“di ko inakalang araw-araw akong magsasardinas sa NZ kuya”


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[ Turning the floor over to one of our kabayan Bong, who’s faithfully served the New Zealand economy half a decade now, and will serve for as long as he’s wanted, covid19 or no covid19Photo is not representative of blog post,  acknowledgment to newzealandnow.govt.nz! ]

Pinasasalamatan namin ang tulong, pero di yun ang tulong na kailangan namin. may mga ayudang pinamumudmod, pero trabaho ang kailangan namin. may mga trabaho at posisyon tayo, subali’t di naman tayo makabalik sa New Zealand.

[ We’re grateful for the help, but we need a different kind of help. There is assistance available, but it’s jobs that we need. We have the jobs and positions, but we can’t return to New Zealand. ]

SCAFFOLDER AKO KUYA. Ito na ata ang job na pang Pinoy talaga, dahil di tayo mauubusan ng naghahanap at tatanggap ng scaffolder. Basta may project, kailangan ng scaffolder.

Nung pumalo ang level 4 lockdown, sandali kaming nag-alala dahil sabi ng bisor namin huwag munang pumasok until further notice. Nafollow-up ito ng managing director nung sinabi nyang tuloy lahat ng mga project namin, tatapusin lang itong Covid19.

Tapos ng isang linggo, nalaman naming wala munang trabaho pero may sasahuring $585.80 less tax, ubos na sa $450 sa upa ng bahay, buti na lang may $100 ambag ang panganay ko, at nagpart-time si Mrs sa babysitter (tayo-tayo lang ha) para sa bill ng kuryente.

Sa tutoo lang Kuya, bukod sa kinikita kong $900 neto, wala na kaming inaasahang income, at dalawang pamilya (ng bawa’t magulang namin) ang umaasa sa amin sa Pilipinas. Kung mahirap na ang buhay rito sa New Zealand, sampung beses siguro ang doble run sa aming mga probinsya.

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Okay na sana nung bumaba ang alert level, halus normal na lahat at dahan dahang nagbubukas uli mga pabrika, negosyo at mga takeaway na matagal nating na-miss. Laking-gulat at nakakapanlambot na lang nung sinabihan kaming di na itutuloy ng aming employer yung project dahil naubos na ang pondo at di na pauutangin ng mga bangko. imbes na umayos ang sitwasyon namin tapos ng lockdown, sumama pa.

Lalo kaming nahirapan nung natapos ang wage subsidy Kuya. Nung isang araw nag-anunsyo ang Gobyerno na magbibigay ng financial assistance pero sobrang kulang ito. Naisipan naming mag-apply sa Marlborough, pero nasabihan na kami ng mga kinauukulan na wag nang umasa pang mapalitan ang mga conditions sa aming mga work visa.

At dito kami nauwi. Wala namang masama sa magsardinas , basta may mainit na sinaing at itlog sa umaga. Nagpapasalamat pa nga kami sa mga mabubuting luob na tumutulong mamigay ng delata, detergent, mantika at lahat ng pang araw-araw na kailangan.

Di ko lang naisip na sa New Zealand pa kaming mag-anak magsa-sardinas dahil walang-wala na kami.

So Kuya, wala kaming trabaho at di kami makauwi. Ayaw rin namang naming umuwi. May trabaho pero di kami allowed mag-trabaho base sa visa namin. At kung may ayuda man, di ito sapat kahit abutin ang kalahati ng aming pangangailangan. Kung nagmimilagro ang Diyos, ngayon na namin Sya linalapitan.

Ang iyong kabayan, Bong and family.

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Eloquent in its desperation, the letter says it all: not just Pinoys but all migrants will soon likely be in this situation. New Zealand before and during the covid19 lockdown may have needed you as productive and essential workers, but there’s nothing like the present. Between our citizens and permanent residents on the one hand, and temporary visa holders and guest workers on the other, who will be given priority where jobs are concerned ?

Migrants understand the priorities of the New Zealand Government. But there is also the basic responsibility of looking after those who’ve faithfully served you all this time.

Konting konsiderasyon lang.

Thanks for reading!

Kulong or uwi? (or both) : wag sayangin ang pinaghirapan sa NZ, part 2


TULAD NG SINABI NAMIN NUNG huling blag, nakakahinayang mawala lahat ng pinaghirapang luha, pawis at dugo dahil lamang sa kahinaang laman.

You borrowed a small fortune from family and friends to apply to get to New Zealand. You left a decent job, a promising career, and your kids left barkada, school and church groups, all to pursue the migrant dream of better jobs, safe communities and cleaner air for breathing. All worthy goals and solid dreams.

Now, in a moment of madness,  collapse of conscience and surrender to sex , you cancel all the hard work, sacrifice and planning you and your family have done. No amount of justification, good character or other excuses will erase what happened. One crazy act of sexual assault and pfffft, it’s over. Sa presinto ka na lang magpaliwanag.

