8 months ago, I booked a flight to Singapore with my friend and my roommate. For some reason, my friend cancelled the trip because her passport will be at the Australian Embassy, since she is also planning a trip to Australia. That leaves me and my roommate to travel. Months before the travel, I prepared all necessary documents such as plane ticket, accommodation, certificate of employment (just in case), and passport. I also did research on what to do and what to see in Singapore. Everything was already falling into pieces, when a month before the travel, I noticed that my passport will already be expiring on April 7, 2015. As per Singaporean policy, passport must be valid 6 months until my return from travel. Our travel was October 7, 2015, therefore on my departure my passport will then be less than 6 months valid. I no longer have time to renew and Cebu does not have express passport renewal so I ended up cancelling my trip altogether. I was sulking with sadness for a couple of days. My vacation leave from work was already scheduled for my Singapore travel and I don’t want to cancel it either. What I did was to move to plan B. So, my plan B was to travel to Oslob then Dumaguete City. I prepared my itinerary a day before the trip. The next thing I knew I was already on board Ceres bus to Oslob.

 

We traveled around 2 PM. The travel took 4 hours, so when we arrived in Oslob, it was already dark. We just rest that night to prepare for whale watching the next day.

 

Being an early riser and due to too much excitement, I woke up at 4 AM. The place where we stayed is just close to the whale shark point. I was waiting for the sunrise while eating my breakfast and after few hours this was already my view. How surreal. I can even see whale fins from where I am standing. I guess it is just not me who is an early riser.

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At 7AM we headed to the whale shark center to have our orientation of the do’s and don’ts during swimming with the whales. It’s all pretty much our initiative: no touching of the whale, do not move too close to the whale, no sun block and etc. The fee is P500.00 for local and P1, 000.00 for foreigners.  I do not know why there is a difference when foreigners are still human like locals, but I do not dwell on it either. The fee already includes snorkelling gear. If you will not swim with the whale, the fee will be P350.00, but there is no fun there.

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I knew they are harmless so I was not scared at all. I was still on the boat and I can already see them. When we arrived at the whale shark point I immediately jumped to the water and finally saw the wonder with my own eyes. There are baby whales and there are also big whales. Literally big, as big as the bus that we ride going to Oslob.

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If the whale will come near you, it’s fine, you will not be penalized but you also do not have to panic. I love it when whales come near me coz the photographer will not have difficulty taking photos. We rented an underwater camera since we do not have one and I do not want to miss the opportunity for this encounter not to be documented. The underwater camera rental fee is P500.00 unlimited shots. The photographer will also be the boat man.

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I am wearing a life vest because I don’t know how to swim. I totally envy those who can swim because they can sink underwater for a really nice shot with the whale. Unfortunately, I can’t, so it will be the photographer that needs to go under to take my picture. Haha!

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That one is really big!

 

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This smile is for the happiness I felt for this one of a kind experience.

 

After our swimming with the whales we went straight to Tumalog falls. Motorcycle going there costs P150.00 each. When you get to the location, you will need to ride another motorcycle to the falls (I don’t know why).Tourist have the option to go trekking to Tumalog fallls, but since we are in a hurry, we just took another motorcycle for another P50.00 each. I want to complain but I can’t blame them if it’s their livelihood.

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This falls is really enchanting. It is like raindrops. Unlike other waterfalls that pour tons of water, this one does not and it is also shallow. You can even go under the waterfalls and can still stand. I really want to go on swimming but during this time, it was really cold because it’s raining and we no longer have the time since it was already 9AM and our boat going to Sumilon will leave at 9:30. I just content myself watching the scenic view.

 

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We were just on time when we arrived at the port of Bluewater Sumilon Resort to catch the 9:30 AM boat. We will be going there for a day trip. Their day trip fee is P1,500.00 each. This already includes use of all amenities and lunch.

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This is the island from afar, too small and too secluded.

 

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When we get to the Island, we were greeted with the smiling and friendly staff.

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This is the Sumilon Island map. There are a lot of activities to do for all guests to enjoy such as snorkeling, trekking, fish feeding, and boating.

 

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This is the pool. I love the view here because I can see the mainland and it is just so nice to be on top of the world and appreciate nature. I also love to swim in the swimming pool than the beach because there is no sand here.

