MY NEW BLOG: The Ciudadista: Life in the City

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Asians in NZ subjected to racism, study finds

A study in New Zealand confirms that most Asian in New Zealand are victims of discrimination.

Quoted from: Asians in NZ subjected to racism, study finds. 14.09.05 NZ Herald

Asians in NZ subjected to racism, study finds

14.09.05 1.00pm

Many Asians living in New Zealand are subjected to some form of racism, a new study has found.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation report, Engaging Asian Communities in New Zealand, revealed the most common form of racism was verbal abuse and rude gestures, often by teenagers or children.

Overt racism included damage to cars identifiable as Asian-owned, having bottles or stones thrown at them, and being mocked for poor pronunciation.

Asia New Zealand's research director, Dr Rebecca Foley, said the main purpose of the research was to look at ways that engagement between various Asian communities and other communities happened -- "or does not happen, as the case may be"

Quoted from: Many Asians in NZ suffer racism - study. 14.09.05.

In employment, for instance, some felt they missed out on jobs and promotions because of their ethnicity, and workmates pretended not to understand them or patronised them.

Some Asians reported being deliberately misunderstood in shops, cafes or a supermarket "in order to humiliate", being snubbed by other mothers in schools when greeting their children and being avoided in public places, like a swimming pool.

Dr Foley said the report went beyond research on what problems Asian migrants face and examined what worked in terms of engaging with the host community.

New Zealand employers were often reluctant to employ new migrants, claiming they would not have "local knowledge"

Monday, August 29, 2005

i've used up my bandwidth at my blog
i may be forced to close that blog and find a different host.

Friday, August 12, 2005

october30 =


I have been blogging since August 2003 under the name of October30. Why October 30? It is the day I first arrived in New Zealand.

On August 10, 2005 I have decided to assume a new identity as Marikenyo (owing to the Philippine city where I grew-up) and blogging using's service. If however, if I am not completely satisfied with's blogging service I will shift back to Google's Blogger. My October30 blogs are: My Life at Large and Letters from New Zealand.

I am trying to transfer most of my work on the blogs that I have created. I have been using the cumbersome and tiring 'copy-paste' method. So far I have transfered or rather 'copy-pasted' My Life at Large to I think I have spent 12 hours online in creating, customizing and transfering to the other blogging service.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Details of immigration policy of the National Party

These are the highlights of the National Party's immigration policy. It will only take effect if they win the election in September 17 this year.

  • A focus on skilled immigrants and giving greater recognition to those with proven work experience.
  • Immigrants will have to satisfy a good conduct requirement for four years before they can qualify for permanent residence. Those who break the criminal law will be sent home immediately.
  • Immigrants will not be able to qualify for welfare benefits for four years.
  • People sponsoring family to come to New Zealand will have to prove they can support them for the four-year benefit stand-down period.
  • The refugee quotas will be cut to the United Nations approved quota of 750, and savings will be reallocated to help refugees improve their English.
  • Investor Category immigrants will have to invest their money for a minimum of four years.
  • Business immigrants will have to create at least two permanent full-time jobs for non-family members.
  • The Immigration Service and the Citizenship Office will be merged.
    Source: Brash announces immigration policy 09/08/2005. National Party.

  • On a personal note, the proposal of National seems sensible but like what a friend had said it could confuse wannabe immigrants and go to other countries instead.

    Nats tout immigrant benefit stand-down. 09/08/2005.
    National sets out 'disciplined' immigration plan. 09/08/2005. NZ Herald.
    NZ Population close to static. 09/08/2005. NZ Herald.

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Four year probation plan for would be NZ immigrants

    If the National Party wins this election would be immigrants would be given four years probation before attaining permanent residency. Full information about the immigration policy will be released on Tuesday. (To gain New Zealand citizenship one must be a granted permanent residency for five years.)

    Under the current policy eligible people are immediately granted permanent residency to live in New Zealand.

    The National policy may be in response to a number of immigration blunders under the Labout government. One scandal was letting a former minister of Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein to live in New Zealand.

    It may be understood that under a National or possibly in coalition with right-wing New Zealand First, immigration criteria will become tougher.

    Nats to launch immigration policy. 08/08/2005. TVNZ
    National's probation plan for immigrants. 08/08/2005. NZ Herald
    Nats pledge probation for immigrants. 08/08/2005.

