Category Archives: Pretty Australia

A Year in Australia

A Year in Australia

24.09.2014 Thank U Adelaide for 1yr of happiness and challenges. Thanks to FedUni and Australian professors for being my pillar of knowledge, to all new friends I’ve made from different nationalities who are my sanity, for the employers who introduced us to the Aussie work ethos, and to families for being source of inspiration. Seen the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate, Lord Mayor of City of Adelaide Stephen Yarnwood, Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill, and the legendary football player Kane Cornes. T’was indeed a worthwhile unforgettable year. And happy anniv also to my husband! Thru thick & thin, we will fight together! Thank u Lord for all good and bad things.


The Dollar Girl


Coming from a third-world home country to a first-world country is a bit of a challenge, especially if it’s your first time migration. I have highlighted below some of the favorable/unfavorable things which I have realised over my eight-month stay in Australia.

Philippines :
1. More fun – It is definitely more fun in the Philippines. When I said “fun”, I meant waking up early in the morning to the sound of cheerful neighbor’s voices already up either singing, playing, drinking, gossiping (ha ha), and fighting (rarely). Philippines is a very beautiful country and a lot of provinces/islands are yet to be developed into becoming eco-tourism spots. I haven’t been to all of them yet I have seen enough to make me conclude that there are more beautiful beaches and tourist spots/activities (e.g. the exciting ziplines, banana boat riding, hot air balloons) here.
2. More passionate people – My first impression of the neighborhood in Australia is good because I saw plenty of gorgeous houses. Then, I realised that it is just common for them to have such kind of a inhabitable houses. However, in general, the neighborhood is like a ghost town. It is so quiet everywhere. People are where they should be – work, school, trains, buses, parks, etc. except home. At the end of whatever day’s activities they had, they will eventually go home, eat, and sleep. There is a very big possibility that you don’t even know the names of your neighbors. In the Philippines, everybody knows you especially in the provinces where it is less crowded. If you wake up hungry in the wee hours of the dawn, be not afraid. There are lots of tapsilogans and other restaurants still up 24hrs a day. Public transport is still available as well.

3. Rigid training – I have worked for Shell and they provide rigid learning & development trainings (Greenbelt & Lean Sigma trainings) to their employees (at no cost to employee at all) all throughout each year. I am working part-time in one of the most prestigious employers in Australia as well and they did not provide formal training. Training here is informal. They will provide you an orientation consisting of a brief overview of the company and its procedures; a conduct of where and how to log-in and log-out, get your uniform, and ID but no formal orientation on the actual tasks per se. I did a lot of volunteering also and noticed that they are all the same. They will show you how to do a job and after a few minutes will expect you to be independent already and be able to find out your own way. In Shell-Philippines, every training is documented and signed; and submitted to HR or relevant managers. Let’s see once I get a white-collar job here if things will be a bit different

4. Easy to get lost – If you get lost in the Philippines, it’d be very rare to use GPS. First option is to ask someone out on the street for more than likely you will find someone “na mapagtatanungan” (someone you can ask). In Australia, GPS has become my second best friend. 🙂 Every trip has to be carefully planned ahead of time.I once had an interview in a very very far place, got lost, and couldn’t knock on the houses for fear of trespassing. Luckily, help came as always at the time of need. One neighbor pulled out of his driveway, and I approached him kindly as he emerged from his car. In fairness, I have always been extended a great amount of time and help by Australians. Most of the time, they are happy to help. 🙂

Australia :

1. Less warm people, sometimes so formal – As I have described earlier, the place seems like a ghost town. It will never occur to you that a party might be going on inside the house. They do house parties all the time, bbq parties are their favorite. Sometimes, it feels so formal to joke around them. I guess, that’s how you are when you are still unfamiliar with their culture, likes, and dislikes. But once you get to know them, it’s not hard to love them.

2. More professional – I have received letters from employers stating that I have not been shortlisted as candidate to their company vacant position. I have never experienced that in my whole career life in the Philippines. It shows that Australians are more professional.

3. A lot are educated – In relation to #2, it could have been because a lot are more educated in a first-world country that they are more professional. There is less poverty in Australia and the government is exerting all effort to help each Australian achieve optimum literacy. Trainings are provided to jobless people and loans extended to students which they can pay after they graduate and have found a job. However, the education system cannot be discounted in the Philippines as well. There’s a lot of good public, semi-private, and private educational institutions as well in the Philippines. The government only have to push each child to be educated and finish their chosen degrees. I strongly believe that it is one way of getting out of poverty. The more educated the Filipinos become, the more they can participate intelligently in political matters and arrive at informed decisions that can change the society and eventually their and their grandchildren’s lives. To add up, you’ll see people in all ages reading novels everywhere.

