Vacation at Boracay

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

Waiting for our flight at Mactan Airport
Waiting for our flight at Mactan Airport
Liam just woke up and was able to ride the service bus going to our designated plane
Liam just woke up and was able to ride the service bus going to our designated aircraft 

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..

our first morning in Bora
our first morning in Bora

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. 🙂

Trike ride going to the port
Trike ride going to the port
Looking for our boat..  Liam not sure if he will like it.. haha
Looking for our boat..
Liam not sure if he will like it.. haha
on the boat with our vests
on the boat with our vests

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)

lunch at Andok's
lunch at Andok’s

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.

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Swimming in the pool.
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YEY! Swimming time for Liam! 

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.

Til our next trip! 🙂

Vday Gift from Liam

This post had been sitting on my drafts since Feb. 14, 2013.

The night before Vday, Liam had act up that created an argument between me and Dino.  That night, all my insecurities about being a good mom and all the guilt came out.  I really can’t sleep with all those bad thoughts, so after a few toss and turns, I went out of the room so I can clear my head.

Before I move on to that night’s story, let me share with you another concern we are handling.  Liam has a problem about waking up alone.  You see, ever since he was born, I was so praning that even if he’s asleep, I really don’t want him left alone.   So maybe, that’s also the reason why he’s not use to it.  Earlier this year, they had an incident where Donna left him for a while to pee (during his nap).  He woke up and cried so bad that he had been restless in bed since then.  He would always make sure that somebody is on his side by hugging or touching any part of his body to the one beside him.  I talked to him every night after that.  Told him that he doesn’t have to cry and be afraid should he wake up alone, that I will only be outside should he wake up and not find me. (same goes when he takes his afternoon naps with Donna).  Every night for a week I did that.  Slowly, he was able to sleep better.

Back to my restless night, while unnecessarily feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly heard someone opening the door from our room. I thought it was just Dino checking on me, then I realized that it was Liam all doze-y and with eyes squinting at the light, no crying, just looking for me outside as I told him. I quickly carried him (before he fell down on our steps) and he simply asked: “what are you doing?”

With that simple gesture, I realized that am doing something right after all.

Me taking a nap while 2 months old Liam sleeps on my chest.
Me taking a nap while 2 months old Liam sleeps on my chest.

 

Handy Lolo

Liam has been fascinated with cars (read: real cars) as early as he was 6 mos old.  His curiosity started with the stirring wheel, then moved to the gear, then to the pedals. Now, he can distinguish automatic cars from manual cars by looking at the gear and pedals. Anyway, supporting his love for cars, his Lolo made cars (driver’s seat only) with wood, PVC pipes and old toys.

Introducing Liam’s ride V1 (drum roll please)

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V1 – using Liam’s kick board, pipes, stirring wheel from his Ninang and some straws

After a few weeks, Lolo got so hooked with the project and gifted his beloved apogi with a better version.  He gave it to Liam when we went home for Christmas.  My son was so ecstatic when he saw this.

V2
V2 (manual car) – bigger and better, complete with pedal (mind you, the pedal springs back when stepped on), gear, chair, stirring wheel and a logo.

Due to insistent public (read: apogi) demand, V2 was updated with a gas tank and foot rest before we went back to Cebu.  Since V2 is bulky, we can’t pack it to bring back to Cebu.  So, on Lolo’s next visit to Cebu which was only a week later after our holiday vacay in Kumati, he made Liam another one – this time it’s an automatic version.

Liam helping his Lolo fix the car - now with 4x4 gear.
Liam helping his Lolo fix the car – now with 4×4 gear.

 

A funny side story, while fixing V3, Lolo asked ate Donna to give him the screw driver. Donna passed the tool to Liam and asked him to give it to Lolo.  Who can guess what Liam did?  He gave Lolo his toy screw driver and used the real screw driver himself.  Kulit lang talaga.  Good thing, we have a spare driver, thus the photo above. 🙂

 

PS.  I just realized now, where my other chair had been. hahahaha.. 🙂

 

Chocolate Crinkles

Am so sorry, this blog have been neglected for more than a month now.  This morning, I got a comment that gave my blogging mojo back. Well, am not sharing it muna until we finalize it.  But I hope it will push through (fingers crossed).

Anyway, just to get back in the rhythm, sharing new recipe I’ve tried.  Been wanting to bake the perfect Chocolate Crinkles and I found the recipe already courtesy of KrisTV.  hehe.. It’s the episode where Piolo and Toni Gonzaga guessed and cooked for the show. Liam and I enjoyed preparing this as well as eating them.

