in one week that I can eat anything I want. Why not eat normally for the remaining meals? 

     I'm not saying that it's gonna work. But I'm gonna give it the old college try, this time, with Baby Rain as my inspiration. I won't be posting pix of myself from the newer posts in the meantime, so I will just wow you with my progress once I feel I've lost enough weight.. If that ever happens hehe. 
    Oh, and expect more Baby Rain growing up in 2014 as well!       

     Thank you to each and every one of you that has continued to support my blog. Hope you'll stick around because we got lots more coming up in 2014! 

      I don't know what the future is going to bring, but all I can say is that it's looking pretty bright! 

On Behalf of Me, Rina, 
and Baby Rain..



  1. zOMG! Not only am I on YOUR FAMOUS BLOG (even though I seriously look like a beached whale -wrong outfit choice. Did not hide layers & layers of flabs!), but I'm also on YOUR BLOG ROLL!!! <3 Have I died & gone to bloggers' heaven??? Thank you so much Richie. I am just so overwhelmed by your kindness & generosity. Meeting you, Rina & the cherubic baby Rain was THE highlight of my year. Promise. I have never met a kinder, more humble star blogger than you. I will forever treasure the jacket you have given me (Bida ako. Akin ang prototype!) & I really really hope that your family & mine will have more happy bonding moments together. Just so you know, you gave me plenty of kabag those 2 days that I ate, laughed & shared stories with you. Can't wait for our next bonding sesh. And can I just say? I love that pang-centerfold calendar photo of you with the seal for the month of June. Hindi ka ba maglalabas ng Pickiest Eater calendar??? Pipila talaga ako. :) Happy New Year to the wonderful Zamora family. I miss you guys already! :-*

    1. Haha! Meeting you and your family was truly one the highlights of our year. I will definitely be visiting the South more often!

  2. Happy New Year Sir Richie, Mommy Rina and Baby Rain!

    Btw, here's the link of your segment with Philip Lifestyle Guy... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFi0iIsV9HE

    1. Istin!!! Winner ka talaga! Ang galing mo! Paano mo nahanap??? Hehehe

      Happy New Year!

    2. hihi follower po kasi ako ng PLG sa facebook. kakapost lng din nila nun segment nung ishare ko yan. yey! :D

  3. It sure looked like 2013 was a blast for you, Richie! And I'm so glad mine was as well because we finally met in person! Thank you so much for all your support, encouragement and generosity to make a way for everything to happen. Congrats on your escalating success! Keep up the great job! Happy new year! :D

    Babe for Food - your BFF in Cebu dining! :)

    1. Happy New Year, Justinne! Im looking forward to seeing more of you in 2014!

  4. Wow! What a year you had Picky Z! And I truly believe you and your family deserve every precious opportunity. Wishing you guys more adventures this 2014. Happy new year! :)

    1. Hope you'll join us in those adventures more often, Guia!

  5. I'll join the lose weight program. My Bora Bod is hidden somewhere among this fat :P !

    Maybe we can ask Papa Chuckie "Mr. Survivor Abs" Dreyfus to get us going in a regimen hehe.

    Cheers to the new year, bro!

    - Ray
    for Lynne-Enroute.com

    1. Happy New Year bro! We need to plan a KTG beach trip!! Pagandahan tayo ng abs!

  6. HI Richie! :) It was wonderful meeting you! :) Regards to Rina and baby Rain! :)
    See you around! :)

    Happy New Year! :)

    Here's to more blessings, adventures and LOVE! :)

    1. We definitely should! Mag ka-vibes si Connor and Rain! hehehe

      Happy New Year! God Bless you and your family :)

  7. Happy New Year Richie, Rina, and the cutie patootie Baby Rain! :)

  8. Here's to a new year filled with even more fabulous eats! - Midge

  9. Happy new year Richie, Rina and Baby Rain :D :D :D

  10. Happy New Year, Richie!!

    I'm so happy to see you and your blog get the fame you deserve. We love reading your blogs (though we're mostly lurkers now and it's only tonight that I got to browse through people's blogs) and you never fail to make us smile. :)

    And about that losing weight thing, Ken and I agree with you! We've actually started our journey to losing weight (this time, we're serious - 2014 is our year!), and we believe that we don't have to compromise our love for food or food blogging to lose weight. So, we agree to have at least one cheat day weekly. :D

    Good luck to all of us in losing weight and becoming healthier food lovers / bloggers. And cheers to more happy foodie moments this year! :)

    See you soon!!

    1. Thanks so much Mhel! I dunno if you know this but I really owe you a lot. The encouragement you gave me when I was starting out let me know I must be doing something right. You were the first big name blogger to notice my blog, and you were very humble about it, so I'll always be thankful to you and Ken :)

      Sana the next time we see each other, payat na tayo! hehehe

      Happy New Year!

    2. Awww I'm glad to hear I had that impact on you. As much as I love to write, I also enjoy reading other people's blogs. Yours is definitely one of our top favorites kasi we can relate sa kakulitan mo and your appetite - pareho tayong 3 hahaha!

      I'm not sure if Spanky remembers this, pero there was one time he posted a photo of you on Facebook. He said super kulit mo daw sa blog post mo (it was a photo of you with this huge Zark's burger) and you 2 must meet. We couldn't help but reply. We told him we met you na and you're the same guy we see and read about on your blog. We were glad he finally noticed you din. :)

      And yes, sana nga payat na tayo next time we meet. Kaso baka 2015 pa yun hahaha. Saw your payat photo, cute pa rin naman pala so go go go!! :D Good luck, Richie!

  11. Happy New Year, Richie, Rina and Baby Rain! :)

    You guys are 3 of the most wonderful people I know (kahit parang ayaw saken dati ni Baby Rain.. haha! XD), and I'm very fortunate to have been friends with you. Congratulations on everything you accomplished last 2013. You definitely deserve it and more! :) I'm sure 2014 will be a bigger and more awesome year! And yes for the weight loss plan. Medyo ayoko sana since you look so cute na and perfect for your brand, but for health and wellness' sake and sustainability, I say go for it! :) Ako din, I'll try to eat more sensibly and go back to working out ala Dreyfus family. XD

    Oh, and if ever you guys decide to follow routines from workout DVDs, please do let me know. I need a support group! hahaha!

    To the beautiful Zamora family, happy happy new year! May you have more blessings, love, warmth, wealth and peace this 2014! :)

    1. Thank you Sumi!

      I'm sure God will continue to bless you even more this year!

  12. The picture slide show with you, Rina and the hat. Made my heart stop. hahahahaha! That was so cool!

  13. It truly was a great year for you! But then again, having two pretty girls by your side will make any year wonderful. Thanks for the great friendship, Richie. You're one helluva guy - witty, kind and humble. Rare traits especially nowadays. Stay cool! All the best this year and beyond! XO to Rina and Rain! :-) - Mommist

    1. Umm.. you forgot "And oozing with Raw Animal Sex Appeal".. hehe thanks Len!

      Bless you too and your boys!



Related Posts with Thumbnails