19 October 2016

Celebrating Little Manila's First Anniversary with a Yacht Cruise

It was a few days after our visit to Little Manila for their Chef's Table. Hubby was simply browsing through Facebook when he saw the restaurant’s post for their Treasure Hunt contest that would be ending in a few hours. Just for the heck of it, he joined.

The following day…
   Hubby:          Mahal, nanalo daw ako!
   Me:               Saan?
   Hubby:          Sa Little Manila. Yung contest nila sa FB.
   Me:               Ano daw napanalunan mo?
   Hubby:         Yacht cruise for 2 daw. Ito, check mo yung message nila sa akin.
   Me:               Weehh? Talaga?!
True enough, that’s what it said. And you can imagine we were both thrilled to find we would get the chance to experience something luxurious like this.

Honestly though, I was a bit hesitant that maybe (just maybe) others might think it was rigged.  After all, we've visited Little Manila a few times for their events so the people behind the contest know who we are.  To be sure, I sent an e-mail to Ken Peralta (their Brand Manager) and told him that my husband was one of the winners, asking if it was alright.  Luckily, he assured me that the winners were randomly picked and they didn't even know my husband's full name until I sent that e-mail. So...whew!☺

Fast forward to last Saturday, Hubby and I headed to the Dubai Marina behind Marina Mall and gathered with the 11 other winners and their respective +1’s for the yacht cruise. As soon as the crew said we could board, we immediately scrambled up and snapped away. It was so exciting!
Falcon 82
the front of the yacht
ang winner ng puso ko (hahaha! baduuuuy!)
Mr. Naqvi Parvez, the restaurant’s General Manager, and Ken were there to meet all of the winners and to see us off. Rachel Gallegos (their Office Administrator) and a few of their staff went along the cruise with us to make sure we were taken cared of all throughout. And to cover the event, Junie Sorsano (vlogger behind Buhay sa Dubai) joined us as well.

Trivia: Did you know that Ken used to be an actor and member of That's Entertainment? ☺
(That's Entertainment was a youth-oriented television show in the Philippines during the 80s-90s)
Junie holding a certificate of one of the winners
our happy and excited group
(photo courtesy of Junie Sorsano)
(photo courtesy of Junie Sorsano)
Once everything was ready, the captain steered Falcon 82 into the marina. We were off! With the cool breeze blowing and the steady sway of the yacht, we all just leaned back, enjoyed the views, and simply relished the experience.  And took pictures, of course ☺
As we cruised into the Arabian Gulf and night began to fall, we began to feel hungry so we helped ourselves to the delectable food, made of course by Little Manila.  Looking at the feast laid out and knowing that they were delicious, I really wanted to indulge.  But since I was afraid I might get seasick, I only ate what I needed to satisfy my hunger.  Actually, it was a good thing I didn't eat too much because on our way back, the waves were strong and the yacht kept swaying more than usual. To keep my food down, I simply went to the top deck, sat down, chewed on a piece of mint, and focused my eyes on the Burj Al Arab because it was stable (i.e. not moving).

Speaking of the most luxurious hotel in the world...I was so happy that we had the chance to see it the way we did that night.  The captain took the yacht all the way right in front of it and Jumeirah Beach Hotel and stopped so that we could capture the view.  The pictures don't give it justice, but believe me, it really was breathtaking!
(photo courtesy of Junie Sorsano)
On the e-mail invitation that had been sent to the winners, it was mentioned that we could go swimming.  Hubby and I had no intention to get in the water, but we knew a few people had brought their swimsuits. However, only Rachel and another person were brave enough to try for a few minutes.  
(photo courtesy of Junie Sorsano)
(photo courtesy of Junie Sorsano)
At this point, I was already feeling a bit nauseous so I immediately headed to the top deck where I stayed until my stomach had settled and the yacht returned to the marina, giving me the chance to take in and enjoy the spectacular views of the buildings we passed by.
(photo courtesy of Little Manila)
(photo courtesy of Little Manila)
(photo courtesy of Little Manila)
Without a doubt, we all enjoyed the 2-hour cruise that night.  Now we can finally say that we haven't only gone on a dhow cruise in Dubai, we've experienced a yacht cruise as well.  And we had the chance to see the only 7 star hotel in the world up close from an angle that is not often captured!

Thank you, Little Manila!  Wishing you more anniversaries to come! ☺

You can also check out Junie's video of the cruise here!


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