Buti na lang, may awa ang sistema ng hustisya sa New Zealand. Hindi ka mabubulok sa kulungan. Imprisonment in prisons behind bars last only a fraction of what they are in the Philippines. BUT there is a big chance as we said in the previous post kabayan that, after your last day in prison, you will be sent home to the Philippines, which you ironically no longer call home. For some, this is the bigger punishment, the almost unthinkable banishment for you and your family.

To your kabayan blogger, almost central therefore (but still not as important) to the question of why Pinoys get drawn to sex-related crimes in New Zealand is the secondary question: is deportation after imprisonment the fair punishment for our kabayan offenders? (We won’t extend or expand this topic any further.)

We organized a small chatgroup for Pinoys  asking whoever had an opinion to share it among the rest of the group. No hard-and-fast rules, but for their privacy I’ve decided to shroud their identities. Up to you to decide Precious Reader how to take their opinion/s selected from the many given,  although we personally believe each opinion is valuable. (Some opinions edited for brevity.) All respondents are Pinoy.

[ Just a spoiler though : If the crime meets the criteria (standard), NZ laws provide that deportation is available for the judge as an imposable punishment. ]

YOUNG LAWYER :  Although New Zealand prides itself as advocating for human rights and humanitarian concerns, it has very wide grounds for deportation. It can deport someone who is convicted of a crime punishable by 3 months and this easily includes rape. But before one is issued of the deportation notice, they would have gone through the court trial, then got ‘convicted.’

The burden of proof (government’s job to prove the rapist is guilty) is really high: beyond reasonable doubt. once convicted, the notice is issued, although there is a right to appeal. One way to appeal is through the humanitarian ground which is a very high threshold or degree of proof ( 69% likely denied for non-residents, 59% for residents appeals denied).

For me it all comes down to a balancing act: personal rights vs public interest. When one commits a rape  I ask whether this person’s right to residence outweighs the danger he or she poses to the public? How much will it cost taxpayers for this person to stay in NZ? Odds of reoffending? The appeal process provides opportunity for the individual’s circumstances to be heard.

So that’s why it is also important for non-citizens, including resident visa holders to obtain advice of the immigration consequences of their criminal offending before entering a plea.   New Zealand has lots of obligations before international law but when it comes to deportation, this falls within State Sovereignty which means that New Zealand has almost absolute freedom on what and who it wants to be included or excluded in its political and economic life.

I do not really know much about the data or decisions of the immigration regarding deportation but from the little I know, I trust the New Zealand’s deportation process at the moment. So, yes. I agree that anyone who is convicted of sex crimes and has lost the appeal should be deported.

COMMUNITY LEADER :  I agree with the more general point that sexual crimes should be a basis for deportation – but for ALL non-citizens. Also, penalties for sexual crimes should be made more stringent. Parole, in my opinion, should be abolished. Don’t forget the case of Blessie Gotingco!

 Statutes of Limitation (or deadline beyond which criminals may not be prosecuted) for sexual crimes should also be abolished. I don’t believe in the death penalty – not because it is “inhumane” but because mistakes can be made. Sentences should be tough, and life sentences should mean exactly that – for life. Also “concurrent service of sentences” is ridiculous and should be abolished as well.  This also points to the need to overhaul the preparation of OFWs for deployment overseas. Not only are many unaware or unappreciative of how serious sexual crimes are and what they are exactly – many of our kabayan here are arrested for drunk driving and other avoidable offences. PDOS (Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar) must be made more serious.
I encourage all to join and support is White Ribbon NZ, and Womens Refuge NZ.
CHRISTCHURCH VEGAN: So this is as far as as I know, punishment wise: Scenario 1- X got convicted with sexual harassment at work because he deliberately grabbed someone’s ass. He lost his work after and now has struggled to find work with no referee. Was he deported ? No.

Scenario 2 – Y spiked the drink and raped his neighbour during a housewarming ; got convicted. Deportation? Yes .
Scenario 3 – Step father shot a video of a minor when she was having a bath using a hidden camera (pen) . Reason why he did it? Apparently he was only testing the pen? 🙂   Was he deported ?  No. instead couple split and custody battle started.

 

My point is,  being in NZ you are legally obliged to follow the rules. If you don’t follow the rules and  commit crimes there are consequences. The crimes don’t have to be sexual for one to be deported.

Deportation is just if the crime alleged is proven. Whatever residency status you have in NZ (or any other country) deportation to me is just! But then again being locked in NZ jails for 30 years with no bail, no parole is equally fair.

As someone said already (in the chatgroup) its a privilege to be here. Make the right choice and live with it. Rules are made for a reason.  so we can all get a chance to live a life free from fear and anyone who breaks it should simply be removed.

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All strong opinions, and all valid, though made in different ways. Need we say anything more?  Thanks for reading kabayan!

 

 

“naobsess po ako” – huwag sayangin ang pinaghirapan sa NZ (part 1)


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some NSFW and adult themes in this blog post! for Taglish phrases, helpful translations (not literal ones) follow immediately in parentheses, thanks for reading!

