Count Your Blessings 2012

         Since I've made a year-end post rounding up my 2011 in blogging, I decided to make this an annual tradition for Babe for Food. Every year brings countless surprises and for the last Sunday of the year when I attended church, the message was just timely. It reminded me that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that He is sovereign. He is there in both good and bad times and is always in control. And I'm so grateful that He is, because I could never have coursed through my life the way I did without Him. 

       So, here are the significant events and people who have made my 2012 a truly blessed and foodful one:


  •  Sinulog 
           It was my first time to go out and party for Sinulog! Thanks to Evanjohnn. I spent the night at the Ayala Terraces for Globe Tattoo's party. It was here that I met other  bloggers and made new friends. I also met THE stunningly gorgeous Georgina Wilson, ambassador for Globe Tattoo, and her hubby supermodel Borgy Manotoc.

having fun with fellow Cebu bloggers
with gorgeous Georgina Wilson
got myself a date for the night (i wish!) -- Borgy Manotoc
  • Conquering the Year of the Water Dragon!

             Every year, I join an adventure race of an exclusive club of which my dad is a member. This race is in commemoration with the celebration of Chinese New Year and is only open to members (and their dependents) of the club. So, each year, I try my luck at bagging the cash prize and even if I don't, I always enjoy the grueling course. This year was my 5th attempt and I was really praying I could win it so I could have a bulk of the budget (P8000) I needed to join a surf camp in summer (it's been my dream to try surfing). Well, somehow, God definitely paved the way for me to bag the prize (P10,000; shared with my partner, so I get P5000) and I truly believe it because the turn of events was definitely none under my control. Although I didn't get to use this prize for the surf camp since due to parental factors, this was used to capitalize on my little pastry business, Blissful Bites. Thank You, Lord, for always answering my prayers and wanting what's best for me! :D


       I really don't think I'm that much of a baker or patissiere but I gave it a shot because I needed some extra cash. Thus the birth of my occasional pastry line, Blissful Bites, which was spearheaded by my chocolate clusters for Valentine's. I earned around P3,000 during that love-filled season. Not bad at all! It went on to become a small business over the summer when I included mini red velvet cupcakes and triple choco brownies which I retailed at Tea & Symphony, thanks to the kind and generous owners. But since I'm still constricted by academics, I only bake when the season calls for it (like say, Valentines?). 

chocolate clusters
mini red velvet cupcakes
rosette fruit tartlets

  • Out and About
       So aside from having a small (but busy and gruesome) business over the summer, I had the opportunity to finally leave town for vacation after 3 years! My original plan was actually to join a surf camp at Lanuza, Surigao del Sur but my folks wouldn't let me. I didn't feel so bad after all since I got to visit relatives from the mother's side down at Butuan and Surigao around the end of of April for 4 days. The most memorable places we visited were the Tinuy-an Falls and The Enchanted River, both of which were purely amazing. I wish to go back someday with friends the next time around. 

bluer than blue
fish feeding!
The Babe and family (bro and mom)

       Mom also brought me and my sister with her relatives to Hong Kong during the last week of May for 5 days. It wasn't my first time there but is was my first time to be out of the country after probably 7 years and my first time to go to HK Disneyland. I had so much fun exploring the place though I didn't get to try much street food because of my company. Again, I wish to return someday with foodie friends. 

  • Five Star Dining
             I've gotten the honor of being consistently invited to Marco Polo (the only five star hotel in the city) tastings every month since May, thanks to Ms. Yumny Mariot, the e-marketing manager. Marco Polo's Culinary Journeys is one of the best gastronomic adventures you can have in Cebu!  

  • The Pickiest Eater
             One of the best things that happened to me with the blog was getting to know a lot of fellow food bloggers that I look up to, one of which was a Manila-based food blogger and one of the top in the country -- The Pickiest Eater! The first time I came across his blog (I forgot how), I initially thought this guy must be some kinda gastronomic elitist but turns out, he's actually such a warm, jolly and friendly guy. I've never met someone as enthusiastic about food as he is. He's the ultimate bacon fan! We haven't met personally yet but what a surprise I got when I saw his name in my Facebook inbox. He wanted to do a collab for a giveaway with Buddies! AWESOME! And of course, the giveaway was a success. We've been in touch since and he's very supportive, always giving priceless advice when I need it. I was surprised again when he included me in his list of favorite food blogs! My heart just melted. Deeply honored, Richie! Thanks so much for everything!    

  • Foodie Shoot
              I also had the honor of being the subject for a photoshoot with Sir Joel Locaylocay, a Chemistry professor from my school and an eloquent photography blogger. He wanted to do a collab so I could use his works for my blog's profile picture. It was the most unique shoot I've ever participated in and not to mention, a lot of hard work was put into organizing it and creating props. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to post about this because I've been struggling with keeping up with the demands of academics and food events. But anyway, here are some of my portraits from this amazing photographer:


  • Officially Legal! (in international standards :p)
               21 is the age to be, forever. All I really wanted for my day was to hit the beach with my closest friends and just chill the day away. And I'm so grateful that I got just what I wanted, special thanks to Luis and his band Bethany. This had to be the best birthday of my life to date.

