Monday, October 20, 2008

Plunket: caring for young families

Here in NZ, the young - babies and kids are quite very well taken cared of. Aside from the free maternity and medical care, there's also free care given to the young and the mothers in the form of the Plunket. This is a community where mothers can meet up for friendship, share experiences, help each other and the kids to play with each other and just hang-out. There are no fees and attendance isn't required. You can visit the Plunket center as often as you like and stay there for the whole day or just a few hours.

There's a qualified Plunket nurse that does regular checks for the babies, hands-out informations to parents and provides advices and any other help that mothers or kids might need.

The Plunket center also has a lot of toys that the kids can play with. They've got slides, swings, rides, puzzles, and many others. It's basically just another visit to the park sort-of.

The growth of the child is closely monitored especially his medical history. Here in NZ, every child born here are given a "Well Child" book for this purpose. Parents can also post pictures and  record significant milestones as he grows. It also contains a comprehensive record of his immunizations, weight and height.

A GP or General Practitioner is elected early on in order to handle all the medical checks and issues that the child might have as he grows. All regular visits and prescribed medicines are free too. The medicines are picked-up from what they call here "Chemist" and the medicine bottle even contains the baby's name, prescribed dosage, expiry date and the doctor's name.

Check out more information from these sites:

You all stay well.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Singapore or Australia?

Having just recently relocated to Melbroune, Australia I have been receiving a few queries as to the difference in living conditions between Singapore and Australia. To help me save some typing work in the future, I will share with you some differences and similarities that I observe for some common topics.

HOUSING: Currently it is not that easy to find a place to rent here. The conditions are similar to what we had in SG late 2007 where 5 to 10 tenants are fighting over one vacant unit. The only good thing i see here is that unlike the agents in SG who are VERY GREEDY, here they don't ask you to outbid each other when you go view a unit. Although in Melbourne, you have to send a tenancy application (with 100pt ID, i.e. birth cert copy + passport copy) and wait for a day or more before knowing that your application has been approved or not. Unlike in SG where you will know if you get the house or not on the same day.

TRANSPORTATION: There are trams, trains and buses that are very accessible. In terms of cleanliness they don't have that much difference to the buses and MRTs in SG. Although I haven't had a "smelly" experience when riding in them yet compared to the ones you experience daily in SG. As for the fare, it is not similar. Here you pay 2hr, daily, weekly, or monthly for a particular Zone (usually zone 1 which is near the city). This would be advantageous for those living farther away as there fare will always be constant. But you do miss your EZ link when your here. :)

SECURITY: To be honest, Singapore is much safer than Melbourne. In Singapore i would not be afraid to go out late at night in Clark Quay, but here going to King St (comparable to Clark Quay) at night is not a very good idea. There are a lot of delinquents and weirdos in the trams and in the city. But as a rule of thumb when living in the city, you just need to be careful and street smart so not to attract the bad type of people towards you (i. .e don't look to rich, don't stare, blah blah blah).

CHILDCARE: Don't have a kid so can't relate to this one. But I do see they have childcare centers near the city center. I also haven't heard of people having maids here unlike in SG.

TAXES: For me, nothing can beat the SG taxation scheme. But when you apply for a job here be sure to put a 50% increase to your SG salary so you won't feel the pinch of the Oz tax. I do think that salary rates here are higher compared to SG.

WORKING CONDITIONS: This has been one of the good points when living here. Work hours here are normally 8hrs long. Compared to SG where work hours are at leat 8++++ hours long. Here people put a lot of emphasis on family life, on living outside that 3-walled cell you sometimes call your cubicle.

WEEKEND/LATE NIGHT: (For late night, see security) For weekend, especially if you like shopping, Melbourne does not have that much malls compared to the ones we have in SG. But who needs redundant shops anyway (is the price of a giordano shirt different in Toa Payoh and Orchard?). In Melbourne, you can find the best bargains in DFO and Bridge road so that can greatly compensate the loss of Junction8, Vivo, and Suntec (note: i find orchard malls too expensive for my taste). But other than malls you have more (i mean a CONTINENT more) options to choose if you settle in Melbourne. You have the beaches, the snow resorts, and the entire Australian continent really. :)

All in all, it really is up to what your priorities are. If you work abroad just to save, i suggest you stay in SG. But if you work for the long term and finally to settle down then i suggest you stay in Oz. That's why i'm here anyway, so I really can't say you do the same as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Know the words, Blend in

It's interesting to note that English-speaking countries speak differently. I'm sure you've heard about different accents like the British Accent or the American Accent. However, accents are less to worry about than the actual words they are speaking.

