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.
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!
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..
1. Share the first picture taken of you and its story.
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. 🙂
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..
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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.. 🙂
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
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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. 🙂
Suuuper duuuuper delayed post. This has been sitting on my drafts for more than 6 months now. It’s about time I post this. hehehe
As mentioned before, we were able to book cheap flights going to Boracay mid of last year. We weren’t that lucky as the place was experiencing rain showers but lucky enough as we weren’t stranded there. Kow! I don’t even want to think about the what if’s. hehe
We arrived Friday afternoon, it was already late and weather is not that good so we decided to stay in the room, play and fool around. Then we had dinner in the nearby restaurant. I really did not push walking around, as it will be harder if one of us will get sick. For me, it’s always easier to go back than have a bad experience while we’re there. The following day, we had breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant and had a walk at the beach.
I think the waves scared Liam as he let us carry him all through out our walk. We tried to let him feel the sand but to no avail. Instead he shouted: “My feet! My feet!” He doesn’t like his feet getting dirty and he doesn’t like walking with wet slippers/shoes. I tried putting him down again, so he can enjoy the sand and the water. This time he said: “It’s not funny anymore, Mommy!” hahaha.. What he meant then was that it’s not fun anymore. Oh my, the waves were really strong then, Dino and I did not dare swim and walk further either. Feeling ko aanudin kame ng dagat. hehe..
Later that morning, weather was tamer. Dino talked to a man who offered island hopping services (fish feeding and a little snorkeling) for a very reasonable price. We did swam and saw the fishes, Liam tried going down too. But due to the strong waves, he got scared and was not in the mood the whole ride back. We did not finish the agreed tour, since Liam is not enjoying anymore. He is not having tantrum naman, but we don’t feel like pushing through na rin, since the little boy is not in the mood na. He enjoyed feeding the fishes though. 🙂
That night, we went to D’mall to walk around and have our dinner. I also bought myself a dress, since I brought few clothing lang, not expecting that I will always get wet by the rain. hehe. The following day, we initially planned to have breakfast at the Real Coffee & Tea Cafe, where the famous Calamansi muffin is, but due to time and weather constraints, I have to settle with the hotel’s breakfast again. Due to my frustrations with the cafe, I ended up baking Calamansi cupcakes myself. hehe (see the recipe here)
I really don’t like to end without Liam really enjoying the trip. So before we get ready for our flight back to Cebu, I let Liam enjoy the hotel’s pool first. I specifically looked for a hotel with a pool (kahit maliit na pool pa yan, basta may pool), to be sure, as I have foreseen that Liam might not like the beach. So even if it’s a little cold, I asked the caretaker to clean the pool so we can have a dip.
Though we weren’t able to maximize our trip in Boracay, I would still say it’s a trip worth remembering. It’s really not about if we were able to swim or go around, it’s all about our time together and the memories we create together as a family.
I have a lot of things that I look forward to during our Christmas breaks and here’s another one from my long list – family reunion with my side of the family. I know after 2 years of blogging, it’s just now that am sharing photos of them. As you may have known by now, am really not a good a lazy photographer. I would rather absorb and enjoy the moment than taking pictures. heheh… I always leave that job – taking picture – to Dino or to my nieces (when it come to my side of the family). But my niece lost our files twice! First, her bag was snatched then 2nd time her memory card was corrupted. Talk about luck! Oh well, this time around I really did not stop texting her (read: everyday!) to upload our pics in FB. 🙂
So last December, we all agreed to do it in my 2nd brother’s house again. His house kasi is nearer to de Leon’s abode and they are the one who always cooks, I got it from them actually. I always bother help them in cooking as early as 8 years old. Anyway, sayang lang, 3 of my brothers were not able to go. 2 of them works abroad and the eldest have a late shift that day. Same goes with his kids (except his youngest son) and his wife, they were also not able to come.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s they are – My Family
Hopefully, next time all the other Apo’s will be able to join us. Anyway, Liam loves going to his diku’s (that’s what he calls my 2nd bro) house. He’s the youngest kasi among his cousins kaya super baby nila si Liam. Ako naman, pag andito ako, relax ako, since I can leave Liam with all her achi’s and ahya’s. hehehe.. So while the bagets are playing, the oldies naman kanya kanyang kwentuhan. We usually play exchange gifts but this year, nobody remembered to initiate! hahaha..
One of my favorite gifts that Liam got last Christmas came from my sister. She gave me all the Chinese paraphernalia (books, flash cards and writing papers) that yanyan used since she was in preschool. Cool no? My sis kasi is Ms. keep it all. Walang tapon sa kanya. hehe
Oh yeah! there are 2 more reasons why Liam loves visiting his Diku’s house. First is to see Kong kong (my 2nd SIL’s nephew), his playmate and also because, I let him indulge whenever we are here. Since I know he’ll be given candies and junk food there, I made sure that he had his dinner first before we left Kumati.