BEFORE WE LEFT FOR NEW ZEALAND on an unexpected journey a little over 10 years ago, nausong pagusapan  mga pasaway na ginagawa ng kabataan sa mga inuman nila. (it became trendy to talk about dodgy things young people did). Almost every month we would hear of an anecdote about people carrying half-drunk, half-unconscious women home from bars and raves around Metro Manila, too intoxicated to go home on their own. Whether or not these helpless women were actually brought home, or were at the tender mercies of their apparent knights in shining armor, no one ever knew. All we knew was, some if not most of these good Samaritans all-too-often succumbed to the opportunity of taking advantage of those they helped, who ended up getting sexually assaulted for sure, but too embarrassed to bring their predators to justice.

We learned two things from this social phenomena back home, the equivalent of  date rape or opportunistic sexual assault. First, a surprising number of young Filipinos (almost all male) have no qualms using alcohol to stupefy, sedate and subdue members of the opposite sex for their dark deeds. Sure, females share some of the blame but to take sexual advantage of a woman in this manner is truly a despicable, evil act.

Second, because of the Maria Clara or dalagang Pilipina (Filipina maiden) culture critical of anything less than the traditional “proper” behavior of Filipinas (chasteness, morality, etc) very few of these cases of date rape made it to the courts. My guess is, outraged as they were from their assault, women would still rather suffer in silence than endure the scrutiny and silent judgment of the community.

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Left unsaid here is, Pinoy men are no more virtuous than their counterparts of any other race when given access to sex. Whether or not it’s a fair generalization, the Precious Reader knows we have no motives other than to discuss Pinoy licentiousness or lewdness (kahalayan) in the migrant setting.

It seems we Pinoys have brought our bad habits to New Zealand. We are hardworking, team players and family oriented. The only thing is, we have had a little more than our share of naughty offenders when given the chance. What do we mean?

No less than three kabayan have been convicted on cases of sex and sex-related crimes in the last two years. you’ll probably want to be spared the details (it’s all on Google for the curious), but they are similar in one respect : besides the sexual nature and perversion, in  two out of three crimes proven, there was the opportunity or access by chance. (The third Pinoy had sex with a minor too young to give consent.)  If not for the fact that coincidence brought predator and victim together, the crime would never have been committed.

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Which brings us to our point. Pinoys have invested too much time, energy, skills and hard-earned money to get to New Zealand, just to waste it all because of one ill-advised, lustful act. Consider please the following:

When you commit a sex crime, it’s not just against the victim but also against the community. The nature of your crime is an offense not just against your victim but each member of the community, which as a whole promotes decency and respect. In time, the victim may or may not forgive you, but the outrage or offense to good morals will be a permanent stain on your record kabayan. And that’s why any form of reparations or payment to the victim isn’t enough, and imprisonment is the proper punishment.

Even more profound a punishment than imprisonment is deportation. But what about after imprisonment? Kulang pa ang parusa at higit pa sa bilanggo ng nahatulan dahil sa ilang saglit ng kaligayahan, because the supreme punishment of being returned to the Philippines is reserved for those who aren’t yet citizens of New Zealand.

Imagine:  after investing so much time, effort, energy and skills towards fulfilling the dream of living permanently in New Zealand, such dream is taken away. This is the very real consequence of sex crimes because New Zealand immigration law provides for deportation of the offender when the crime is serious enough. You undo all the hard work you’ve done all those years. And for what? for a few moments of pleasure, if you can call it that.

The effect of your crime affects not just you but your family, extended family for at least this and the next generation. In one of the cases decided on this year, not just the convicted offender but his entire immediate family was sent home. The lost chances, potential incomes and even the missed educational opportunities are incalculable. All because, as mentioned above, of a single mistake. The far-reaching consequences of one misguided act cannot be overstated.

Effect on the Filipino community. It’s sad to state the reality, but an act of one often characterizes his race and community. Unfairly, human nature stereotypes or generalizes an action, especially a negative action, so that all persons of similar race or community are assumed to act the same way. How outrageous is that?

Such a generalization is so ridiculous it defies explanation, but we’ll try to describe it. If members of a certain race are known as alcoholics or drug abusers, then the employment prospects of everyone in that group is imperiled as businesses don’t like hiring undependable workers, and alcoholics and drug users are typically undependable. And just like that, the job prospects of an entire ethnicity suffers.

The reality is a little more complicated, but you get the idea kabayan. Have one offender from a particular community, that’s a one-off or outlier. Two, a super coincidence, but still acceptable within the realm of possibility. But three? Three offenders of the same nature, from the same community? Hard to defend, kabayan.

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In his defense, one of our kabayan rationalized his behavior when asked why he violated his victim. “Naobsess po ako” (I got obsessed), he said, hoping for some mercy or forgiveness (which by the way he didn’t get from the victim).

We see in this an admission that not only us Pinoys but all humans are inherently weak against temptations of the flesh. It should be part of our preparation to resist this temptation, our persistence in being the best versions of ourselves at all times, and our humble reliance on the Divine Creator to give us strength in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Thanks for reading, mabuhay!

