Friday, April 6, 2012

Dream Destination: New Zealand

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda


"February 17, 2012.
Dear Mhe-Anne,
We are immensely proud of your receipt of the Franklin S Richards Award this year. It is a well earned credit to you personally and to your chapter. Congratulations!
You will no doubt have gathered that is fast becoming about the time of year when we have our annual regional conference. This year, our conference will be held in Hamilton, New Zealand over New Zealand's Queen's Birthday weekend, commencing Friday 1 June and concluding Sunday 3 June, with the Monday being a New Zealand public holiday. We would like you to come and speak to us on a panel that will be discussing the rule of law and the role of Society members in implementing and upholding it. 
We would love to welcome you among our honoured guests this year. Please let me know whether you can be a part of our programme. 
Kind regards, Neville"

Wow! Watching this lovely video and reading the email invitation took me only a few seconds to say "YES, I AM COMING!" In fact, I was so thrilled that I did a cartwheel before replying! hahaha



Seriously, I have always wanted to visit New Zealand for the longest time since the traveling bug hit me.  I guess, that desire was sparked by my wanting to reunite with my friend Melody Ann (who moved in this Pacific Island more than a decade ago), which is the same motivating factor that brought me to travel to 23 countries and 446 cities so far, including the  22 states of the United StatesSouth KoreaChina, Sweden, AmsterdamFinlandNorwayFrance,  MacauHongkongGuamJapanMalaysiaVietnamTaiwanSingaporeThailandAustralia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, GermanyUnited Kingdom and 62 of the 80 provinces of the Philippineswhere my family, many of my closest friends and my singular special someone (at one point) live.


Over the years, however, my wanting to visit New Zealand has changed. The above video gives you a clear picture of why this  remote and the last lands to be settled by humans is my dream destination!

 have dreamt of being in the city, and in half an hour I have the soft sand beneath my feet to the sway of a Polynesian culture. Yes! Its pastoral setting, pristine deserted island feel and turquoise horizon captivate me.  I like the fact that I can be in this beautiful island where time seems to slow down as I lose myself to a vacation mode.

I imagine how cool it is to begin a quest of conquering Middle Earth with hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) after seeing the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was shot in several locations around New Zealand!


I have longed to be in Auckland to "feel" like ‘the maiden with a hundred suitors’ and find out for myself why this region called Tamaki-Makau-Rau in Maori language  is being coveted by many tribes.

I have a longing that one day I will be able to check off my so-called Pacific Triangle Dream!



Pacific Triangle Dream is my goal of visiting the three countries bordering the Pacific Ocean -  Guam, New Zealand and Hawaii. I have this Heart Map where I connected the three countries by dots and it actually forms a triangle. 

And so it was. I have visited Hawaii in December 2000 and then six years later in January 2006 I stepped afoot in Guam. But New Zealand remained elusive, despite many attempts, largely because Qantas flights cost me an arm and leg. 


This year 2012 is the sixth year after my visit in Guam. I am determined to go into great lengths  to embrace my dream destination and complete my Pacific Triangle Dream by  visiting New Zealand. I will not let this chance slip away or let the plane tickets be in the way. So, since February 17 email invitation, I had been on a  constant, regular search for flights that I can afford. I immediately told my prince about it who promised to find me a ticket (and possibly join me).  I also implored the help of Pinoy Travel Bloggers community for ideas on cheap flight options and received good leads from Rain Amantiad and Nina Fuentes.


Happily, the chance presented itself last April 2! Jetstar Airways has a ticket sale from  Singapore to Auckland, New Zealand for only US $521.11  (Php 22,407.73) with luggage allowance.  This is almost half of a regular priced ticket, so I wasted no time to book it even borrowing my friend's credit card coz mine didn't work that time! Then I found a promo ticket from Clark to Singapore on Tiger Airways for only Php 2,779 with baggage allowance. The next day, I found a return ticket to Clark on Cebu Pacific Airlines for US $99.44 (Php 4,275.92) with baggage allowance too. I am so happy to have the plane tickets. Next week, I will apply for the visa which is free because I'm staying  less than 59 days! 


Yippee!! I am so close to turning my dream destination into a reality!

This is an entry for the April 2012 Pinoy Travel Blog Carnival with the theme "My Ultimate Dream Destination and My Pledge To Turn It Into A Reality" being hosted by Robx Bautista of The Traveling Dork! 

For previous Blog Carnival topics please visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw.

30 comments:

  1. I'm gonna visit NZ soon now that my tita's working there as a nurse. Weeeee. Ipon nalang ako ng fare papuntang Auckland. Ganda raw talaga diyan sa NZ. :3

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  2. that's great to know Renz! sabay na tayo sa June! if not check ka lagi sa Jetstar sa ticket sale nila. Grabe kasi ang mahal ng regular ticket mas mahal pa papunta US.