4. Less crime – There is a smaller crime rate in Australia. In the Philippines, you are guilty until proven innocent whilst here in Australia you are innocent until proven that you are guilty. If they have mistakenly imprisoned an innocent person, they will pay the latter an amount deemed equivalent to the damages made to the innocent victim plus more!

5. Very disciplined people – You can see this even in simple things like getting the rubbish ready the night before the scheduled waste collection, people crossing at pedestrian lanes, in-congested traffic, and disciplined motorists.

6. Effective government system – Australia is progressive because the leaders are effective and less corrupt.

7. Realisation of taxes – It is not hard to compute in your head where do your hard-earned money go when taxes are being deducted from your payroll. You can easily see the cost to maintain such beautiful roads and high-end services almost commensurate with your contributions.

8. Equal opportunity – Australia gives equal opportunity to all. It is up to the people who will take advantage of those opportunity presented in front of them. So long as one is working hard and wisely, one can achieve a comfortable living unlike in the Philippines where most of the time you will feel that all your bones are aching from hard work and you still cannot comprehend why your lifestyle is always at the same level. So the more leverage you have in Australia, the higher are your chances of success because they are fair.

9. Anti-racial discrimination – Discrimination is everywhere but at least in Australia it is part of their law – that anyone who discriminates will be apprehended!

To conclude, there are big differences of living in a 1st-world country from a 3rd-world one. They will not be called “first-world or first-class” in the very first place for nothing. They are rated in that manner because of the country’s GDP, contribution to worldwide economy, etc. There’s more fun in the Philippines, but there’s more money here in Australia. Though it is sad to be away from the people and place I have loved so dearly in life, a friend once mentioned to me that my comfort zone should not be my home country. My comfort zone should be God. So long as He is my comfort zone, I will be fine any country I go to. And she’s correct. It is easier for me to live here now. I am well adjusted, have made new good friends, and have come to accept their culture as well. But one thing is for sure, whichever country it is and whatever their culture and customs might be, what all people want is just a bit of respect. There will always be gossipers, people who will back fight you – may it be Australian or a Filipino; however, the same rule in life applies. Just go placidly amidst the noise and haste of life. Try to be at peace with everyone and your own soul. And the only way to do this is just to be respectful at all times of everyone regardless of his nationality and status in life.




II. Has the World Really Changed?


Has the world really changed? Dianne is not used to being petulant. She spurned Steven, her father. Now that she knows the truth, will it change her? The answer is no! Steven was trying to co-opt her. She will not let that happen. She will not join his syndicate. He left her mother all because of money, power, popularity. How she loathes him! Steven has always been an autistic since birth. He spites her mother because he was mistreated during his childhood by his stepfather. It was wrong to vent it all out on her mother. She can still clearly recall when he whipped her mother whenever she comes home without food or money to give him. Luckily, she’s an only child. He had never walloped her though, just Serena.

She had minute lovely memories of Steven as well. She can still recall when she was a kid and he was teaching her how to ride a foal. Although heathen in so many ways, he loves her. Then. Until he loved himself more than her.

Dianne has qualms her father will ever be good again. He operates his syndicate in a very crude way. He belongs there. It’s been like almost a year living in this new country, finding her father at last, visiting him often in his invigilated office. Yet, she still do not feel that father and daughter bond.  Sometimes, it is not all about birthrights. Theodore will always be her number one love. He who fed and taught her so many things about life. He loved her like his own. Theodore and Serena died in an accident. This is the comeuppance of not investing in your child’s emotion. Steven will never ever going to convince her to stay with him for good. She sneered. 

Although conceived in love, Dianne now understands the big difference between birthrights and parenthood. You can be a parent even if you were not the one who bore the child. The name doesn’t matter. You can still love the innocent child. Her foster father had never been dodgy with her though. She knew that he’s not the biological father, but he always tell her that he will always love her and will always be there for her. She believed that impetuously because she knew it was the truth.

But did you know what else is true? Digital age or not, stone era or not, the world hasn’t changed so much. Today’s society is pretty much the same as its history – babies conceived out of marriage; children gone to foster homes; heroes saving the day or your life; queerly intentions of other people; wars; betrayals; the rich & the poor; love for money, drugs, sex, narcissism. The world is blatant. It will always follow a pattern like that.