 

ang 3 katotohanang matanggap sana ng kagalang-galang na Ministro (3 truths we wish the honorable minister accepted)


[belated happy independence day to all! ]

HE COULD HAVE said it any number of ways, but the Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Immigration Minister, stayed on-script, true to form and could have just filled in the blanks when he talked about one of the most stressed-out groups of visa holders in New Zealand, work visa holders.

The immigration system, particularly the temporary visas, are there to fill gaps in the New Zealand labour market, and the unfortunate truth is that there will be fewer gaps… some of our migrant workforce are going to have to seriously weigh up what the future holds and think about their options, because if there is not work available when it comes time to renew their visa the labour market test will be applied and they may well get a different outcome than they had done in the past…

The good minister wasn’t referring to all guest workers in NZ but only to those who were currently stranded (or their immediate family members) overseas. But he might as well have been referring to everyone in New Zealand who wasn’t a permanent resident or citizen.

You’ve heard it from not just Your Loyal Blogger  but from every migrant and guest worker advocate who’s made his or her voice heard: there is more than one compelling argument not just to retain the existing migrant work force but to widen the Permanent Resident pathway gates to those who so richly deserve recognition and appreciation via welcome arms from the host country:

Guest workers here have a reasonable expectation to residency especially those who’ve been working a few years here already. To feed us our tender childhood years, our father ran a modest printing shop in Manila that was always taking in temp workers from my mother’s hometown. You see, my father couldn’t say no to workers who were not just my mother’s townmates but her distant relatives as well. My dad’s temp employees worked hard for minimum wage, board and lodging, not just because they were grateful just to have a job but because they knew that sometime soon, with a good work ethic and decent production, they would be made permanent workers.

Recalling this years later, I’m aware this basic social contract doesn’t translate to legal provisions anywhere else but is universally recognized. Work hard, don’t make trouble, contribute to the economy in your own humble way and someday soon you’ll be rewarded.

With the Government’s latest pronouncement, I get the distinct impression that OK, you’ve been QUITE useful to us the last few years, but now because someone is better-deserving of your jobs, it’s been great knowing you, have a great life, close the door when you leave please! That’s what Government is telling the work visa holders.

First, you make the rules harder. Then, you remove the pathways. Then you tell the workers they can’t work here anymore? This is not the side of humanitarian, compassionate and decent New Zealand that the world wants to see.

in case of doubt, apply the simple rules of fairness and justice. In quite a few cases, a lot of migrants, migrant families and migrant dreams have been created, spent and fulfilled on New Zealand shores. the only difference ? Work visa holders never have security of residence, and can be asked to go home, any time. It’s a fact of life.

A fact of life, even when these guest workers have invested the best years of their life, emotions, and their blood, sweat and tears in the land of their hosts, who unfortunately don’t value these workers in a reciprocal way.

Is it too much to ask, in return for service, devotion and loyalty, to be accepted as one of New Zealand’s own?

When all else fails. If and when the above reasons (and many more) are rejected, when all else fails, New Zealand will understand the expression : pera-pera lang. Not literally of course as it’s Tagalog, but pera-pera lang as in, it’s a business.

Everything’s a business, even the work visa policy that makes everyone happy. Workers from all over the world are happy with the work that’s available, and New Zealand is happy with the way positions are filled and jobs are done.

As in, how many nurses all over New Zealand are not just Filipino, but from non-New Zealanders? How many builders, carpenters and scaffolders are Pinoy? How many dairy workers are kabayan just because Kiwis just won’t get their hands dirty? The list goes on.

(And we’re not even talking about the training hours and patience needed to get New Zealanders to the level of competency work visa holders are working now.)

It’s just a business, the business of keeping the New Zealand economy running. Pinoys and other work visa holders may need the jobs, but maybe New Zealand shouldn’t be in such a hurry to get rid of our kabayan that soon.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

di ka nagiisa Mhylin : likes and comments on a previous post


[thanks and acknowledgment for the photo to pinclipart.com! Congratulations Monina Hernandez on your candidacy as New Zealand Labour Candidate for Parliament for East Coast Bays!]

NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE (although the latter is preferred), it’s always gratifying and at least interesting to see feedback on our blogs posted. Regarding her perceived bullying and biased treatment, our previous blog on kabayan Mhylin (not her real name) was shared on a few Pinoy Facebook pages with a lot of you readers responding.

Mhylin’s issues have not been resolved. She continues to attend meetings between her bully/s (who ironically has been the initiator of the action against her) and the HR manager who hopefully can help clear up the unfairness Mhylin is subjected to.

We thought Precious Reader that you might want to know how we as a group have reacted, for clarity and brevity we have edited the comments. Commenters have graciously allowed themselves to be identified.

[again, for the backstory please refer to our previous blog]

Randy D Dayrit : “Becoming a Mr/Ms Do Everything and to stay quite loyal and forgiving doesn’t count in other cultures. You have to voice out, and it’s OK to be a little bit angry at times. Be outspoken and reason out if you think you are right. Also, include your workmates and management. You will be surprised that this is what they admire. Being silent, they view it as rude.