Sorry this is the only foto he has that night. A little boy made him cry. hehehe… Kong kong’s current Favorite toy is his ‘plane’ made of blocks. He doesn’t want anyone to touch or borrow it, not even Liam. He is not madamot naman, he lends everything to Liam except for the plane. While playing, kong kong put the toy at his back so Liam can’t reach it. After a while, Liam saw it and get it from his back.
Kongkong: WAAAAAAH!!! Mama Beth! Mama Beth!!
Liam: What happened?? (patay malisya ang loko)
Everyone burst into laughter.. hahahaha
I saw a post in FB before – what makes holidays (Christmas) special. For me, this definitely is it! 🙂
Found this in my iPhone and di pwedeng hindi i-share. This is our first de Leon family photo taken when Liam was only 5mos old. Leah is still single then (engaged to be wed in 2 months time, hehe) kaya wala pa si Tito AJ.
It has now become a de Leon tradition to have a pictorial while we wait for the New Year to come in. We started doing this last 2011 when Liam was only 1. I bought red Angry Bird shirts for the 3 of us and since we are in red na, my MIL decided that we all wear red for the night to bring in luck and para maganda din ang pics. Last year, we decided to wear green, since this is the feng sui color for 2013. (see our 2011 and 2013 year end pictorials here)
This year, feng sui color is still green, and we want it to be different from last year, so I checked the net what the color trend for 2014 is and that decided what our motif will be. Am glad naman that everyone was so game and even bought their shirts just for the pictorial.
and some bonus shots….
Liam’s now starting to get interested in taking shots. Sana matuto and maging magaling like his dad. Yun lang, sayang ang kagwapuhan if he’ll always be behind the cam lang. hehehehe.. just saying..
Am hoping to have more pictorials this year. Am planning to have an outdoor pictorial. Sana matuloy.
Stay tuned pala for our Picture company experience. (I have yet to go back and choose which pics to buy – oh my!!)
Last December, I was still able to fly to Davao to do my rounds (work related) before the holiday break.
Before the trip I was able to make friends with one blogger, Ms. Donna Ocon – Juezan (she’s the blogger behind “The Sound of Life”) from Davao. It started with her dropping by this site. I then shoot her an email and we’ve been exchnaging emails since then. Parang modern pen-pal lang ang peg namen.
At the start I didn’t realize that she also blogs, until I saw her reply in Leah’s IG. I started stalking her blog and found out that she’s from Davao. With the planned trip, I asked her if we could meet and thankfully, she said yes naman.
We’re both nervous at first, it’s both our first ‘blogger’ meet and greet. Hehe We met at Abreeza after work and had dinner at Dong Juan. Dinner was really good especially with a lot of kwentuhan. They’re very warm and welcoming. I felt at ease naman agad once we started talking. I learned a lot about her hubby’s job and what it is all about. Parang I feel it’s fulfilling what he is doing. 🙂
I’m really glad that Leah introduced me to the world of blogging. Am still not considering myself a real and full time blogger, but am enjoying the perks of meeting new friends here.
It was nice meeting you Donna & Marlon! Thanks again for the nice dinner. ‘Til our next meeting. Dito naman sa Cebu? Hehe
Teaser: if there’s a first, there’s always a second… Stay tuned for Liam & Aki’s meet & greet. 🙂
One of my wish list for 2013 is to be able to travel with Liam and we did just that this year. We were able to travel a few times 2nd half of this year 2013 (yan nagagawa ng delayed post). First was the trip to Moal Boal with Ninong Ken and Ninang Bonch. ( you may see my post about it here, here and here).
After that, we were able to have 3 more weekemd escapades. One was our trip to Toledo on Liam’s 3rd birthday (see post here) . But before that we flew to Boracay last August (separate post for this) and as a pre-bora trip we checked in Shangri-La Mactan without Ate Donna. Yes just us 3. We left Donna at home to help Ate Lilia clean the house. I was able to convince Dino to buy vouchers when Shang had their Paradise Sale earlier this year.
This was the first time we had an overnight stay somewhere without Donna. Actually, I know naman na we can do it. Liam’s big and can understand na pero syempre, mas comfortable and hassle free if we have Donna with us. 🙂
Anyway, we were not able to take much photos then, since kame nga lang and my head ached the first day, so it was just Liam and Dino in the pool.
Bumawi ako the second day. We went swimming after our breakfast and Liam enjoyed the slide so much we went back and forth. Pero napapaso na puwetan ko so I told him to stop na. 🙂 We let him run around by himself the whole stay that he scraped his knees. Both knees, the left knee twice. He did not cry, instead he said “Again!?’ as if he’s asking himself why he fell down again. Silly brave boy.
What I love best about this trip is that it made Dino realize that he wants to this with us more often. Maybe not in Shangri-La again, since it’s really steep since we can’t enjoy all the amenities pa with Liam with us. Pero definitely, this trip set the pace for us. For sure, there will more weekend getaways to come on this site. 😉