Unlike how I did my top picks posts for 2011 and 2012, I decided to change things up a little bit. As much as I want to go straight into gushing over the 10 amazing dishes I got to eat last year, I believe 2013 was more of a year of experiences for me. So if you can read through the whole of this post, I'd already like to say "thank you" in advance. :)
1. ARTICLE ON BREAKFAST MAGAZINE
When 2013 started, I was given the chance to write an article for Breakfast Magazine's Anniversary Issue. This may not be that big for others, but it started my year on a high note. I've always wanted to write for a magazine, so this ticked an entry off my checklist.
2. POP TALK GUESTING
Back in 2012, I got the opportunity to be a guest reviewer on POP Talk. I was very thankful then, but I thought that would be the first and last I'll see myself on TV. With some sorcery working in my favor, I was again given a chance to guest on the show. To be honest, I'm not super hayok for TV exposure. But I'm really, really thankful for the opportunity. Even if I'm as awkward as a tuod on camera, it feels good to know that some people believe in me. It reassured me that The Purple Doll is on the right track.
3. SCORED A SAMSUNG GALAXY MEGA 6.3!
Never in my wildest dreams have I thought of getting a smartphone (phablet) through blogging. It may be possible for super famous, crème de la crème bloggers, but definitely a big NO for me. However, come July 2013, I was blessed to have been included in Samsung's #GalaxyMega campaign where I was given a brand new Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. Up until now, this phone is something I deem special. My baby, in fact. I may not be someone who needs to update my gadgets, but I'm very very thankful for this!
4. A YEAR OF MANY FIRSTS
2013 was definitely a year of many firsts for me! To start off, I was finally able to try Anti-Gravity Yoga. I haven't blogged about it yet, but my first session definitely left me screaming, "What have I got myself into?" I'm not necessarily afraid of heights, but I'm afraid of "not having anything touch my feet" which is exactly what AG Yoga is all about! But it was a great experience. If only it weren't expensive, I'd love to take more classes.
I also had my first ever Brazilian wax courtesy of Pink Parlour in SM North EDSA. I went in a little anxious, but I survived! And nope, it wasn't that painful too!
Marking the end of my September (Would you believe all these happened on the same month?) was an important trip to the dentist. If you haven't guessed it yet, I had 2 of my wisdom teeth surgically removed. It might sound painful (Well, it was!) but it did give me a week of rest, and forced soft dieting. Will have to go through that again soon though.
5. STAYCATION IN F1 HOTEL
Just a week after my wisdom teeth surgery, I was given a chance to relax in F1 Hotel through our dear friend Spanky. It was a little tough to eat all solids, but I definitely enjoyed our staycation. So stay tuned everyone, I'll be blogging all about it very soon!
6. HAIR MAKEOVER AT CREATIONS SALON
Through my friend Janese, I finally got to have a hair makeover which I badly needed! Believe it or not, I've been dyeing my hair for about 4 years now just by DIY-ing. This was the first time I had my hair colored in a salon! I'll keep myself from spilling too much for now, but a post about my whole experience will be up within the month. *wink*
7. EATS 2014: ALL-DAY BREAKFAST
I can't believe that in the same year, I'll get to write for a food trip guide book! *squeals*. I've contributed 12 articles for EATS 2014 by Hinge Inquirer Publications under the All-Day Breakfast category, and I can't wait to share with you more about it soon!
8. BACK-TO-BACK STAYCATION IN ALABANG
One of the nicest, most down-to-earth and awesomest bloggers I know, Mommy Jane of Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice contacted me to be one of her 12 Angels of Christmas. I thought I'll just have to write a guest post on her super fun blog. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise! She actually became my Angel of Christmas instead!
A lauriat dinner at Phoenix Court with some of the country's most amazing bloggers, a loot bag loaded with yummy goodies, and even an overnight stay at a Tower Grand Deluxe in Bellevue Manila... Bongga diba? She even had me extend my stay in the south with another overnight accommodation at Vivere Hotel!!!! ヽ(^o^)ノ Again, thank you so much Mommy Jane for the generosity! Ikaw na talaga ang ninang namin sa kasal!
9. OLD FRIENDS AND NEW FRIENDS
While #1 to #8 were undeniably cool, the awesomest on this list would be #9 -- the people around me for the year 2013. I was fortunate enough to have shared a lot of meals and kwentuhan sessions with my old friends. And as if my luck never runs out, I even gained more new friends! Of course, I'll forever be thankful to my family, and to you too my dear reader. If not for you, my 2013 wouldn't have been this wonderful! So whether you're a regular reader, an occasional visitor or even a silent lurker, let me take this opportunity to extend you a big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!