Del E : “Nakatrabaho ko ang mga (ethnicity) sa Middle East for 13 years, sila ang pinakatamad at pinakapalautos, at kung alam nila na junior ka or sabihin na mas mababa ang rank kesa sa kanila ito ang gagawin nila (referring to Mhylin’s experience). during my orientation as nurse that time (two month period) pag bago ka sa isang place ay OK lang, yes pinag-aralan ko lahat.

“After two months may sungay na ako 🙂 Utos pa rin sila kahit may ginagawa ka or inaassist na patient. Simple lang sabi ko, “NURSE DIN AKO AT DI AKO BAGO SA NURSING, TAPOS NA ANG ORIENTATION KO at may sumagot pa na mas mataas daw sila kasi Diploma raw sila, pwes ‘kako Bachelor of Nursing ako at may Masteral din ako, ang naghire sa akin Director of Nursing and she specifies if I have a problem at work I just need to report to her.

I always make sure na ipakita sa kanila na respect begets respect, and I tried my best na kaibiganin ang mga matataas ang rank para may magtanggol sa akin na kilala ko just in case may manghudas. Obviously napagtulungan ka sa work, that’s so sad. 😦 ”

Louie Boyzz : “Pag sagad na pasensya mo paminsan-minsan, pumalag tayong mga Pinoy. Hinda sa lahat ng oras pwede tayo idown, kung inaapakan na pagkatao mo (at worst) fight them back. Supervisor ko dati pinagtiisan ko then nung mapuno na ako hinamon ko ng sparring. Ayun di lumaban, bumait sa akin. Minsan nanggugulat lang mga yan. Kaya kuna papaunder ka for a long period time, tawag (nila) dun coward. Wala sa lahi ng pinoy ang duwag. Ang mga ninuno natin lumaban ng gyera na itak at sibat lang ang weapons against kanyon at baril Stand up and defend yourself.

Doc Ana Maria Oliveros Robrigado: basta alam nya na tama ang ginawa nya at wala syang nilalabag na batas (Mhylin’s OK). She doesn’t have to like or please people but she does have to be civil and polite… Ang kulang nya siguro is communication skills. Hindi pa ba sya comfortable with English. Marunong naman sya pero she needs to think in English now rather than in Taglish. It’s difficult when there area whole lot of juicy expressions we can only convey in certain Tagalog words but maybe there are equivalent phrases she could do with. Practice practice lang. And watch more English shows.

***  *****  *****

I’m not sure if Mhylin will stay in her comfort zone by following the advice we’ve reproduced here, but I’m sure they’re all constructive and positive. Sabi nga nila, to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

Thank you to all the reactors and sorry we weren’t able to reproduce everything, more beautiful comments couldn’t be accommodated, kudos to commenters like Mimi Rojo Laurilla and Christina Del Rio Lacuna, whose comments you can still view on the FB pages they were posted in. Di ka nag-iisa Mhylin.

And thanks everybody for reading!

 

 

psst… secret lang ha, but Kiwis like our Pinoy accent



[Note : after all the seriousness of previous blogs, I woke up with a lighthearted post dancing in front of my eyes, and below is the result. It’s something that’s been playing around in the inaagiw (cobweb-filled) corners of my mind, and before I forget any more, I’ll just put it right here. Almost out of the lockdown and hoping our family and friends back home get their ayuda, I acknowledge and thank Netflix for the video above, ]

HARD “e”s AND SOFT “i”s. HARD “f”s AND SOFT “p”s. “Creative” syllabications like “good morNENG” and “good ibNENG”. You know who’s accent these pronunciations belong to, because it’s the accent you grew up with, your beloved Pinoy (Filipino) accent. To be sure, the famous Filipino accent is subdivided into regional and provincial accents, but we all know the most popular parts of how our tongues roll and teeth click, and we know which are best remembered by our non-Pinoy friends.

Origins. Many historical factors have shaped our Pinoy accent, but for me the two major influences have been our being a colony of Spain and a member of the American Commonwealth for three and a half centuries. even our constant trade with China and neighboring Southeast Asian nations have influenced our accent. It’s no big surprise that when you listen to tennis Grand Slammer Rafael Nadal he sounds oddly similar to Manny Pacquiao. Then if you listen to YouTube and global comedian Jokoy, though he is already an American, there are distinct traces of Filipino in his accent.

The clipped vowels and exaggerated consonants and other peculiarities of our Pinoy accent are a mixture of the above influences and our own addition through the decades of course, but because we are also migrants, we add local flavor of the language of whichever host country we are in.

And guess what? Because of our natural facility in English, and our ability to “mirror” whatever accents we are frequently exposed to (in this case the New Zealand – Kiwi accent), we haven’t encountered a single negative reaction to how we sound or speak (although the sample size is small, just the non-Pinoys we interact and encounter with daily), and we compare very favorably to other Asian accents, which will go unmentioned today.

A few observations from our hosts:

I recognise Filipino accents – I was a caregiver in a psychogeriatric hospital and a lot of the RN’s (registered nurses) were Filipino. Definitely the preferred accent over those you mentioned (other Asian accents), it’s much easier to hear and understand. Less harsh. – from a Kiwi colleague who’s worked across various industries.