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  3. OMG! Good for you! My tita is there too! She is a head Nurse. Nice you had $$ you can book anytime! :)

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    1. lucky that my friend and my prince allowed me to use their credit cards so i won't miss this chance to grab a bit cheaper ticket. looks like NZ is your next destination bec of your tita!!

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  4. Middle Earth!!! Sana Ate nagsabay tayo ng visit. But it seems NZ will happen in the distant future pa for me. Meeting up with Rain right?

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    1. Yes, meeting up with Rain. Sana nga sabay tayo Gay! I'm sure NZ is so close to your timeline that you admit to tell - siyempre pa on RTW vagabonding ka na and nasa Aussie pa which is like 3 hours away!!!love it!

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  5. good luck to your trip. how i wish i can visit 23 countries too. =)

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    1. thank you Michi. i'm sure you can visit the world someday if you just desire it, the opportune time will present itself!good luck!!

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  6. With each destination we take, our world gets smaller,
    ourselves more wiser..
    Its good to have dream destinations as you would have something that you want to achieve!
    But I don't like the moment of denouement when we are at the peak of our dreams and things go slower after..
    So just this! trudge on! living life to the fullest!
    your travels had been very extensive! I envy you with that, I just console myself that I still have a big world to visit, what with starting from one location to another.. I know you've done the same way I'm doing now..
    Who knows, I might bump into you one of these days..
    while globe trotting and living the world.. :)

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    1. Amen to that Francis! After one dream destination checked off, I make another one dream destination to avoid the denouement, so living life to the fullest one step at a time! Good luck with your globe trotting! It would be very exciting to bump into you to have a face that go with the name Francis, who is living the world!!

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  7. So happy for you Mhe-Anne! your dream to complete the pacific triangle will finally be accomplished. =) Enjoy your trip to NZ..share your stories! Would love to know more, as I would like to get tips when I visit the country someday. It would also be a great destination since my cousin is based there now. =)

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    1. Thanks Mai for the well wishes.I am hoping to blog about it after the trip. But oh well, who knows haha. i'm reminding myself i have more than a 100 backlogs!

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  8. wowowoowow!!!! I feel excited for you!!!! I'll look forward to seeing photos and your stories on your dream destination! Ingat!!! pasalubong ok hahaha

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    1. thanks Gemma. I hope to find time to blog and post pics of my travel to NZ.

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  9. wow!! i would love to go new zealand as del since its very near to australia!! have a fun travelling dear!! all for the best xx

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    1. thank you and yea i'm sure you'll be in NZ too!

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  10. Wow vacation galore! No wonder you did a cartwheel lol. Have fun!

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  11. NZ wow! ur closer na ms mean and im pretty sure malapit na ang NZ dream u:) will follow ur travels here keep on posting...

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  12. wow NZ!! I have friends staying there and not wanting to leave the country for good.. Nice for you to see their beautiful country. Hope to be able to visit it too.. if God willing! ;)

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  13. it's nice to know that you chanced upon tickets that are not too expensive.

    enjoy New Zealand soon! =)

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  14. New Zealand! that's also one of my top dream destinations. I'm happy that you will make that dream of yours a reality na rin. Hopefully, ako din soon! To Middle Earth and beyond!

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  15. One blessed gal, to find resources with such value! Go girl and get to your dream destination, will be looking forward to your trip...

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  16. Wow! Happy for you I want to do cartwheels too! Have fun in NZ and do tell us all about your trip when you get back.:)

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  17. Go for your dreams! We're happy for you po!Lucky you! You have the money to splurge on a vacation!

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  18. You are indeed lucky you to reach your dream destination! Happy for thee. :)

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  19. Congrats, Mhe-Anne. You're so lucky! We have the same dream destination but I don't know when I'll get to make mine come true. But then again, I just crossed off Europe on my list so I'm willing to wait for NZ hehe

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  20. Great places to visit.
    So little... so little funds
    If only i have much of the latter...
    I will set my feet on all wonderful countries
    this world can offer.

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  21. Weeeee! Congrats Ate Mhe-Ann!!!! Buti na lang talaga at may mga dumadating na unexpected opportunities. :D

    I heard good things about New Zealand and a lot of Pinoys are there also. I also wanna visit Guam.

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  22. wow, the tickets you got are really, really cheap! i hope, someday, when it's my time to visit NZ, may sale din! good luck po sa trip :)

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  23. Enjoy your visit Mhe-Ann! :)

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