How did your yachting career first begin?
I shifted from cruise ships to yachting to have more liberty.
What did you do before yachting?
After getting a bachelors degree in Hospitality, I mainly helped my parents run our small hotel business in the Philippines, until I got the opportunity to work abroad. I then landed a job in a five star hotel as an executive floor butler that catered to top clients: VVIPs including the royal family of Saudi, CEOs and top executives.
What has been your favourite boat you’ve worked on, and why?
I love all the boats that I have been on. However, I‘d say “Quattroelle” just for the sake of answering. I joined that boat in the yard before the launch, so setting up the laundry my way was like leaving a legacy.
What do you enjoy most about working onboard?
At this point in time, being around the industry for 9 years now, I would say that “appreciation” is what I enjoy most about working onboard. That’s my ego-booster. We need it everyday to keep us going with the right motivation. I make sure to achieve the highest standard of what I do with the element of surprise as my way of appreciation-making. Of course, it is already a given that money, travel, making new friends, social life, food, wine, etc are great being aspects of working on a yacht.
How do you cope with inter-crew politics?
I have mastered this over the time and never had an issue. I am openminded and smarter than a 7th grader so it couldn’t penetrate on me. Also, I personally have a background of being a peer facilitator in my university days, so I somehow know when to apply psychology. I try to be neutral, and my laundry is consistently the neutral ground onboard where opposing parties can both express their sentiments and get an unbiased opinion from me if I’m asked.
How do you keep sane on charter?
Keeping and sticking to my goal to make my clients or owners happy. I write an online journal as an outlet and I Instagram (@gillyew) a lot because I love photography and captioning moments to share happiness with the world. I’m happy because it bounces back.
What are your best strategies for spoiling charter guests?
I love this question! I have two elements that come as one: surprise and delight. That’s my principle in delivering my job. I like to do something out of the ordinary to surprise them, then deliver it in a manner that would make them remember who did it. There are so many ideas to share, but here’s one example: old, discoloured or faded pajamas that come down to the laundry frequently would give me an impression that they are favourites. What I would do is then treat them if discoloured; or brighten them if faded. Then present, fold, or hang them like they’re brand new Gucci! I guarantee they will feel that love that you put into that piece of clothing.
What’s the coolest thing you have done for guests?
Making my old boss the happiest by simply taking out a 10 year old stain in his 10 year old favourite shirt without him asking for it. It’s the little things really that make us big.
What is your signature cocktail?
I am a laundry person now, but I was a head barman for a big charter boat in my first job onboard a yacht. Margarita was my thing back then – even a former U.S. President and his wife (charter clients) remembered me for it. Any cocktail or food tastes better when served with the story that goes with it.
What is your favourite yachting destination?
Italy has always a special charm on me. I just find life in the simplest genuine form in fishing villages and the countryside.
What do you enjoy least about yachting?
What career achievement are you most proud of?
Owners and captains wanting to keep me forever!
If you could give your 20yr old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
If related to yachting, I would say: study more languages – it will take you to the depths of people outside your culture. If in general: master your emotions before acting on impulse.
What is your on-board pet hate?
Breaktime chaos. That’s why I always go before or after.
What’s the best thing you’ve spoilt yourself to at the end of the season?
Traveling alone and enjoying an expensive view from a hotel terrace.
What’s your favourite adventure in Mallorca?
Going to the country chasing wild goats and orange picking
What’s your plan for the future?
Take a slower pace at home, run the family business, and live a country life.