I can usually tell a Filipino because they usually drop a couple of Tagalog words in while speaking to each other… Well I think Filipinos have a better grasp on English and are able to pronounce the words easier than guys from other Asian countries. Maybe it’s because of your close relationship with the USA and have been more exposed to it the other Asian countries, I don’t know. – a Kiwi employer who’s worked with migrants, Filipino and otherwise.

I grew up with quite a few Filo’s (pet name for Filipinos in Australia) in Sydney, and though they speak English in school, they probably speak their own language at home the way I did in mine. They try to speak with hip-hop and gangsta references but I can always discern the Filipino accent in between, it’s always been familiar to me. Almost like my own. – a mixed Kiwi-Pacific Islander who grew up in Australia but returned to New Zealand in adulthood.

What feedback have you gotten kabayan from our beloved Pinoy accent? Comments below welcome, thanks for reading!

“ano pang gusto nilang gawin ko?”


[ We were in no position to give her expert advice, so in the end we gave in to her original request: to let others especially in the Pinoy community in New Zealand be more aware of her plight. In view of the language of our letter-sender, we chose to post in a Taglish mix predominantly Tagalog, any lapses in elegance are all mine. Translations where helpful, thanks for reading! thanks and acknowledgment for the photo to safetyandhealthmagazine.com! ]

TWING PINUPURI ang Pinoy worker, alam na natin ang mga nauuna nating pang-uring nababanggit : sipag, tyaga, galing makisama.

[ Each time the Filipino worker is praised, you can bet the first qualities mentioned will be : hardworking, resilience, and team player. ]

Ngunit marami pang mga sumusunod : matiisin, pasensyosa / pasensyoso, masayahin, maparaan. Lahat ito ay madaling hanapin sa mangagawang Pinoy, nakasanayang mga ugali mula nang nagkaisip tayo sa Inang Bayan, hanggang ngayon.

[ But there are other apt definitions. Stoic, patient, cheerful, efficient, and all other qualities easy to find and natural in Filipinos we’re used to seeing from the time we grew up in the motherland, to this very moment. ]

Di maipagkakailang marami tayong nakakasundo at nagiging kaibigan rito sa New Zealand. Subali’t mayroon din namang pagkakataong di nagkakaintindihan, di pagkaunawaan at minsan ay humahantong ito sa di-inaasahan.

[While we can’t deny that, as an ethnic group,we get along and make friends easily in New Zealand, there are times when because of misunderstandings, the failure in communication and the differences caused by language and culture, workplace conflicts happen.]

Bigyang pansin saglit ang liniham sa atin ng ating kabayang health care worker, na itago natin sa pangalang “Mhaylin.” Gawin mo na lahat, makisama ka na, minsan ay sama ng luob pa rin ang iyong aahihin:

[Please bear witness to a short letter written to us by a kabayan health care worker who for now will go by the way “Mhaylin.” Do everything, try to get along, sometimes you still reap the bitter fruit of disappointment: ]

Hi sir, I work at xxx DHB, as healthcare assistant po, I was assigned at one of the cancer wards. The work is alright but yung nursing team, grabe po talaga iba sila sir. Meron pong mga tamad na nurses sa ward namin at isa na roon sa tamad ay yung Asian nurse.  For me, ok lang naman na mag report sa manager basta po yung honest reporting kaso puro di totoo yung ni-report sa boss ko at ang sad part po ay naniwala ang boss ko at ngayon ay meron akong formal meeting with HR, my manager, my support person from the union at ako. We are in talks before the lockdown and there will be an upcoming meeting soon when the alert level is lifted na.

[ Dear sir : Hello, I work as a healthcare assistant in one of the cancer wards in xxx DHB. The work is alright but the nursing team is something else. There are quite a few lazy nurses and one of those is the Asian nurse I work with. For me it’s perfectly acceptable to report me to the manager, as long as it’s an honest report. The sad part is our boss believed in the complaint and now I need to attend a formal meeting with HR, manager, my support person from the union and myself. We were in talks before the coronavirus lockdown and there will be an upcoming meeting soon when the alert level is lifted. ]

Last 2018 ni-report po nila ako sa boss ko then ngayong 2020 it happened again. ang saklap po sir, yung kagaya ko po na nasa mababang position yun po lagi ang dehado po.

[Last 2018 I was reported to our boss and then this year 2020 it happened again. The most painful part is, those at the lowest position like mine will be at the greatest disadvantage.]

I’m sure sir you will agree with me when I say na tayong mga Pinoy, we are a YES people, kahit busy tayo when others need our help po, we always say yes, di tayo marunong mag  NO.  I’ve been in my ward for 5 years now & when I started sa ward ko we only have 7 to 9 in patients the most but the ward is a 15 bed capacity so sanay po ang mga nurses sa ward ko na relax lang sila compared sa other wards na fast paced po talaga ang work.

