Friday, December 31, 2010

The year that was 2010 for Animetric's World...

I'm reading my 2009 year-ender post as I write this. I'm surprised at how much things have progressed in a span of one year.

Family pic in Taipei, TaiwanI'm still juggling writing professionally, being a hands-on mom, blogging, and helping out in the family business. In fact, it's even more hectic now than before since I have more projects to undertake. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just thankful for all the opportunities. I used to be a contest junkie but these days I have so many things on my plate I no longer have the time to devote to joining contests like a madwoman as I used to do. :)

Patrick Zaldarriaga in Health Today September 2010 Patrick Zaldarriaga in Health Today September 2010
I've come to a point where it's already quite difficult to keep track of all the magazine articles I've written, but to date the feature that is most memorable for me is the one about a remarkable young man named Patrick Zaldarriaga. It was for the September 2010 issue of Health Today Magazine. He is truly a source of inspiration. His battle with cancer is a story that is sad yet admirable.

Blogger friends2010 was a year for meeting and spending time with great friends, both old and new.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fanny Serrano Professionals for dry, frizzy, and damaged hair

TF (Tita Fanny) himself told me that for my rebonded hair, I needed to use the Fanny Serrano Professionals variant formulated with Indian Senna.

Fanny Serrano Professionals Protect / Anti-Frizz Shampoo and ConditionerIndian Senna is a shrub known for its healing properties. According to TF, Indian Senna extracts are incorporated into the Fanny Serrano Professionals Protect / Anti-Frizz shampoo and conditioner to give hair a glossy shine. You can identify this variant via its blue label. I finally got to test drive all the blue label hair care products -- shampoo, conditioner, and treatment.

Fanny Serrano Professionals Protect / Anti-Frizz ShampooThe Fanny Serrano Professionals Protect / Anti-Frizz shampoo is clear and has just the right consistency, meaning it's neither too thick nor too watery. It smells yummy too -- kind of like a mix of fruits. It goes on light, meaning there's not too much lather so it's easy to rinse off.

Fanny Serrano Professionals Protect / Anti-Frizz ConditionerThe conditioner is on the light side as well. It's creamy but not thick and like the shampoo, it rinses off clean in no time too.

Ayala Triangle Gardens holiday light and sound show!

I got the chance to see the Christmas lights and sounds show at the Ayala Triangle Gardens during the second week of December 2010.

Ayala Triangle Gardens Makati

Entitled "Symphony of Parols", a combination of flashing Christmas lights are synchronized with Christmas songs playing in the background. I took a video clip to share with everyone.

I thought the show was ongoing for the whole month of December, but I found out it was only until December 23. I wish my kids could've seen its entirety! It's a free attraction too. Next year I'll make sure my kids don't miss out. :)

Ayala Triangle Gardens
Paseo De Roxas, Makati City

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Romulo Cafe Quezon City Review

My girlfriends and I had our annual Christmas get-together dinner at Romulo Cafe last Dec. 17, 2010. It's a nice cozy place but it gets really jam-packed, so reservations are a must if you're planning to dine here.

Romulo Cafe Quezon City ReviewAnyways, the goal of the night was to eat, eat, and eat. We had our hubbies in tow to help us out. We started off with Pomelo Salad (P240, pictured above). Mixed greens are tossed with sweet and tangy pomelo pieces, salted egg slices, and strawberry vinaigrette. Refreshingly delicious!

Romulo Cafe Quezon City ReviewThen we had another delicious salad -- Tofu Shitake Mushroom Salad (P250, pictured above). Cubes of soft and silky tofu, shitake mushroom slices, and mixed greens are all drizzled with exceptionally tasty adobo vinaigrette. You'll have no trouble finishing everything down to the last leaf because it's so savory. :D

Romulo Cafe Quezon City ReviewRomulo Cafe Quezon City ReviewLola Virginia's Chicken Relleno (P595, pictured above) was a must-order as we heard it was a bestseller. When it was laid out on the table it looked like ordinary sliced chicken with gravy, but in fact it's more like meatloaf inside. Chicken is layered with ground meat, raisins, peas, and hard-boiled egg tidbits. It's very good!

