SUPPLIES!!!!

For Jonsy's 35th birthday, his wife Cecil wanted to make it extra special so a little surprise party seemed like the perfect idea! As most of you know..it's always difficult to execute a surprise, especially when you're with your "surprisee" almost all day. Cecil however managed to secretly coordinate with all of us via email and BBM. She was on top of every little detail, she even knew the exact number of sushi (as in bilang na bilang niya talaga 104+48+21). Feeling ko nagtatago lang si Cecil sa banyo all week just to plot everything out. Jonsy must've said to himself, "Dang, this woman really likes to take long showers!". Hahaha! We were even BBMing at midnight like sneaky little gerbils! Cecil was ala-Angelina Jolie in Mr.and Mrs.Smith, living a secret life! Naks! HIGH FIVE to my partner in crime :) 
After all the hours of stalling and distraction tactics, Jonsy was finally greeted
 to a house filled with close friends and family members!
Birthday Boy with his beautiful wife Cecil (the surprise mastermind) 
and their adorable daughters Audrey and Hanabishi. Look here, Electric Fan, look here!  
Cecil wanted a Japanese inspired merienda so we prepared sushi, sashimi, and katsu-curry rice bowls. I also brought some red velvet cupcakes baked with love by Sinfully Sabrina
A shout out to all our friends who brought lots of yummy snacks, Kudos to Marge and RG for bringing the balloons, to Tita Rina (and her super team: Manang Tina and Manang Aning+new recruit Ate Este) for all the preparations and special thanks to Photographer Lemarc Limosnero for allowing me to grab some of your photos for this post! :) The offer still stands for you to spend NYE with us (just so we can have nice family portraits!Hahaha!)


Rediscovering Manila

Happy Rizal Day everyone! Today we remember the life of one of the most influential and inspirational people in our Philippine history. José Protacio Mercado Rizal Alonso y Realonda, was a scientist, writer, painter, sculptor, doctor, and of course an ATENEAN (yehesssss!). At age 26, he published Noli Me Tangere, considered one of the greatest books of all time. My most marvelous contribution to society at that age was scrambling eggs. Although most of us may seem somewhat mediocre compared to the polymath Rizal, we all have the makings of a modern day hero. And if we just look a little deeper, we'll find that there is a hero in each and every one just waiting to be unleashed. As we approach the end of 2011, maybe we should start jotting down all the things we'd like to start doing in 2012..hopefully, that list includes things that will bring about a positive change in your personal life and the lives of others around you as well. 

Yesterday, we finally found the time to take the famous Walk This Way Tour of the very vivacious and controversial, Carlos Celdran. As expected, Carlos was very engaging and entertaining. It's a must not only for tourists and balikabayans, but even for locals like me..it's nice to rediscover Old Manila and fall in love with the city all over again. 

  
 

Intramurous Tour with Carlos Celdran
Php1100.00 - Adult
Php600.00 - Student

Visit his website for more details.
Text: +63 920 9092021 
Email: celdrantours@hotmail.com 

I'm giving away MONOPODS 
from Monopod Manila 
to some Lucky Blog Readers!!!
Order your MONOPOD today, click HERE.
You can also visit my BFF Alessa's blog for more details.

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Post your favorite LOCAL travel photo on Twitter and include the hashtag #monopodmanila. The photo must include you in it :)

"I love BOHOL! Check out my awesome beach pic! #monopodmanila" 

Contest ends on January 2. Winners will be notified directly via twitter. Good luck travel bugs!!!

Happy New Year from my Girl Crush and Boy Crush

Dessert Daydream: Holiday Treats

OOOHHHHH.....
 AHHHHH....

CLICK LIKE NOW......
 COME TO MAMA.....
This was a SET UP!!! I was framed!!!
THE VICTORIA'S SECRET GIRLS ARE JUDGING ME WITH THEIR LONG LEGS 
AND ABS OF STEEL!!!! 

