Saturday, December 12, 2015

How Learning and Improving on Digital Photography Has Helped My Blog

About three years ago, I created a blog called Rochkirstin.com. From a blog where I used to share only life updates, it has transformed into a food and lifestyle blog where I share experiences and reviews with readers with regard to restaurants I visit and places I travel. As an amateur blogger, I had a lot to learn. 


I was using my iPhone 4 camera to take pictures and happily post them on the blog. After a year, I decided to level up my photography and bought a DSLR camera, which was the Nikon D3100. To have better close-up food shots, I also invested in a prime lens. Research took some time and finally I got the 50mm f/1.8 G

As time went on, I started to get more comfortable with using the manual settings on the DSLR. I still remember how thrilled I was the first time I received a comment on how beautiful my photos have turned out to be when using my upgraded photography gear. This fueled my desire to keep learning. Photoshop and Lightroom are the photo editing software I use.

As my photos continued to get better, I saw an immense increase in my blog readership. I once thought that only helpful and useful content would lead people to read blogs. Now I know that really good and high quality photos are as important.

How Learning and Improving on Digital Photography Has Helped My Blog


My average number of unique visitors went from 100 a day to 1,000 a day–and now about 2,000 a day. This led to lots of opportunities for monetizing and growing my blog. I’ve had the honor of being pursued by the marketing arm of companies, PRs, researchers of TV programs, and more prominent brands and businesses. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that these opportunities were presented to me not only because of textual content but also because of the photos in my blog. 

To learn more about digital photography success and advanced digital photography, I've read lots of articles for tips and suggestions. 

Here's a listing of my recommended resources: 

After about a year and a half, mirrorless cameras sparked an interest in me. I got the Samsung NX300 with 18-55mm kit lens and the 30mm f/2.0 pancake lens. Photos were okay but were not satisfying. So after another six months, I sold my NX camera and purchased the Fujifilm XT10 with 16-50mm kit lens. So far, learning continues and I have to practice taking pictures on Manual mode more often. :)

Wrap Up

Having great photos on your blog can really be a great way to increase readership. Digital photography can have a significant impact on the life of your blog or website. I’ve learned a lot of things in the last few years. This post is just a way for me to tell about my experience and remind myself as well on the things I've done to take food photos that make people say, “I am dying to eat that from my screen right now!” :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Best Buffet Restaurants in Metro Manila to Take Your Family This Holiday Season

The "biggest eating days of the year" is fast approaching, but do you have a plan? Aside from giving and spreading the spirit of Christmas and the New Year, the holiday season is mostly about sharing and enjoying food with family and friends. ;) For those who don't have the time to cook up delicious meals for everyone, eating in restaurants and making reservations way ahead of the date become the norm. 


Below is a list of my top recommended buffet restaurants where you can take your family and savor the moment. These are the right places to partake in this rich culinary tradition. Click on the links to read the full-length reviews.

Best Buffet Restaurants in Metro Manila to Take Your Family This Holiday Season


1. Vikings Luxury Buffet

NIU by Vikings - 6th floor, SM Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig 
Contact info: 4783888, 8473888, +639175866888, +639199996888 or niubyvikings@gmail.com

Vikings SM BF - Second Level, SM City BF Parañaque, Sucat, Parañaque City
Contact info: 8113888, 8114888

Vikings Jazz - SM Jazz Mall, Metropolitan Avenue Corner Nicanor Garcia Street, Makati City
Contact info: 8913888, 8914888, 09178271888, 09199997888 or vikings.jazz@yahoo.com

Vikings North EDSA - Fourth Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Quezon City
Contact info: 3763888, 3764888

Vikings SM Megamall - 4th Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, Bldg. D, SM Megamall, Julio Vargas cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong, Philippines
Contact info: 6563888, 6564888, 6565888

Vikings SM Mall of Asia (SM By the Bay) - Building B, By The Bay, Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
Contact info: 8463888, 8464888

2. Four Seasons Hotpot City 

Four Seasons Manhattan Parkview - Ground Floor, Manhattan Parkview, Gen. Roxas Ave., Araneta Center, Quezon City
Contact info: 932-7777, 09989885888

Four Seasons SM Mall of Asia (SM By the Bay) - SM Mall of Asia Bldg E., By the Bay, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Contact info: 831-7777 or 835-7777

3. 7 Flavors Philippines

7 Flavors Buffet Restaurant - 196 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan
Contact info: 5430325, 09178281700, or 7flavors.info@gmail.com