I'm talking about the "slang" words that common people use in their day-to-day lives in their country. The Philippines is pretty much Americanized. We are most familiar with American English than British English. However, there are a lot of English-speaking countries that do not speak "American English". Thus, if you want to really easily blend in, it pays to know some slang of the place of which you're heading.

As far as New Zealand goes, I find that they speak British English with a twist. Forget about the twist for now. Do take a look however, at their slang words because at one time, my Auntie from Michigan, USA came over here and there were a couple of occasions where she just can't understand what they're saying.

Check this site for some "Kiwi slang":

Cheers mate!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I.T. Job hunting in Singapore

The months of May to July are the best months to look for jobs in Singapore. Why? In my experience these are the months that most people leave their jobs to look for greener pastures. The timing might also be because people have already received their variable bonus on March and their salary increment on April. And those who did not like what they got started moving out.

But just because there are quite a number of openings does not mean that companies will just pluck you out of the Philippines and put you on the recently vacant chair in their offices. You need to strategize, you need to prepare, and you need to sell yourself. Here I hope my experience in how I got my job in Singapore will help.

Step 1: Make a "killer" resume

A colleague and friend of mine, Jake, gave me one very important advice. Keep your resume short and simple with a maximum of 2 pages. Well there goes my 5 page resume..

Making your resume simple is not, how to say it, "simple". There are a lot of information you want to put in to get noticed. Should you put in how you manage to debug that bug in your scheduler? Do you need to put in the best in custom award your team won during your annual dinner and dance? The answer is simply "no".

After I have searched the net I came to these basic sections:
> Contact Info (i.e. your name (of course!), address, contact number)
> Summary (100 words should be enough)
> Technical Expertise (Summary of the things your good at, in bullet form)
- here i list the programming langauges, OS, CPU, protocols that i am knowledgeable
> Professional Experience (Brief summary of all your work experience)
- here i break up my experience per title/rank or project i have done.
> Education (only your degree is important and where you got it)

Step 2: Post it!

Once you have your "killer" resume you can start applying for jobs. Since you are in the Philippines and you want to apply in Singapore the best way to do it is use the internet. I have never used the postal system to apply only because I have some VERY BAD experience with them in the past.

There are quite a number of sites and ways to apply. I have used as my primary job search site. I upload my resume there and update it twice a week. The reason why I update it that regularly is because employers usually browse only through active resumes and will give you a call when they like what you have. In my experience during the months of May to July I usually receive an average of one interview invitation per week.

Another way to do it is to go to search for job openings in or in and then once you find an opening go to that company's website and apply in their "Careers" or "Jobs" section.

Step 3: Interview with the vampire

Once you get an interview invitation that proves you have made a good resume. But that should not stop you from continually improving and updating your resume.

When you get an interview invitation make it a point that you prepare and take it seriously. As I've indicated think of it as if you are talking to a vampire, if you make a mistake the vampire might suck you be wary.

The interview is the most important step in the process, not only does this dictate if you will be hired or not. The interview will also dictate how much you can negotiate when the job offer comes or what relocation packages you can get.

Step 4: The Job offer

Once you ace your interview and got to this point, you're almost there. But this is where most people fall. Yes, it is good that you finally found a job and that soon you will be part of the OFW community earning 3 to 5 times more than what our countrymen in the Philippines earn doing the same job.

But this is also where you agree on the terms of your employment. This might dictate how long you need to be with the company and how much they will pay for the year and beyond.

So once you reach this part, step back and analyze the contract properly. Some points you need to analyze are:
> Contract bond
- Make sure that if there is a contract bond that it is reasonable. You need to consider that not all jobs are perfect and it is possible tha you might want to jump ship earlier than expected.

> Medical insurance
- As the tagalog saying goes "Mahal magkasakit", and it is more true if you are in another country. Make sure that you get medical converage and that it is indicated in your contract.

> Vacation leave
- Most of us pinoys need to recharge to the Philippines so you make sure you have a couple of weeks leave.

> Relocation package
- As I have said this depends on how much you impress your future employer. Not all get a relocation package but if you have one that is great.

Step 5: Work to impress and then Pass it on

As a matter of principle, when I do my job I do not think that I am doing it for myself alone. True I am earning the money and enjoying the friuts of my labor. But as I do my job it also reflect the qualities of my Filipino heritage. So when you have your job, work to impress your boss or colleagues. Make them see the true skill and abilities of Filipinos.