    New Zealand First Party's Immigration Policy 2005

    Election Time In New Zealand

    New Zealanders will go to the polls on September 17 to elect their new Members of Parliament and a new government.

    The current Labour Party government headed by incumbent Prime Minister Helen Clark is seen to have a very close fight to be government against the National Party headed by Don Brash. (Labour is a centre-left party and National is a centre-right party)

    In the last opinion surveys National is up against Labour. The former's popularity may be due to the party's promise of tax cuts to individuals and corporation.

    It is unclear yet to what will about immigration policy if National wins the election. However, if Labour will win another term it will likely be status quo.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    I do miss New Zealand but I'm not coming back just yet

    I have decided to stay in the Philippines because of the current political instability. This is why I could be back in New Zealand most likely next year.

    I am definitely missing the thinks I like and left behind in New Zealand. I miss my flatmates and the house, street, suburb and city we lived. I miss the savoury mince and steak pies and quiche. I miss the low fat ice cream. I miss the public transport. I miss using my ATM/EFT-POS card to make cashless purchases from almost any store in New Zealand. I miss my cousin and my Pinoy friends. I also miss my New Zealand and international friends. I miss my former job and workmates.

    By the way I made a new blog about my life in the Philippines. It's URL is

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    but I'll be back as soon as August

    There have been indications that could bring me back to New Zealand by August 2005.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    I'm Leaving New Zealand

    I've fully paid my airticket and I am leaving New Zealand on the 27th of April 2005.

    Mabuhay, Long Live Pope Benedict XVI !!!

    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI Posted by Hello

    My Personal Account of this Global Event:

    About 3:30 AM New Zealand time I was still awake and browsing the Internet and also listening to BBC World simulcast on TV One. (This is the webpage I was reading.) There was a special segement on the news broadcast, apparently the smoke stack over the Sistine Chapel is giving out white-ish smoke. I thought that it was another false alarm like the prior election when the smoke first looked like white and then turned black. Suddenly, there was talk that there might be a new Pope elected but if there is a new Pope elected bells will ring at the Vatican.

    I began to send SMS/text messages to my family and friends in New Zealand and other Filipino friends back home and in Europe. I told them to watch TV news as there may be a new Pope.

    Around 4:00 AM NZ or 6:00 PM in Rome I heard the bell rang on TV. The reporter Mr. Brian Hanrahan of the BBC said that it was the hourly clock bell at St. Peter's Basilica. It was a false alarm.

    It was I think about 4:05 AM here and I was hearing bells again from the TV. Mr. Hanrahan said that it could be official that a new Vicar of Christ has been elected. I called my Filipina neighbour and were on the line until the eldest cardinal came out of the balcony and said, "Habemus Papam!" and the new Pope is Joseph Ratzinger and his chosen name is Benedict XVI. The cardinal went back to the church as the new pope prepares to meet the people and lo and behold the new Pope Benedict XVI. He was waving to the people, gave his first greeting and his first blessing. When I looked at my clock it was about 5:00 AM here.

    (Image source: Wikipedia - Pope Benedict XVI)

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    New NZ passport and citizenship rules

    Last night, 14 April 2005, the controversial Identity (Citizenship and Travel Documents) bill passed its final hurdle in parliament. The following are some of the major changes.

    New Zealand passport changes:

    New NZ passports will have a validity of only 5 years from 10 years.
    The law also gives the government the right to revoke or cancel New Zealand passports.

    Citizenship grant:

    A five year standown period for NZ permanent residents before they can apply for NZ citizenship. Prior to this it takes three years as permanent resident including while under a temporary permit (work, visitor, study).

    Citizenship by birth:

    From 1 January 2006, a child born in New Zealand should have at least one NZ citizen parent or a parent granted to stay in NZ permanently under the Immigration Act of 1987 or permanently reside in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

    These changes automatically come to affect after Royal Assent except for the citizenship by birth which will take effect on 1 January 2006.

