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Petite Is In: The New Glorietta Vibe Race the Runway Fashion Show

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         I am sure there is a part in all of us that dreams of walking down the runway. When I was 9, I thought I would grow to be as tall as my mum who stands tall at 5'7. However, science and my genetic makeup did not grant my wish to increase in height and I remain dainty and delicate, or as others would like to call it, petite. I have no qualms with my vertical measurement and feel every bit confident walking in either flats or a pair of 5-inch heels, nor do I mind people who tower over me when I cross paths with people who are a lot taller than I am. Ever since I stopped growing, I wasn't really banking on ever modeling on the runway..until my friend Rosy Adriano sent me a text asking if I'd be interested to model for Armani Exchange, as her friend Paola Lai, who is working for the said store, was on the lookout. I thought I was being punked, but at the end of Rosy's message, she included a "this is not a prank! HAHAHA!" as though we were communicating telepathically. 

        The stint was all for the love of The New Glorietta Vibe Race the Runway Fashion Show, which was a friendly competition with Turkey for having a Guiness World Record for having the most number of models on a runway with a record of 1,967. I thought, "That's easy. Getting 2,500 people to model will instantly render us victorius." But I was wrong, there was a catch. Several criterion had to be followed in order for each model to be counted as part of the line-up: every person who walked the runway had to walk to the beat of the music, carry the clothes wear and be energetic! I guess none of that mattered as much since everyone had a great time fulfilling their dreams of sashaying down the ramp and proof of that was that the Philippines beat the record with an astounding number of 2,255, close to the 2,500 they brought into the event! Congratulations to every one who was a part of this event - we all made fashion history! :) 

With my friend Karla Chan before we fought our way through the crowd to get to the registration booth. 

Registration bands for Runway 1! 

Now off to the fun part - getting hair and make-up done at the Armani Exchange store. 

Thank you, Mr. Fabulous Hairstylist for making my hair runway-worthy! 

The clothes were basically from the Winter Collection and I was thrilled I got to sport this get-up. 

Psyched that I was given this opportunity, this chance to prove that you don't need to be 6 feet tall to wear beautiful clothing. The most important accessories anyone should wear is confidence and a smile. 

Homemade Special Ensaymada


             It's been a while since I last baked. Well, the last time I got my hands dirty (in the kitchen sense, of course) was more than 4 months ago, give or take. When I was in high school, I would bake almost every week trying out different recipes, from cookies to breads to cakes. After my attempt at making rainbow bread, which didn't turn out the way I hoped it would - it was colorful but tough to chew (my baking skills were rusty at that time), I was looking for a sweet and tasty bread recipe to try. After rifling through several different recipes, I settled with ensaymada. That was the first time I tested the recipe. Not only does it have a historical background, it also is a favorite among Filipinos. Originally eaten in most territories in Spain, the ensaymada dates back to the 17th century and was eaten mostly during celebrations. It has a distinct coil shape and is dusted with sugar. They are soft, sweet, buttery and make the perfect partner for a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Some variants make use of queso de bela for a more extravagant pastry experience. 

                     Since my mum and aunt were slaving in the kitchen cooking our Christmas eve dinner, I wanted to bake something different instead of cookies or bread pudding. So, I didn't blink twice and  primed all my ingredients, sifted the flour and set my pans aside. Plus, ensaymada is always a great way to end a Christmas meal. Hence, the puffed up sweet bread you'll see a couple of photos down this entry.

       Yes, that's me kneading the bread. I know my hands look kind of stiff but my fingers were being worked to the bone. The dough looks a lot bigger than it appears on the photo so I guess it's safe to say that my hands had a quick workout. 

They look like fingers, don't they?

            I decided to make two batches of ensaymada - one in big tin molds and the other in muffin pans. That way, one recipe could yield more than enough to feed my hungry family.

Buttered baby ensaymadas right before they hit the oven. 

           I was worried they wouldn't rise, but after just several minutes inside the oven, they started to inflate like a balloon eager to burst!


       When these little numbers finished cooling, my lola was so proud with the outcome of the special ensaymada. My lola is the ultimate baking doyenne in our family, I think that's how my fascination with the craft started. Back in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, my lolo and lola owned a bakeshop called Sugar & Spice. They would make all sorts of pastries and breads - from ensaymada, to brazo de mercedes to hopia and all sorts of delicious cakes. Hearing my lola commend me is as fulfilling as winning an award at an ambitious pastry making contest in Europe.  

     The regular ensaymada is usually just topped with butter and sugar, but this batch is extra special since smothered with butter, dunked in a generous amount of sugar and finished off with cheese. I think I'll call this Extra Special Ensaymada

The mini and regular sized ensaymada. 

Have a wonderful and food-filled Christmas everyone! :) 

Cake Fest Birthday Special!


