Goodbye, Baby Hatch


It was short lived but it will always be one of the sweetest and happiest moment that we will cherish for the rest of our lives – the time we knew we had you.

It may not be the right time for you, it’s okay, we understand.  We know that you are in a better and happier place now.  Someday, we will meet you and be able to hug you too, Baby Hatch.  For now, go with Jesus and help him look after us.

Sending you our love.  Goodbye for now, our little angel.

Giga Now in Cebu

Oh Yes! am still alive and kicking. Been really busy these past few months. Have a lot of things happening at the same time.  Not complaining though.  I will be sharing with you what I’ve up to on a separate post.  For now, am sharing one of our new ventures.  Am also re-posting my Sis-in-Law, Leah’s recent post about it.🙂

GIGA opens in Cebu!

A good news to all GIGA fans in Cebu: no more waiting for your next trip to Manila to buy GIGA products, or for your friends to get them for you.  GIGA officially opened their first kiosk store at SM City Cebu last September!

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I first learned about GIGA through my sister-in-law, Juvvy of Mommy Juvs, who uses GIGA products on her and my nephew, Liam.  My family’s personal favorite is GIGA’s Baby Insect Repellant Spray which kept not just Liam, but all of us, free from mosquito bites and smelling good at the same time too!  Yes, the smell of citronella in this spray is not overpowering at all, parang cologne lang but you are actually wearing an insect repellant.

Because there’s no GIGA store in Cebu at that time yet, my mom would ask me to buy 3-4 bottles of their insect repellant spray and my dad would bring them to Cebu.

Juvvy fell in love with the rest of GIGA products, and I guess it rubbed off on me even though hindi k’me lagi nagkikita hehe!  I have already tried their Dry Mist Oil (Green Tea variant) which works very much like as The Body Shop’s Olive Dry Oil Mist.  I also received as gift last year GIGA’s Aromatherapy Soap (Peppermint variant) which I brought to one of my work-related trips last year but left in the hotel (sob!).

Seeing that she cannot have her regular supplies of GIGA in Cebu because they’re not readily available in the malls, Juvvy did the next best thing: she brought GIGA to Cebu!

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I’m so proud of her!  She really has what it takes to be an entrepreneur!

But what I’m more proud of is her decision to support this homegrown brand which now has loyal followers from all over the country.

Equally inspiring is the story of GIGA’s humble beginnings (read it HERE).

By the way, GIGA means “God Is Good Always”.

I recently ordered (all the way from Cebu!) sets of GIGA’s best-selling aromatherapy soaps for my use and as gifts for Christmas.  They are available in 5 variants: Peppermint, Lime, Citrus, Lavender and Chamomile.


The colorful paper wrapper is from one of the wrapping paper books I have here.  I used my leftover Christmas-themed grosgrain ribbon to tie the gift, giving it a ‘holiday’ look.


Now, the shameless plug:  Give the gift of aromatherapy to your love ones and friends this holiday season. These GIGA aromatherapy soaps give off a relaxing after-bath feel while moisturizing the skin!

Looking for a quick way to wrap your GIGA gifts?  Ask about their holiday gift sets the next time you visit their kiosks!




To my readers and friends in the Queen City of the South: Do check out the first-ever GIGA kiosk store at SM City Cebu and discover the all-natural, all-effective and all-affordable personal care products from GIGA!


Thanks again to The Bright Spot for sharing this!🙂


Our First Sandbox

More than a month ago, I saved this draft in my iPhone during that sleep deprived night.

If not for their “Keeping Cool” May 2014 box, I will certainly miss posting this.  Anyway, for those who don’t know what exploresandbox is, it’s a monthly crafts box for kids.  They have different and appropriate themes every month with complete materials (which I really appreciate) and instructions on how to do it.  It’s not just arts and crafts, but it’s also loaded with science facts.🙂 (check out their official website

The first box I ordered from them was their Christmas box last December 2013 and that’s what I almost forgot to post. hehe (If my previous post is late, I don’t know what to call this then, hehe) 

The Christmas box contained 5 activities – DIY Christmas stockings, DIY Christmas ball, snow like mixture to build a snowman, a science project behind Santa and the chimney, and last was the good deed list. 

