1 Jan

2013 is one unforgettable year for me.  It made me experience a lot of things and I’ve discovered a lot about life.  Here are some of the unforgettable things that happened last year.

Change is the only permanent thing.
After 31 years of living on a house with a wooden floor, we had our house renovated/reconstructed. Maximizing our space. We now have 3 units being rented out commercially. Supposedly 2 residential units for rent as well. But our contractor were kind enough (Sarcasm alert!) to not finish their job so we are currently living in those 2 units while we get things done here properly. 

"Temporarily" moving in.

“Temporarily” moving in.

95% of our neighbors moved out of the compound since the owners of the lot sold the land already. It’s been extra quiet since then. I miss my neighbors.  Especially the old ones. Thank God for social networking, I still am in touch with most of them.

Goodbye, neighbors. :(

Goodbye, neighbors. :(

My younger brother, Anthony, left the Philippines a few days before Christmas to work.  We miss him terribly. =/

Kuya Ton!

Kuya Ton!

Even after realizing the potential of my cake making, I still get overwhelmed. I still slap myself silly whenever I thing of each and every cake I’ve made. 

I had deals in Groupon Philippines!  You guys have helped me a lot with my growth in cake making.

Food Serendipity on Groupon

Food Serendipity on Groupon

My cupcakes were used for an event of the cable channel/company handling the airing of Cupcake Wars in the Philippines.

Cupcake Wars

Cupcake Wars

I was also commissioned  by Jack Daniels Philippines to make JD infused cupcakes which is now one of my signature cupcakes.


I cannot say that the three moments are my only favorites. Each and every cakes/cupcakes I’ve made are special to me.

Life changing moments as the year comes to an end.
It was just a cloudy day in Manila. Who would’ve thought that as we were all doing our daily routines, we have fellow Filipinos from the south who were holding onto whatever they can grab just to survive the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan.  I only realized how big the typhoon was after I saw the news.  And I cried…a lot. I knew right there and then, I have to help out.

A week after the typhoon, I learned about Oplan Hatid though my friend, Jofre Nachor.  On their next trip to the airbase, I joined him his wife, Vel, and our friend, Gerald. I don’t drive. I don’t even have a car. But my first volunteer work for the Yolanda relief happening in Villamor Airbase was to bring a family of 9 (with 2 senior citizens) to my hometown in San Miguel, Bulacan. I was the navigator. It was Sunday night and since it was a school day the next day, Jofre cannot commit to taking the family to Bulacan.  Instead, I rode in a car of a stranger while we were being followed in a convoy of two volunteers who we also just met that night.

Jofre, Vel, Gerald and I went back to Villamor Airbase a few times to do volunteer work. While Jofre and Gerald bring families to their destinations, Vel and I fed the families in the grandstand, sorted clothes and gave out goods. We pretty much made ourselves useful.

It’s amazing to see the families from affected areas picking up their lives and moving forward. You can tell they are saddened and they have fears but their hope is a lot bigger than their sadness and fears.  I kept wondering will I be brave enough to face an experience similar to theirs.

Welcoming the families.

Welcoming the families.

I wondered too soon.
I have a high tolerance for pain. Super high that I didn’t consider my light-headedness as anything serious. I was frosting a cake on November 30 when I noticed that my right arm wasn’t doing it’s job right. I cried out of frustration saying, “Ang simple lang ng ginagawa ko pero bakit ang hirap?”    

The next day, I was rushed to the hospital. My blood pressure was 180/140. “Nakakalakad ka pa?” the nurse asked.  I jokingly answered, “Dati nakakalipad ako.”  Then,  I thought to myself, “Was I having a stroke? But I am too young to have stroke.”  I started crying again. Apologizing to Mama.  She hushed me and told me not to worry. That everything will be okay — our moms are the coolest, all-natural tranquilizers, right? Then the ER doctor attending to us said I need to undergo CT Scan, just to check if I have any blood clots.

CT Scanned

CT Scanned.

Consider this as a wake up call, Tonet.
Turns out, my suspicions were 
mildy correct. I had a mild stroke at 32 years old. A combination of working too hard with almost no sleep. Plus having parents with hypertensions, but I am not going to lie, I am not a very physically fit person.  It was my left brain that was affected. Luckily, I was not paralyzed, but my right arm and leg were weakened. I am currently doing therapy at home.  

No excuses.
When I was in the hospital, I remembered the families who experienced the wrath of typhoon Haiyan. Just like the survivors of Haiyan,  I’ve never faced anything as scary as this.  I seriously thought I was going to die, especially everytime my right side gets weaker.  I had to shake that thought off and  I realized that just like them, I am going through something that is life altering — I need to be brave to be able to get up and move forward.

It’s been a month since the attack. My blood pressure has been stable most of the time. Slowly, I am now regaining the strength of my weak arm and leg. And now, it is important that I am relearning how to do simple tasks with my affected side I since I am right-handed.  It’s not easy but I must.

Blessed till the year end.
Was I broken-hearted with what had happened to me? The only time I felt bad for myself was when I was so frustrated while frosting the cake on November 30.  I can honestly say that I’ve never been so positive in my life.  I am lucky enough to have an awesome support group — my family and friends. 

Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
As much as I enjoy the downtime, there are some stuff I miss doing before the stroke happened.  I was kind of living a fast-paced life. I miss being able do things on my own.  I miss hanging out with people I adore. I miss (believe or not) doing chores.  I miss watching gigs. I kinda miss drinking Red Horse beer with a straw.  I miss dancing, just being plain silly. But most of all, I miss being creative with baking.  I was so driven to do a lot of wonderful things then BAM! Just like I had to slow down and reformat my life.

When I was starting this entry, “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette started playing and I realized how apt the song was for me.

“Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face”

Slowly but surely, I am getting my strength back. And soon, I will be doing most of the things I miss.

Frosting a rainbow cake.

Frosting a rainbow cake on the eve of 2014. One month after the attack.

And to end this entry, I am once again quoting Miss Morissette’s song, “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you. Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out. Helping you out.”

Weird as it may sound, but I am glad for all the things that happened to me on 2013.  My outlook in life have changed. Priorities have reshuffled a bit.

Anyway, stay safe everyone. Slow down, do not overwork yourselves. SLEEP! And enjoy life! Happy new year!

Sanrio Cake for Lea’s Daughter

14 Jun
Sanrio Cake!

Sanrio Cake!

This cake will be one of my favorite cakes that I have made. It’s a 3-layer carrot cake with creamcheese frosting.  My friend asked me if I can make the 3rd layer shaped of a star.

I never expected it to turn this pretty. I seriously almost didn’t want to give it to my friend who ordered it. HEHE!  The mini Sanrio characters I put around the cake was so random, I thought of them when my friend was already waiting to pick up the cake.  It’s a good thing that I just live a few houses away from Chocolate Lover. :)

How Soon Is Now?

13 May

I always knew I can bake. But it took YEARS before I realized that I can make a business out of it.  I was lacking confidence and was too afraid to take the risk. I sometimes need confirmations/signs to know that, yes, that time is NOW.

On April/May last year, I told my parents I wanted to do something else and I ended up quitting my day job — I used to work for them, by the way. I guess I got burned out and I wanted to prove something to myself.

Running low on cash, I realized that Morrissey’s coming to Manila in two weeks time and there’s no way I will miss his show.  I just needed at least 5 friends from my friend’s list on Facebook to buy a Rainbow cake so I can buy tickets to his show.  Morrissey’s concert became a motivation. Hehe!

My First Ever Rainbow Cake!

And just with this photo, I was able to market my Rainbow cake. Thank you, Celine Cruz-Cortes for ordering this cake!

But I got more than what I wanted.

Sometimes, I still need to slap myself silly whenever I remember what happened on the 2nd week of May last year (Mother’s Day week). I baked over ten rainbow cakes and a couple of chocolate cakes.  I made Php15,200.00 all in all!

I was able to see Morrissey live. I spent half of the money to buy tickets to his show — and yes, I don’t regret spending that much just to see him. HEHE! I kept half of the money to keep the cake-making business rolling.

The most satisfying part is the fact that I’ve gotten the confirmation/sign that I’ve been looking for the longest time. Aside from making money with homemade cakes, another thing that pushed me to do this permanently is the fact that I’ve proven myself that I can really do this. :)

I will be forever grateful to my family for their unconditional love and undying support.  Despite the fact I decided to leave the family business.  To my friends who are few but will always be the best people just like my family — you guys know who you are, I’m sure. To my clients — thank you for pushing me to become a better cake maker each time you guys make odd and exciting cake requests. You guys are just awesome! And yes, to Morrissey (Hehe!) — if it wasn’t for your concert (aside from the fact I was semi-jobless and almost broke),  I will not realize that I can really do this.

So, yep. Food Serendipity’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day.  And today, Food Serendipity (the business) is one year old. Happy birthday to me. :)

PS: Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms out there! Most especially to  my ever dearest Mama. You will always be my favorite Mother in the whole wide world!  I love you!

Long Time, No Post

9 Apr

“Do you still blog?” a friend asked while we were having dinner earlier.

I shook my head and told him that it has been awhile.

A distraction came after. Not to sure if it was a phone call or I think I noticed the store across from where we were was closing. Thank God for that. I wasn’t in the mood to be defensive on why I haven’t been blogging for the longest time. Hehe.

I have been busy. That’s the truth. I couldn’t find time to blog. And all the blog ideas started to pile up, it kinda got frustrating that it was a lot easier not to blog.

So now, I am back. Hopefully, I’ll get to post some of my latest works.  As for now, I leave you with one of my favorite happy songs, “Happiness” from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. 


16 Dec

Last Thursday, I received a private message from one of my favorite people from grade school — Kim Reyes.

Her little boy, Lucas, was turning three and they needed cupcakes in 2 days!

I happily agreed to make the cupcakes and even deliver them just to see Kim. It’s been ages since I last saw her.

I am not a big fondant person. But this one required using fondant.  So I had no choice. Besides, I didn’t have enough time to figure out how make horses without using fondant! HAHA!

Giddyup! Happy birthday, Lucas!

I am not too sure if they looked like horses, but what mattered most is that Kim and Lucas loved them, anyways!

Pony Party for Lucas!

Make a wish!

Lucas sharing his cupcakes.

Once again, thank you Mommy Kim and it was really nice seeing you! :)

You can also order your personalized cakes/cupakes through this site or through the following contact details below:

FOOD SERENDIPITY by Antonette Maniquis
Mobile: 0905-3849495 / 09437013833
Website: foodserendipty.ph
Facebook: foodserendipity
Instagram: foodserendipity
Twitter: foodserendipity


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