baby mj @ 1
Michael James “MJ” Cazzola Yap—the first-born child of basketball star James Yap and his longtime partner Michela “Mic” Cazzola—turned a year old on August 8. Four days later, the kid had a safari-themed party thrown by his parents and attended by family and friends.
“Grabe, hindi ako makapaniwala,” James told YES! at the party. “Sobrang bilis ng panahon. Parang kailan lang, nag-baby-shower si Mic, and then ngayon, one year old na siya… Siyempre happy, and thank God, sa twelve months na ’yon, hindi siya nagkasakit. Hindi kami nahirapan. Sana, tuloy-tuloy na gano’n.”
In a separate interview with Mic, also at the party, the beautiful Italian expat echoed James’s sentiments. “Of course, I’m very happy,” she said. “And the more time passes by, the more you love your child. So, it’s a good feeling.”
Mic happily reported that she and James were hands-on in putting together a well-attended and highly enjoyable party.
“But we worked with an amazing team,” she pointed out, referring to the event-planning company La Belle Fete Weddings & Events and to the suppliers tapped to provide the party essentials. “Talagang it’s a pleasure to work with talented Filipinos ’cause they’re so creative and very classy. Talented talaga.”
As for the choice of the party theme, she explained that going on a safari is like taking a trip to the setting of The Lion King, the 1994 Walt Disney animated musical film.
“I love the cartoon, and my baby’s a Leo,” Mic said. “So he’s a little lion. He loves animals. So, ayun, I love the theme. I love the idea of the ‘Circle of Life.’”
“Circle of Life” is among The Lion King’s popular tunes, the opening song that signals the birth of the story’s hero, Simba. Michela “Mic” Cazzola and James Yap carried Michael James, nicknamed MJ, as they posed for photos. Later, they helped their little boy blow out his birthday candles.
When told by YES! that Baby MJ looks like his Filipino-Italian mestizo version, James broke into laughter. “’Wag mo sabihin ’yan kay Mic,” he said, half-joking.
He then asked us: “Guwapo ba ang mestizo version ni James Yap? Gano’n ba talaga kalakas ’yong dugo ko?” And he concluded: “Kung gano’n, happy ako!”
For her part, Mic is convinced that Baby MJ looks like her, except for his eyes. “His eyes are very dark and Asian, that’s from the dad,” she said, noting James’s chinito features. “But the rest is me talaga.”
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