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There is also couple’s pool; much like a Jacuzzi but it’s larger.

 

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This is my view from the pool. It is just so magnificent you wish you have a pool that has a view like this.

 

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Sending my love to all my readers.

 

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For lunch we had soup and skewered sausage wrapped in bacon as a starter.

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Pork Belly in honey sauce with broccoli and cauliflower.

 

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Fish fillet with broccoli and cauliflower.

 

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For dessert we had Chocolate ala mode with cookies and cream ice cream and watermelon.

 

After our lunch we went for a tour to check what we can do for the rest of the day.

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They have a playground. Surely kids will not be bored.

 

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Badminton Area. I would really love to play but it was raining.

 

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This is the dive shop. If you want to go for snorkeling, you can get you snorkeling gear here and they will give you instruction and take you to the snorkeling area. Since the waves are big we can’t risk going on snorkeling so we forget about that as well.

 

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Since we can’t do a lot of activities due to bad weather, we went for fish feeding instead.

 

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These are the fishes when you have not feed them yet.

 

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And here they are after you tossed the bread to feed them.

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After feeding them we went to catch them. We are allowed to go fishing but fishes need to be returned to the lake afterwards. So this is just for fun and to pass time. Here I am and the catch of the day.

 

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We caught this little fish but since it’s still a baby, we tossed it back to the lake.

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We got bored again so we went on trekking. We decided to go to the light house; we took the cane and started trekking.

 

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This is the path for advanced trekking, it was on the edge of the cliff and since it is raining, stones are a bit slippery so we went back to change route.

 

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Before we headed back, I was able to take a picture from the top with the nice view like this.

 

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This is the beginner’s path for trekking. It’s not as difficult as the advanced but the soil is soft due to rain.

 

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The beautiful cliff view.

 

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After hours of trekking we finally arrived on our destination, to see the light house.

 

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I made an attempt to climb, but it’s too slippery. I may not have problem ascending but I might have descending, so I just content myself looking at it.

 

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This is the Baluarte. I don’t know what it means, but when I checked it is just all ruins.

 

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The way to Yamashita Cave. We did not attempt to enter; I guess we’re too scared to see his treasures.

 

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We dropped by the Grotto and saw Mama Mary there.

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On our way back we also checked their Green house. They have lots of plants here. When building a resort with this island, it is just appropriate to have everything on this place to save a trip to mainland to buy vegetables.

 

The weather may not be at its best when we went to Oslob, but it did not hinder us doing all these activities that we truly enjoyed.

 

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I am a fashion blogger; lifestyle blogging is not my thing where in people is updating people what is new in town. My blog is really personal, it only contains thing I want to blog particularly fashion because that is the reason why I created my domain.  But I do blog other things, such as restaurants that become my favorite, places that have been very remarkable and unforgettable travels. My blog is sort of my diary. I already got tired writing in my diary because what I write are not secrets, so I decided to share it through blogging.

 

Today, I will be sharing my dining experience to my now new favorite restaurant in Cebu, Brique. For those who do not know where Brique is located, it is at Salinas Drive, Lahug Cebu City beside Chika-an Restaurant and STI College. When this restaurant was still under construction I already know that this is going to be a big deal just like the Pizza Republiq when it opened, which is not just far from where Brique is located.

 

When a new restaurant opens and it has an interesting structure and design, people will go there out of curiosity. If people will be satisfied with the food, word of mouth will spread and words will become wind. This is how Brique started. I am not into craze type of person. I do not go where all people go because I dislike queue and crowded place. I will only go there once the craze is over and the restaurant will just be as normal. I know Brique is still a craze even after few months, so we went there on weekdays 4PM (yes, not dinner time), because I know the place will be crowded at dinner time.

 

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This is how it looks like inside. The interior is perfect and well designed. If you noticed cemented floor, walls and the front counter is not painted, it is just cement finished, but it looks really sophisticated. They have this longitudinal wine storage you can see in the wall that can be reached through the ladder. This place is really cool. I mean, there are not a lot of restaurant that has this interior. They have a second floor but it was not open at the time we visited so I was not able to take a picture.

 

Let us move to the main event, the menu and the food.