As my previous boss have told me, hiring a foreign talent is like tasting rice. If you like the first rice you ate you will always look for that same brand. So work to impress and then pass on the experience you have to your fellow Filipinos so they too can have the rewards that you are now enjoying.

I hope this helps.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Living in Singapore

Singapore according to Wikipidea:

"Singapore is an island nation located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. At 707.1 km² (272 sq mi), it is one of the few remaining city-states in the world and the smallest country in Southeast Asia...

Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy, which historically revolves around extended entrepot trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers... "

I arrived in Singapore exactly on December 16, 2005. It was my first time to this city-state and I really don't have any idea how it looks or what to expect. Immediately I found out that:
> Singapore have the best airport I have been to in my life
> They drive on the wrong direction (right hand drive)
> They have more tall buildings compared to the entire Philippines and most people live in multi-storey buildings called HDBs rather than single storey houses.
> Their public transport (taxi, MRT, and bus) is very organized and safe. You also don't need to carry cash all the time as you can use a contactless card called EZ-link to get a ride on any bus or MRT.
> Although the place is very urbanized there are still a lot of greenery all around you, and I'm not referring to tall grasses on vacant lots but big trees like acacias on nature reserves and parks all around the country.

When I arrived, I was fortunate to already have friends here who let me stay while I was looking for my own place. Renting in Singapore back then was manageable, for a one bedroom apartment in the central part of Singapore (Toa Payoh) I only paid SGD 720 per month. But if you fast forward now (2008) the same unit would normally fetch a rental price of SGD 1,300. That is almost a 100% increase. But that is the price to pay for coming to a country who is experiencing rapid economic growth and attracting foriegn talents from all the corners of the world.

Since I arrive in December and close to Christmas, I find out that in Singapore Christmas is not celeberated the same way we, Filipinos, celebrate it. Here Christmas is synonymous to all night shopping, Orchard road delights, and foam parties. Most of all you won't hear a single firecracker when the clock strikes midnight! Everything is quite in the HDB estates. For me this is the Christmas that I want, no drunks on the street, no firecracker injuries on the news, just a simple celebration done in the Church and at home. But that is just me...

Anyway, being in a country considered as a melting pot of different cultures, I get to know about a lot of cultures and other religious celebrations in a very short time. I enjoyed most of all trying out the different culinary creations of these cultures. For me the best to try are the following:
> Chilli Crabs (Uniquely Singapore)
> Chicken rice with roasted pork (Uniquely Singapore)
> Beef noodle (Chinese inspired dish)
> Hokkien Prawn mee with Carrot cake (Chinese inspired dish)
> Prata (Indian inspired dish)
> Nasi Lemak (Malay inspired dish)
> Sushi and baby octupus (Japanese inspired dish)
> Mongolian pork and baby squid (Chinese inspired dish)

And if you have a lot of food to try out, you also would have restaurants where you can get the best of these food. The ones I like are:
> Crab world
> Jumbo
> Ichiban Sushi
> Sakura
> And the ever dependent Hawker centers in Lorong 6 Toa Payoh. :)

As I get to know Singapore and adapt to living here I was able to streamline our living expenses. For my wife and I we usually spend SGD 540 for food, SGD 120 for groceries, SGD 50 for electricity, gas, and water, SGD 200 for entertainment, and SGD 90 for transportation. All in all living expense is a mere 20%-30% of the usual combined take home pay for a teacher and an engineer in this coutntry.

In closing, I would just like to give a word of advice for those who are planning to also work abroad. Please bear this in mind that living in another country not your own is not as fun as it is perceived. There will be heartaches, sleepless nights, homesickness, and culture shock to name a few. This is not to discourage but to give you a preview of what to expect. There will be more that I cannot express in words. But as they say, the best price to get is when you have to work hard for it. So strive hard to get an opportunity to work abroad and surely if you are persistent and determined the rewards will be great.

New Zealand Government website

More online information about New Zealand can be found on the government's website:

It's got lots of information and links to related websites; just about what you'd hope for a government website should have. Gather as much information as you can and consider all parameters that matters to you so you could choose wisely whether you'd survive here or not.

It's also a good channel for which to learn about the culture as to how they do things here in NZ. Similarly, you should also check out websites like this for that particular country you're interested in.

Being new to a country and community, among the things you'd hate to have are gotchas or surprises all because you didn't do much of the necessary research up front.