For this box, we were only able to make 2 out of the 5,  for some reason the snowy substance won’t form and i feel it’s a little messy to play with. I also noted to myself to ask Leslie of exploresandbox how it should work, well obviously I forgot doing it. Haaay…

Here’s Liam with his Christmas projects..🙂

Here's our December box .. All excited to start! :)
Here’s our December box .. All excited to start!🙂

First project that we did was the Christmas Ball.  Excited mommy that I am, I did not read the instruction and put the glitters outside the ball.. The daddy noticed and asked why am putting it outside when instruction said inside.. Sorry naman.. hahaha.. nevertheless, we enjoyed doing it together and this was one of our Christmas ornament in the tree.🙂

Materials for our first project - glue, glitters, plastic ball, ribbon and Japanese paper
Materials for our first project – glue, glitters, plastic ball, ribbon and Japanese paper
Liam really into the crumpling...
Liam really into the crumpling…
and he's really enjoying it.. :)
and he’s really enjoying it..🙂
our finish product.. :)
our finish product..🙂

The other project that we were able to make is the Christmas stockings!  Liam enjoyed putting on the buttons and for added work, I gave him some cotton balls to glue on top of the stocking.  Of course, mommy was the one who sew the socks together.

next stop.. our Christmas Stocking!
next stop.. our Christmas Stocking!
Obvious ba? He likes what he's doing?
Is it that obvious that he likes what he’s doing?
one down.. one more to go
one down.. one more to go
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busy gluing the cotton balls..🙂
Mas busy removing the cotton fiber from his fingers.. :)
Mas busy removing the cotton fiber from his fingers..🙂
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Now, our stocking is complete! TADA!

As for the other projects, I felt Liam was too young for them pa and we ran out of time na since we went home to Manila for the holidays. Nevertheless, we both enjoyed our project time.

Ask if I will order again?  Wait for my future posts for my answer.😉



Holy week 2014

As part of our 2014 resolutions, Dino and I promised to travel with Liam more this year.  Last holy week,(yeah I know, suuuper late post again)  Our original plan was to go to CDO and let Liam experience the white water rafting then spend the rest of the holy week in Malai Balai (It’s soo nice there, promise! It’s like you’re in New Zealand).  But our good friend, suggested that we do it some other time as there are many tourist and travelers during holy week.  So instead of staying at home, I decided to book ourselves in a resort hotel nearby.

We booked ourselves in Best Western Sandbar Resort at Cordova Mactan Cebu (check out their official website).  It wasn’t that pricey and they are the only hotel that did not increase so much during peak season (1K additional only).  Swak na swak sa budget!🙂

We also decided to go yaya-less this trip.  Asked Ate Donna to do a general cleaning instead.  Unfortunately, Dino was not feeling very well during the trip, so most of the photos you’ll see below are of me and Liam.

Liam entertaining himself while waiting to be allowed to hit the pool (the sun was scorching hot then, so decided to wait til late afternoon before we hit the pool)
Liam entertaining himself while waiting to be allowed to hit the pool (the sun was scorching hot then, so decided to wait til late afternoon before we hit the pool)
All geared up!
All geared up!
He insisted on wearing his shades (no not as goggles( saying the sun in hot and he wants to keep it on so he can see properly :)
He insisted on wearing his shades (no not as goggles( saying the sun in hot and he wants to keep it on so he can see properly🙂
Running to his dad relaxing on the beach chair
Running to his dad relaxing on the beach chair
Thanks dad for the refreshing drink
Thanks dad for the refreshing drink
play time at the pool (eating our fresh catch, haha)
play time at the pool (eating our fresh catch, haha)
now with mommy...
now with mommy…
Buffet breakfast the following day..
Buffet breakfast the following day..
We hit the pool again after our breakfast..
We hit the pool again after our breakfast..Liam decided he don’t want to wear his rash guard anymore.. 
on the way home...
on the way home…He tried hard to stay awake but failed.. hehe

It wasn’t as grand as the Shangri-La Hotel, but it was cozy and we had a fun time together.  As they say, it’s not important how expensive or how grand the place is, as long as we are all together, that’s what matters!

Til our next Trip! :)
Til our next Trip!🙂




Month Full of Flights – May 2014

I’m so sorry to have neglected this site for 2 months (again!)  It’s already 2nd half of the year and I would say we had a fruitful first half. Well, I think and hope nothing will beat the month of May.  It was the craziest month I had so far. 