Pho 24 Ayala Triangle Gardens

After desserts at Banapple, our Ayala Triangle Gardens food tour continued on to BonChon Chicken which I had already blogged about some time ago. So now I'll just proceed to our last stop, which was Pho 24. It's my first time to dine at Pho 24 so I was quite looking forward to it. :D

Pho 24 Ayala Triangle GardensIf you've wondered about the name Pho 24 (pronounced as "Fa") like I have, we were told that 24 is indicative of the number of hours the broth used for all the noodles is boiled.

Pho 24 Ayala Triangle Gardens We were served Goi Cuon (P118, pictured above), or Fresh Spring Rolls, upon being seated. I liked that it was really very fresh and practically grease-free, filled with crisp vegetables, glass noodles, and steamed chicken tidbits. You dip it in the vinegar-based sauce that's served on the side. Just goes to show that healthy can be yummy.

Pho 24 Ayala Triangle GardensWe also got to try Deep Fried Spring Rolls (P118, pictured above). It's served hot and crispy, filled with mostly ground meat inside. Good, but I prefer the clean taste of the Fresh Spring Rolls.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Crystal Lotus at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

One of the things included in our Hong Kong Disneyland itinerary was lunch at Crystal Lotus in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Crystal Lotus is a Chinese fine dining restaurant which specializes in meticulously hand-crafted Disney dim sum. There was already a pre-ordered set lunch prepared for us. The menu for the day was already on the table when we sat down.

Crystal Lotus Hong Kong Disneyland HotelOur first course was Roasted Suckling Pig with Cucumber and Sweetened Paste in Steamed Piggy Mask Buns. If you're familiar with Chinese cuisine, this is kind of similar to the roast peking duck dish wherein you wrap slices of tender duck with crispy skin and some celery sticks with something similar to a flour tortilla. Apparently, each slice of pork is to be partnered with a flat bun. Hubby and I each got our own set. :)

Crystal Lotus Hong Kong Disneyland HotelCheck out how perfect each slice of roast suckling pig is -- crispy skin, a layer of tasty fat, and then some lean meat. Yum!

Crystal Lotus Hong Kong Disneyland HotelNext up were Little Pig Barbecue Pork Bun and Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun. As the name suggests, Little Pig was filled with pork asado (sweet barbecued pork) while the Little Green Man from Toy Story contained a mix of veggies and ground pork.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Congratulations Starbucks and Tomato winners!

Okay, here's what everyone's been waiting for! First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for joining the Starbucks and Tomato giveaways. There were literally hundreds of entries and it was tough trying to determine the winners.

Without further ado, I'd like to present the 2011 Starbucks Planner winners...

Starbucks Wood Planner winner

Starbucks WOOD Planner - Hidburn Ecra-Lim

Starbucks Metal Planner winner
Starbucks METAL Planner - Tin Valderrama

Starbucks Velvet Planner winner
Starbucks VELVET Planner - Alexandra Lapa

Then there are the Tomato raffle winners...

TOMATO gift sets winners
Winner #1 - Agnes DC

  • Tomato His and Hers Watch Set
  • Tomato 2 pc. Pouch Set (fuschia)
  • Tomato Bangle Set (blue)
Winner #2 - Mauie Flores
  • Tomato 5-pc. Strap Watch
  • Tomato 2 pc. Pouch Set (blue)
  • Tomato Bangle Set (gold and silver)

Congratulations winners! To those who didn't win this time, don't despair! Judging is still ongoing for the Blackberry Curve 3G contest and there's still the Close-Up giveaway to join! There's also my anniversary promo Animetric's Favorite Things Year 2 to look forward to this coming 2011!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Taipei!

Good morning everyone!