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For my drinks, I ordered Cafe Mocha, P80.00. I am not really into coffee, but I need to be awake for the next few hours because I have a travel itinerary to make. I love it, truly, it is a concentrated cafe mocha. Not like the other Cafe Mocha from other restaurant that I tasted that are just so diluted with lots of ice. This coffee has lots of ice but since it is diluted, the taste did not charge.

 

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For starter we ordered Chili Con Queso Dip, P165.00. This is a Mexican spiced beef chilli with Mozzarella cheese. I love dips, if I see dips in the menu, I always order one. The other dip that I like is the Mozarella dip of Cafe Georg, but Brique’s Chili Con Queso dip is also exceptional.

 

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For main dish you can have a choice of Salad or Rice. We chose Salas for this Southern Fried Chicken, at P260.00. It is 2 chicken breast fillet served with country style gravy. Wow for this chicken as it is very flavorful and wow for the gravy that I wished I could ask for more.

 

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This is the Braised Beef Pot Roast for P240.00. It is a tender beef pot roast with potato, carrots, and mushrooms served in thick gravy. This is really delicious and highly recommended. I just hope the serving is a lot more because I only have few beef slices. Though, I really love the sauce I finished it all clean plate.

 

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This is a feast!

 

So here in my verdict: I score 5/5, 2 points for food, 2 points for place and ambience, and 1 point for customer service.

 

For the food, I will give a score of 2. The serving may not be that big but the food is exceptional. It is favorful and tasty; I wish to try other menu next time and will still get this kind of satisfaction.

 

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For the place and ambiance, its 2 points. I loved the interior design, the originality and the comfort the place brings. It is clean including the toilet.

 

For the customer service, this will be tough as I am also working in customer service and my standard has become really high. I will give them 0.25 points. Servers are nice no problem with that, but they are not smiling and they don’t look approachable. They gave us a menu and forgot about us afterwards. We waited for 15 minutes for them to take our orders; good thing we were not in a hurry as we are also taking time appreciating the place and we are not that hungry. I was raising my hand more than 5 times and no one seems to notice. There were only few customers but the service is really slow. I was not upset with the servers because they were kind when they approach; I just have something to say about the slow service.

 

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That is a total of 4.25 points for me.  The place and the food is truly amazing, I wish they will just improve customer service. The smile that I have is for you Brique. I want you to know that I enjoyed my dining experience.

 

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It was a fine beautiful day when we decided to visit West 35 2 weeks ago when the weather was not yet bipolar. The decision to go there was to dine at Haven Cafe as I have been reading great reviews about their good food at a very reasonable price. We intend to travel there early so that we can also go home early as we will just be commuting.

 

How to get there:

From Ayala Center Cebu Terminal, we ride a V-Hire going to Balamban since West 35 is located in Balamban, Cebu. The place is known; just tell the driver that you wish to be dropped at West 35. V-hire fare is P120.00.

 

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This is what you will see when you enter West 35, a huge signage along the road will let you know that you have already reached your destination.

 

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There will be an entrance fee if you do not have the intent to dine. It is $50/pax consumable for weekdays and non consumable for weekends and holidays.

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The place is so serene and peaceful. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, you can escape and visit this tranquil place. The place is very clean and beautifully landscaped; flowers are planted on the side walk, pine trees made the place really calming.

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This is the Rotunda. I honestly love how this place was structured in this mountainous area, but it would have been pretty if this is a fountain. But I do understand the architect for having stones structure instead of fountain since fountains are already becoming overrated. I bet this is also a fountain, it is just not working when we went there, and that I am not sure.

 

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This is the office and concierge area if you wish to inquire for the Villa rates. Yes, they have Villas, huge enough, ideal for group outing, retreats and team buildings. But since we do not have the intention of staying overnight, we did not inquire anymore.

 

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This is the playground. This place reminds me of my little brother; I bet he will surely love this place.

 

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Reminder signage for safety inside the playground.

 

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I hope I can also play, but I am already too old to play. I remembered when I was young, I was very afraid to try the slides. I guess I really did not try that back then. I am always a scared little girl.

 

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This is the way going to the Haven Cafe where we went to eat our lunch.

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This view from the top is really breathtaking. The weather is perfect, it was not too hot and it is even chilly. The air is just so fresh you would wish you live here.

 

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From the top I can also see the Villas.

 

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I wish I have a house on top of the mountain with view like this. Again, I wish…

 

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Blue skies, green land and fresh air. What more can you ask for?