10. GOOD FOOD
Last on the list, is of course dedicated to all the good food I got to eat for 2013. I may have only put out 140+ blog posts in contrast to 2012's whopping 206 posts. But among this 140+ and a few more in my backlog, I've enjoyed every single one of them (either because of the food or company). And as much as I don't want to bore you to death, I can't stand the idea of not posting my top 10 for the year that was. So before you close the browser, here's The Purple Doll's Top 10 Picks for 2013 in no particular order.
Spectrum at Fairmont Makati
Spectrum may not offer a super extensive selection on the smorgasbord. But believe me, every single dish on the buffet spread is nothing short of excellent! From the appetizers, to the mains, to the desserts (Yes, especially the desserts!), everything's amazing! Until now, I still dream of their Mascarpone with Pistachio and Honey.
Breakfast at Antonio's
I may haven't blogged about Breakfast at Antonio's yet, but it definitely won't escape my list of favorites for 2013. Apart from the refreshing Tagaytay setting, the one which captured my heart was their heavenly Pastrami and Swiss Cheese Roesti. It was the first time I had roesti, and I fell madly in love! Love at first bite, as some would call it.
Big Daddy Jay's All-American BBQ
While I like ribs, I wasn't really a big fan, not until I came across Big Daddy Jay's All-American Ribs. Seriously, this is the best ribs I've ever had! My beau approves of it as well! Other rib joints may have great-tasting ribs, but this doesn't just win because of flavor. Add fat (which means more flavor), portion size and price to its credentials too!
Gavino's Japanese Donuts
If there's a donut I can eat everyday and suffer the consequences from, it would no doubt be Gavino's Japanese Donuts. Among all the donuts I've tried, this is so far, and hands down, the best there is for me. Their Pon de Rings and Pon de Balls have the level of uncloying sweetness perfect for my palate. But the deal breaker was definitely their uber soft and chewy texture. Even my sis swears by it! She can finish a dozen all by herself!
Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant
I've never been really exposed to German fare, so I was surprised when I found myself loving Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant. (It targets the beau more than me.) After trying out their Lunch Specials and Bavarian Tea Time items, the beau and I have been back several times. And guess what? Every visit, we're loving the resto even more! At the moment, our favorites are their Sausage Platter and Cheese Spatzle.
Silk Road Thai Bistro
I've been growing a love affair with Thai cuisine, and Silk Road sealed the deal for me. Their Thai Ravioli was just so heavenly that it never fails to get me salivating just by the mere mention of it! (Yes, I'm drooling now!) Of course, their mains are also notable, especially the trio of Chicken Basil, Lamb Shank Massaman and Siamese Pork Ribs.
Another dessert I can eat everyday, and without the guilt, is YummySoy from Singapore. Ever since I got to taste their chilled beancurd, I've been back for more than I can count! You can even ask the beau. Every time we're in BGC, I make it a point to stop by and have me some chilled beancurd. My favorite? Definitely the classic, their Original flavor!
Bellini's Italian Restaurant
Call me a late bloomer, but it wasn't until last month that I finally got to try the 14-year old Bellini's Italian Restaurant. And you know what? I loved it! The serving time can use some improvement, but I totally adore the eccentric kitschy ambiance, and of course, the food. We loved every pizza and pasta variant we had. Carb-loading at its finest!
Pi Breakfast and Pies
Breakfast food has been one of my most favorite kinds of food for 2013, and Pi Breakfast and Pies sure knows how to tickle mine and other breakfast food-lovers' taste buds! While I love everything I got to try from their menu, it was their Pi Platter which had me oohing and ahhing in sheer pleasure. Their pies are really good too!
Spiral at Sofitel Manila
Last but definitely not the least on my list is Sofitel Manila's New Spiral. If you've already seen my blog post, I bet you can attest that it's the longest restaurant review I've ever written! Just the number of photos can affirm it. Hello 87 photos of sheer awesomeness! I can't complain though as Spiral has 21 different ateliers. It has the widest selection of buffet spread I have ever seen, and dining here never fails to make me feel like a small kid in a sea of cool toys. My favorite atelier? Definitely L’Epicerie!
WHEW! There you have it, my top 10 picks both edible and non-edible, from 2013. I hope I didn't bore you with this super long post. Madami namang pictures eh! Haha! ヾ(⌒o⌒)ﾂ
To you, yes YOU, I hope 2013 has been great. If not, I'm sure 2014 will be a better year. What we did in the past can't be undone, but we are in control of our present and our future. So let's face this new year with hope, love and enthusiasm, and may we enjoy more blessings and more food trips this year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE PURPLE DOLL!!! ٩(^‿^)۶