First of all, I'd like to greet all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Animetric in TaipeiI'm still here in Taipei, Taiwan and so far it's been milk teas galore day in and day out. I just love milk tea and they cost so little here. :D

I'll be back in Manila in another day or so. I hope you're all enjoying the holidays as much as I am. I have three contests ongoing, so if you're bored with nothing to do why not give them a shot? Who knows... you might be the next big winner here!

Bye for now and thank you so much for supporting my blog. :D

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Banapple Ayala Triangle Gardens

I went on a food tour at the Ayala Triangle Gardens with some fellow bloggers last Dec. 18, 2010.

Banapple Ayala Triangle GardensOur first stop was Banapple. We had their bestseller, Banoffee Pie (P85 per slice / P650 whole, pictured above).

Banapple Ayala Triangle GardensThe Banoffee Pie consists of a graham crust, big chunks of sliced bananas, a big layer of whipped cream, and curls of chocolate. I feel that it is very reasonably priced as Banapple doesn't skimp on any of the ingredients and it's just divine.

Banapple Ayala Triangle GardensThen we were introduced to Banapple's newest creation, Banana Starry Berry Custard Cheesecake (P110 per slice / P1030 whole, pictured above). I was surprised that it was cheesecake. When I first tasted it, I thought it was something along the lines of strawberry banapple pie with custard. It has the same graham crust as Banapple Pie, but this time the chunks of sliced bananas are enrobed in sweet custard. There's also a layer of whipped cream and then some strawberry preserves to top it. It's also good but I found it a tad too sweet, and I must say that I still prefer the good old Banoffee Pie. I couldn't really taste the cheese though. :p

I've been to Banapple's Katipunan and Il Terrazo branches and I must say that I find their cakes to be affordable and delicious at the same time. :)

More on the Ayala Triangle food tour in my upcoming posts.

Ayala Triangle Gardens,
Ayala Ave., Makati City

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Win prizes worth 3k from Close-Up White Now!

I discovered the new Close-Up White Now toothpaste just this month.

Clsoe-Up White NowClose-Up White Now
I was immediately attracted by its snazzy packaging.

Close-Up White Now toothpaste
It's all sparkles and a royal blue gel right in the middle.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Amazing Race Asia 4 victory party with Richard Hardin!

I attended the Richards' The Amazing Race Asia 4 victory celebration last Dec. 18, 2010 at Basix in Dusit Thani Hotel. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'd know that it's the only TV show that I watch religiously. :D

Richard Hardin Amazing Race Asia 4It was actually a presscon for the Richards after winning TARA 4. Unfortunately, Richard Herrera couldn't make it due to a TV shoot. Anyways, we were more than happy to interview Richard Hardin after their winning stint. :)

TARA 4  Richard HardinRichard was with his fiancee Andrea, whom he proposed to during the TARA 4 awarding ceremony.

Anyways, here are some bits of info I got from the interview:

  • The Richards are both half-American and half-Filipino, born to American dads and Filipina moms.

  • They've both been staying in the Philippines for the last 8 years.

  • They were not instant friends when they met. Richard Hardin admitted that he found Richard Herrera to be some sort of stuck-up pretty boy at first, showing up for a football game decked out in shades.

  • They're both very much into sports, so they know how it is to be a team player. Richard says that this is a key point in their victory since they would constantly encourage one another when things weren't going so well. "We'd see the other teams putting each other down, but that's really not the way to get back up if you find yourself in last place," he says.

  • Richard Herrera was the one who made and sent in their audition video.

  • The Riches did a lot of laundry off cam. "You're only allowed to bring a limited supply of clothing and you've got to find ways of keeping yourself clean. We did a lot of washing since we didn't want to spend our leg money on stuff like laundry," Richard shared.

  • Asked if he wants to enter showbiz, Richard Hardin said that he would consider doing an adventure show.

  • Richard Herrera does a lot of modelling all over Asia.
Puto Bumbong at Basix, Dusit Thani HotelSince I wasn't really there for the food, all I can share with you from Basix (Dusit Thani Hotel's all-day dining restaurant) is my favorite fare from their buffet -- Puto Bumbong! Freshly made and served hot, I loved every bit. It was topped with grated coconut and cheese. There's also muscovado sugar on the side. Super YUM! This is definitely my favorite Filipino snack/dessert.