We started the month with Ate Donna going home to Bicol for a week for her well deserved vacation. (After 2 years of staying with us without day offs – well deserved na diba?)  She asked for our permission wuth 6 monhs lead time. So prepared na prepared na talaga kame. Hehe

Lolo came to the rescue and stayed with us for the whole week while Dino and I took turns taking leave to stay at home. It was really fulfilling staying home wirh Liam.  That made me think and plan for my future as a WAHM. (fingers crossed)

As for Liam, I enrolled him in swimming lessons, but he didn’t like it (he only attended the first session).  Good thing the school allowed us to transfer him to arts and crafts class. Whew! Di naman nasayang ang bayad ko ni Dino. Pero since it was a crazy month, I wasn’t able to document any of his work.  Bad mommy moments ko to I know.   I also bought him the May crafts box from exploresandbox (I will have a separate post for this) that he enjoyed very much

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Liam enjoying his Ube ice cream with crepe cone.🙂

As soon as Donna came back, it’s time for Dino to leave naman for the US.  He have a sales meeting he have to attend to there.  (info: apart from his designation as Regional Manager for VisMin, he is also the one handling Columbia Sportswear for Southeast Asian countries that are also under our company – Ahem! Ahem! #proudwifey)  

This time around it was my side of the family that came to Cebu.  Originally, it was supposed to be my mom and 4 nieces (on summer vacation) who will come.  My brother and sis in law thought of tagging along for a weekend with all the kids and my sis in law’s sister and her family. (read: 20 pax)  Most stressful week I had so far (hope that will be the last too).  Oh well, I was happy that I was able to spend time with them but the stress made me rethink of doing it again. Brrrr! (shaking head) Though I know in my heart na when that time comes, I will be excited all over again. :) 

Liam, on the other hand, had loads of fun having his cousins around.  Even though he got sick, he have good memories to keep. As my SIL, Leah, have said, ang ubo at sipon gagaling overtime, pero ung memories nya forever.🙂

Climbing the net in West 35 with his cousins. :)
Climbing the net in West 35 with his cousins.🙂

A few days after Dino arrived, it was my turn to take a vacay.  I joined my cousins going to Hong Kong. This trip was bitter sweet as I’m really excited to go but also hate to leave my little boy. I cried a little the night before I left – super guilty ang feeling. It already occurred to me not showing up at the airport.  Pero sayang naman ang tickets ko and Dino already told me that he can handle it.  I also felt na it was time for Dino and Liam to have a bonding time.  So off I went.

Among the 4 of us, it was just me who is a first timer in Hong Kong.  I’ve been there before but it was for work, so it’s not counter. It was really a fun and tiring trip.  It was a ritual among us cousins to be awake til break of dawn talking about everything and anything under the moon. Revelations time. It was really fun catching up with them.🙂

My favorite shot! :)
My favorite shot while in HK!🙂

May was indeed a fun, crazy, stressful and emotional month!  Parang roller coaster ride lang.🙂

Before We Got Wed – Anniversary Post

I’ve recently discovered a mommyblog that I like and am stalking her site now. Going back through her old entries, I stumbled upon this post. Sakto for today since it’s our anniversary (well, that was last Friday – April 25, As usual late posting).. Yes, 5 years and counting.🙂

Anyways, Jhanis joined a 7-days blog challenge and I’ll go with her by putting them altogether in 1 post.🙂  So here goes..

before-we-wed1. Share the first picture taken of you and its story.

  1. Nov. 2002 He still have hair then..

I really can’t remember our first photo together but here’s one from 2002.  This was taken after their adventure race (yes, he’s adventurous), thus a sleeping Dino.  Being his ever supportive girlfriend and number one cheerleader, I cannot miss this event.  I remember telling my brother a made up work related event just so I can be there. Hope my brother is not reading this now, but I think he had ideas of my white lies before.  In fairness to me, I never lied about my whereabouts.  I always tell the truth where I am, just in case (knock on wood 3x) something went wrong.  AND, my sis-in-law always knows the real reasons – I think he knows this too.. hehe.. Super defensive ba?! hehe

2. Share a story of the first homemade meal.    I’ve been part of the de Leon’s household for so long that my weekend meals are always spent with them.  I remember Dino and I prepared veggie pizza (something we learned from our trip to Batad) for dinner one time and everyone liked it.  Once, we planned to do this again, but forgot to buy the pizza crust, we ended up tweaking it and we had vegetable curry instead.

