Archive for ‘Events’

September 28, 2017

Aspire2International Spring Graduation 2017

Where do I begin talking about this day that I have been anticipating for the two years I have been in New Zealand?

Well, perhaps just two days before the actual graduation day. I started thinking about what I would wear under the robe, shoes, any accessories, how I should do my hair, etc etc. It was obvious I was excited about the event. I learned something new about NZ too, that we actually need prescriptions to get contact lenses! NZ is so weird sometimes, I mean in Malaysia I can get contact lenses anywhere and as long as you have a pair of glasses you can get them. But nope, not in NZ apparently.

My mother was pestering me months before that she wanted to come visit me in Auckland and attend my graduation. I didn’t really want her to come firstly because flight tickets were very costly, secondly, it wasn’t my first graduation. So naturally I had to decline and tell her it’s not going to be a grand thing anyway. And I was right about it.

I was very critical of the whole event really. I couldn’t help it since I attended the previous graduation ceremonies and knew what to expect and what not to. What I didn’t expect was that the guests and attendees of the event didn’t even get offered at least drinks or any food! Urgh.. I mean how much cost cutting can you get? And the robe, oh gawd, it was like the moment you get out of the theater, you had to return the robe and there was no one to warn you that you couldn’t take pictures of your robe after you get out of the hall! They were in such a hurry to get you to return the robe on the day itself. (eyes roll profusely!)

I didn’t expect my classmates to attend the graduation except for Jason, my one time Colombian classmate for F9 paper. As it turns out, there were quite a few of them that showed up surprisingly. L-R : Jason, Ashok, Arun, Nisan, and beside me was Jaspreet.

These were the most pictures I managed to get with them. Most of them left their separate ways almost immediately after the ceremony so there weren’t much photos to take afterwards. I also didn’t manage to take any photos with my tutors as they weren’t even there. Sigh.



Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the event, felt that $75 bucks was a bit over the top for the muffin and USB that they gave as a graduation gift. It was not worth it at all.

I thought I could compensate that less than average graduation ceremony experience with good food I was expecting to enjoy at Federal Delicatessen where my Colombian friends and I would go after the ceremony to eat our supposedly “early dinner” or “late lunch” because there was no food at the ceremony (eyes roll here again).


L-R: Monica, Ana, Jason, myself, Paula and Saj.

Oh to my surprise, I was very unimpressed with the serving, the service and the taste of the food they claim to be the best. Urgh. More sulking to come. I ordered their NY Strip Steak, although the steak was alright, but the serving was just too small. And their menu dared say “Best Shared”???? Scoff!!!


I have to talk about the Montreal Poutine. I was reading Lucy Knisley’s Delish comic and that’s where I recently read about Poutine and what it was. I knew that when I saw Poutine in their menu, I just had to try it. Then, OMG, it was just fries, which were not fresh by the way, and less than average, topped with gravy and some cheese cubes! What blasphemy!!! I cannot believe I fell for this false advertising in Zomato.


I also read in Zomato that their cheesecake was a must try. See, I am very particular about desserts, having tried so many wonderful and glorious dessert in the Philippines, I knew I would not find anywhere else that could make desserts as well as Filipinos do, but I wanted to be proven wrong. This was not that time. It was just so-so and definitely forgettable.


It was turning out to be a bad day for me after all. Not so great event, not so great food, what else could go wrong? Well, bad people apparently. People who asks for crazy amount of money to fix a mistake that was not done by me. Not gonna dwell on this but let’s just say it involved me having to urgently borrow money and I hate it when that happens.

What makes the day worse, was that I blew a job opportunity because I missed a call from a recruitment agent. Even though I called back almost immediately after missing the call, the job was already gone by the time I was able to call back at the end of the ceremony. Urgh. Not a good day at all.

So after getting home from the ceremony, I decided to drown my sorrows in take out Chilli Pan Mee from Paparich and a small tub of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge ice cream that is worth 270 calories. (wails)


Oh well, congratulations to me.


June 28, 2017

The end is here. #finalexam #diplomacompleted

Two years just went by too fast.

Today marks the end of another chapter in my 34+ years of life on this earth.

It hasn’t been a breeze, although it must have been easier than being in High school though. But of course, life as a teen and life as a middle age adult and still studying is two different things really.

It was such a burden off my shoulders when I finally finished my final paper for the final term. Audit was a lot of theory and not quite like all the calculations we’ve had in other subjects previously. I’m sure I would pass, its just a matter of getting a good result.

My little ‘squad’ comprising of a Korean girl and a Ukranian guy waited for me to finish my exam so we could go have lunch together for probably the last time. Of course, Saj just had to tag along ๐Ÿ˜

Instead of the usual Food Alley, HeyG brought us to a place called “Tab” and obviously it was a bar which also served food so at least a place where we can have drinks to loosen up too.

I went for the Traditional Fish and Chips and boy was I disappointed at how little the fish portion was ๐Ÿ˜’ 

But as you can see from my expression here, I was more relieved about the Diploma coming to end than I am about the food that I didn’t care how my double chins were popping out like nobody was there ๐Ÿ™„

Had a good chill session with these guys, although Saj had to leave by 2pm to head back go work, Sergii, HeyG and I just sat around, have our drinks and just savored the last moment we get to sit around and talk about life just like that.. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Yep, I’ll miss seeing these two seatmates sticking around me in class ๐Ÿ˜

June 23, 2017

Final Class in NTEC DBA level 7 Diploma in Business Accounting

It is finally here. And it didn’t really dawn on me until Arun mentioned the obvious. He said he was also not feeling well today, as we were talking about why Linda (his seatmate) was absent the past two days. And he said that he was not about to miss the last class of his final semester in NTEC.