    Passport law will protect NZ, Government says. 15/04/2005. The New Zealand Herald
    Hawkins: NZ "citizenship that's worth the wait" (Press Release). 15/04/2005.
    MP Criticises Passport Laws. 15/04/2005. xtraMSN-Newstalk ZB

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Special Blog Announcement

    Dear Readers,

    I know I don't have much readers compared to other popular blogs but I am obliged to tell you that this blog, Letters from New Zealand will end soon. I am going back to the Philippines by May this year and will not be coming back to New Zealand in the near future. I guess there is no point in writing letters from New Zealand if I won't be in New Zealand in the first place.

    However, I am creating a new blog about my experiences since I came back to the Philippines. Its working title at the moment is "The Pinoy Repatriate" or I could name it "Letters from the Philippines." I have weeks to think about it.

    This is not my last post yet.

    Thank you and kind regards.


    PS. You may be wondering here in New Zealand I am writing from. I am writing from a place called by Maori as "Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui."

    Clark hurt in mid-air scare

    BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | NZ's Clark hurt in mid-air scare

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    San Miguel wins National Foods takeover

    (first posted 11 April 2005 23:05:00, updated 12 April 2005)

    After several weeks of bidding against New Zealand's Fonterra Co-op, San Miguel Corporation, the largest food company in South East Easia is expected to win in its bid to acquire National Foods of Australia as Fonterra pulled out. In this process, Fonterra has sold its 1/5 share in NatFoods to San Miguel and will profit NZD 268 million.

    San Miguel Corporation has recently increased its offer for National Foods AUD 6.40 or about USD 1.46 billion against New Zealand Fonterra's AUD 6.20.

    National Foods Limited

    National Foods is one of Australia's leading dairy products company. It sells fresh, modified and UHT milk under various brands as well as various flavours and brands of yoghurt and cheese. This firm also holds the Australia and New Zealand license for Yoplait yoghurt. According to the firm's website it has annual revenues in excess of AUD 1.00 billion or about PHP 42 billion.

    San Miguel Corporation

    San Miguel (Saint Michael in English) Corporation traces its routes in Hispanic Philippines and is known for its San Miguel beer which enjoys a monopoly in the Philippine beer market. It has diversified into related industries such as food processing and is the Philippine licensee of Coca-Cola. It has also invested in packaging and property. The Philippine government owns 41 percent of the food group.

    San Miguel is on a buying spree. It has been buying companies all over the Asia Pacific region. It has recently acquired Berri Limited, Australia's largest juice company. I has bought an Australian brewer, J. Boag & Sons and a Thai brewer, Thai Amarit Brewery.

    Fonterra Co-operative Group

    Fonterra is probably the world's largest dairy exporter. It is also probably New Zealand's first and largest multi-national corporation. Since it is a co-op it is co-owned by about 13,000 New Zealand dairy farmers. According to its website, 95 percent of its production is sold overseas and it has present in 140 countries and territories. In Asia it retails milk under the Anchor, Anlene and Anmum brands. The company claims that it is the same size as Groupe Danone (France), Kraft (USA) and Unilever (Anglo-Dutch) in terms of its annual revenues while Nestlé is the largest dairy company in terms of revenues.

    San Miguel raises bid for Australia's National Foods. 07/04/2005. (Fairfax NZ).
    Brewer tops Fonterra bid. 07/04/2005. NZ Herald.
    Fonterra quits National Foods battle - with $268m booty. 12/04/05. NZ Herald.
    San Miguel anticipates National Foods takeover. 11/04/2005. ABC News Online.
    San Miguel hikes bid for National Foods. 07/04/2005. INQ7 Money.
    San Miguel wins battle. 12/04/2005. BusinessWorld.
    "The Boss" Steers San Miguel Expansion. 12/04/05. XtraMSN-Reuters.
    SMC wins bid for National Foods as New Zealand rival withdraws. 12/04/2005. Manila Bulletin.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    I have become a prude and all my friends and peers have gone wild. Have I not changed? Have I changed that I see my friends different yet they have not actually changed?

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Cartoon Memorials to Pope John Paul II

    Cartoon Memorials to Pope John Paul II

    The link above directs you to a gallery of cartoons dedicated to the late Pope.

    Veni Domine

    Veni Domine is a Latin song or chant that was given a modern rendition by Czech singer Bara Basikova. I first heard this song on the Inspirational Moments 2 compilation published by EMI. I would like to share you the song's lyrics and its almost perfect Englosh translation.