4. F1 Hotel

F All Day Dining (F Café) - 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City
Contact info: 9289888, 9087888, email inquiry@f1hotelsandresorts.com

5. Banzai

Banzai Japanese Buffet - Bldg J, By The bay Leisure Park, Seaside Blvd., Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Contact info: 09177067328, 5527368

6. Chef Laudico Guevarra’s

Chef Laudico Guevarra's - 387 P. Guevarra St. cor. Argonne St., Addition Hills, 1500 San Juan
Contact info: 7051811, 7051874, 5025006, 09173112222

7. The Food Club

The Food Club Buffet Restaurant - Unit E Bluebaywalk, President Diosdado Macapagal corner Edsa, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Contact info: 7368001

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

GetGo Partners with TravelBook.ph and StopSleepGo.com for Juanderlust!

How would you like to explore the countless beautiful tourist destinations in the Philippines, all for free for an exciting 80 days? Join Juanderlust and be the Chosen Juan to discover and experience all the amazing travel spots that the country has to offer.
 
 
 
To join the online contest that gives you the chance to travel around the Philippines, simply visit the TravelBook.ph website at http://www.travelbook.ph/juanderlust and fill out the registration form. You must also answer the question, “Why should you be the Chosen Juan?” in 300 characters or less, and make a 1-minute video responding to the same question. The contest is open to everyone, even international travelers, as long as they have a passport and a valid VISA to travel the Philippines in early 2016.
 
The Chosen Juan will receive up to Php2.5 million worth of exciting prizes, which includes a laptop, a GoPro camera, and miscellaneous travel fees on top of their thrilling 80-day free adventure. Successful entrants will also get a free GetGo membership card inclusive of points for a more seamless and rewarding travel experience around the Philippines.
 
The newest lifestyle rewards program of Cebu Pacific, GetGo, enables loyal customers to easily earn rewards points whenever they fly with Cebu Pacific or convert their credit card loyalty points to GetGo points. They can redeem and use these GetGo points to book local or international flights within the Cebu Pacific network. It also gives customers access to other exclusive promos and add-on services from the airline.
 
So, do you want to be the Chosen Juan and have the best time of your life traveling around the Philippines for 80 incredible days? Submit your entries now and get a chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
 
To avail of a GetGo card, simply visit www.GetGo.com.ph, click JOIN, fill out the application form, and for only a P150 membership fee, have your personalized GetGo card delivered to your doorstep.
 
For more information on GetGo’s merchant partners, on-going promos and events, you can visit www.GetGo.com.ph or follow GetGo’s official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts @GetGoPH.
 
TravelBook.ph is a Philippine with over 1,800 hotel and resort partners in different parts of the country. The company seeks to help every Filipino travel more with value for money accommodations in every corner of the country.
 
StopSleepGo.com is an online vacation accommodation service, providing varied and unique places globally for the travelers' convenience. The company encourage people from all over the world to list and rent out their properties to travelers, helping locals earn extra income while providing travelers with accommodations for every occasion.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Outbreak Manila: Back and Hungry for More (December 5, 2015)

It has been a while since the last zombie epidemic hit the streets of Manila. I could still remember how scared I felt that time. I was secretly crying in my mind and hoping for the race to end right away! It was all fun though and I am terribly missing the experience.


Tomorrow, on December 5, 2015, from 3pm to 8pm, Outbreak Manila returns with the country's biggest zombie-infested obstacle course in Arca South, Taguig. The event promises participants a screaming good time with more flag-hungry zombies, twists, and challenges.


Since 2012, Outbreak Manila has put a twist to the typical fun runs--quite a few personal records have been broken with runners being chased by zombies. Not to worry though, no one is at risk of infectious zombie bites. Runners are given a belt with three life flags attached. The goal is to finish the course with at least one life flag intact in the face of flag-hungry zombies.

Outbreak Manila is now on its sixth installment. Almost fifty thousand people have taken on Outbreak's challenge to run for their lives, and survived! You don't have to be a runner to successfully conquer the event. The young and the young at heart can walk, run, and even crawl through each challenge and still have an amazing experience.


Registration is still ongoing even with a few days to go. Join in on the fun by registering online at www.outbreakmanila.com or visiting the following Breakout Paragon at Paragon Plaza EDSA corner Reliance st. Mandaluyong, and Breakout Katipunan at 315 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.