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CHOCOLATE CRINKLES

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 kg.  bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • powdered sugar for coating

How to:

  • melt the chocolate and butter together in a double broiler
  • set aside to cool down
  • on a separate bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and set aside
  • beat the eggs until frothy and light
  • gradually beat in the sugar
  • add the vanilla
  • add the melted chocolate and butter (mix well)
  • then gradually beat in the dry ingredients
  • put inside the ref for about 2 hours or until hard enough to roll
  • Scoop, roll and cover the dough with powdered sugar (used ice cream scoop)
  • make sure to cover it generously as it will still expand and crack
  • set on a lined cookie sheet
  • bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees celcius

As Dino have described it in his FB, it is warm and moist. Well, we devoured it as soon as it was baked, that’s why it’s still warm. I really enjoyed making these as Liam was able to help me from start to end.  It’s a bit messy having him as an assistant but it was all worth it. 🙂  ENJOY!! 🙂

from Dino's FB:  Liam making sure that the powdered sugar for the Chocolate Crinkles is of the right taste. ;-)
from Dino’s FB: Liam making sure that the powdered sugar for the Chocolate Crinkles is of the right taste. 😉

Co Family Reunion 2013

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

The Adults (L to R) BIL, Ronel (sis' hubs); "favorite' sister, Judz; 2nd Bro, Mao; our beloved Mother; me and Dino, SIL2 (2nd bro's wifey), Beth; and SIL3 (3rd bro's wifey), Irene
The Adults (L to R)
BIL – Ronel (sis’ hubs); ‘favorite’ sister – Judz; 2nd Bro – Mao; our beloved Mother; me and Dino, SIL2 – Beth (2nd bro’s wifey); and SIL3 – Irene (3rd bro’s wifey)
the kids
The kids (L to R; T to B)
Karen, Liam, DineDine, Caloy, Yanyan, Guia, D’An, AJ, John and Kristine

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..

'attitude' My sis is laughing so hard, my mom and ate irene can't help but joined her
the girls with ‘attitude’
My sis is laughing so hard, my mom and ate irene can’t help but joined her
Boys chatting while drinking outside the kulambo. hehe
Boys chatting while drinking outside the kulambo. hehe
My mom's version of 'Attitude' hehehe.. kenkoy kenkoy din pag may time..
My mom’s version of ‘Attitude’ hehehe.. kenkoy kenkoy din pag may time..

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

Liam 'scaring' his cousins with the Chinese flash cards.
Liam ‘scaring’ his cousins with the Chinese flash cards.
Selfie with Dichi and Sachi
Selfie with Dichi and Sachi

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.

Huli! Someone gave him 'spicy' drink.
Huli! Someone gave him ‘spicy’ drink.
Introducing Kong kong
Introducing Kong kong

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

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See how they love my son, they allow him to use their cam. Me at the back, scared that he might drop it. kow!

I saw a post in FB before – what makes holidays (Christmas) special. For me, this definitely is it! 🙂

Oh No! Not Again!

One of the things I love and miss doing is travelling.  Last December, Dino and I are planning to fly abroad to spend some quality time together – just the 2 of us. But I think this will be put on a long hold.

Last 2012, we already booked our tickets for a 4 days 3 nights out of country trip. We requested my mom to fly to Cebu to oversee things and of course take care of Liam.  Unfortunately, my mom got sick and was confined not once, but twice while she was here with us in Cebu.  Glad that she’s very well now. Dino and I have to kiss our tickets goodbye though.

Last week month (this post has been sitting on my drafts for a month now), we had a week long meeting in our manila office. (info: Dino and I are working for the same company and in the same department. He is my immediate boss, talk about luck in work) we initially thought of bringing Liam along, but he’ll be skipping a week of school so we decided otherwise.  This time we requested my in-laws  to fly in and take care of the apo.

First Night in Manila, I wasn’t able to sleep well.  I thought to myself, namamahay lang ako.  I feel so agitated so I went to the living room, worked a little and slept there instead. 3 hrs tops (putol putol pa!).  Following morning, my MIL called and informed us that Liam has a slight fever and this is where the “story” begins.

Oh no! Not again No. 1:  Someone got sick with our plans of going out of country and this time it was Liam.  Okay, maybe it is really not due to our plans and it was just coincidence but I felt like the universe is telling us something.

Our first out of country trip together
Our first out of country trip together

Oh no! Not again No. 2:  Liam had seizure again.  He already had seizure last year when he caught that Herpangina virus (see my post here).  This really sucks since this was already the 2nd time it happened to him in a year’s time and worst, this time both Dino and I are in Manila.