    Deus meus in te confido
    labia mea laudabunt te Jesu
    agnus dei in te confido
    audi voces te adorant, te precantes
    animam meam levavi ad te
    Benedictus tu coqnovisti me
    te laudamus veni domine

    Deus meus inte confido
    defende nos ab hostibus Jesu
    agnus dei in te confido
    presta pacis incrementum, memento verbi
    animam meam levavi ad te
    Benedictus - miserere nobis
    te laudamus veni domine

    Deus meus in te confido
    agnus dei qui tolis preccata mundi
    sine te nihil est in domine
    Jesu Christe, Redemptor omnium
    te laudamus veni domine

    A very close Latin to English translation made by Enbrethiliel (Lines in italics are literal translations):


    My God, I trust in You.
    My lips will praise You, Jesus.
    Lamb of God, I trust in You.
    Listen, voices adore You, praying to you
    I have lifted up my soul to You.
    Blessed are You; You have understood me.
    We praise You. Come, Lord!

    My God, I trust in You.
    Defend us from the enemies, Jesus.
    Lamb of God, I trust in You.
    Help the increase of peace. Remember Your word.
    I have lifted up my soul to You.
    Blessed One, have mercy on us.
    We praise you. Come, Lord!

    My God, I trust in You.
    Lamb of God Who takes up the sins of the world.
    Without You, no one is in the Lord.
    Jesus Christ, Redeemer of all,
    We praise you. Come, Lord!

    Middle east leaders attending Papal funeral

    BBC NEWS | World | Europe | World leaders to attend Pope's funeral

    I am surprised yet appreciate that some leaders of the Arab world and the Middle East are attending John Paul II's funeral this Saturday.

    The following are attending the ceremony according to the above BBC report:

    Iranian President M. Khatami
    Israeli President M. Karzav, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister S. Shalom
    Lebanese President E. Lahoud, Prime Minister O. Karami and Speaker N. Berri
    Palestinian Authority PM A. Qurei
    Syrian President B. al-Assad

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Globe, Touch Mobile to stop unlimited call, text service -

    Globe, Touch Mobile to stop unlimited call, text service -

    If Globe Telecom wants to discontinue its unlimited call and SMS service it should lower its charges for calls instead.

    "Be not afraid..." -John Paul II

    BBC NEWS | Europe | Thousands file past Pope's body

    Thinking and looking at TV and internet videos and photos of the late Pope brings me to the brink of tears. He was a tireless and relentless leader of the Catholic Church. To this day he is the only Pope I have ever known.

    While he has living and until his death he set a high standard for what a person can be and that is to be of pure of heart, defender of what is just and right and be self-less. I must admit I have not come close tho his standards.

    I feel a great sense of loss in John Paul II passing. It is like some one really close to you like a parent, sibling or close relative is lost forever.

    He has left us a legacy that will be remembered and felt buy us all.

    Pondering on the Pope's death also made me think of my mortality my eventual death. How would I like to be remembered when I die?

    Songs in my playlist:
    "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill
    "Faith of the Heart" by Russell Watson
    "Into the West" by Annie Lennox

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Why immigration is getting tougher...

    Migrants sold hope in phoney documents (NZ Herald)

    Want a New Zealand diploma? Why not its only $12,000 for an authentic diploma with a transcript of record!
    Want New Zealand permanent residency? Why not its only $50,000 to marry a Chinese immigrant and get your PR!
    Want a New Zealand job offer for a work visa or permanent residency? Why not its only $10,000 for a job paying $30,000 a year!

    Yes readers, unscrupolous Chinese in New Zealand are selling hope to desparate people wanting to migrate to New Zealand. You don't have to go to secret meetings or damp and dark alleys to get these. They are openly advertised in some Chinese publications here in New Zealand. Because of this practice undeserving applicants are clogging the migrant quotas every year.

    What does this mean to genuine and eligible wannabe New Zealand immigrants? Government immigration policy will become stricter and screening for migrants will be tougher. More genuine and eligible applicants would be rejected when policy becomes tougher.

    What does this mean to Asian immigrants already in New Zealand? They could be and unjustly typecasted or stereotyped as criminals and forgers. This controversy could encourage the demagogues from right-wing groups such as New Zealand National Front and New Zealand First.