 

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Welcome to Haven Cafe.

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The place does not have aircon, but there is truly no need for that because the place is on top of the mountain, it is always windy and even if it is sunny the air is chilly. That rhymes!

 

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I’m chillin’. We were seated on the sides so that we can see the view.

 

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I was browsing the magazine when I saw myself. This is an old photo taken during the opening of the first La Vie Parissienne in Lahug.

 

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While we were waiting for our order, we had a little photo shoot. It is always mandatory. :-)

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For refreshment we ordered West Minty Lemonade for P155.00

 

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This is their Lechon Kawali for P255.00, I am a bit disappointed with the serving as it appears too small and it is just like a pork chop, not a Lechon Kawali. But nonetheless, it taste good and very flavorful.

 

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This is their Grilled Boneless Chicken for P210.00. It is 2 Chicken breast in Pesto sauce, taste like heaven. No wonder this is their best seller.

 

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This is the stairs going up.

 

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This photo was taken on their roof deck. This is the highest point so you can already see the mountains on the other side.

 

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The other things that I love about this place are the plants and flowers. Check out the lovely flowers that I captured. Now I wish I have a garden full of these.

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That wraps up my West 35 adventure. Stay tuned for my next adventures that I will be posting here in my blog.

 

Have a good day everyone!

 

 

 

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I do not usually blog about something that happens with my personal life especially if it is not anything fashion related for privacy reasons, but I cannot help not to share this with you guys because I consider this as one of my proudest moments. About a month ago, at exactly September 13, 2014 I was one of the awardees for the Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 recognition for the top performing agents in one of the largest BPO Company, Convergys. August 7, 2014 marked my 2 years of serving American customers for their billing issues and by giving the best customer service. In those 2 years, this is the first time that I was awarded and I was not even expecting that I will be awarded at all. The news came as a surprise. In a department with thousands of employees who wants to excel, you will not be expecting that you will be one of those who exceeded company’s expectation. Not at all when you are on the second rank.

 

The theme for the night was Black and White casual/semiformal attire. I came prepared. I want to be prepared because I do not know if this will be my first and my last or if this will happen to me again, but I would still want to be prepared. The event was held in Circa 1900, on one of their function rooms.

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Before the program started and while we were eating, we were serenade by violinists and a cellist.

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The food was served in buffet style, servers are very friendly and accommodating, but there is just something about the food that I really did not enjoy except for this Coconut and Mango Panna Cotta. I was too excited for the event that I no longer have time to think if the food was great or not.

 

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I am sitting next to Stanley Sing, who has been very consistent on being a top performing agent.

 

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The awarding started with the Quarter 1 awardees. Here I am with the management accepting my second rank award for Quarter 1. The photo was blurry, but I do not care, as I am holding my award and wearing the happiest smile.

 

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The photo is my Company ID photo, along with my award.

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Below are the photos of some of the awardees like me.

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Stanley Jan Sing, second rank for Quarter 2 of the Cable Department.

 

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Cathelyn Bohol, another Quarter 2 awardee of the Billing Department.

 

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Leotacraze Pernites, second rank awardee for Quarter 2 of the Billing Department.

 

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I do not have the photos of the other awardees, but I do have group shots. This one is the Quarter 1 awardees where I belong, for the Billing Department.

 

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These are the Quarter 2 awardees for the Billing Department.

 

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The Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 awardees for the Billing Department.

 

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All awardees from the entire Ecare line of business Quarter 1 and Quarter 2, Team Leads, the management and our site director.

 

After the awarding I had the time to talk with my fellow awardees who are also my friends.

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So happy to have a photo with our Site Director Alex Flores, he is seated in the center.

 

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Photo with our Site Director, management team and fellow awardees.

 

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With my dear friend Leotacraze.

 

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With my TL Kazey Sy, to whom I owe this award as she was my TL for Quarter 1.

 

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I love Leotacraze look. I was the one who styled her for this event.

 

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And I also love my look. Wearing a dress from Ai Li Xuan, a Chinese brand that I bought online, thank god it fits me well, make up by Bernie Belles who is also a good friend of mine and a promising makeup artist, Shoes from Figliarina, and Accessories from Beads and Pearls.

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The night ended well, slept with my head still floating on cloud 9, woke up early the next day for another shift.

 

 

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