I can’t remember what we had during our first meal as husband and wife.  But there were a few times where he was the one who cooked our Saturday night meals.  I still have Saturday work then and would not get home until 7:30.  His first dish was Adobong Manok and it was really good (he still brags about it until now).  I asked him the other day about it and he complained that it’s not only adobo that he cooked, his Chicken curry is also very good and I have to agree.🙂

  1. This is not his chicken curry, this is the best curry we had though.. :) We had in Koh Samui..
    This is not his chicken curry, this is the best curry we had though..🙂.

    Trivia, Dino never had any experience in their kitchen when he was still a bachelor (that’s daddy’s – my inlaw’s turf) and I don’t consider mountain cooking as cooking. hehe.. I bet he’ll be a better cook than me, if he just have patience for it.🙂

3. Share your favorite present received before marriage.    Am very easy to please that even a bag of chocolate sends me chills all over.  I also love receiving flowers from Dino but this stopped when we realize that if we add a little more to the cost of those bouquets, we can dine in fine dining restaurants already.  So when he came to my office with a bouquet, V-day of 2008, I was super kilig. (Didn’t I tell you am easy to please?)

There’s another thing I learned from Dino that I would say I appreciate the most.  It’s the love of nature and outdoor.  It was with him that I experience travelling – leisure and hardcore.  My first ever climb was in Tarak ridge (Mariveles).  Dino said that this is a beginner’s climb, but everybody said that it’s not.  Ang saya diba?! I did not regret going though. I also have this bad habit of promising myself not to join them, next time they invite me for another “beginner’s climb” but always ended up climbing with them.  hehe..

  1. Rapelling in Batangas, I was so scared of letting go.  Dino always push me try stuffs.  He's right, I loved it.. :)
    Rapelling in Batangas, I was so scared of letting go. Dino always pushes me to try stuffs. He’s right, I loved it..🙂

4. Share the moment you knew he was the one.    Those times when all his flaws does’t seem to matter anymore. Hep hep hep… Before you get all carried away, am not a saint, I still get pissed off irritated with it at times. (until now? Yes!) Since I’ve learned to accept them, I can easily shrug it off. If I do mention it to him, more often than not, he’ll make fun and laugh at it doubling my irritation. Arrgh!!! So better best option is to just shake it off!! Hehe.

Those times when you are fighting and you’re in the ‘don’t talk to me’ mode, then you remembered something and you talk to him without remembering that you’re in the ‘don’t talk to me’ mode. Then both acting as if nothing happened. (this often happen in less than 30 mins)
And that time when he showed me respect. Not pushing me to do the thing am / we’re not ready to do. I knew then that this man is worth keeping.🙂

Pictorial at Baywalk (Roxas Blvd.) after our church wedding..
Pictorial at Baywalk (Roxas Blvd.) after our church wedding..

5. Share the first song he dedicated to you.    Fallen by Lauren Wood.  He sang this over the phone when he was still pursuing me.  (kilig much)

6. Share your family’s first impression of him.    Among the guys I dated, it was only Dino that I did not hear any negative reaction from my brothers.  (I think this is another sign to #4).

My relatives was a different story.  I came from a Chinese family that is a bit traditional.  When they learned that am dating a Filipino guy, my aunts and uncles became instant match makers.  Well, they didn’t know Dino personally then.  When I brought Dino to his first Hao family reunion experience (he was amazed, I guess, if that’s the right term) and all the match making came to a stop. It came to a point that they want Dino present in reunions even if am not available.  Do they like him?  Be the judge!🙂

7. Share with us a typical date.    A typical date of our un-wedded version would always include eating and lots of eating.  We love street foods especially.  One of our most memorable date was our 120 peso date.  We had Shawarma Rice, Pao Tsin Rice with toppings (forgot which we got, but am guessing it’s the fried shark’s fin dumpling, it’s Dino’s fave) and 2 glasses of gulaman at SM Manila food court then before bringing me home, we stopped by Ate’s kiosk nearby to eat Fish balls, fried tofu and hotdogs.  We are happy that way.🙂