Guilty mama story – Scientifically, I know that it was the fever that caused his seizure, but the superstitious side in me believes that it might also be due to their visit to the ER that afternoon.   You see, Liam have been complaining that his pee won’t come out.  So I got worried that he might have UTI. So his pedia advised us to bring him to ER so they can check his urine.  We did not know that ER will extract blood too.  Liam was super horrified that time (as per Lola’s kwento) that maybe, just maybe, this fear caused his fever to shoot up that night.  😦  So if we decided otherwise, he might not have seizure?

Mommy and Liam's bonding time
Mommy and Liam’s bonding time

Oh no! Not again No. 3:  Someone got hospitalized again.  Due to the seizure, his pedia advised us to have him admitted so he can be put under observation.  Seizure kasi is bad for the brain, especially if there is recurrence.  I think she also advised hospitalization to put us (Dino and me) at ease.  But AT EASE is the last thing that we can be.  Since we’re both in Manila, our in-laws have to be the one to go with him. Dino and I agreed that I fly back to Cebu and he stay behind and check if he can fly in day after.  He booked me in next flight we can get.  Ako na si Darna!

It was all worth it.  Lola was telling me how Liam was super weak and not in the mood but his demeanor changed once he heard my voice and saw me.  He was so lively na and daldal.  Here in the pic below, we are watching TV and he was back to his old self na except for the fact that he has IV on one hand.

Thanks to my MIL for being able to take pic. :)
Thanks to my MIL for being able to take pic. 🙂

I’m really thankful that my in-laws are here then, if not, I really don’t know what I’ll do.  Pero, as much as am thankful, I also empathize with them, imagine how hard it is for them to see their beloved first and only apo in that situation?  Even my mom cried when I texted her about Liam’s situation (and that’s just over the phone and Liam is already her 15th apo, how much more my in-law no?! haaay, this always makes me teary eyed) That’s why I really told Lolo and Lola that I hope they won’t get phobia and will still come and be willing to take care of Liam. hehe.  This was their first time kasi to come and take over.  Usually, at least one of us is here kasi when they visit.  I think di naman, since Lolo is scheduled to come next week.. whew!

Oh no! Not again No. 4:  We have to delay our plans of going out of country – na di kasama si Liam.  Yes, we are still planning to go abroad, pero this time, Liam is going with us! Crossing my fingers!! 🙂

Taken at the airport going to Manila...
Taken at the airport going to Manila…

I just want to share a thought/story on the guilt story I shared above. I’ve been discussing the film “Frozen” with my office mate.  We both agreed that what happened to Elsa was her parent’s fault.  We felt that they shouldn’t have kept Elsa’s power, they shouldn’t have her conceal it.  A lot of should haves and shouldn’t haves.  But after all these Oh no’s! I was able to relate to the Elsa and Anna’s parents.  We might think they should have done it otherwise, but all their decision that time was what they thought and knew best for their children – not just Elsa but for Anna too.  They did not ask her to conceal it for any bad reason, but for her own good too.   That realization is what’s keeping me going now.  Knowing that whatever Dino and I may have decided and will decide in the future, it will always be what we think is best for our family.

Advance Valentine Gift

One of my 2014 resolution is “magtipid”. Well, am not really magastos, but I have a few weaknesses too.

1. Groceries and eating out
I never think twice when it comes to my cravings, cooking and baking. Every time I want to try a new dish and it calls for a new spice or ingredient, kaching! Walang isip isip!

When am out naman, I always make it a point to buy Dino’s and Liam’s fave food, kahit sang damakmak pa ang pagkain sa bahay. I just can’t help it, I want to make them happy lang naman.

I also have a bad habit of treating our staffs, especially if am the one who initiated where to eat and if i knew that it’s out of their budget na. Kaching!

2. FitFlop
Ever since Dino gave me my first pair, I never stopped loving and owning another pair. In total, I already have 10prs – 5 of which are still with me.  Yeah, I give my old ones to my nieces and once to my MIL. 🙂

Now, I’m eyeing 3 more designs – Flora, Chada and Flare Slide.  I already told myself that I don’t need it. Dino agreed to buy me 1 na nga pero am really controlling myself. Ok pa ung 5prs ko. Ahem ahem very good ako (thanks!)

3. Maldita
I never came out of this store empty handed. Ewan ko ba, there’s always something I like in this shop. Kaya last that I went out, I really did not drop by this store! Ahem again.. applause naman dyan.

4. Last is our stores (not ours like Dino and mine but stores we’re handling here in VisMin)
I also have this bad habit of buying stuff from our stores even if I don’t need them. Ganun kagagaling mga staffs namen, pati ako nabobola.. O ganun lang talaga ako ka-gullible. Hehe

That’s just what I really spend on. Pero bigger percentage of all my spendings is in food talaga.