           I know this post is two months late, but I wasn't going to carry on writing about eatables without expressing thanks to my very generous sponsors, Angela Villoria and Cukay Viray of Cinq and Cukay's, respectively, for the wonderful cakes they gifted me with for my birthday. If you've read my previous posts, you'll see that I featured their pastries on my blog here: 

         A couple of days before my celebration, I dropped by Alabang Town Center to visit Cukay's stall at the New Wing. You can imagine the huge smile that was plastered on my face while I was walking around the mall with two big boxes of Cukay's Red Velvet Cake and Banoffee Pie. I felt like Carrie from Sex & the City, gliding down the streets of New York with oversized sunglasses and painfully high heels, except that  my "shopping bags" were filled with food instead of clothes. Before I began blogging, the red velvet craze had already surfaced and as I read more about different home bakers and looked into current food trends (yeaup, fads don't just apply to fashion now), I came across several articles, tweets and comments tagging Cukay's as having the best red velvet cake out on the market. Although I haven't tried everyone's version of the famed colored cake, I will say that it's currently at the top of my list. I recall eating more than 2 slices of this the day after my birthday and every bite was guilt-free to me. 

It's tough to put your own spin on something that's selling like hotcakes and at the same time make it likeable by consumers, but it seems like Cukay worked on perfecting her winning number. It's moist, filling and the thick layer of cream cheese on top and in between is, what I believe to be, faultless. 

When you try it for the first time, you'll think that a single serving is enough..until you finish one slice and find yourself cutting another piece.

Red Velvet Cake (small round), P420

My second destination was Angela's house at Palm Village in Makati. Most of her orders are for pick-up for obvious reasons - her cakes are as delicate as a baby. So, when I held the cake box in my hands and took a peek to see what it looked like, I wasn't sure if I wanted to even take it home cause I wanted it all to myself - it was this incredible round number covered in a glistening glaze. I say the top layer was glistening because it literally was - it's as if fairies sprinkled some of their magic dust onto the cake to make it more bewitching than it already was.

Angela Villoria wows again with her aesthetically pleasing creations. Oh, and did I mention that it tastes good too?  This is what I call an incredible edible. Even though it's been two months since I had a taste of this heavenly cake, I still find its design so overwhelming and captivating. It's like it was made to mesmerize and not be eaten. Adorned with a lavish berry selection on top and  surrounding the bottom, the fruits spell out a festive mood and quickly catches my attention while my eyes study the cake with such awe. All three berries sit on diplomat cream, which is a mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream. It has a custardy texture to it but is little lighter than the former. The white chocolate shaped like wings on the side lead me to believe that angels sent me this. Feast your eyes on more photos of the cake before I continue further, yes?

Alright, that right there was a classier version of food porn. Now, let's get back to the food talk. Notice how even the blueberries look like small constellation balls? I don't know Angela does it, but I do know her dessert boutique Cinq is on its way to making a long-lasting impression on the minds and tummies of people. Clearly, her cakes have made their mark. This one in particular doesn't have a name yet, and I jokingly told Angela to name it after me. Okay, I wasn't joking...maybe just a little? 

              Divine, isn't? This one definitely takes the cake! It is almost literally the queen of all cakes. If this dessert took the form of a woman, she would walk about with such fine elegance and carry around a crown of fruit. This is not to bash the date bar in any way, although I believe that the title "Food For The Gods" should be entrusted to this multi-layer chocolate truffle cake. The white layer, known as almond dacqiouse, holds another blanket of fruit. Dacquiose, which is French for "of Dax", a town in southwestern France, is a cake with layers of almond and hazlenut meringue and whipped cream and is normally accompanied by fruit. One taste of this and you will find yourself whisked off from higher ground and into the heavens. I'm not kidding when I say this, but this cake was praised like a goddess by my family and I.

       The chocolate truffle layers beam with a mix of sweet and bitter tastes attributed to the dark chocolate that was used to lift the level of sophistication of this cake. Marrying the flavors of chocolate and fruit bring about a rich and luxurious treat. You have the tartness of the berries combined with the bittersweet taste of the truffle layers, all you need is a glass of wine and you'll find yourself dining in the splendiferous areas of France.

          Do check out Cinq's Facebook page to see what other exquisite cakes they offer. Contact Angela Villoria through any of the following numbers to order your very own piece of heaven: 0917-625-2611 / 890-6858. 

Thank you once again to CINQ and Cukay's for making my birthday extra special! Our tasetbuds and hips were very much pleased. 

