It’s odd how every year seems to go faster as you get older. Here I am, almost a year later feeling blind-sighted by the entire 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8765 hours, 525,600 minutes and 31,556 seconds that made up this year. Amazing how a day becomes only a blip in our lives!

So I just turned 24. I can’t believe it. When I was in my early teenage years, I thought 24 were far too old to be having fun in life. But now I feel like it’s just the beginning of my enjoyment. I get to travel, pig out and experience the world – without worrying about school assignments and deadlines left behind.

More Blessings, More Joy

I remember last year when I defined “greetings by colleagues” a bonus. It was my eighth day at my new workplace, and I had lunch alone on my birthday. Oh, scratch that. The truth is, I shared a table with people I don’t know and pretended I was with them so I won’t feel much alone, in our wide-spaced office cafeteria. I quickly finished my food, held hands and prayed. I knew that moment that loneliness would not creep in any longer because in any moment I try to escape sadness, I sing praise songs in my head – and I see Jesus. 😥

Lunch arrangement was the same this year; I was alone at my table. However this time just got better. My teammates surprised me with a birthday cake and a gift after high noon.

I realized more blessings come my way as I begin to open up to more circles and let other know what I can offer. I have the people whom I share laughter with and receive hugs and kisses for all nourishment. I have great jobs that pay the bills and get special invites to events while enjoying the perks of being a blogger. So despite that there are occasions where road blocks fall on the map of my dreams, I’m still pretty well-off with joy in my heart. 😀

Where I Celebrated My 24th Birthday

One of our favorite buffet restaurants in SM Mall of Asia is Buffet 101, and Mom thought it’s the best place to celebrate the occasion. This was my third time to eat here so I’m already quite familiar on how to go about eating almost everything I want without feeling too heavy and full easily.

My sister and I usually scout the buffet together and get food by section while considering healthy choices that won’t put guilt right on our chests. On a clean canvas of plate, what we get all the time are mini-tasting proportions of the expensive stuff. We don’t take even a small portion of rice, bread, pasta or potatoes and drink lots of liquids because these are guaranteed to take up valuable real estate in our stomach. We went home feeling so full. Obviously, we had a blast.

Moment for Gratitude

To everyone who’s been a part of my twenty four wonderful years, I cannot be thankful enough.

多謝晒. 非常感谢. Thank you so much. Maraming salamat! 😛

I look forward to making more memories, deeper friendships and meaningful existences with you.

And yes, it has been a very happy birthday today. 🙂

Also, since it’s the half of the year, I’m done with warm-ups! I’m more prepared to dig my claws into treats and adventures worth blogging for, especially now that I’m driving. Only one question: Which restaurant or travel destination would be in line for my next review and which reader is next to get inspired?

The dice in the board rolls.

The Dice in the Board’s Birthday Giveaway

To give away a token of appreciation, I’m glad to announce my first-ever giveaway here. 🙂 Prize is a PHp 3000-worth of gift certificate that’s good for four (4) people, for a lunch or dinner treat at Hacienda Isabella.

How to Join

1. Be a fan of iHeartSpills on Facebook
2. Follow me on Twitter: @rochkirstin
3. Tweet this giveaway by using the plug-in at the bottom of this post.
4. Add me to your circle on Google Plus
5. Comment below your name, email address, Twitter handle, link of your tweet and reason why you want to win (can be a simple short sentence).


1. This is open for Philippine residents only.
2. The giveaway raffle will run from today until July 4, 2013, 11:59PM so this gives you three weeks to stand a chance and win! 😀 The winner will be chosen via Random Picker and will be contacted via email on July 5, 2013 (the following day).
3. Failure to do any of the above requirements will be subjected to disqualification.
4. Failure to reply/acknowledge the notification email sent to the winner within 48 hours upon receipt of notice means forfeiture of the prize and Random Picker would be ran again.

Good luck to all! 😀

Updated July 5, 2013: Winner is Nicole de Dios! Congratulations to you! Hey Girl, I sent you an email. 😀 Please respond immediately!


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

76 Responses

  1. Yhen Barron

    name: Arienne Mae D. Barron
    email address:
    Twitter handle: @yhen_barron
    link of your tweet:
    reason why you want to win:
    You gave Hacienda Isabella a positive review that makes me so curious about it. I also want to experience it. It will be such a great treat for me who is finally on my 5th year in BSA, for my daughter who just started at school, she’s now a Kinder. Time flies so fast. and of course, for the love of my life who just loves us and a great provider. 🙂

    And… Belated Happy Birthday to you. May the Good Lord continue to bless you and your family. 🙂

  2. jane

    lovely giveaway for your bday sweetie!! happy bday again! that’s very sweet of them surprising you with cake! i am sure your feel so blessed that day! plus a buffet! God bless dear! x0x0

  3. Cheryl Zamora

    Happy birthday 🙂 If only I’m near there, I’d surely join 😀 Anyway, wishing you more years and more blessings to come.