  1. one of our stop overs going to Koh Samui
    one of our stop overs going to Koh Samui

8. Write a letter to your freshly engaged self with tips on living with your husband today.
Dear Juvs ver. 2009,
Try to discourage buying Pajeyow if you can.. hehe..
Anyway, you made the right choice in marrying him… Stay happy..🙂
— Juvs ver. 2014

To my Bobe, Happy anniversary!! Looking forward to more adventures with you.  Love you.🙂


There you go, I hope you enjoyed this entry as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Jhanis is right in saying, it’s nice reminiscing those times..🙂

Throw Back Thursday

My first ever throw back post.  Well coincidentally, it’s Thursday today that I thought of doing this post.🙂

Liam, do you remember this?

7 months old Liam during our first Crocolandia visit
7 months old Liam during our first Crocolandia visit
Fast forward, 3yrs 5mos. old Liam with the same croc. :)
Fast forward, 3yrs 5mos. old Liam with the same croc.🙂

Where have time gone?  You may grow up so fast, then and again, you will always be my baby.🙂

Date With Mom

One more thing I like about Liam’s school is that they have activities like “Date with Dad” and “Date with Mom”. It’s some kind of field trip with activities for the children and their mom or dad. They really encourage that only the mom or dad join the activity. No yayas, no mommies on dad’s day and vice versa. Though, if dad or mom is not available, they suggest that lolo / tito or lola / tita to accompany the kid so they won’t be left out just because their parent is working abroad (or that day, in our case). Nice diba!?

Last year’s “Date with Mom” was held at the Movenpick hotel in Mactan (former Hilton) where teachers have organized different activities like arts and games for the kids and their moms. Unfortunately, it fell on Liam’s nap time and I have this rule that his sleeping time (and meal time) always comes first. Thus, us not joining.
The “Date with Dad” on the other hand was held on school grounds where they played different sports.  It was also scheduled during class hours so Liam and Dino were able to join.  They both had lots of fun that time.  But since we’re not sure if Dino can handle a 2 yr old Liam, Ate Donna was in tow then but waiting to be called lang.
This year’s date days were both held outdoors.  Dad’s day was in Shangri-la Mactan.  They’ve organized painting, tree planting and games for the participants.  Sayang lang kasi, we had a major event in our work that Dino cannot miss.  So they weren’t able to join.  Night before the date pa naman, Liam was excitedly telling us that he’s going to Shangri-La with his teachers and classmates.
With that guilt at heart I made a resolution that I will join the date with mom by hook or by crook.  So the day came and off we went to Crocolandia in Talisay.  It’s an hour drive from the city so we left a bit early. The day was consist of an educational tour (where nobody understands what our guide was saying, hehe), a short educational classroom type experience for the kids, arts and crafts, fishing and fish feeding and a little dance program from the kids.
We arrived a little early before call time, and program did not start right away.  So Liam and I walked around and looked at the animals in the zoo. Liam liked the birds the most.  Un lang, better if we see them in the wild.   Can’t wait for Liam’s first birding adventure.  Anyway, did not take pics na with the crocs and other animals.  Ayaw ko pics na puro wire mesh.. hehe..🙂
We went fishing after the zoo tour, and Liam and I enjoyed it a lot.  We did not catch any fishes though.  I think it’s because he and one of his classmates kept on throwing the fish food directly to the pond.  Wala ng hirap for the fishes. No need to go to our baits. hehe
fishing time..🙂
Liam and his classmate busy throwing fish feeds to the pond.

In the class type demo, they were introduced to different animal eggs, parts of a turtle and snakes.  They were asked to distinguish the eggs too.. Ganun pala un no?! may kaba na kasama if your child will be able to answer or not, kahit di pa totoong exam un.. haha.. oh well, he did very well naman.. Liam was initially afraid to touch the snake, but overcame his fear.  Proud mommy moment again for me.🙂

Liam’s turn to hold the Tortoise’s egg
Liam unsure if he will touch the snake..
But kuya is very encouraging and was able to let Liam hold the snake..
Yey!! He did it!🙂

We then went to the reptile gallery and was able to take photos with the albino snakes.🙂  Liam was not afraid of it anymore..🙂 We also did our Crocodile project there.