Happy Holidays everyone! :) 

Belle Jewelry Collection by Zuri Wearable Art

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        BELLE Jewelry Collection is a creation of tasteful and sophisticated wearable art by Zuri Fashion Accessories, the brainchild of designer Hershey Chan, which opened in 2006. Her line of jewelries aims to provide statement pieces for the modern fashionable woman and are available locally, in Singapore, Dubai and Indonesia. Just this year, Zuri won the title for the Outstanding Luxury Jewelry & Fashion Accessories Brand for the year, has been the official crown and jewelry sponsor for many beauty pageants such as Miss Singapore International 2009, Miss World Philippines 2011 and Miss Philippine Tourism 2011. With all those noteworthy credentials Zuri Wearable Art carries, I am so honored to be able to feature pieces from the Belle Classic Collection

            It took me a while to make a blog entry about these striking accessories because I knew that rushing it would yield unappealing results and I wanted to make sure I took my time preparing which outfit would suit it best and which location would be perfect to have a shoot. So, when I took a two-day vacation in Vigan, I decided that it would be a great place to have a shoot wearing these timeless pieces! All of the shots posted here were taken at Hotel Salcedo de Vigan

          The term "wearable art" is enough to attract the attention of jewelry aficionados or any woman who loves to dress up, really. When I wear accessories, I don't only take into consideration how it looks, but also how it makes me feel. Belle Wearable Art captures the true essence of the modern Filipina woman and allows her to exude confidence whilst being bold, independent, passionate and stylish.

          One other remarkable quality of the Belle Jewelry Collection is its ability to transform any attire into a trendsetting ensemble. You can wear layers of clothing and finish it off with any of the statement pieces from either the Belle Classic or Belle Couture sans the outfit clutter.

  Yellow Crystal with Dangling Pendant Necklace and the
Belle Classic Triple Strand Yellow Crystal Bracelet, both from the Belle Classic Collection. 

The message that Belle Jewelry would like to relay to its clients is this, "Power dressing is enhanced by Belle Classic. It’s an embellishment to success as it showcases individuality and advancement. Whether you belong to the group of executives, managers, or supervisors, these are the accessories that fit you. These are your best companions that can bring you all day from a sunny morning conference to a late event at night. Your busy schedule will not hinder fashion in your sense because Belle Classic is made especially for a woman who works within flexibility and functionality." 

Plaid sweater from Forever 21

Zuri, which translates to "beautiful" in Swahili, was inspired by innovativeness and originality of Hershey Tan. Her interest for jewelries and clothes began at the ripe age of 9 and has since then picked up the skill of creating such fine statement pieces. According to her, "My innovation in calling my works ‘Functional Art Pieces’ asserts the idea that wearing our jewellery is as magical as wearing an art like paintings & sculpture. Our pieces are not only accessories but actually works of art that fall under the category of Wearable art."

Belle Jewelry Collection not only caters to the women who work, but also young ladies who are empowered and freethinking. Each piece works towards bringing out your inner goddess, whether you are at a friend's party, a school event, or heading out for a romantic dinner. 

Lace dress from NAFNAF

Black suede booties from Zara

       With its simple and well-crafted design, these wearable art pieces are both easy on the eyes and engaging. It's no surprise most of her clients are socialites and have been featured in a fashion show in Singapore and was dubbed as "The Fashion Driven Venture" by Philippine Star Newspaper. 

          I'll be featuring a gorgeous in vogue necklace from the Belle Couture Collection in my next few posts so be sure to watch out for that! 

You may purchase the jewelry of your choice by either dropping by these shops:  

Greenbelt 5, Makati CIty, Philippines

The Ramp, EDSA Shangri-La Mall, Philippines

  • Greenbelt 3, Makati
  • Glorietta 4, Makati
  • SM Mega Mall EDSA
  • Alabang Town Centre
  • Trinoma Malls, North Avenue
  • Robinsons Galleria

  • Greenbelt3, Greenbelt Makati
  • 2nd Floor, Power Plant Mall

Or you could also browse by means of their online catalog and order through either the Belle Jewelry Website or the Zuri Wearable Art Website

Do check out their Facebook page and Hershey Chan's official website as well! 

Blog Giveaway: Wooden Spoons & Muffin Tops x Fievre


Fievre, which translates to "fever" in English, is an online retail and wholesale shop that sells imported women's clothing. Given that the clothes are purchased abroad, you'll be surprised to find out that all the clothes are low-priced. You don't need to spend a lot to look fashionable!

One lucky reader will get the chance to win the orange tube peplum dress and the necklace. 

All the steps stated below must be followed for your entries to be considered valid: 

1. Like Wooden Spoons & Muffin Tops and Fievre on Facebook.

2. Follow Wooden Spoons & Muffin Tops and Fievre on Twitter and tweet this "@Wooden Spoons & Muffin Tops and Fievre are having a giveaway! Click here:"

3. Be a member of my blog via Google Friend Connect (found on the right panel of my blog).

4.  Share this photo on Faceook and include this caption, "@Wooden Spoons & Muffin Tops and Fievre are having a giveaway! Click here to join!" then tag 5 of your friends. All posts must be set to public

Example: "@Wooden Spoons & Muffin Tops and Fievre are having a giveaway! Click here to join!" @friend1 @friend2 @friend3 @friend4 @friend5" 

5. Leave a comment in the box at the end of this post with the following information: complete name, email address, twitter name and Facebook link of the shared photo.

