How to get a UK visitor visa in NZ with PH passport

  1. Read this guide. Then click of the link that says Apply online.
  2. In that site click on the link that says apply using Access UK service
  3.  You should already know what kind of VISA you’re supposed to get. This guide is for visitor visa only as I’ll be getting that.
  4. After filling out the application online, pay the fee and set up your appointment date for your biometrics. Fee is $185nzd for a 6 months standard visitor/tourist visa.
  5. They will give you a checklist that you need to complete.
  6. Go to your appointment and bring your documents. The person there may ask a few questions, but she/he is not there to interview you. She will stamp your application that you’ve done your biometrics.  (I also signed the one at the back in front of her, the one that says sign at the presence of somebody etc)
  7. Post your documents in the mail,  make sure to include a self-addressed return bag.

The person from the appointment will give you a paper with all the instructions so no need to worry.

And yep, my tourist visa for UK got approved within 2-3 weeks.


The best travel insurance in NZ – what to get?

I tried my best doing my research on what travel insurance to get for my trip to the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

Here’s some of the things I found out:

  1. Some travel insurance doesn’t pay out when a family member gets sick and needs to be hospitalized outside NZ or AUS. This is from 1Cover travel insurance policy as told by one buyer in A Cautionary Travel Insurance Tale.  I confirmed this with them thru email and it’s true.

*** Not good for migrants when majority of our family is based outside NZ or AUS

2. Airline issue – For cancelled flights, or delays they expect the airline to reimburse you, not them.

Southern Cross for example: SCTI Losses We do not Cover under Section 2

(g) Delays and rescheduling caused by transport providers, or for
which a transport provider is responsible, where the costs are
recoverable from the transport provider or any other source

3. Terrorism – surprisingly, most travel insurance do not have safeguards against terrorism. One that I found that has this cover TINZ Comprehensive insurance has strict policies with it. Like for example, in their PDS they said,

TINZ WILL NOT PAY if your booked accommodation is located at a greater distance than 2km from where the act of terrorism takes place.


Using sites like if in NZ or if you’re in the US can help you compare prices.


I’m choosing between Southern Cross vs TINZ. As they both have the most understandable, clear outline on what they do and what they don’t pay out.

For example,

Southern Cross states that they will NOT PAY for war, invasion or civil war whether declared or not (General exclusions # 31).

TINZ, you have to choose Comprehensive Plus package vs Comprehensive if you want to be covered for terrorism.

I’m probably going with TINZ.

From what I can see, all travel insurance appear great at first glance. But it’s when someone is making a claim is where a good travel insurance company will stand out. Though I hope I won’t have to make a claim ever, it’s best to prepare for ‘just in case’ scenarios.

Philippine Airline Complaints

Fresh from my recent  negative experience with Philippine Airlines , this brings me back to another experience last September-October wherein they casually informed me that my family’s ticket has been re-booked a DAY AFTER their original schedule.

No apologies or whatsoever that they’ve just disrupted your itinerary.

I try to look at the bright side, as most Filipinos do, and think that everything happens for a reason.

So I called them again and have to spend Long Distance Phone calls to their hotline to request for the dates to be changed earlier.

And… maybe it’s the time difference but every time I call at 9am NZ time, 3-4am PH time, I get stuck with incompetent call center representatives who couldn’t give me a clear, direct solution to my problems.

(Summary recap of our phone call)

I asked her why the flight was cancelled. She told me it was because of the NZ fuel shortage (happening at that time), though my family’s upcoming flights were due in the next month. The fuel shortage was resolved way before then.

I called out an earlier date for her but same PAL flight (i checked online) and she told me that flight was not available, and that ALL MNL-AKL flights were cancelled because of the fuel shortage.


She then gave me flight options that include stopovers in Sydney, flying with Qantas partly. (Thanks for effort for looking it up though).

The next day I called again, making sure I called it would be daytime in the Philippines. I presented the same problem, asked to be moved to an earlier date and voila, no fuss change to an earlier date.

Reflection: hmm could I have been getting the same helpful but incompetent call center representative at the wee hours of the night???

Reflection No2: Philippine Airlines should have been the BETTER airlines. My family always seems to have the BEST outlook with PAL, thinking that it’s SAFER, LESS DELAYS, and again, well BETTER than the budget airlines.

I have carried and shared the same positive thoughts with PAL but now it’s starting to Change. For my domestic flights, I will try and grab a different airline and see the difference and will post my experience again.


Feel free to share your own flight experiences.

Philippine Airlines Double Booking Charge


If at one point you feel unsure if you have double booked a ticket, check your balance immediately!

I only received ONE confirmed itinerary but I got charged TWICE!

