Apart from being home to scenic spots, the place is also perfect for those with temper for insects. Why? Jonan said that since August last year, he never saw any cockroach, rat and even ants crawling on sugar or sweets.
“Migrating to New Zealand and moving to South Canterbury is one great journey for our family,” he shared.
His blog has testimonies of faith, hope and love with the prayer that those who read it will be inspired to go on with life and move forward despite difficult circumstances.
Lucky that NZ is a democratic country, Jonan was also able to continue sharing the same faith with his fellow Filipinos at JIL Life Group and Kiwi friends at Wilson Street Baptist Church.
FILIPINOS IN SOUTH CANTERBURY
Compared to other areas in the world, the number of Filipinos in South Canterbury remains minimal.
I see three types of Filipino migrants here in South Canterbury – Filipinas who married a Kiwi, OFW (overseas Filipino worker) on a work contract and Filipino professionals who migrated singly or with their family members.
Known for its vast pasture, there are also lots of Filipinos manning the dairy farms. Others work as labourers in big factories for potato processing and farm products packaging.
In the last quarter of 2012, there were 22 Filipinos who arrived to layout fiber optics cables in Timaru. There are also a few working in information technology jobs, administrative, health and social services.
South Canterbury is migrant-friendly. The NZ government has instituted the Citizens Advice Bureau to help her citizens including new migrants for common settlement issues.
Organized in almost every suburb, they have free seminars and orientation for newcomers. All you need to do is visit their office, enquire and enlist in the programs they are offering for new migrants.
Just like Filipinos, Jonan said that Kiwi people also greet each other on the streets.
“Besides meeting and getting-to-know us, they offered help if you need one. Because of that, we feel at home and it’s like we’ve been here for a long time already,” he said.
He also admired how the Kiwis respect their government system. While security in Philippine malls remains questionable, in New Zealand, there is no single security guard in malls and even in banks.
Aside from obedience of the law, Filipino values like “palabra de honor” and honesty are also practiced by the Kiwis.
PHOTO CREDITS: Jade Mark Jarbadan, Emer-son Reyes, Jewel Kwe
Karen Bermejo is a Filipino journalist, writing for The News Today, a local newspaper based in Iloilo City circulating in Western Visayas. She also writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She hopes to inspire people through her column “En Route”, which features stories of success, struggle and opportunity for Filipinos living, working and aspiring to go abroad.
Kin and friends from US, Europe, Australia and other places of the world whom we have constant contact through Facebook, ‘shared’ and ‘liked’ the article.
Thank you dear Lord God for your wonderful creation in South Canterbury, which inspire us not only to write about it but to always sing “How Great Thou Art“. Above all these awesome wonders is the humanity whom you created and redeemed through your son, Jesus Christ.
It was one of the Editor’s pick and became the most popular viewed article of the day. As of writing, the article had garnered 105 Facebook ‘Like’ and Tweeted 15 times.
Our post “Reasons for Beautiful Living in South Canterbury” got 81 visits; 73 of which came through the Timaru Herald website.
At 6:30 morning, Timaru Herald tweeted: “South Canterbury now international news, thanks to blog by Timaru pastor.”
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