I have a 6 month old food baby in my tummy thanks to all this holiday madness! Must. Work. Out. Tomorr.......ooohhh, SNICKERS!!! Nyump nyump nyump :) 
Images from The Fancy

Christmas 2011

I'm an occasions girl, I live for special occasions and I love celebrating with friends and family. But of all the yearly events, Christmas has to be numero uno on my list. It just happens to be the BIRTHDAY of my favorite baby...JESUS! Hellerrrr, how can you even attempt to top that?!?! My parents and I were "adopted" by the Filart family for Christmas. We also had a little get-together slash baptism celebration with my cousins from the Laurel side the day after. My cousins (and also my sister) are scattered all across the globe so there's only a few of us left in Manila so get togethers like these are so precious :) Like I mentioned before, Christmas was extra special this year because it's the first time Pat and I celebrated the holidays with our families together...Awww :) It's such a blessing to have such warm and loving families on both sides!:) We still have a string of gatherings to attend this week and I'm excited to share more photos with all of you in the coming days. Wishing you all a beautiful Holiday season :)


Travel Tuesday: Malaysia with the Nuffies

I'd like to extend my deepest thanks to the NUFFNANG family for sending me to Malaysia last week to support Team Philippines at the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards. Team PH bagged a total of 4 awards, well done Pinoy bloggers! It was so surreal hob-knobbing with the big shots in the blogging world.. especially since I'm just more of a hobby-blogger and not a pro-fayshonal. A special shout out to my new blogger-BFFs, Nikki Tiu and Angela Nepomuceno! :) Thank you girls for making this weekend truly memorable for me!



DaPatty's International Chocolate Awards 2011


Back in the 80s, imported chocolates were still very expensive. Cadbury was such a big deal and you could only find it in Cash&Carry. Dahil nagtitipid sila, my sneaky and manipulative parents would buy some Cloud 9, take it out of its wrapper and put it inside the Cadbury wrapper (from their left over imported chocolates..the chocolates they didn't want to share with me). So little 4 year old Patty would be munching away thinking it was Cadbury, pero Cloud 9 lang pala! HMPH. Mental and Emotional Abuse ang tawag dun, kaya pala ang dami kong issues ngayon. Well, to this day I still love Cloud 9, chewy nutty heaven in a bar :) 

Being a chocolate connoisseur is no joke. It takes years of practice, it takes skill, talent and determination. Practice--> You must learn how to chew and swallow with minimal effort, you gotta ninja that chocolate into your stomach. It takes a couple of tries before you get the hang of it. Trial and error lang yan! Skill-->To master the fine art of unwrapping the chocolate's packaging with one hand in 5 seconds, which can be quite tricky for beginners. Of course, chicken na chicken lang ito para sa isang choco-henyong tulad ko. Talent-->I've had to sing and dance to acquire the rarest of the rare. And Determination-->You must be determined to finish a box of chocolates on your own, with no one to help you!!! Oh the sheer torture of having to devour a whole pack by yourself. Talk about injustice! I do take this Chocolate Business seriously and I feel it's my responsibility..my duty to mankind to spread love for chocolates. I've encountered some people who are NOT so fond of chocolates, I won't name names, itago nalang natin sila sa pangalang "Loo-Hu-Sers". Chocolate Apathy is a mystery to me, some say it's because Chocolates are TOO sweet at hindi daw sila mahilig sa matamis. WTH? It's like saying "I don't like WATER because it's too thirst quenching" or "I don't like the SUN because it's too yellow". These people are FOOLS, I tell you, Fools who don't deserve to live on this precious planet! Hahaha, I think I'm getting a bit too carried away with this. 

Since the year is about to end..I feel it is time for the DAPATTY'S INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE AWARDS 2011. I say "International" dahil alam niyo naman worldwide ang kasikatan ng aking blog..I have 3 followers in Europe (my sister, her husband, and the dog) and 4 followers in the States (my cousins) and 1 follower in Tunisia (someone I met on a boat). See guys, I'm going GLOBAL. With these BIG numbers, you know I'm ready to conquer the bigger International market! Mwahahahahahaha (that's my power woman laugh). As a former preschool teacher, I believe that every child is a winner..and in this case, every chocolate is a winner. So I've decided to make each chocolate the best in a specific category, this way walang magtatampo sa kin..mahirap na, I wouldn't want to piss off these chocolate bars.

BEST SALTY-SWEET: M&Ms Pretzels
As a fan of the salty-sweet-crunch combo, this definitely wins! Sadly, this M&Ms edition is only available in the States. Think M&Ms Crispy, only saltier. A close second goes to the Royce Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips. 

BEST IN LAYERING: Ferrero Rocher

These world famous golden balls are one of my ultimate favorites. The packaging alone suggests that you're in for a treat. You have a nutty chocolate coating, then a crunchy wafer, then a creamy filling, and finally a hazelnut to greet you at the end. Layers of happiness in each ball!