Kia Ora!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Living in Christchurch, NZ

The City of Christchurch, NZ is known as the "Garden City", and for good reasons. When I first came to New Zealand, I have no idea what to expect really. I have pre-conceived idea that maybe it'll look like Holland or Switzerland where you can find lots of green plains, wind mills, cows and sheeps. I can't even begin to imagine if their were buildings, how would it look like?

When I finally arrive, I told myself with absolute satisfaction, this I can live with!!!

Anyway, I find that the city of Christchurch is comparable to Lexington City in Kentucky. It's a very progressive and well-developed city but with lots of green gardens around, well adorned with flowers and huge trees. It's pretty calm and relatively quite. There are a lot of businesses around and food abound.

You can find a lot of information from the City Council's website: and the Christchurch website:

As regards to housing rates in terms of buying and renting, a descent house for 4 would normally cost around $250,000. As for apartments, here in NZ they call it flats, the weekly rental for a fully furnished house with 2 bedrooms usually costs around $300. If you're alone, a descent fully furnished room can be around $100 or even less. It's popular here for singles to share a house thus bringing down the weekly rental to just $50-$80 and some of which already include electricity and phone bills -- water is free. You can find more information here:

You can also check out a very informative site regarding money matters at You can use the calculator tool to calculate the house mortgage payments.

Regarding food or grocery; it's relatively cheap here in Christchurch. Some Kiwis from Auckland and Wellington do find that it's quite cheaper here -- maybe some but not all. At any rate, in relation to your income here, food is really not that expensive. You can get some idea by shopping online at, of course, you don't actually want to buy something, just browse around for the prices. The prices here might be a bit higher than the actual price and other stores like Pak n Save and Countdown, have even lower prices.

Our weekly budget for grocery, including baby food for our daughter, is $150. We really rarely exceed or even reach this limit. Mostly we just spend around $90 weekly. I can tell you, we're not really living that frugal. We usually buy Chinese take-away (take-out) or Subway or Pizza or Burger King meals every weekend. We also have fruits, veges, meat, milk and ginger beer ;-) all the time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

More opportunities for nurses

Here's another example where people can apply directly without going through recruiting agencies. Like I said before, it does not cost hundreds of thousands of pesos in order to go abroad. Don't rely on empty promises by many of these agencies; you might just be disappointed.

Just because many people are doing it doesn't mean you should too. A lot of people are not successful because they're doing the same things. We should learn from successful examples; even if they're out of the ordinary.

My wife and I came to NZ spending just a little over 30,000 pesos and our pocket money was around 20,000 pesos. 50,000 in total, yes, for both of us! For some recruiting agencies, this is just a processing fee so that your application will be accepted and considered.

I can only share what I know based on experience. I'm sure a lot of other people out there have other ways and I really want to encourage them, and you, to share and help each other.

In the news...

April 7, 2008 | 06:03 AM

Monday, April 21, 2008

Working in NZ

There are multiple ways of coming to NZ for work. There are some differences between categories and it's important that you know which category you most certainly fit.

I believe that the fastest way of coming here for work, is via the "Talent - accredited employer" category. This is the category I used in coming here. Basically, the hiring company has to be an NZIS (New Zealand Immigration Service) accredited for you to qualify in this category.

It works very simply and like I said, it's one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to come to NZ for work. You can find more information from the link below:


Be sure to check out the list of accredited employers. Visit the company website and see if there are job postings there that you can apply and submit your application through there. Most companies will have job listings in their websites and the information on how to apply for them.

The company will contact you, usually via email, to arrange an interview with you or they may ask for more information about you or some referrals. The interview will usually be a phone interview. Take note that all of these correspondence between you and the company are off the POEA and OWWA's radars. The company might even send you here for a final interview, like what they did with me. It's easy, you just need a visitor's visa, which is free and again, you don't need to go through POEA nor OWWA for this.

Once the company will decide to hire you, they should give you a contract and working conditions document for you to sign. This is important as this will be needed when applying for the work visa. I will post separately regarding how to go about this.

There are also some good job search websites. One particularly popular here in NZ is Try searching here as well. Don't worry if you'll go through an agency, most of them take little commissions only and you can get out of the agency later if you can find a company that will hire you directly.

Differences between driving in New Zealand and in the Philippines

Remember to stay at the right side of the road, which is the left.

