Anchors aweigh for Joel Cruz’s birthday

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Becky Garcia

Aficionado Perfumes President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Cruz, also known as “The Lord of Scents,” made a splash as he celebrated his birthday onboard the “Happy Life” yacht. Owned by former Congressman Chavit Singson, Happy Life is currently docked at the Manila Yacht Club after the 65th Miss Universe Pageant.

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Joel, an Aquarian, naturally loves being close to the waters of Manila Bay. This spun off the nautical themed party.

The festivities started with the arrival of a short list of family and friends. They were greeted with a buganda band drumbeaters, creating an island feel. Guests were then ushered to the yacht where they were handed out accessory—sailor hats for gentlemen and mini blue fedoras for the ladies—to add flair to their chic blue and white outfits.

Birthday celebrator Joel Cruz with his Princess Synne, Prince Harry and Prince Harvey

Hors d’oeuvre of chorizo paella croquettes, melon wrapped in jamon Serrano, Manchego cheese, and gambas, to name a few, were passed around. A fabulous buffet setting with carvings of roast pork and beef courtesy of M Catering by Julie Evangelista and her crew was matched with red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Home made “sotanghon” or glass noodles for long life and “buco salad” prepared by Joel’s mother Milagros Cruz were served as well.

Entertainment came in form of rendition of jazz and classic songs, provided by Dubai-based sultry singer Lilybeth Garcia with the accompaniment of pianist Jun Abellana. Guests excitedly did an impromptu jam session and performances led by father and son Noel and Kris Gonzales. Balladeer Arthur Manuntag, meanwhile, shared his singing prowess with “The Love Boat” from the famous TV series, as the yacht treaded the Manila Bay.

The birthday cake was then presented to the celebrator accompanied by the traditional birthday singing and wine toast led by Hi Society to wish Joel well in 2017. With the Navigation of Captains Roland Lehman and Mom Nardone, the yacht anchored briefly and guests enjoyed the magnificent fireworks display by the Mall of Asia.

Dancing followed with retro eighties and nineties music, still sounding fresh, by Hotel Rembrant resident DJ Jorge Balfin. Swags of Aficionado products were given away to guests upon arrival on terra firma. The event coincides with the Chinese New Year, which ushers a happy life in 2017.

To Joel may the year of the fire rooster bring you more good fortune and abundance!

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