BEST "MELT-IN-YOUR MOUTH": Royce Nama in Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate

The Japanese always seem to get it right. Cars, Bullet Trains, Robots, Computers, Ninjas, Sushi..they're known for being the BEST at almost everything. And now, they've decided to be the BEST in chocolates also!!! Ano ba yan mga Japs, pagbigyan niyo naman yung mga Belgians! Chocolates na nga lang yung kaya nilang ipagmalaki (chocolates, waffles and Jean Claude Van Damme) and you decided to steal their thunder?! These NAMA chocolates by Royce are BEAUTIFUL. So beautiful the first time I tasted them I wanted to cry. They melt so perfectly in your mouth, they're not too sweet and overpowering..just beautiful..like a newborn baby!

BEST "KEEPING WITH THE BUDGET": Ricoa Flat Tops and ChocNut

Mura talaga, as in mapapmura ka sa sarap! Hahaha! I kid! But seriously, these two chocolate brands are proudly local and so delicious! I could finish a whole pack in one sitting..and trust me, I can't sit still in one position very long so I always wipe out a whole bag in a couple of minutes. I eat chocolates so fast, I always have to remind myself to breathe.

BEST "NABIBILI SA DUTY FREE": Guylian Seashells 

These chocolate seashells are always the best pasalubongs from balikbayans. Famous for gracing the aisles of the Duty Free chocolates section, these chocolate sea creatures are actually quite delicious!!! I love the Praline edition best. 

BEST IN CHOCOLATE VERSATILITY: Nutella

Do you want some chocolate in your waffle? How about on your pancake? Chocolate crepe, anyone? Nutella dito, Nutella doon. Nutella here, Nutella there. It's the most spreadable chocolate-hazelnut joy you'll ever find in the market. If you want a chocolate covered Macbook Air or a chocolate covered Iphone 4s..simple, just Nutella it!!!

"ANG FILING MO NAMAN" CHOCOLATE: Lindt Pistachio

The best PMS cure in the history of DaPatty. This has been proven to be the best de-crankinizer. The Swiss know Chocolates and they definitely didn't stay neutral when they developed the Lindt Pistachio. Creamy Milk Chocolate with a Rich Pistachio Cream that bursts in your mouth! Y-U-M-M-Y. 

BEST "WITH COFFEE" CHOCOLATE: After Eight

If you're a fan of mint and chocolate then this is the perfect chocolate for you! It's a light mint creme enveloped by a film of Dark Chocolate. It's the perfect way to end a big meal. Since I'm not a big coffee drinker, I just enjoy the After Eights without any coffee. 


PRAYING FOR A COMEBACK CHOCOLATE: Alpine White and Hershey's HUGS

I'd like to start a petition and I will rally for a million signatures! Ibalik niyo yung Alpine White chocolate! I don't know why they even bothered to phase it out!!! Uggghhhh. I'm also desperately missing the HUGS with white chocolate stripes! 

I still have a long list of Chocolate winners but sadly work has been on hold for a good 30 minutes because of this useless Chocolate post of mine..so it's back to reality for me!:) That was a good break however, time well spent on my life's greatest passion: CHOCOLATES! Hahahaha. I'm one shallow person. Confeermed.

My Favorite Christmas Movie: LOVE ACTUALLY




MERRY CHRISTMAS TO Y'ALL!!!


Please join me and my friends on DEC 28 WED for a special benefit concert for the victims of Sendong. I look forward to seeing you all there! FREE ADMISSION for all so bring your friends and families too! :) Spread the word please!
Typography Art by The Black Apple

Taco Night at Casa Davis


Special thanks to Marcus, Amber and cute little Hans for preparing our Christmas TACO NIGHT!