    This is not the first time this has happened, a man by the name of Peter William Hjorring, 56, of Glen Eden was recently carged with issuing New Zealand drivers licenses to Asians for $400 each. Applicants did not have to sit the theory and practical driving test.

    As an Asian in New Zealand I am so mad to learn of this scam. Many Asians in New Zealand entered this country with the most honest intentions and genuine documents and these group of greedy thugs are destroying our image. Why couldn't these people contain their greed and criminality in their home countries?

    Fortunately, no Filipino has been linked to any of the said scams according to the latest news reports.

    Related posts:
    they're not chosen on by how much money they'll send
    More On Saturday's Anti-Racism March
    Violent clashes at anti-racism rally
    A Warning for Filipinos Wanting to Migrating to New Zealand
    the truth about New Zealand opportunities
    Why immigration is getting tougher...

    Rest in Peace John Paul II

    BBC NEWS | Europe | Mourners to pay respects to Pope

    There are no words I can write or say to express my great sadness on John Paul II death. He was a great and good leader to Roman Catholics worldwide.

    His respect for human life and human dignity is exemplary. His struggle to keep people free and fight capitalist greed will always be an inspiration.

    You will never be forgotten Ioannes Paulus II!

    Friday, April 01, 2005

    New Long-haul Cabins: On the Plane: Travel Info: Air New Zealand - NZ Site

    New Long-haul Cabins: On the Plane: Travel Info: Air New Zealand - NZ Site

    From July 2005 Air New Zealand will offer new and better services on its flights. Soon all Air New Zealand seats on flights going to North America and Europe will have individual television screens and will offer audio and video on demand.

    Following global industry trends, Air New Zealand will also offer introduce a new business class similar to those already offered by British Airways and alike. It has 22 inch wide seats that can turn into a bed and 10.4 inch personal tv screen.

    The airline will also introduce its Pacific Premium Economy offering a wider seat pitch and a leg rest and a 8.4 inch personal tv screen. The premium economy class is located at the back of business class.

    As for economy class, nothing has changed except that every seat now has its own 8.4 inch tv screen with audio video on demand.

    A complete flash demo of the new service click here.

    Although this is indeed great news I won't fly Air New Zealand because it does not fly to Manila. Their air service to Hong Kong and Singapore (I've heard) which is closest to Manila is not at par with industry leaders.

    Thursday, March 31, 2005

    Air America Radio | The Majority Report

    Air America Radio | The Majority Report

    I'm listening to this "progressive" radio talk show now through streaming audio. The hosts of the show are Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder. According to this station listening to it is "like Canada but a lot warmer!"

    This show's blog could be accessed here.

    Monday, March 28, 2005

    New airline to service Manila

    Jetstar Asia Airways

    Jetstar Asia Airways, the second budget international carrier to service the Philippines. (The first budget airline is Cebu Pacific). Starting 27 April 2005 this Singapore based airline will fly between Singapore and Manila.

    Fares start from USD 193.00 return (roundtrip) or about SGD 99.00 (fare only and one way from Singapore) including most taxes and charges. I'm not sure if the PHP 1,620.00 Philippine travel tax is included if you buy return tickets.

    This type of airline is quite innovative for the Philippines. Traditionally, Filipinos book and pay for their air travel using various travel agents. Although Jetstar would alse sell its tickets through traditional agents it will extensively use its call centre and website to sell its tickets.

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    Sharpen Up! (from an outdoor ad) Posted by Hello

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005


    This morning when I woke-up I was shocked to find out that I have lost my voice or at least speak hoarsely. I had to ring my boss to tell her that I can't come to work today and that I will seek medical attention for my condition.

    In the afternoon I visited a local general practitioner to check my condition. Sixty dollars later he did not tell me anything new than what I have suspected about my condition. My doctor just confirmed that I have 'laryngitis' and that I need to rest for a few days.

    I still hope that my voice will improve tomorrow morning as I cannot afford to miss another work day.

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    Slate Explainer: How Come Syria Controls Lebanon?

    How Come Syria Controls Lebanon?:
    How Come Syria Controls Lebanon?
    Why the neighbors are calling the shots.
    By Daniel Engber "easily tricked because of being too trusting" "a person who uses something or someone selfishly or unethically"

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Peso breaks into 54 level -

    Peso breaks into 54 level -

    Is this sustainable?
    Is the peso finally following the global trend of currencies appreciating against the US dollar?