Photo opt with the albino snake na mas ako pa ang natuwa
Photo opt with the albino snake na mas ako pa ang natuwa


Project time with mommy.. busy putting the hearty scales..
Project time with mommy.. busy putting the hearty scales..


After the project, the kids all danced for their mommies.  Was too excited to notice that I failed to turn on the video cam while taking it.  (yeah, ako na ang excited! haha) It’s ok, since Liam danced so well and I can still remember the smile he has while dancing his heart out looking at me (like he was saying: “Mommy watch this”.)🙂  After their presentation, it was time to feed the biggest and oldest crocodile there named Lapulapu.  I got a good spot where Liam can see the action, but the guy who’s feeding Lapulapu have a different idea and let the crocodile come near us.  It ended up eating the chicken right in front of Liam face which really scared him.  He ran off and doesn’t want to go near Lapulapu’s cage anymore.  I then decided to call it a day kesa masayang pa lahat ng memory kakapilit ko saknya.

Bye Crocolandia, ’til our next visit.🙂

He enthusiastically recounted all of the morning’s happening to his Dad that night and even to his lolo who came 2 days after our date.

Oh, another thing I like about this date was the chance I had to meet other parents, one of which is my constant text mate now, exchanging notes and plans about our kids. We are planning to have play dates for our kids soon.  Sana matuloy.

Definitely looking forward to more dates with Liam, not only in school activities, but hopefully until he grow bigger.🙂

Liam Meets Aki

Oh yes!! At long last, we were able to meet Familia Kiki during the holidays when we were in Manila (yeah, this is another late post.  Sowee).  Leah, my SIL, was the one who introduced me to their blog, and  I got hooked to their site ever since.  I even wished that we’re neighbors. Hehe

With only a few days in Manila, I was glad that they are also available on the date we set.  I’ve let Maqui do the planning (Thanks Maqui! :)) as this was the first time Liam (we) will have a playdate.  We agreed to meet in Book Sale MCS, since it was books that made us bond on the first place.

Am doubly glad that Leah is also available and offered to be the photographer that day (Thanks Ninang!!). hehe  I will not make this text heavy and will let the photos tell the story.🙂

Liam and Aki exchanging Christmas Gifts
Liam and Aki exchanging gifts..(Thanks again for the wonderful gift – wish come true – will have another post for it) 
Photo Opt before starting our night.


Inside the store, Aki showing Liam his Bey Blades (Bem Bem as per Liam, hehe)


Feeling at home in Book Sale, the kids played while the moms chika and the dads chika too (outside). Not sure what we’re talking about, why is my face like that?!!? hehe


Kuya Aki is really sweet, lending and teaching Liam how to use the Bem Bem.🙂

After the staffs shooed us out of the store (nakahalata na tambay lang kame, hehe) – this is a joke, we walked across the street and had Dinner in Amizi.  It’s an Italian resto beside Don Bosco Makati that have super nice Gelato and oh! their pizza and pasta were also so great. YUM!


Liam tasting the Parmesan Cheese.. (Gutom na ata!)


Aki’s turn to try it. (gutom na nga ata sila)


While waiting for our orders and to divert their attention from the cheese, the kids busied themselves with an episode of Power Rangers (which Franco also loved, shhh.. I hope he’s not reading this.. hehe)
Funny little boys, posing for Ninang Tita..🙂
Since they are good boys who finished their meals, they had Gelato for dessert. Here, they are choosing what flavors they will get.
Cheers to new friends…
Group pic after dinner

After our filling dinner, we all walked to Waltermart where we dropped by Japan Homes and let the kids play in TimeZone.  We don’t have that much photos anymore, as Leah has to do some wifely duties.  hehehe  Liam and Aki don’t play the same games, but there is one game they loved – Go Go Balls!

Having fun with Go Go Balls – not only the kids enjoyed it.. Mommies and Yaya too.. hehe

Liam and I really had fun that night.  Liam was still talking about Aki and Bem bem til now (mental note: buy Liam Bey blades.. hehe) Enjoyed good company, new friends and the chit chats!

Maqui, Aki and Franco

To Familia Kiki, thank you so much for taking time out to meet us and for the dinner too.  Hope to see you guys again soon.  Wish ko makasama kame sa mga playdates nyo.🙂

thank you kuya Aki., ’til we meet again..  ;)