[I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that as Pinoy workers we are a YES people, even when we’re busy, when others need our help we always say yes, we don’t know how to say NO. I’ve been working in my ward five years now and when I started in my ward we only had seven to nine patients at most but we have now reached our 15 bed capacity, our nurses who are used to the slower pace now have to work faster. ]

Yung mga nurses ko po sa ward when they asked me to do things for them po they want it to be done straight away even though I am still helping other patients.

When I respond  “is it alright I just finish this” they perceive that I don’t want to help them and that I am rude. When I don’t say anything and just do the things they ask me to do (without comment), the nurses will say I have an “unacceptable behaviour.”

Pina EAP (training under Employee Assistance Program) ako nang amo kasi raw I need coaching with my communication skills because I am rude, that’s why my colleagues are hesitant to ask for help from me, rude and rough daw din po sa patients.

Last 2018 at now po 2020 yung Asian nurse po ang nag report skin then yung boss ko po nag side sa indian nurse kaya ako po ngayon ay naka formal meeting.

[In both 2018 and 2020 cases the Asian nurse reported me, then my boss sided with her, and that’s why my case is now subject of a formal meeting.]

Ok lang po mabanggit nyo ang situation ko sa blog nyo po sir, without mentioning my name, salamat po sir.

***************               ***************               ***************

Lininaw ni Mhaylin na hindi sya humihingi ng advice or tulong sa amin, sa halip ay gusto lang nya I-share ang kanyang karanasan para lumawak ang ating pananaw pagdating sa pagwork ditto sa iba’t ibang sector ng NZ workplace.

Ang masasabi ko lang sa ‘yo Mhay, wag mo na lang isipin na inaapi tayo lagi ng mga ibang lahi sa workplace, kahit na ito ang nangyayari. Minsan kasi dahil sa lack of communication at pagsalin na may “lost in translation,” may mga misunderstanding na namamagitan minsan. Malas mo lang at naunahan ka ng iyong kapwa health worker at yun ang pinanigan ng bisor. Sa akin at iyong mga kabayan, alam naman natin kung sino ang tama. 

Ano’ng masasabi nyo sa work condition at dinanas ni Mhaylin? Welcome po lahat ng comments at response, as long as we keep it respectful, mabuhay at salamat sa pagshare mo Mhaylin!

Thanks for reading, mabuhay po tayong lahat!

kapwa ko mahal ko, sa hirap at ginhawa (loving my fellow man, in good times and bad)


donations 1

ISA SA PINAKAMAHIRAP GAWIN ng ating kapwa, Pinoy man o hindi, ay humingi ng tulong. Gawin na ang lahat, magpagod at magpuyat, wag lang lumapit sa ibang tao, ilabas ang palad at bumigkas ng “hihiram lang ng pambili ng bigas bro.” 😥

[translation : one of the hardest things anyone can do, be he Filipino or otherwise, is to ask help from others. A person in need would rather do anything, even tire oneself or undergo sleeplessness, just to avoid stretching out his palms and ask : just a little bit to borrow brother, for my family’s rice? ]

Dahil sa hiya, dahil sa pag-akalang mapapahiya lang tayo, at dahil sa paniniwalang ayaw nating maging pabigat sa iba, mag-iisip muna tayong sampung beses bago humingi ng kinakailangang tulong.

*****               *****               *****

But times are different at the moment. A virus that has felled more than three million of the human race, with fatalities reaching half a million, has forced all of us to adapt and adjust to our environment in ways we never thought possible. Social distancing, contact tracing, wage subsidies have all been brought out of the arsenal in the fight against Covid-19.

Mary Anne D Martin

[ Thanks and acknowledgment to the FB photo library of Ms Mary Anne D. Martin! ]

New Zealand has done very well, reducing infections and treating the worst hit risk groups (the elderly, respiratory system compromised) and keeping people sheltered and fed during the highest level lockdown.

Despite this, migrant workers (not the least Pinoys) have suffered from lack of income and increased consumption forced by staying at home and more opportunities to eat. The lack of extra income like overtime hours and side gigs have not helped, either.

*****               *****               *****

Too  shy to ask for help, the desperate Pinoy can be understood only by fellow Pinoys.

Enter the passionate and inspired activities of The Good Heart NZPH Foundation, bringing food assistance and essential goods to those kabayan who need it most, without asking for anything in return. Staffed by volunteers led by chairman Lani Larsen and energized by Alicat Lozano in Wellington, Cora Sitchon Laquindanum  and Ronan de Guzman in Hamilton, Edgar Rondon Calapati and Dennis Panes Magcalas in Auckland , Rodel Agustin Daquioag in Blenheim, Ivan and Elizabeth Presquito of Christchurch, these selfless kabayan  provided the vital link between generous donors among our kabayan who give until it hurts and those kabayan who needed it the most during the lockdown between March 25 and April 27 this year.

In their own words:

Good Heart NZPH Foundation has reached out to almost 400 OFW recipients all over NZ, with the largest coming from Auckland. We received donations in Cash & kinds from members of the Filipino Community through appeals by Facebook posts .