There will also come a time in your life when one will reach full maturity – when all rancor will perish; any abominable relationships will subdue. It is not some kind of spur-of the moment decision nor just to appease herself, but she has come to accept the facts. She will be gentler with herself and the not-so-much-changed world around her. This is her recourse – she will succumb to whatever God’s will is for her with benevolence. She will be invincible.

I. The Mother of Nonsense


There amidst the smog, one lonely creature has been glaring at the moon. When will she see hope? When will the sun rise? When will her knight come rescue her? Dressed in lovely purple tassels, no one would notice the lackluster mood Dianne is in now. She ambled through the darkness. The truth is finite. Her father will no longer come back. In the light of the dwindling stars, she made a vow. The most canny decision she had ever made her entire life.

New streets, new people, new everything. So this is where the scoundrel abodes. Dianne made her way through the crowd, reached a coffee shop, and started paraplanning. She’s known for being a pragmatic girl. Today, she’s come up with most ingenious scheme of all time. The place is notorious, only the date and time is indefinite.

Alex is in a haste. He’s got a 2:30pm rendezvous with the business owner of one of the largest-selling magazines in Sydney. He has the perfect marketing plan, that he is sure of. He just needs valor. He still has a few minutes to spare to sip his favorite latte, then he’ll catch a cab. From the outdoors, the man is enticed by one beauty he had never seen in his existence. The girl is simple yet very alluring. He’s not so certain though what that serious expression on her face is all about. One thing is certain, though, he is deeply attracted. Oh, what a pervert! You are just to order a coffee and leave! He reminded that himself.

When Alex was about to leave the shop as “planned”, he saw a man asking the girl about the time, which is so clear to him, was just an evil scheme to get her attention. “Ahem!”, said Alex and the boor left eyeing him suspiciously, too. “Yes?”, Dianne mumbled.
“Well, I suppose you are very new to this town. I just want to know if you are interested in staying for good, I can offer you a good place”, said Alex. “What made you think I am new here, mister?”, Dianne snapped. “Oh, that’s easy! Your watch is not synchronised to Sydney time’, Alex said beaming. Dianne collected her things and walked hastily. Alex followed her. “Miss, look, I’m very sorry that was very lousy of me. You just seem so unfamiliar and unsure, I can be your very first new friend here if you will allow”, he said apologetically. He sounded and looked sincere. Dianne smiled. “Yes, I need a place to stay”.

Dianne has been living with Alex and his aunt for 3 months now. She rented out the smallest room in the house and tried to stay in those four corners. She knew the auntie doesn’t approve of her being there. She is just so old-fashioned and doesn’t believe that Alex and Dianne have been good friends for years. Else, she would have met her or been familiar with her name. Dianne saw them having a tussle the other day, and all about her again. She fought the restraint to go out the door and defend herself. She’s always been known for being illustrious since kindergarten. She’s simply not that type of woman that braggadocious hag has been accusing her of. The concierge who comes every fortnight even heard the slattern calling her a bitch. But she needed the place, and she needed a friend in the form of Alex who has been very cooperative in all her delving. She has nowhere to go.

Donya Antonia, as she fondly calls herself, is very stringent. She is so agitated that her only nephew whom she’d raised like her own is not being so himself lately. She tried to be everything for him since he lost his real parents. She even summoned all her belongings to Alex on her last will. Dianne must have known that she got an enormous inheritance from her beau and this is her game. She will not let that happen. She knew her nephew is so unworldly and unsuspecting. She will confront Dianne now. Time is of the essence.

Knock! Knock! “Who is it?”, asked Dianne. “It’s me Donya Antonia,” the auntie said in a hoarse voice. “Wait a sec,” Dianne replied. Why must she always include Donya in her name, I doubt it appears on her birth certificate, she mused. The dowager came in full poised, “I know you know that I do not like you for my nephew. To be frank, you look to me like someone who is an expert in deluding people”, Antonia said dastardly. Dianne is astounded. She had never encountered such an evil person in her whole life. Fraught with slight terror she replied, “I don’t care what you think of me. I know one day you will die ahead of us. And Alex and I will live happily ever after and have children. Then, I don’t have to put off with you anymore because your chapping body is already gone to the worms and insects for them to frolic”. The Donya is rigid as she placidly uttered, “You are one preposterous child!” “As you are one senile cynical woman!”, Dianne said with detest. The Donya left with a loud bang! Who cares? It’s her door anyways and I am just paying a small rental fee. She should fix it.