Back for 2nds

Yes, another post about FOOD. And not just any type of food, but GLORIOUS COMFORT FOOD care of the creative culinary geniuses at 2NDS RESTAURANT at Bonifacio High Street. I won't lie to you kids, the food here ain't cheap. It'll definitely require a bit of a splurge on your part but a splurge that's well worth it. The portions are generous and you can easily tell that they definitely did not scrimp on quality ingredients, so you get what you paid for in each meal. I'm a food courter on most days so trust me, I know the difference between high quality food and "enough to tide you over" quality food. I'm a big fan of cheap thrills but once in a while, it's also nice to treat yourself to something fancy especially after a long work week.
Images from the 2nds Facebook Page
Pat and I have been eating here for a couple of months now and there's ALWAYS a reason for us to keep dining here. Well, for one, they have the BEST french fries (yes, out of all their dishes..I chose the fries! Hahaha) I could eat their fries all day, everyday! For some odd reason, their food always gets me to feel all warm and fuzzy after. I think the reason why Pat keeps bringing me here is because every time I have a full belly, I always become really sweet and touchy-feely.After a big meal, I always feel so round and soft all over..like a giant fur ball waiting for a hug! AHA!Sneaky Tactics!:) So guys, if your girlfriends have been on witch mode all week long...you know where to go! You don't need couples therapy, all you need is a place to get some comfort grub. Good Food=Happy Girlfriend=Happy Boyfriend. It's a simple formula that will save your relationship. FEED YOUR WOMAN and you'll never ever fight again! Haha :)
Since I'm a very visual person, I'm always on the look out for restaurants with good interiors. This restaurant definitely wins in that department. 2nds has that "Gentleman's Club" vibe which instantly adds depth and drama to your dining experience. It's a place to bring that well-traveled friend, your very discriminating Tito, or your new Expat co-worker. It's sophisticated yet welcoming, not pretentious and intimidating. The soft lighting makes it a perfect place for an intimate conversation with friends. It's definitely not an eat and run joint. Here, you always choose to stay a bit longer.
My besties Muffin and Alessa along with their boys Pj and Don joined us for dinner at 2nds last night. And by looking at our empty plates, you could tell that we were all happy campers. If you'd like to check out the menu of 2nds, just click here. We'll definitely be back for 2nds!:)
 

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR BARKADA TO YOURS!!!!:)

2nds 
Comfort Food Revisited
2nd floor, B3, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig
For reservations +632 846 5293




OPERATION: Bride Makeover

My friend Danielle and I were having a chat one afternoon about hair color. Dani, as we fondly call her, is a bride-to-be. With her wedding date fast approaching, we were trying to narrow down which salon would be best. The first salon that came to mind was JING MONIS SALON in Makati, after all he's responsible for the luscious hair of big celebrities like Georgina Wilson, Lovi Poe, Divine Lee, and my IDOL of IDOLS Tweetie De Leon. And just like an amazing twist of fate, a few days after our random conversation, I received an email invitation from the newly opened Jing Monis Salon in Alabang! Even closer to home, hoorayyyy!!!:) So we booked an appointment with the Jing Monis staff and OPERATION: Bride Makeover was in place! 
Dani is a natural beauty, she's very low maintenance and easy going. And so for this makeover it was crucial for us to make her still look like herself, to make her hair shine for her big day but in a subtle way. So BLONDE and AQUA colored streaks were definitely out of the question. For brides-to-be out there, it's always important to have a little chat with your hair stylist prior to the treatment. Luckily, the staff at Jing Monis Alabang were very accommodating and welcomed our requests graciously. Communication is key and it's a MUST for you to be very honest with your expectations and limitations. Also, you have to be able to trust the experts..listen to your hairdresser's suggestions as well and try to meet halfway. Sometimes there are certain cuts that won't flatter your face shape or shades that may not go well with your skin tone. There are many things to consider so be open minded when your stylist gives you advice. It's also best to bring a friend, your sister, or mother along with you so they can chime in and give positive suggestions throughout the discussion as well.   
After two hours, TADAHHHH!!! A new and improved Dani looked stunning in her deep ash brown hair. Sadly, my photos don't do any justice to the actual hair color..but trust me in person she looked amazing! Her hair looked shiny, healthy, and indeed WEDDING worthy!!! Her highlights complemented the hair cut making her bouncy waves even more gorgeous. The colorist gave her just the right pop of color to light up her face :) And of course, I also gave myself a hair makeover as well...and I LOVE MY NEW HAIR!!!:) I feel like my hair was resurrected from it's bleh blah color. So now I feel Holiday Happy with my new hair thanks to the wonderful staff of Jing Monis in Alabang.
There are a few couples I admire and Jay&Dani are one of them. What I love most about these two is that they always are so generous to one another, it's almost like they're always trying to out-give each other. January is going to be the start of a new adventure for these two! Exciting times ahead for the newlyweds! AWWWW, Pag-IBIG!!! 

I'm giving away GIFT CERTIFICATES 
to Jing Monis Salon to 5 Lucky Blog Readers!

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Follow @jingmonissalon on Twitter.
3. Tell me why you deserve a new hair do by the Jing Monis team.
4. Email your answer and home address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com. Contest ends on December 24. Winners will be notified via email.


JING MONIS SALON ALABANG
3rd level of Main Tower Wing
Bellevue Hotel, Alabang Muntinlupa City
Tel: (+632) 7718181 loc. 8202
Salon Cell: (+63917) 5214480

Life in a different perspective :)


Thank you to blog reader, Carmela Maniego for sharing this video with me. 

