MY NEW BLOG: The Ciudadista: Life in the City

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.