Leia Valenciano turns two

Leia Valenciano turns two

By Jane Kingsu-Cheng

When a cute little girl dressed in pretty crocheted Buzz Lightyear outfit appears on your feed, you double tap it and click on some more. Who is she? Who are her cool parents?

Born on November 2, 2016, this adorable not-so-baby girl is the daughter of Paolo and Sam Valenciano. Her name is Nataleia Martine Godinez Valenciano. Paolo wanted Leia, because of his love for Star Wars, Princess Leia. But I wanted to make the name a little longer. So I thought I invented the name “Nataleia” pronouced as Na-ta-le-yuh (not Natalia), but apparently it’s a stream in Nampula, Mozambique. I added Martine as her seconnd name, because I’ve always loved that name,” reveals mom Sam.

The birthday girl is about to blow her cake, with parents Sam and Paolo Valenciano.

The parents celebrated Leia’s birthday on the actual day, with the theme: Leia 2 Infinity & Beyond. “It’s basically our take on Buzz Lightyear. Leia loves watching Toy Story (she watches it every morning), but specifically loves Buzz and outer space,” explains Sam. “We’ve always planned to just do one big party for her 1st, then next would be on her 7th, but then we realized she had nothing to do with the 1st. It was basically a party for us coz she was so young. Now that she’s a little human with her own interests and quirks, we wanted to see her actually enjoy her party with other little humans as well.”


And interact with humans, she did! Paolo and Sam hosted a very intimate birthday party, making sure that they only invited friends with kids her age and godparents, and the grandparents as well. “The guests loved that they didn’t have to worry about their kids, because they were preoccupied with all the play areas. The floors were carpeted also so it’s safe, too! They also loved our Jollibee buffet. We basically had a buffet of buckets and burgers for them to just grab and place on their tables to enjoy. Also the D.I.Y ramen cart! That was a hit!”


But the most memorable for this family of three was when Leia first saw Buzz Lightyear: “She was so happy & couldn’t let go of him! I also loved seeing her enjoy the play areas. She had no nap and stayed up until we got home to open presents!”


Yes, this little girl may just be two years old, but she has filled the hearts of many with joy. Her parents’ wish? “We wish that you stay as funny and as happy as you are! You amaze us everyday with all your new tricks and quirks. You’re such a smart and beautiful little girl and we are so happy and proud to be your parents! We love you so so much!”

Photos taken by Cocoon Studio.


Photos by  Cocoon Studio


Beanbags by InstaMUG

Alien bags by Arteegram Manila


Sounds and lights by Soundcheck

Styling by Passion Cooks

Mascot by Cosplay Performers

Front play area (slides/ball pits/teepees) and crown souvenirs by Fun Nest

Interactive play area (slime pit/magnet board/ball tubes) by Playscape Manila

Play gym and bouncy castle by Ada’s Wonderland


Cake by Sugarcraft MNL

Ramen cart by Passion Cooks

Buffet by Jollibee

Ice cream pops by Mr. Churros

Smoothie/Juice bar by Thirsty Turtle