And apparently, you need to report it withing a certain window of ____ hours (like maybe 2-3 days). In the Philippines, sometimes we don’t know what we’ve been charged unless our bills arrive as we don’t normally check online.

I already called both PAL and my bank. (Plus, it’s hard cause I’m calling long distance).

The first time they said it was approved only ONCE. I called my bank and they said “it was weird” but she gave me two approval codes and said I can wait 5 days and call again if it hasn’t been reversed.

I thought it was one of those floating transaction things and a net error that would just self-resolve.

I couldn’t wait 5 banking days and called again on the 3rd banking day. I really was charged TWICE for another itinerary code that I NEVER received in the first place.

After another long phone call to PAL they of course would refund my ticket but it is after THIRTY, and I repeat THIRTY Banking days. That’s like more than  a month. And I don’t have the money to pay for the excess.

REFLECTION: As much as we all would love to patronize our own products, our OWN AIRLINE, its experience such as these that makes me question, would booking in another airline have given me the same service? (30  days?!?)

i.e. the website technology, the call center representatives, the banking system…. even the follow up email I replied with commending one of their agents and asking for their help to speed up the process if they could in the bank all got me a generic reply to wait for 30 BANKING DAYS.



Auckland Manila Round Trip only 645NZD

Ultimate Seat  Sale Fare – Philippine Airlines

Auckland – Manila Round Trip – 645 NZD
Auckland – London Round Trip – 1364 NZD
Auckland Bangkok – 996 NZD
Auckland – Beijing – 1061NZD
Auckland – Hongkong – 929NZD

Too Tempting!!!

You can even buy it one way for promo price as long as the Origin is in Auckland. Unfortunately, I can’t find the deals if my place of Origin is in Manila.

And because of these tempting offers, I still bought a ticket despite less than perfect experience with Philippine Airlines. For example,

  1. My family’s plane ticket to Auckland got cancelled and they moved the travel time to the next day. I had to call them long distance to get it changed to an earlier date.
  2. I got double charged when I booked my current ticket!!! They said they only approved one but 2 transactions are being shown in my online account. I will wait for a few days for it to self-resolve and then call them again.

Jetstar Extra Baggage Fees – How Much Does it Cost?

I tried looking online prior to booking how much it would cost to add extra baggage later on, as compared to buying it with your ticket in Jetstar.

They said something that it would cost more but didn’t say how much. I only found the price if you were going to buy at the airport.

Anyways, here’s the answer to my question: How much does extra baggage in Jetstar cost if you buy it after purchasing your ticket?

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Coupons, discounts in New Zealand

I try to make it a rule, never to pay full price for a ticket. There has to be a discount somewhere. 

So where to find Coupons or discount vouchers for your NZ tickets?

  1. Free travel magazines and guide.

Free Auckland Guide

Where to get these travel guides?

  • Airport
  • Hotels/Hostels
  • AA Office





What’s inside these guides?


  • Coupons
  • Freebies
  • Discounts







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Best Souvenir Shop in Auckland

Bringing home a  “pasalubong” or a small token/gift is a culture thing for Filipinos. Fresh from a visit from my family in the Philippines, we scrounged to get the best deals on these souvenir items.

The pasalubong culture is a bit tricky for the following reasons:

  1. Budget
  2. Airline Weight restrictions
  3. A long list of relatives and friends

Here are some of the best souvenir shops in Auckland that offer good deals and those that are a bit expensive based on our experience only.

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List of CAP schools and Recommendations


You can download this is WORD or (.doc) format in the Nursing Council website at

My Recommendations based on my infos a year ago…

But as a general rule, the three things to look for when choosing your CAP school are:

  1. Availability 
  2. Money
  3. Time
  4. Other factors

Availability – when’s the earliest slot that is available? Grab it.

Money – some places cost more than the others.

– The cheapest one from when I inquired a year ago was EIT at Napier. If you pass their requirements, and they have a slot, enroll with them.

Time – how many weeks does the CAP course run? This is again related to money, as studying for more weeks would require you to spend more of course for food, accommodation, etc

Other Factors – This depends on your personal situations, also school locations etc.


Based on my experiences a year ago…  Continue reading

How to Get a Job in NZ for PH Nurses


Photo from NZnursesstation

It has been a year since I did my job hunting, so as a disclaimer, this post may be true a year ago but may no longer be relevant now because a lot of changes have happened since then (stricter immigration rules etc). Still, some may still be useful to you, so best of luck.


  1. Fix your CV and Cover Letter.

We have our own way of writing CVs in the Philippines. The longer, the more wordy, the better it may seem. Here in nz, make it concise, comprehensive and clear. Don’t beat around the bush. Try to fit it in 1-2 pages if possible, without compromising your extensive experience.

2. Where to look for a job?

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