Food overload and more highlights during my first ever KTG Christmas Party!!

When I pushed through with blogging two years ago on April of 2012, only but a few things were on my mind: making sure I don’t screw up my writing, help my readers with my experiences when eating out and sharing a number of recipes whenever I feel like cooking. I just simply love eating and writing about it, even if there are a number of instances that I don’t really like what I have eaten along the way. I still admit that I am not the most active of bloggers when it comes to checking out restos and new food joints. and I admit that I wasn’t the go-to blogger who is friends with almost everyone.

BUT I consider meeting even a few bloggers as one of the most rewarding experiences so far, because I get to know these people and their stories, get inspired by their takes on different topics, and eventually, because I get to learn more about the craft through these people. They keep me grounded, but they take me under their wings when they soar. It’s been two years since I’ve started blogging, and I am deeply thankful to be one of the few luckiest to be part of the KTG family, with whom I have had the best food blogging experiences with. Don’t know who they are? Well, they have been working under different names, but they are most popularly known as the ‘Kain-Tulog-Gang’.

It's all in the name :)

Nope, this is not the CIA, the KGB or the MI6. The KTG is composed of the best bloggers of various topics as well as food photographers in the Philippines; and most of them are followed by a lot of people not only locally but globally as well. And I am quite blessed to have celebrated the holidays early with these guys when they invited me to join them at F1 Hotel Manila (thanks to our Richie, The Pickiest Eater in the World, who ‘discovered’ my blog and honed my wacky side) with my fellow brother and sisters such as Food In The Bag, The Sky Chick, Rochkirstin and a few others (we’re the KTG noobs!). Other guests included some of the most celebrated and hottest chefs in the local restaurant scene (Chef Edward Bugia of Pino, BRGR, Pi Breakfast and Pies and Our Backyard Manila; Michelle of Jam Foods and Co.; and Chef Cecille Chang, Queen of Thai Food) as well as other noted guests invited by other KTG peeps.

Anyway, let’s get to the highlights, shall we? The party had everything: unique food, drinks and lots of prizes! You should know that 99% of the time we make sure that what they eat are legitimately the next best thing! Just like this Salini's Hog Log (@salshog on IG), which is a boneless lechon belly cured in brine and smothered with garlic and green onions. The pink meat on the center may seem raw but it actually has a different flavour compared to the rest of the meat. No doubt on the crispiness on this pork belly! This one was gone pronto!

With more pork goodness coming our way during that night, we also devoured on Plaza Cafe Inc’s scrumptious ham! It’s like Christmas mornings with ham, queso de bola and pandesal at the house of one of our relatives living in Sta. Ana as they wait for us to play the piano back when we were kids.

We also tried some coconut water based cocktails from Vita Coco, which is promisingly good! It’s just like your cocktail with the usual kick and that sweet and balanced taste from Vita Coco.

Our feast continues with more dishes and desserts provided by F1 Hotel Manila, Neil's Kitchen and Torch! Some of my favourites include a few slices (okay, two slices) of this Dulce de Leche Cake which is now embossed in my memory because of its light texture despite its rich sweet milky taste! Torch opens at Greenbelt come 2015 (they have branches in Greenhills and UP Town) so if you are coming from Makati, getting this one shouldn’t be as hard.

The Salshog
Mikel and Ilan, the guys behind Salini's Hog Log
The Vita Coco Booth!
Roasted Whole Turkey from Neil's Kitchen
Roasted Sea Bass from Torch
Seafood Paella from Torch
Yummy appetizers from F1 Hotel Manila.
F1 Hotel Manila's amazing array of light and heavy dishes
Ze dinner plate

There wasn’t any real program behind the party, but mostly we had a meet-and-greet moment with everyone in the room! It’s always a pleasure to show your real self behind people who now consider as a second family, and with that, I mustered to get away with it and was the first newbie who got the mic and sang a karaoke song on the HUGE screen thanks to the projector in the function room.

We're missing some people here, but they are definitely a lot!

My KTG family are not just influencers, or funny guys, or passionate foodists, or loving parents. These are my mentors, my inspirations, my idols! And I’m looking forward to another great year with these guys. Super thank you to boss Spanky and Papa Bear Richie for inviting me and introducing us to this blessed family of awesome people!

And of course, I couldn't thank you enough with all the freebies that I got from the event. I'm excited to try and use my Ippudo Ramen Gift Certificates when I get the chance!

Thank you KTG family!

Cheers to 2015 and more power to KTG!
More photos when you check on the hashtag #KTGXmasF1Hotel
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