    Sell your US dollars for Philippine pesos now before it is too late.

    Domestic savings a key to lifting economic game

    Savings key to lifting economic game

    Monday, January 31, 2005

    Don't you hate it when you receive hoax and chain e-mails?

    I cannot understand why people are so dumb despite earning tertiary qualifications and years of schooling. I am referring to dumb and gullible people who just forward or post every hoax and chain e-mail or text message they receive on their inboxes. I am sure I am not alone.

    They are also cowards as they are afraid to use their logic and commonsense in analysing the content of hoax and chain e-mails before they hit the forward button.

    They are also irresponsible as they do not care of any adverse effects to communities or industries of their e-mail forwarding. For example, the hoax "Zulican" virus e-mail and text message that is claimed to be infecting seafood in Asia due to the tsunami disaster has spread faster than influenza. Little do these people know that forwarding such messages only destroy the lives of those dependent on the seafood industry.

    How many times do we have to explain to them that they won't get rich, die lonely and single or not be infected by flesh eating bacteria just by forwarding e-mail!

    Saturday, January 29, 2005

    Despite Telecom's efforts Vodafone has more customers

    Vodafone adds 74,000 in fourth quarter

    In the latest subscriber numbers released by GSM operator Vodafone New Zealand. The Kiwi arm of Vodafone plc has gained 74,000 more subscribers. (Seventy nine percent of Vodafone subscribers are prepay.)

    This is a surprise despite CDMA operator Telecom New Zealand's efforts to get more subscribers from Vodafone. Last year, the 027 network offered NZD 10.00 unlimited national and international person to person texting. A few months later the offer was modified to 500 national person to person texting for NZD 10.00 guaranteed until the end of next year.

    As for me I will be sticking with Vodafone as it is the only network that lets me send text messages to family and friends in the Philippines and around the world. CDMA phones are also useless in countries where GSM networks only exist.

    TelstraClear Homeplan

    TelstraClear is the alternative telephone company in New Zealand. It is a far second from the dominant Telecom New Zealand (much like PLDT in the Philippines). It is the New Zealand subsidiary of Telstra, Australia's biggest telecommunications firm.

    Before, TelstraClear land line and cable tv services (Saturn TV) are limited to Wellington, the Kapiti Coast and Christchurch where it has built its own network. Since November last year it can now serve almost everyone in New Zealand. It can do this by leasing the local phone network of Telecom New Zealand. This new service is called Homeplan.

    Starting from NZD 39.85 (PHP 1582.00) for line rental, local calling and white pages listing. The incentive of joining this service is that the more toll calls you make the lesser the phone line rental gets. For example, toll calls from NZD 20.00 to 39.99 attract a NZD 5.00 discount on line rental. Toll calls worth more than NZD 200.00 attract free line rental.

    The jury is still out whether this scheme will make Telecom customers switch to TelstraClear. It should be noted that Telecom through its Australian subsidiary AAPT has a similar land line rental service.

    The De Soto Delusion?

    The De Soto Delusion

    Sunday, January 23, 2005

    Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera

    I have seen this movie exactly last week. I have never read the book or seen the stage musical but I think this movie is beautiful. It is not as great as Moulin Rouge but it is a close second.

    My favourite scene was the "Masquerade" number.

    Minnie Driver who played Carlotta was superb. Her performance was the best.

    Miranda Richardson portrayal of Madame Giry was notable too.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    where is my blog archive?

    I don't know what went or but I can't find this blog's archive links on the main page.

    Sorry for any inconvenience to my blog readers.

    new year new job

    Its a prayer answered. I never thought I will find a new job.

    I have started training for a new job. All the new information about organisational and client policies is finding a way to stick into my mind.

    After ten days of intense training I'll be dealing with clients all day long.

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Coming Home Network: Conversion Stories

    Conversion Stories

    Reading the many inspiring conversion stories on this webpage kept me awake until six in the morning today.

    I recommend the main website, Coming Home Network to those nominal Catholics to know more about the faith they grew up with (but know so little about) and those who left the Catholic Church.

    Tension at the Photocopiers

    I hate encountering people arguing over things big or small in public. It just destroys your day. I especially hate it when the argument involves strangers and happen right under your nose. Yesterday afternoon was no exception.