It's great to explore New Zealand on the road. It's also a necessity here if you want to easily go to places as they can be quite far apart. Although there is a comprehensive bus service, it can sometimes be very time-consuming. Anyway, owning a vehicle here is not a luxury, you can even drive one with no money down. However, driving here is quite different from driving in the Philippines. Here are the major differences:

(1) Keep left. They follow the British way of driving, which is driving at the left side of the road. Meaning the vehicle you'll be driving is right-hand drive. Driving on the left is a bit strange in the beginning but as you get more experience, like after a few days of driving, you'll easily adopt. It's not as hard as you might think.

(2) Special give way rule. All the roads here are clearly marked with signs to hint drivers as they pass by. It is especially important that you pay attention to these signs as they follow them here strictly. Unlike in the Philippines, as long as you don't hit anything or anybody, you're good to go. In the case of the give-way rule, if an intersection doesn't have a give-way sign, one must give way to all traffic coming from the right.

(3) Roundabout. They have here something similar to our "rotonda" there in RP, just like in Fuente Osmena in Cebu City. However, it's totally different as you need to apply the give-way rule; which basically means give-way to all traffic coming from your right. Also, always use your signal lights when turning; that includes when you're leaving the roundabout.

(4) Motorway. There is also what's called a "motorway", similar to an inter-state highway in the US. It's a high-speed driving area; up to 100 km per hour. It's got an entry and an exit ramp. It's not as elaborate or wide-spread as in the US; some even stretches for just a few kilometers but the concept is very close to that of an interstate.

You can find more information and the details on the internet about driving here in NZ. You can check out the following websites: - the New Zealand Road Code - Automobile Association NZ

Can I drive in NZ with my Philippine license? Yes. As long as your driver's license is current, you can use it to drive here in NZ for up to 12 months only. After the 12 months is over, you should get a NZ license. In order to get a NZ license, you must sit on two exams:

(1) short written test - takes about 20 to 30 mins
(2) practical test - takes about 1 hour

I would advice that you get an International Driver's Permit (IDP), also known as "international license" there in RP. They would not have any questions when you'll be converting it to a NZ license. It's actually not "converting" it but that's how they term it here. Remember, however, an IDP is not valid without your Philippine license, the plastic one, they don't honor the receipt here. It'll save you a lot of hassles to have a current driver's license and an IDP.

Use the first few months to gain experience in driving here in NZ and read and study the NZ Road Code. You can buy this book from any bookstore here for about $40. It contains everything you need to know and will definitely help you pass the written and practical exams. If you don't want to purchase the book, you can also get access to it online. The contents of the book are completely available online for free.

I also advice to drive in all driving conditions to better prepare for the exam. Like driving through highways, busy streets and the slower area in the suburbs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Get informed before taking off

New Zealanders, also known as "Kiwis", use the internet heavily. You will find that some of the sites ranked on top 10,000 by are actually in New Zealand. Most of the businesses here have their own websites which are up-to-date and are very informative; most of which feature online shopping.

Here are some interesting NZ websites:

For those wanting to come to visit, work or immigrate, you can always refer to the NZIS (New Zealand Immigration Service) website at: You can find guides, fees, forms and many other information there. It's very up-to-date and relatively easy to use; it's easy enough to find the information you need.

I would highly recommend that before you decide on what country to fly to, you must do a thorough research about it. Especially the people, environment, prices of goods, rent, electricity, etc. -- the usual stuff for your day-to-day living.

Create a journal on your notebook as it's so easy to forget these stuff. It's also a nice way of doing a comparison among the countries you've researched so far.

Once you have a good idea of what you're getting in to, try and paint a picture of what your finances would be like depending on your circumstances. Like if you have a child or two, how much would you be spending for childcare, education; all that kind of stuff.

Based on your research, you can then better negotiate how much your salary would be in a prospect company. It's also an added bonus for you if you know some bits about the country you're going during the job interview as you might be asked what do you know about their country; it will show how interested you are.

So go ahead, do some web searching, read books and magazines. Also do ask around with your friends and relatives. Beware, however, people's impressions about the country they've been to are a result of their own experiences. Do not take it as if it's the reality. I've heard a lot of different stories about NZ when we were coming here; very diverse stories from good to bad to worse. The reality is, people see the same thing differently. One person may hate snow but one may party with it. One may hate to give-way to pedestrians but one may have no problem giving-way to anybody anytime even to cows, sheeps and ducks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's more expensive there, is it really?

I've met a lot of people saying "Mas mahal man dinha kay dako ang tax." ("It's more expensive there as tax is more expensive.") Is it really???