The bickering did not escape Alex. Vexed with anger, he confronted his aunt. “Look, I did not intend to be innocuous but that woman is so frivolous. She called me senile and cynical! What kind of an in-law will she make? You deserve someone better.”, Antonia shouted in between hurried breaths. “Auntie, I know you love me and will only want what’s best for me. It is very irksome that you have those kind of thoughts about her. We are just good friends”, Alex explained. “You have lots of female friends and no one slept a single night here”, Antonia tried to reason out. “This is causing us so much distress. Did you know that, auntie?” Alex shut the door quietly. He knew Antonia is one incorrigible petulant person and what he’s doing is hopeless.

Dianne is baffled. She should have told the truth, that she and Alex are just very good friends. Well, I guess a person has some constraints. Although it was a very grueling response, she made it and she was very happy for herself. The old lady just so love her nephew that she is being treacherous. Awry as it may seem, she should be more understanding. Anyways, how would she know how one who is in a menopausal state would behave. Antonia’s words were not ambiguous and is very superfluous. She keeps repeating the diabolical encounter over and over her head. She should be patient and understanding. She should show some mercy to the old woman. After all, it is her house she is living in. She is being arbitrary out of concern of her nephew. Encapsulating herself with a budge, she began sulking. Why is her life always like that? Always sad.

Jonah’s luck


07-Dec-2013 23:45hrs

Australia is treating my husband really good. He got accepted in two jobs in one week’s time; whilst still I have not. But I love my school really. I love that it is just a li’l campus where everyone knows each other. You get easily recognised by professors because of the small size of class. I like that they (the lecturers) encourage a lot of questions and discussions in the room. I am learning a lot each day. I love studying and I feel like I really do belong in that campus. Maybe both my husband and I are where we should be. J

just scribbling thoughts while waiting for hubby from Adelaide Oval

Home is beyond but the future is ahead :)


(2013.09.24 23:55hrs)

HOME IS VERY VERY FAR BEYOND ME NOW BUT THE FUTURE IS AHEAD. 🙂 I always tell this myself since I set foot at NAIA Terminal 1 to leave my dear country temporarily last Sept 23. This statement makes me stronger, braver, bolder, mightier. It makes me look towards the future with great anticipation. Leaving my children behind is one of my greatest No-No’s in life. I always tell this to my husband, hence he did not succeed in convincing me to go to Kuwait with him nor to any other country to work. My philosophy in life is simple – I will go around the globe just to explore and enjoy, but not for work. So how come I am here? Without my two children and is about to work. Ha ha! Life can get funny at times. No matter what your convictions in life are there will come a turning point where we you will be challenged to reach a very good decision. I chose to go here in the light that I will be able to secure my family’s future and build my next generations here – in a country that is so lovely with people who have high respect for privacy and rights of others. Well, nobody’s perfect but at least for now I have observed that they have high regard on the law of the land. I strongly feel (even if I haven’t lasted 24 hrs here yet) that it is better to raise a family in a culture like this. Please do not misinterpret. I love the Philippines but I have to say that we Filipinos still have a lot to improve on our thoughts and beliefs; and work more towards POSITIVITY and pay less attention on other people’s businesses. Worry not! I will bring in here the good things my parents and country have taught me.

(2013.09.25 12:00hrs)
I REALLY MISS PHILIPPINES! I miss my hometown! I miss Manila! It is so noisy, alive with people and stores open 24/7. It is filled with cheerful people, cheery enough to ask you what you are going to do on a certain day. Today, I strolled around the vicinity of Mawson Lakes around 6:00 am. I have a favorite spot there already – the park where I can feed the ducks and seagulls. I roamed around the University of South Australia. It is like the University of the Philippines where anyone could just enter freely. It is lovely with lots of trees and birds. I also checked on Mawsons Lakes public elementary school which looked more like a private school to me. Classes don’t start until 9:00 am so you could imagine that it is just me and the trees at this very hour. Tita Bibeth’s house is located in front of a mall and some establishments; and right beside schools. Mall hours during weekdays is from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. It is very convenient to live here. Whilst Tita Belen’s house is near the beach. People there own small boats as it is one of their hobbies to go fishing. We bought a starter prepaid SIM. I have to go online or call customer service to register it. Else, I will not be able to use it. They do that to account for the owners and for security purposes.


Western Perth
Northern Darwin
Queensland Brisbane
New South Wales Sydney
Victoria Melbourne
Tasmania Hobart
South Australia Adelaide (So, I still live in the city. Ha ha.)

Homesickness is killing me now. I first got homesick when I played with Ella. T’was just the first week that curiosity got the better of me. But when TaBeth brought us to her job in the Nursing Home then I realized that I am luckier. I don’t get to see my family very often and vice versa because they are a thousand miles away from me, however, these oldies have families within reach but are not looking after them. How sad for the parents who gave their lifetimes to their young.