Goodbye 2015, Welcome 2016!

Hello! I know it took me months before I get to write something here again. I do have a lot of memories and good times this year but did not have time make time to sit and reminisce the moments. I don’t want to regret in the future why I didn’t share my thoughts in this blog because, to be honest, randomly reading my blog entries for the past years brings back good memories and in turn leaves me in a good mood. So I might as well jot down some memories of 2015 to have a go-to in times that I need to look back.

January 2015 was the time I had to go back to New Zealand for work after spending the holiday season in the Philippines. That holiday spent in the Philippines was a first in 4 years as I was always in Saudi Arabia spending Christmas time since 2010. So Christmas in 2014 was indeed a memorable time for me. I spent the season with family and got to visit Palawan with mates from New Zealand.

Getting a car first thing in 2015 was temporarily crossed out in my list as I made a life-changing decision when I got back to the South Island in the first week of January. 
I felt that I needed to move out of my current place for almost two years and explore the larger urban-life in either Auckland or Christchurch. However, I haven’t reached two years with my employer that time so I just went on and gave myself a few more months to decide and explore options.

Autumn and winter came so fast and I just had to keep myself busy with work, live life on a daily basis, spend time with friends, and plan of the near future.

February marked the month when I started my first post-graduate paper in New Zealand. It lasted until July and was able to end up with a very good mark. Although I learned some things, I guess I did not benefit a lot from that paper, because honestly, that post-grad paper was I think very undergrad level, something how we used to do things along the streets of EspaƱa, Manila back in the days. Anyway, at least I managed to finish it and gained 300 hours of continuing education.

My Pinoy workmates in the Emergency Department planned for a gathering to enjoy the South Island’s great west and visit Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook. Here are some photos taken on the first week of April.

In my birth month, I spent a few days in Christchurch with mates from Saudi Arabia.

That holiday in Christchurch made me realise that I am missing a lot of what the urban life have to offer. While walking along the streets of the central business district, I felt the longing for the city-life that I grew up in in Muntinlupa. There was one night I was walking at a Christchurch street and it was the exact feeling I had while walking along Filinvest Corporate City (Alabang) after work. I knew then and there that I will have to leave the far south to get in to a city bustling with lights and urban-vibe.

It was time to get back to reality and work after spending a week in Christchurch. I started looking for job vacancies in either Christchurch or Auckland, and of course, I was again very picky I waited for openings from only the largest tertiary hospitals in both cities.

Fast forward to July. I visited Auckland again with the sole purpose of destressing from work and as a gift for my self after finishing my post-grad paper. While the plane was landing at Auckland Domestic Airport, I missed a call from the Human Resources of one of Auckland’s tertiary hospitals. I was not able to give them a call back as I was focused on getting the next bus to the hotel until I completely forgot about it. The following day, I tried to reach them but was unable to do so so I tried ringing the manager. And since I am in Auckland and I am just a few minutes away from the hospital, she invited me for a STAT interview! I agreed! Without much preparation, I chose the smartest from my available casual clothing and went to the hospital. I knew right then and there that I got the job. It was a long 90-minute nose-bleed time for me as I needed to answer tough interview questions and sell myself IN ENGLISH... I didn’t think of a single reason why they won’t hire me that time. So I had a good time that evening and had an extremely good sleep that night. I managed to snap a number of photos of Auckland at night.

I did get the job and from that time my months flew by very quickly. I needed to convert my Philippine license to a New Zealand one and had to sit the theory exam. The practical driving test ate only 20 minutes of my time and voila, I had my full New Zealand license!

As soon as I accepted the job offer from the Auckland hospital, I worked on the documents and planned for my transfer. So just before my almost a month-long vacation in the Philippines and Singapore last September, all things were already set. I was ready to leave and start a new life in Auckland.

September came and I finally got to step in my family’s new house in the Philippines and meet our pets!

Because I wouldn’t be spending Christmas in the Philippines, the first thing that I thought of was getting and setting up a Christmas tree! It was a tough time looking for Christmas trees around the metro as the –ber month has just started that time… But we were clever enough to roam and look in the right place so we ended up with this tree.

Aside from the usual things I do when I spend my time in the Philippines for vacation, those are, eat, pray, chill, and relax, I also spent a week in Singapore.

We roamed around the city for 4 days and been to the tourist attractions like Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Botanic Gardens, China Town, Universal Studios, among others. The highlight of that Singapore week for me was the roller coaster ride in Universal Studios.

Three weeks spent in Singapore and the Philippines went by so fast it only took me now to take a good look of all the pictures and videos taken during that 3-week holiday. As a home buddy, I spent most of the days playing the piano, eating street food, visiting the nearest wet market, quick drive to Tagaytay to attend mass and eat bulalo, and singing my heart out with our Grand Videoke Symphony. Although the videoke unit was a bit pricey at around 23k, getting the latest and most advanced version and songs was one of the best things a Pinoy could do to a home - it is a good past time and serves as great entertainment for guests Pinoy style.

I had to get back to New Zealand to move my things from the far South to Auckland in October and start a new life in the most populous urban area in New Zealand and I also had to make use of my brand new New Zealand drivers license and put it into use... so I got my own car! It's a black Mazda 6/Atenza. I know it's long overdue and I should've had gotten  a car sooner... I guess I could've snapped a lot of shots of the majestic views of South Island. Anyway, my purchase is something I most value at the moment as it is my only possession in life! Haha. I always wanted a black car before as it looked so masculine and classy. Having a black car may not be favorable for some as it is difficult to maintain but for me it is just perfect... I always clean it, wash it, and make it squeeky clean!
Work is just the same old Emergency Department work. There are lots of Filipinos in the department alone and plenty of Pinoy nurses in other departments. While majority of my colleagues in the south were Kiwis, it is a different story here in Auckland where you will really easily appreciate the words diversity and multicultural. It is like the United Nations in our workplace with workers coming from all over the world. I think I have blended fairly well at work now, I may be new to the department but I have been practising here in New Zealand for quite some time now so adjustments to local practices is not a concern.

2015 literally made a huge impact in my life career-wise and personally as it is a year when I decided on a number of life changing moves. The whole year probably revolved around my desire to move into a big city and accomplishing it and so far I am loving the big move. I guess this would be what I will be reminiscing in the next years... This is what happened when I was 29 years old.

I am about to turn 30 in the coming year and somehow I perceive that it will bring a new perspective in life for me. I am going to end this blog entry with a number of photos and videos shot around Auckland. Thank you so much 2015, welcome 2016!!!



Anonymous said…
(Ang haba ng comment ko prior to this hindi pala na i-comment) Anyway, 2013 nung una ko mapuntahan ung blog mo about sa Saudi Council and dahil very detailed ang blog mo you made it easier for me. Thank you :) fast forward to 2016, mag end contract nako here in Saudi this April and Im thinking of going to NZ and again blog mo nanaman nakita ko. So nag back read nako ng blog entries mo and kahit hindi tayo magkakilala, sobrang napproud ako sa mga achievements mo. Malayong malayo experience naten career wise thats why Im thinking of going to NZ as student visa, but since sabi mo sa blog mo 2 years exp and CAP is the only way to be RN in NZ. I'm thinking of eto na ung sign para tumigil nako sa pag push sa NZ kahit walang experience. So the next thing Im going to do is to look and work hard for my 2 years of exp to take CAP and make my Kiwi dreams come true. Thank you for helping and making it easier for other filipino nurses through your writing. Your story is truly inspiring. Mabuhay ka! God Bless :)
Yna said…
Nice pics! Going to NZ soon for CAP in Dunedin though. Will follow your blog :)

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