Simple, yes? :) 

The giveaway starts on December 18, 2012 and ends on December 31, 2012 at exactly 11pm. Giveaway is open to Philippine residents only.

One winner will be chosen via

I check all the entries so please follow all the steps for me to consider your entries valid. :)

Oh and photo credit goes to my cousin Pauline Solano for making the beautiful poster! Thanks, Pau :) 

Bienvenido a Guernica's Tapas Bar & Restaurant!


         I mentioned in my previous (outfit) post that I had dinner at Guernica's for my friend's birthday celebration and now I made a separate entry to talk about the food I had that evening. The Spanish restaurant has been operating for more than 5 decades now, way before I even existed as an embryo. Deemed to have the best paella in town, Guernica's Tapas Bar and Restaurant, has already established a name in the food business. It was my first time to hear about this restaurant so I did a little digging and found a brief background about how it came to be - the name Guernica's is actually the hometown of Senor Hemachea, founder of one of the first Spanish restaurants in the Philippines. It was then turned over to antique collector, Mr. Romeo Bauzon, who proceeded to make the business triumphant in serving delicious Spanish cuisine. The branch I dined in is located in Santana Grove along Sucat Road and sits comfortably in a crowd of other restaurants and shops. 

             It's been a while since I've seen my friends from high school. Well, the last time we saw each other was a couple months back but we make it a point to get together every so often just to catch-up. Our favorite  scheme when it comes to gatherings always involves food. So I guess it's safe to say that everyone in our circle loves to eat. I mean, each of us would probably always be eating for 2 or 3 people. We are growing (?) kids after all. Anyway, enough of the jibber-jabber. Let's shift to more about the dinner, yes? 

         This is Zabeth or "Zaboga" as I like to tease her sometimes. We've been good friends since 4th year high school and I recall going to her house during her birthday and her mum would cook such palatable paella. This time though, both Zabeth and her dad celebrated their birthdays together (actually, it was more of a pre-celebration for her but conjoined celebrations are better than one!). Her dad is of Spanish descent and both her parents frequent Guernica's, which explains why they picked this venue to throw a party. 

             I could tell that this place was a family restaurant, where people gather to eat good food, listen to music and enjoy each other's company. They've got awesome service too. One of the main things that I look for in a good restaurant is how the staff interacts with their customers - not only were they pleasant and courteous, but they also projected a sense of ardency. Whilst eating, we were also serenaded by the restaurant's singers and even though most were focused on the food and the guests, I find it so admirable when people put their heart into entertaining a hungry crowd (literally). :) 

         I love buffet spreads! That's exactly why I was excited to fill my plate when I saw the different food lined-up on the buffet table. The entree I went for was their fried chicken coated with herbs with thin-cut fries on the side. The chicken was juicy and tender (no, this isn't my attempt to copy Jollibee's commercials) and the french fries added a nice touch to the meat. It was a combination of two of my favorite things - chicken and fries. So, going back for a second round was really not a question anymore.
Bread basket      

Two words that spike my appetite? Garlic bread. Well, that and "unlimited food". There's just something about biting into the soft center of the bread and tasting all the flavors of the melted butter, garlic and herbs, accompanied by the crunch of its edges. I would have gotten a basket for myself so I could munch on them without minding anyone else around me, but you know, I can be bashful too.
Callos a la Madrilena

Ox tripes sauteed with Chorizo, Ham, Bacon and Garbanzos in a fresh tomato sauce.
Mixed Vegetables

           I tried looking for the name of this pasta on their online menu but couldn't find it.   :( BUT what I CAN tell you is what it tastes like. That's good enough for now...right? It's a fettuccini pasta cooked with a tomato base and topped with grilled chicken, olives and cheese. I liked how the tomato sauce wasn't sour nor was there too much of it. This is pretty much a meal on its own, what with the chicken, pasta and itsy-bisty vegetable bits.
Fruit Platter
        I wasn't able to take photos of the lechon since the chafer was empty. *sniff* But after my second plate and more then 3 garlic breads, there it was...a refilled dish. I was already too full to have my fix. Drats.

       After reading further about Guernica's on their main website and eating their food buffet-style, I can't help but look forward to try their paella! It is, after all, what they are known for. I browsed their online menu further and spotted several other dishes that I'd like to try. Perhaps I'll save the next few posts for my visit there! :) 

Guernica's Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Santana Grove, Dr. A. Santos Ave.,
Sucat, Paranque City
Facebook page 
Official website
Contact no.: (02) 720-5710