Anyway, back to my topic.. With this resolution in mind, I stayed away from Maldita and did not let my staff talk me into buying any of our products. BUT! out of curiosity lang, I dropped by Yosi Samra store. They just opened a branch here in Ayala Cebu last November 2013.  Kakatawa pa, I really don’t know this brand, I asked my staff pa, ano benta nila puro cigarettes? She told me, “No, Ms. Juvs, I think they are selling ballet flats.’  Shunga lang talaga. hehehe

So before even stepping in the store, I was very firm not to buy anything.  The store supervisor was very nice and accommodating. Pero kahit na I kept on telling myself not to be fooled. Hahaha

I first tried their snake skin line and it was really nice. Insole was super soft and di masakit sa paa.  I checked the price, GULP! 2795.  A bit pricey for a ballet flats.

Samara Serpent in Beige (photo taken from their official website)
Samara Serpent in Beige

Pero firm ako, so I gave the pair back to Josh (the sup).  I am so firm that I even went around.  Next, I saw their slippers. The footbed was soft also and it looks nice on my feet.

Roee Metallic Leather in Rose Gold
Roee Metallic Leather in Rose Gold (1,995 pesos if I remember it right)

I even tried 2 prs since the first was too big for me. I almost lost my will power pero again, firm ako, so I returned both pairs to Josh and went further and checked their Croco collection (as per Josh, these are their new arrivals).

Orly Embossed Croco Loafer (with Tassle)
Orly Embossed Croco Loafer (with Tassle) in Moss

Oh no!!! All my will power went missing when I tried this one!  I checked the price P3,795 Oh my gulay! Too pricey for a pair of ballet flats but it did not help my will power to come back.  I just really LOVE this pair!!

Ang ganda diba?!?!
Ang ganda diba?!?!

Am glad I did not give in to Dino’s FitFlop gift, I was able to ask him to give me these shoes instead! YES!!!  hehehe.  Thanks to my Bobe for the early Valentine’s Day gift and date (of course I wore my new pair to our date! 😉 )

Disclaimer:  All product shots were taken from YS’s official website.  

Conquering That Stressful Haircut

Remember my old post about Liam’s stressful haircut?  My SIL, Leah, also wrote about Liam’s stressful haircut here.  This is really one thing we dread to do every time the need arises.  Well, am happy to report that we are “slowly” conquering this fear.

Before 2013 ended, we brought a long haired Liam to the salon. As always, I talked to him beforehand that we are going to see Kuya Eduard. He agreed and I took advntage of his good mood and told him that we need to go inside the salon. (You see, past haircuts, we do it outside the salon so as not to disturb other customers…) I even ask him if we could sit down. Nakahalata ata at di na pumayag… Hehe

No more crying! :)
No more crying! 🙂

Improvements:

1. We are now inside the salon (still carrying him and standing)
2. We wore the “blanket” (tunic) this time
3. No more crying, no more struggles, no more bites on my shoulders.. Hehe

Excitedly waiting for Kuya Eduard to put gel on his hair.. ;)
Excitedly waiting for Kuya Eduard to put gel on his hair.. 😉

Last Sunday, Liam had his 2 weeks delayed haircut. Again, we talked to him. I really thought he’ll back out when he learned that his ever trustful Kuya Eduard is not available. Fortunately, the gel trick did it for us. 🙂  It was Kuya Michael who did his do.  Because he’s behaved, the haircut took us 30 minutes.  Yes, he sat still for 30 minutes, kahit kame ni Dino di makapaniwala. hehe..

Ang bait diba?
Ang bait diba?
concentrate...
concentrate…
...sa panunuod.. hehe
…sa panunuod.. hehe

Improvements:
1. He now agreed to sit on the chair (on ate Donna’s lap)
2. He now wore his own “blanket”
3. He is more relaxed now

Gel time!! :)
Gel time!!  He was the one who requested for Kuya Mike to put his hair up. 🙂

I’m so happy that we finally beat this fear.  Next stop is for him to sit on his own na. 🙂

Good job Liam!! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you. 🙂

Holiday 2013 Pictorial

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.

We always start with the family portrait
de Leon family portrait
Liam with Ninang Tita and Tito AJ
Liam with Ninang Tita and Tito AJ (and yes, my SIL is Leah of the Bright Spot! ahem ahem!)
Liam with Lolo and Lola
Liam with Lolo and Lola
and here's our family portrait this year.
and here’s our family portrait this year.

and some bonus shots….

de Leon girls...
de Leon girls…
2013 xmas others 001
Liam is asking when will his turn to take pictures be..
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Now it’s my turn.. 🙂

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!!)