‘Daw kahapon lang’ (It seems like yesterday) we said goodbye to our family, relatives and friends in Iloilo, Philippines.

On 10 November 2012, we reached one year of living in New Zealand. Moving and traveling to a new country and starting a new life is one faith journey that we will always remember.

On the one hand were the hardships that went with the transition. It is always given and expected.

On the other hand is God, His loving kindness, His Mighty hand, continuously guiding and showering us with goodness and grace.

Traveling to a foreign country for the first time as a family is really exciting and enjoying.

Exciting because you get to experience many “firsts” and you just enjoy laughing at all the “miscues”.

Of course, it’s always good to ask when you’re in doubt.

So, we were inside the old Manila International Airport. I was pushing our trolley full of baggage towards the Malaysian Airlines counter. I approached a Chinese-looking guy wearing Malaysian Airline uniform and spoke to him in my best English only to be responded to in Tagalog. He’s Filipino.

What really gave us priceless and immeasurable joy was seeing our daughter enjoying the trip, cheering and smiling all along, unmindful of what lies ahead in our New Zealand sojourn.

We left Manila on 9 November 2011.

The three-hour flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur was quite smooth and on time.

Because our connecting flight was still three hours away, we hanged out at the KL International Airport. We also got to know other Filipinos bound for Auckland.

Wi-Fi Internet at the airport enabled us to contact home and update our family.

Finally we left Kuala Lumpur at almost 10:00 PM and with 11 hours flight, we slept and took much-needed rest.

At Auckland Airport, Boyet and Sharon Quimba met us. They’ve lived in Auckland for six years.

We are so grateful for Boyet and Sharon and their family for providing shelter and valuable guidance as we started our new life in New Zealand.

We thank all our brothers and sisters in Christ who consistently pray for us.

We thank our families and kin for your love and thoughtfulness.

We thank the Lord God Almighty for the safe trip and most of all for making our New Zealand living possible and successful.