Outbreak Manila is made possible by Nissin Yakisoba and Runtertainment. Big thanks also go out to Mogu-Mogu, Breakout Philippines, Cello's Doughnuts, Impact Whey Protein, and the Wacky Obstacle Run; and our media partners The Feed, ClicktheCity.com, Inquirer.net, arkadymac.com, and pinoyfitness.com.

City Savor Holiday foodie festival coming to Makati, Ortigas and BGC

What will the holiday season be without indulging in delicious food? This, accompanied with the Filipino’s love for get-togethers with friends and loved ones, makes December even more special. Make that extra special with CITY SAVOR: A Holiday Food Crawl Like No Other coming your way this December 5, 12, and 19!



The love for food partnered with the merrymaking spirit of the Season is what inspired Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) to host City Savor in its premium residential developments, namely The Sapphire Bloc in Ortigas (December 5), Signa Designer Residences in Makati (December 12), and The Trion Towers in Bonifacio Global City (December 19). The event will be held from 10:00AM to 9:00PM for each schedule. 

Just some of the purveyors to watch for!

City Savor’s list of food establishments will vary slightly per schedule. The participating concessionaires include ChocoATBP, Mac & Jar, Baguettini, Global Beer Exchange, Cannoli & Co., Caramba, Snack Box, Bayani Brew, Saddam’s Shawarma, Buccino’s Ice Cream Experiments, Eenie Minni Cupcakes & Cookies, The Juice Stand, Wagger, Sabao, Bait’s, Crisp on 28th, Pink Panda, Pipino Vegetarian, Hillside Café & Juice Bar, Habitual Coffee, Liquido Maestro, Boom’s Cold Brew Coffee, Standford Shaw, Pedro Brewcrafters, Bald Baker, Jertie’s Kitchen, Cucina Cuenca, Comer Y Comic, Traydor Hot Sauce, Schmidt’s Gourmet Hotdogs, Boneless Bob, Jimmy D’s, and Snow Shack among others. 

The vibrant locations of RLC’s master-planned developments make the City Savor event even more special for the Yuletide Season, being nestled in foodie districts that people frequent for night outs and events. 

The Sapphire Bloc

For one, The Sapphire Bloc at the Ortigas CBD gives residents and urbanites a taste of the authentic city lifestyle. The Art Deco-style development is also known for its very own lifestyle hub with artisan restaurants like the Moonshine Public Urban Bar (PUB), The Stockpile, Cable Car, Sobremesa and the Starbucks Reserve, to name a few. 

Trion Towers

The Trion Towers, on the other hand, alters the BGC skyline with its state-of-the-art, tri-axial architectural design. Its location puts it near the Fort Strip, Bonifacio High Street, Market! Market!, Serendra and other countless dining and commercial centres scattered all over the CBD. 

Signa Designer Residences

For the Signa Designer Residences in Makati, high life is savoured at the upscale gastronomic locale of the Salcedo Village. Its resto strip comprises of Mothership F&B brands namely Sabao, Baits and Sprout, as well as a Starbucks Reserve. 

Clockwise from top left: Keiko Necesario, Evee Simon, Toni B, & Hoochie Coochie Mikkie

It won’t be a complete holiday feast celebration without entertainment and giveaways! Residents of the RLC developments and guests will be serenaded by performers like Keiko Necesario (Dec. 5 at The Sapphire Bloc & Dec. 19 at The Trion Towers), Toni B (Dec. 5 at The Sapphire Bloc), Evee Simon (Dec. 12 at Signa Designer Residences), Pasta Groove (Dec. 12 at Signa Designer Residences & Dec. 19 at The Trion Towers), and Hoochie Coochie Mikkie (Dec. 12 at Signa Designer Residences & Dec. 19 at The Trion Towers). Visit the events for prizes and surprises too!

The weekends of Decembers mean get-togethers for us Filipinos, and RLC along with the event’s partners are all about offering venues that bring together awesome food and entertainment all in one place. CITY SAVOR will redefine what holiday feasting is all about.

Robinsons Land Corporation in partnership with Ampersand Collective and McCormick Philippines will hold the City Savor: A Holiday Food Crawl Like No Other on Dec. 5 at the Sapphire Bloc in Ortigas City, Dec. 12 at the Signa Designer Residences in Makati and Dec. 19 at The Trion Towers at the Bonifacio Global City. The event will be held from 10:00AM to 9:00PM for each schedule. Special thanks to sponsors Zomato and Marketa.ph, and media partners Juice.ph, WhenInManila.com, ClickTheCity.com, AktivShow, PYE.ph, and 1 Digimedia Audiovisuals Inc.