    It was Thursday about 5:30pm as I entered the stationary store. It was only thirty minutes till closing time so I proceeded immediately to the photocopy machines. There were two machines.

    The first machine was about to be used by a South Asian looking woman. She was asking one of the store’s staff on how to use the copier. She had a North American accent. She was trying to photocopy a book that seemed like a textbook so I assume she is university student doing some summer courses.

    Minding my own business I used the copiers like anyone would do. Insert the photocopy card, place the original documents to be copied and press the go button. Twenty copies later I thought I was done and packed my originals and copies to my bag. I wanted to do more copies of my ID and passport but I thought the old lady that was behind me might want to use the machine. I believe she went to another section of the store so I decided to do one more round of copying. (This stationary store is quite far from where I live.) When I inserted my card again I heard the old lady say that she thought I was finished I said my apologies and promised to let her use the machine. As I was repacking my bag I heard the following exchange (close to the exact words spoken):

    Old lady: “Are you copying a book?”

    Student: “Yes, do you have a problem with it?”

    Old lady: “I think that’s against copyright law.”

    Student: “This is not a New Zealand book. Do you want to use this machine because I can let you if you want to.”

    Old lady: “As a citizen (of New Zealand) I am telling you what is right.”

    Student: “You know there’s so much in the world to worry about than this. Please mind your own business.”

    Their voices were getting loud and my heart was beating fast. I am not used to people fighting over the silliest things. As much as I want to know of the outcome I do not like to hear pointless arguments so I headed to the pens section any section just to get away from the unpleasant exchange. Probably the a store employee tried to settle the situation, I do not know.

    Even at the back of the store I still heard the furious voice of the student. She said something like, “just because I am a foreigner you can’t tell me what to do…”

    I went to the envelopes shelf and found out that 25 pack envelopes were on special for only 49 cents. As I went to the checkout I saw the two women quietly using the copiers. After paying I rushed out of the store.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    The Best Movies I've Seen Last Year (2004)

    The Day After Tomorrow
    The best disaster sci-fi movie I've seen so far and has a positive lesson for caring for the environment.

    13 Going on 30
    It is a sweet and funny story about growing up.

    A good look inside the life and mind of an infamous woman in Philippine (or even world) history. The documentary proved to me that Imelda Marcos is a real basket case.

    The Manchurian Candidate
    Meryl Streep's acting blew me away.

    Fahrenheit 9/11
    It makes you think of the motives and real cost on the war in Iraq.

    Of all the comic books to movie crossovers this is the best one to date.

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    This is the best Harry Potter movie adaptation I've seen so far. (I do not read the Harry Potter books.)

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    Sporadic Blah: 10 Ways to be Annoying

    Sporadic Blah: 10 Ways to be Annoying

    This is funny and a must read!

    Basia Web: Posted by Hello

    Homebaked Pandesal (Filipino breakfast rolls) in New Zealand Posted by Hello

    Almond Pistacio Biscotti

    Before I start blogging away I would like to credit the Australian Women's Weekly Italian Cookbook and the "Almond Pistachio Biscotti Recipe" posted on as both inspiration and source.


    2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    2/3 cup caster sugar
    1 ¼ tsps baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
    ¾ to 1 cup sliced almonds
    1 cup chopped pistachio nuts
    ½ cup fruit cake mix (currants, raisins/sultanas, cherries)

    How to:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F (around 180°C, gas mark 4). Place baking paper on cookie tray
    • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl.
    • Add butter and essence.
    • Mix until it forms coarse crumbs.
    • Add almonds, pistachios and chocolate.
    • Beat together whole eggs and egg yolk with a fork. Remove 2 teaspoons and set aside for egg wash.
    • Add remaining eggs and vanilla and stir until mixture holds together.
    • With floured hands, shape dough into a log. Flatten the log. Lightly brush logs with reserved egg wash.
    • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until logs start to brown and no imprint remains when pressed lightly with finger. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 20 minutes.
    • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Carefully transfer logs to a cutting surface. Cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place biscotti standing up 1/2 inch apart on two ungreased baking sheets.
    • Bake 15 to 25 minutes more or until biscotti are dry and the sides begin to color slightly. Do not overbake.
    • Cool biscotti on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
    • Store biscotti in an airtight container or your desired packaging.