Gusto pang tumulong ng grupong ito subali’t may limit din ang mga donations at inaasahang sa pagbaba ng Alert level (expected to be Alert Level 2 next week as of this writing) things will get back to normal.

Jo Repuno

[thanks and acknowledgment to the Facebook photo library of Jo Repuno.]

Sadyang maawain at mapagbigay ang pusong Pinoy. Napatunayan ito nung alert level 4 (highest level) di lang ng mga dose dosenang donors at nagbigay ng lahat ng uring goodies kundi ng diwa ng kawang-gawa na ipinakita ng Good Heart NZPH  Foundation. Mabuhay kayo!

 

missing our kabayan in the mall : see you soon!


[ NoteWe started this tamad blog (nothing much to do) around two months ago, but  didn’t realize how much we had taken for granted just passing the time at the mall. I didn’t stop working, but like everyone else missed going out to the neighborhood mall, just window shopping, bumping into friends and checking out the newest stores in coffee shops. Just finishing and cleaning up the drafts po, everything the same except for the new title (orig title : hiding in plain sight: kabayan in the mall) and this explanatory note; hoping you’re all doing well this lazy Quarantined (in the Philippines) and Lockdown (NZ) Sunday! ]

THERE ARE so many reasons to go to the mall. Buy and shop for what you want, take in the scenery, the beautiful showcases of the fashion label stores, the clean and purified air of the airconditioned corridors , and the general excitement and upbeat mood of everyone around you, despite the uncertainty of everything else around Asia and Europe.

Beyond all these positive reasons, we love to visit the mall whenever time allows because the mall is worker-wise. Pinoy territory. Our kabayan’s facility in English, great interaction with customers and excellent work ethic make them obvious choices for retail workers, and the best retail workers are usually selected in the flagship stores, which happen to be in our mall.

Because of our low-profile, understated nature, we don’t stand out at first glance. But if you are patient and look around hard enough you’ll see our kalahi and kabayan in and around the mall, doing to best to give us a pleasant and productive mall experience!

CAN’T TELL YOU where they work, but you probably know where this is. Meet Maricel, Nina Ganda (yes that’s her name daw) and Argie. They never take themselves seriously but take their job seriously, up before everyone else on sleepy Saturday and always the last ones to leave. All to deliver you fresh fresh sushi! Banzai and mabuhay!

WE’VE KNOWN this girl since she was in pigtails and braces and so it was with a misty eye seeing her man the till (cash register) at one of our biggest department stores in the region. She has the most luminous smile ever, knows by instinct what the potential customer is looking for, and provides the full service experience. What more could you ask for? Ah yes, the irrepressible Pinoy engagement and charm! Thank you for making our day Chloe, even if we were just looking for medyas and underwear! 🙂

THEY DON’T JUST LOOK GOOD. Justin and Sheila know every Nike endorser from Kyrie to Mamba, know a Zoom from an Air, and can spot a fake Yeezy a mile away, and know instantly what looks good on you fitnesswear wise. They’re also as Pinoy as bagoong, in faraway New Zealand. As sportswear ninjas, they’re the best available. Rah rah rah, sis boom bah!

EDWIN pounds the tiles, mops the floor til it shines and never takes a day off until he’s told to. He loves the mall, and loves the people he meets everyday, Pinoy or otherwise.  No tips necessary, a thank you or a smile is more than enough. Isa kang alamat Edwin!

THE START OF SOMETHING BIG.  Emporium Premium is an amazing retro store with avant garde tastes and Dean Patrick Weischede, not yet 20, is in charge. Proud to know him, remember his name! (Technically the store isn’t in the mall but we just had to include it 😉 )

Thanks for reading and visiting the blog site guys, mabuhay po tayong lahat! Stay safe, healthy and isolated!

naipit ba ang iyong kinabukasan sa NZ ng Covid19 kabayan?


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Maricel with her business partner and hubby Holger Weischede (photo credit to Maricel’s FB photo library, thanks)

[ nagkataon na wala naman akong magandang sasabihin, pero napakahalaga ng aking balita sa inyo kabayan. ]

ARE YOU in the Philippines and your migrant journey to New Zealand postponed by the global coronavirus pandemic?

Are you a temporary visa holder (work visa, student visa or visit visa) and unable to use your visa as borders have shut on both the Philippines and New Zealand?

Are you a permanent resident candidate in NZ and unsure of how the crisis has affected your chances?

Understandably, we are all stressed by the unintended (but expected) effects of the virus, which we don’t need to tell you has infected and struck down two million and cut down 233,000 worldwide?

In the dark lonely night of the virus, a tiny candle in the wind shines bright, and this is the online open forum Q&A conducted by Ms Maricel Weischede and her husband Holger. Maricel is an immigration lawyer licensed to practice in New Zealand while Holger is a licensed immigration adviser. Together they have helped fulfill the migrant dreams of thousands of Filipinos now in New Zealand.

The problem is, the meet is TODAY and will take place in less than two hours, sorry.

Please visit Maricel and Holger’s Facebook page , called NZIHS,  New Zealand Immigration Help Service, right now!