but I’ll be back as soon as August

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

Source: Wikipedia
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)

Related articles

New NZ passport and citizenship rules

Source: WikipediaLast 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. Scoop.co.nz
MP Criticises Passport Laws. 15/04/2005. xtraMSN-Newstalk ZB

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

San Miguel wins National Foods takeover

Source: Wikipedia(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. Stuff.co.nz (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.