Animetric with TARA 4's Richard HardinI won some GCs in the raffle too. When Richard called out my name, he said that my first name is the same as his grandmother's.

Yaay! Congratulations to the Philippine team of Richard and Richard a.k.a. "The Riches" for being the first Filipinos to get first place in The Amazing Race Asia!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

D' Original Maki Haus in Quezon City

We had a quick lunch at D' Original Maki Haus in Quezon City a few days ago... specifically December 17, 2010.

D Original Maki Haus Quezon CityIt's a brightly lit and spacious place. Good air-conditioning too so you can eat in comfort.

D Original Maki Haus Quezon CityWe had two orders of Siomai (P45 for 2 pieces) to start us off. Not bad, but I like Manosa's siomai better.

D Original Maki Haus Quezon CityThen we had Gohyong (P80, pictured above), which is sliced Kikiam. It's made of a mix of ground pork and vegetables wrapped in beancurd wrapper then deep fried. It's delicious and it goes so well with the sweet and sour sauce and atchara (pickled vegetables). I love the way that it's meaty in the middle and crunchy on the sides. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beauty and Butter at SM Megamall

I got to try out some pampering services at Beauty & Butter thanks to Meralco.

Beauty & Butter at SM MegamallIt served as the venue for getting acquainted with the MAC or Meralco Appliance Calculator for us.

Beauty & Butter SM MegamallWe were ushered to elevated seats located at the back of the establishment so we could avail of the Foot Spa with Reflexology and Pedicure. Such a package costs P850.

Beauty & Butter SM MegamallFor the foot spa I had the usual dipping of the feet in warm, soapy water and a scrub. My feet were also massaged in something minty and then wrapped. I wasn't able to give my full attention to the details since I was listening to the Meralco talk.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Enchanted Garden character breakfast at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

On the second day of our Hong Kong Disneyland adventure, we visited Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel to have breakfast at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant.

Enchanted Garden Restaurant Hong Kong Disneyland HotelAs you can see from the facade behind us, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is Victorian in style.

Enchanted Garden Restaurant Hong Kong Disneyland HotelIt's very classy inside. There are long corridors illuminated by lamps, shiny marble floors, and classic landscape paintings on the walls.

Enchanted Garden Restaurant Hong Kong Disneyland HotelIt really comes across more as a Victorian mansion rather than a hotel. There are even varnished wooden cabinets showcasing porcelain Disney character figures.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A virtual tour of Disney's Hollywood Hotel in Hong Kong!

During our magical Hong Kong Disneyland adventure, we were checked in Disney's Hollywood Hotel.

Disney's Hollywood Hotel Hong KongAlthough this is my third time in HK Disneyland, it's my first time to stay in one of their hotels. I really had no idea what was in store for me.

Disney's Hollywood Hotel Hong KongWe checked in by 12:15pm but we couldn't use our rooms yet since rooms become available 3pm onwards. It was evening already by the time we actually got our keys since we had our tour of Hong Kong Disneyland in the afternoon. The card keys are very cute!

Disney's Hollywood Hotel Hong KongThere's a sofa with a TV that plays Disney cartoons 24/7 on the way to the guestroom elevators. Perfect for keeping your kids occupied in case you're waiting for something. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

My magical Hong Kong Disneyland experience!

Last November 11, 2010 I found myself on the first flight out to Hong Kong with hubby.

I was one of four bloggers from the Philippines who was invited to visit the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. :D

Hong Kong Disneyland TourHong Kong Disneyland Tour Disneyland's Inspiration Lake and welcome arch were familiar sights that greeted me as we walked to the park. This was after all my third time in Hong Kong Disneyland, my last trip prior was back in December 2009.

Hong Kong Disneyland TourWe were told that this Christmas, one of Hong Kong Disneyland's main attractions was the Gingerbread Village (pictured above). It was still under construction at the time of our tour.

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