  • Proven Foodie        
           My parents still do not fully support me with my blogging, especially my dad who's very skeptical about the events I attend. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to tag him and his friends along to one of my special restaurant invites. This generous resto is Choi City. I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity because at least my dad now knows I'm serious with this and he's been more lenient with me attending events since then. 

from left: Aaron Go (Choi City management), Tito Nic, Babe for Food, Tito Mark, Daddy dearest


  •  Manila Bulletin Special Mention
             The ever sensational father-son tandem, Chefs Gene and Gino Gonzalez, never fail to notify me whenever they're in town. This always makes my heart jump because these guys are a big culinary inspiration to me. They asked me for updates on where to go in Cebu. Though we weren't able to have dinner together, I was so surprised and overjoyed when Chef Gino texted me that his dad had mentioned me in Manila Bulletin,  a national newspaper! You see, Chef Gene is a columnist for the lifestyle section. WOW. I never expected that at all. Thank you so much, Chef Gene and Gino! :D

from left: Chef Gino Gonzalez, Babe for Food, Chef Gene Gonzalez, Chef Toto Erfe
Manila Bulletin online

  • The Long Awaited Photoshoot
           I have a cousin from Manila who does a great job at photography as a hobby. We first met in 2010 and since then, he's been wanting to do a shoot with me in the next time we meet. Since my grandmother turned 90 this year, the whole clan merged in Cebu, including my cousin, Edison! So, we finally got to do a portrait shoot together. And boy, is he good for a hobbyist. Thanks, hia! :D 


  • Babe on TV!
           One night, as I was savoring my dinner at KFC, I received a call from an unregistered landline number with an area code from Manila. When I answered, I couldn't really make out what the other party was saying because the signal was bad but all I heard was "from GMA Manila". It was not until the next day that I got a call from the same number, asking me to guest in a show called Pop Talk for their shooting in Cebu. 

           I honestly don't watch much TV because I spend most of my time on homework and the blog but this was an unbelievable offer for me. It was all so surreal until the day of the actual shoot. The episode I was in was about the best carenderias in Cebu but it doesn't air til January 2013 so watch for it on GMA News Channel 11! :D

          One thing I loved about the experience, aside from nonstop eating all day was, the crew were all so easy to be with that my jitters for the day were extinguished early. I also gained new friends from the show, my co-judges Chloe Palang and Andy Kim. Thank you Ms. Jane Guevarra and Ms. Joanna Capati of GMA Manila! :D

with some of the crew and my co-judges
from left: Andy Kim (owner, Maskara Restobar), Chloe Palang (1st-runner-up, Ms. Cebu), Babe for Food


  • Best Cebu Blogs 2012
           I'm so grateful for being nominated again this year for Best Cebu Blogs and was a finalist. Thank you, dear readers, for the continued support! It deeply touches my heart that someone would care enough to read my shameless banter. :D

  • Dean's List
            I am flabbergasted by the news that I'm the only one from my batch in my course who made it to the Dean's List last semester. I had no expectations but I was motivated by my high school best friend, Justin, who pushed me to strive for excellence. Though I haven't really made it to the top yet, this is my first academic award in years. I stopped being top ten in class back in grade school so, yeah. This little achievement granted by God inspires me to aim for higher grounds and humbles me that this is not of my own efforts but only by His grace.
  • First Birthday Cake
           Though I've been baking throughout the year, I haven't had the courage to try baking a whole cake until December when one of my dearest friends just came home from studying in France. I made a red velvet cake for her birthday and although I struggled with the aesthetics, it was a success enough for me because it was completely consumed that night. :D

  • Exponential Views
           Since I started blogging May 2011, my pageviews by the end of that year was only at more or less 5,000 but I was already stoked about that. But by the end of 2012, I'm overwhelmed by how the number spiked up to a whopping 105,000! Again, thank you so much to all those who cared to take a few precious seconds or minutes to have a glance at this little speck on the net. And to The Pickiest Eater who has been a great influence! :D

Well, that wasn't so long, was it? >:)

Hello, 2013!

       Okay, enough about me. That was sickening, having to talk about myself a lot. But WOW, what a great year 2012 has truly been. Much new and great experiences and  relationships were borne in that span of time and have all contributed to who I am today. I can only be grateful and continue to do what I do best with God's grace and will. 

     So, what's brewing for the new year? Well, I'm working on a special collab with my beautiful fashion blogger friend so watch for it! We will be doing a special series of posts together and something fresh that takes a lotta work but we hope we can pull it off. I hope that sounds exciting to you. ;)

       Another thing I'd like to aim for the year is CONSISTENCY with posting on the blog. I hope to be able to post every T-TH-S now so you'll know when to check for updates. That's if school doesn't get in the way. Pray for me! :D

      Special shout outs to The Pickiest Eater, Rachel of Sprockets, Evanjohnn of focalglass.com and Center Suites, Ms. Yumny of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Ejay Williams, Luis Quibranza III, Bethany and Yellow Room Concepts, iluvcebu.com, Chefs Gene and Gino Gonzalez, Issa Perez, Chin2x, Sir Joel Locaylocay and his wife Susan, Ms. Queenie Maquilang, Kristina Tabon, Choi City, and those I may not get to mention. BIGGEST thanks to all of you from the deepest pit of my heart! For the support, encouragement, advice, company and most of all, for believing in me. Here's to a greater year ahead! 


  1. What a great year for you, Justinne! More events and opportunities for you this year. :) Happy new year! :)


    1. Thanks, Michy! Happy new year! :D

    2. I'm truly honored for the mention, Justinne! Big things are gonna happen for you in 2013.. I just know it! Please do keep up your excellent posts! I'm looking forward to meeting you soon :)

      Happy New Year!

    3. Thanks, Richie! Hope to see you soon as well! :D

  2. Excellent year for you! You deserve it! :-)

  3. Oh my gosh, so flattered and honored to be part of your 2012 Just :) here's to a wonderful 2013 with you :)

    Thanks for being a great friend :)

    1. M more honored to be a friend of yours, Johnn! Hope to see more of you this year - both in the blog and in person! :D