  4. Yamito Uytingco Calamba

    I’d love to join but Hacienda Isabella is kinda far. Hehe I i’ve messaged you on Facebook na but lemme say this again one more time, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tin!!! I wish you all the happiness and love. 🙂

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hey Yamito, thanks for the greetings! It’s kinda funny that you call me “Tin.” Haha you’re the only one who calls me that! :)) Yup, I agree it’s far but worth the visit anyway.

  5. Jerome Ibuyan

    That was a fun, I like how you shared your sad experience on celebrating a birthday last year as a newbie in new work. And the happiness of celebrating it ,this time, with your teammates.
    Of course, I’ll take this chance to greet you, Happy Birthday, Rochkirstin! =)

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The dress was selected by Mom. At first I didn’t like the odd shape of the neckline but then I liked it when I saw the pictures. 🙂 Sure, please do join!

  6. Wanderer Juan

    happy birthday and hope you have more birthdays to come! i’m sure a lot of your readers will join your birthday giveaway 😀

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hi Franc! Thanks. 😀 Buffet 101 also has a branch in Robinsons Magnolia (New Manila), so if you’re near there, you might as well visit the place and obtain the benefit of accessibility. 😀

  7. Jonas Labagala

    Happy Birthday!! We’re on the same age but I’ll turn 25 this November though. I would love to join the giveaway but it seems like I can’t use the GC since I’m too far away from where I’m living right now. 🙁

  8. Mai

    Again, Happy Birthday dear! 🙂 Although we haven’t met each other yet, I’m quite happy for your achievements in life. You are one smart woman. you’ll do more great things in life, without a doubt. 🙂

  9. joy | chemist2writer

    This is a great giveaway but I don’t live in MM so I can’t join this 🙁 but this is quite generous of you to sponsor this giveaway for your birthday 🙂 Have lots of fun and more years to come 🙂

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yay thanks, Joel! 🙂 If you haven’t read my travel post about Hacienda Isabella, you may read it via the link on the post. You might feel more compelled to visit the place in Tagaytay. 😀

  10. marri

    You’re only 24… you’ve got a long way ahead of you. Just enjoy life and every detail it may offer you. Let me take this opportune time to greet you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY. May your heart’s desires be yours if not today… I’m sure, in GOD’s perfect time.

  11. papaleng

    Happy Birthday young lady. More frutiful years ahead for you. Stay humble and make God the driver of your life.

  12. Algene

    Thanks for the giveaway! I will come back later and join for a chance to win something great 🙂

  13. Pink MagaLine

    Aww.. happy birthday dear! Pareho tayong June babies? Anyway, your turned 24 but I turned 33. Wow! I can’t believe I’m that old na!! :/

  14. Michael Macalos

    Love that red dress you’re wearing when you celebrated your 24th birthday. It’s chic, classy and elegant and you dressed it down by wearing those sandals, love it!. 🙂

  15. Nicole de Dios

    Nicole de Dios
    Belated Happy birthday to you 🙂 And thanks for sharing your blessing!
    To be honest, I would want this treat for my parents. Our family have been thru a rough time and they deserve a treat like this. All the drama, trials, hardships, everything that you can think of have been running to my parents mind for years now. This treat would definitely lift up their perception in life and just deal with everyday smiling. I hope to win not for me but for my parents 🙂 1 big happy family 🙂

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yay. Thanks for joining, Nicole. 😀 I understand the gravity of your desire to win this for your parents. They really deserve to be treated once in a while. Have you read my post on Hacienda Isabella both on the place and on their food? I wish you did, so your excitement would grow. Hehe 🙂 All the luck to you. Bow.

  16. Sumi Go | The Purple Doll

    Belated happy birthday! 🙂 I’m sure there are more blessings in store for you this year and in the next years to come. Anyway, bookmarking your post. Will be joining your giveaway 😀

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha hi Jim, sorry for thinking that the GC is for Buffet 101. I hope you’d revisit the content because it says that the prize is for a treat to Hacienda Isabella. 😀 Thanks for joining the giveaway anyway.

  17. Bam

    Wow! sweet 24. Nice choice of buffet place. We love that place, because there are really a lot of dishes to choose from.


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