If I tell them, well maternity here is free. Still they'd say, but you pay more on taxes than in the Philippines. I also tell them that water here is also free and amongst the purest in the world. They'd tell me, "nah, it's all been paid for in your taxes; still it's expensive."

Also others will just convert the dollars to pesos straight off, which is even worse. They would say, for example, "1.5L bottle of Coke in NZ is 1.40 NZD = 44.8 pesos, oh that's just expensive." (1 NZD = about 32 PHP)

I think a better way of computing it, if we really want to look at the numbers, is to compare how much we earn and how much we can afford to buy with it. I'm talking about normal circumstances only; average decent living. From my own experience, here's what I can see:

My work here is exactly the same as my work when I was in the Philippines; although I'm working on a different product-set. In the Philippines, I'd be lucky if I can save about 10,000 pesos in one month. Over here, I can easily save up to 30,000 pesos in one month. You might say, "well, things there are more expensive so you need more money." Not quite...

What I think is a better measure goes like this: with how much you earn in the Philippines, per month, how many times can you eat your favorite meal? How many times can you watch a movie? How much grocery can you buy? How much percentage of what you earn you save?

I'd like to show you my numbers but I can't. Nobody wants anybody to know how much he's making, just ask anyone especially those who work in the government. ;-) You're gonna have to trust me on this one.

When I was in the Philippines, with what I was earning, I can eat my favorite meal at McDonalds for almost 420 times in one month. Over here, I can eat that same meal at McDonalds for about 520 times in one month. Take note, computation is based on take-home pay, meaning all deductions has already been taken. Also take note, this computation assumes that the money is used 100% for just eating this meal at McDonalds. In other words, if my take-home pay was to be 10,000 pesos and my favorite meal costs 100 pesos, then 10,000 / 100 = 100.

I can go to a movie theater for almost 210 times in a month there in the Philippines, over here, I can do about 260. And trust me, I'm being very generous in my computations here.

I strongly believe that part of our problems in RP is the wide gap between income and expenses. It's not because people are spending more than they're earning, it's because the prices of the goods are just way high and the salary of the workers are so low. If only this gap can be narrowed, I think life there will be a bit better than it is today. And maybe, not many people will have to sacrifice and go abroad to work and/or live.

Coming to NZ

I just wanna share an article I wrote in one of my wikis online. It's in "Bisaya", sorry for those who can't understand it. I'll try and find time to translate it in English and post it here later. Hopefully it'll be useful to anyone.

To summarize, anyway, all that I'm trying to convey in that article is that going abroad does not necessarily mean hundreds of thousands of pesos as what most people would think. Indeed, I've met a lot of OFWs who really spent large amounts of money in order to get on a plane and go abroad only to find that when they arrive, some of them still have to find work and others are working on something they are not expecting.

Most people go to agencies and attend seminars and trainings in order to prepare themselves to go abroad. Spending lots of money in the process even though the hope of a good working environment and good pay is still hazy. Well, I'm here to tell you, you don't have to! I am a living proof of this testimonial.

Ever since I got out of Pinas and started working and living here in NZ, I've had lots of realizations about our country, our people, values - good and bad, what we've done and what we can do, etc. I am now boldly exposing myself and putting my foot forward to try and make better the lives of other Pinoys out there.

I encourage you comment on my posts here and share your experiences if you think others might benefit from it. If you want to post in this blog, send me a note, by commenting any post in this blog, and I'll be glad to have you aboard as an author. There's only one rule here: help genuinely - if you're not here to help and just bloat out your heartaches and pains and disappointments and attack other people then it's no place for you. I'm looking for people who have gone past the whining stage, who have grown and matured and ready to move forward and make things happen for the betterment of everybody.


Greetings mga kababayan! Kumusta!

For those who don't know me, I'm Dennis, an OFW currently working and living in New Zealand. I'm a software engineer by trade. A full-time father, husband and embedded software design engineer. You might think, how can I be full time in all those roles??? Go figure...

Anyways, I'm creating this blog in the hope of helping out other OFW's or OFW-wanna-be's out there or any other Pinoys living or working abroad or thinking about it. I'm all about helping -- genuine help. Feel free to share, comment and be heard. Let's help each other, that's the only way to beat the odds of poverty and mis-opportunity we have in the Philippines. As what I've heard from someone a long time ago,
"I can only do much, you can do more, but together we can do a lot."
Kudos mga kapatid!