Change Your Christmas Wishlist

Dear Friends and Family,

If you're thinking of giving me something this Christmas, please donate to the Typhoon Sendong victims instead at redcross.org.ph or through the DREAM TEAM (Disaster REsponse And Management Team) of Ateneo. Normally, people only give once..which is much appreciated of course, but we're hoping that people will be able to provide more long term assistance and support. You can always choose to donate goods/money through other organizations and agencies, what's important is that we are able to spread the word about channeling all our Christmas energy towards helping the people in Mindanao. The idea is to ask your friends to donate instead of giving you gifts this holiday season. It will only take a few minutes of your time. A tweet, a text, an email can do wonders! Maraming Salamat!:)


Help spread the word by posting redcross.org.ph #giveupgifts4cdo
on your Facebook and Twitter profiles today!


If you'd like to DONATE here's how:

The Bills Payment facility of Metrobank at any branchDonor fills out two copies of the Payment Slip and indicates the following details:

Company name: Ateneo de Manila University
Subscriber Name: name of donor as will appear in the Ateneo official receipt
Reference Number: DREAM Team
Subscriber number: 002
Mode of payment: Indicate whether cash or check
Amount of payment: indicate Php amount.

Giving checks or cash directly to the Ateneo For checks, pay to the Order of Ateneo de Manila University FAO DReaM Team and addressed to Dr. Edna P. Franco, Vice President for Administration and Planning, Xavier Hall 2F, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108. Please indicate donor's name and address so that an official receipt can be sent to the donor.

For donations in US Dollars, a wire transfer can be made via China Bank with the following details:

Beneficiary Customer: Ateneo de Manila University;
US$ S/A Account No. 101-732651-4
Beneficiary Bank: 803-3278-269; China Banking Corporation; Manila, Philippines;
Swift Address: CHBKPHMM

To deposit directly to Xavier University, you may deposit through their BPI Account:Company name: Xavier University
Account #: 9331-0133-63
Branch: CDO, Divisoria Branch Account

For those who wish to donate in kind, you may bring the following to the Ateneo School of Government at the Socio-Development Complex:
Personal Hygiene pack:
Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, handsantizers,
Footwear
Clothes
Blankets

The Way to Shabuway

I've heard raves about Ganso- Shabuway from close friends for a couple of months now but it was only last week that I actually had the chance to make my way to Shabuway in Greenbelt 5. I love Shabu-Shabu restaurants, it's such a fun dining experience for big groups and even couples. It's a very healthy alternative to the usual greasy and guilty dishes we often devour during the holidays. This makes this even more enticing for oldie b' goldies..at kaya pala eto yung pinili namin for our Christmas triple date?! Hahaha! Excuuuuuse me, we're forever YOUNG!!!:)
Most of their Shabu-Shabu sets consist of Meats and Vegetables, which is great for both the meat lovers and the vegetarians in your barkada. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though and hoping that they introduce a Seafood Shabu-Shabu set soon. For more details about the restaurant, I shall turn you over to the foodie expert to Anton Diaz

Triple dates are always fun, especially since we all get along so well. It's like we're still in grade school, the girls bully the boys ALL the time. Ask Julz, his wife Stella always reveals his deepest darkest secrets to us..like a certain someone he "DOESN'T FOLLOW" on Twitter..but searches for everyday. Let's just say it's not exactly the Twitter profile you'd like to see on a top lawyer's page. Hahahaha!!! Peace, Julz! It's also nice to celebrate each other's big milestones together..like baby girl #2 for the Catilos! Congratulations! Hooray for improving the human race with your pretty girls :)
I know we've all been complaining about the crazy Manila traffic all over twitter, and I share your frustration. But when you come to think of it, the reason there's traffic all over the metro is because we're all trying to get somewhere special and at the end of the day it's all about our LOVE for OTHERS. We endure the crazy traffic to get to our Christmas parties, to buy gifts for our loved ones, or to have little intimate dates with close friends..just so we can make others feel special before the year ends. It's the ultimate sacrifice to brave the traffic, it's a genuine way of saying..I shall travel for 2 hours because your friendship matters to me. That's why I really appreciate get togethers like these, simple but very meaningful.    Christmas is definitely in the AIIIIIRRRRR. Get ready for more posts on our Christmas party/dinner hopping adventures!
Thank you Catilos for the photos!
 

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