It’s too bad that we didn’t have Ken, our favorite tutor with us this week. He was away on a business trip back to Malaysia and so we had Asif as our replacement tutor and we just had to do our own self study so it was a pretty boring class. But hey, all is well nevertheless.

How could we leave the class without one last groufie??

This was taken from Asif’s iPhone 7 so the resolution was very good and took a very good shot of everyone. Well, not the complete group but at least the ones that have stayed behind.

L-R : Venika, Dinesh, Jaspreet, Ashok, Nisan, Arun, Ruwan and Hyeji. Danuka and Sergii right at the back.

This bunch has annoyed me all semester to be honest ๐Ÿ˜ especially the group from Sri Lanka cos they talk too much. But I think they weren’t as bad as the group from Punjab in the last class we had a few semesters ago doing the Performance Management paper.

After our exam next Wednesday, I may never see some of them ever again. Well, it was good to have crossed paths with them anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

May 27, 2016

Meetup Movie Night: Gandhi (1982)


So my ladyboss invited me to this Movie Meetup thingy. Initially when she mentioned the movie they were showing tonight would be “Gandhi”, I wasn’t really that interested. And I also thought this meetup group was suppose to only show “Christian” movies. But anyway, I already said “No” to her a few days ago when she first mentioned it. And today again she insisted that we go because a lot of people were raving about how good the movie was and she counter attacked my excuse saying “10 people RSVP-ed”!

So ok, fine. Let’s do this. And it helped that she also invited the HR manager, WL, to come with Saj and I. So it’s not just the 3 chipmunks again, but at least she managed to drag someone new with us.

We got to the location in WL’s car, and she drives a big Audi! Woaaahhh… talk about the impression of a person by the type of car they own. Did not see that coming from her but hey, I probably would do the same if I don’t have anything else to hold me down right?

So we got to the place just in time, about 7-ish, and I was surprised to see that this time the turn out was pretty good! The last time I was here watching the Cantonese Christian Movie, it was just 4 of us who turned up. This time around we were probably the only Asians around, while the others are Kiwis and it was nice to see others coming to show interest on the movie as well.


The movie was long! It was a 3 hour movie and the DVD the host played even had an intermission to let audiences take a break and stretch or go to the loo! I was definitely hooked and focused on the movie and what a way to learn about the history of India’s independence while being entertained.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I learned so much about Indian history that I never knew about. And most of all, learned about this Indian hero, Mr Gandhi who I have heard so much about his quotes and what an icon and legend he has been. It was sad to find out that he was actually assassinated by his own people, and not to mention he was already 78 when he was killed! Tsk.. our evil human nature…

After movie, we just hang around briefly and talked to some of the others that were at the Meetup, and I mostly just remember a lady named Tina. She was nice and friendly to us, willing to talk and be sociable unlike some of the other men in the room. I was also glad we came in WL’s car cos then we had to leave early as well because it was already 10:30pm by the time we left and we were the first ones to leave!

And only after we left did I realize that it was such a memorable movie night that because of all that excitement, I forgot to take a groufie! Urrgghhh.. so frustrating when I forget to make those memories in material form. Hopefully I can get a photo from the host who took some candid shots of the group before the movie started.


Wonderful movie indeed and highly recommended if you like history and biographical movies. I didn’t particularly liked history, but this was part of world history and it was interesting to see a man so passionate about non violence and I believe in this world, we need more people like Gandhi who values and understands that violence, hatred and revenge will get us nowhere. It’s just a destructive cycle that doesn’t end.

This was my favorite quote from the movie and Mr Gandhi himself,

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Humanity in this day desperately needs an eye opener… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

May 15, 2016

Jumpa lagi naaaanti Nek! #grandma


Grandma left today. I mean, she was in the hospital for more than a week now, and the doctors did tell us she might not survive this time. So I was a bit prepared for that. But grandma has always been strong and persistent, never giving up and was really stubborn actually. But this time it was for real.

After coming home from Sunday lunch out, got a text from mom that nenek was no longer responsive and I got really worried. Quickly made a video to say Hi to her hoping she would see it and maybe wake up, but it was too late. I called last week and spoke to grandma but only managed to get some groans here and there, it wasn’t much of a conversation. I just wished I had thought about doing the video earlier. Stupid me.

To be honest, growing up, I have had a share of love hate relationship with grandma. She’s not the affectionate type and has always been more of a “tough love” type. I remember as a child, tagging along with her to her office cleaning job whenever it was school holiday season cos no one could take care of me at home while mom was out to work. I really appreciated those moments where she would take me to the wet market downtown during lunch time after she had finished work and we would eat at the food court there. As we passed along those wet market stalls, I’d always try to get grandma to buy me those little chocolate snacks with toys in them. Oh how I remember those days..

I also remember how she loved making fish nets and she hand made them by herself! I now wished I had took some interest in learning them since there’s never gonna be anyone in the family who would continue that skill anymore. She was also skillful in making beaded bracelets and sewing. She always helped me hemmed my pants that were too long or fixed whatever clothes I needed fixing. That woman even made all her clothes by herself! She’s the inspiration for me to take up sewing someday. But most of all, I remember how she always made use of extra cloth and sewed blankets from those left over fabric. Never wanting to waste anything.


The two person I hold so dearly in my heart in this photo, have both left.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Terry was always grandma’s favorite, but it was ok cos I was just a kid and it didn’t really bothered me that much when I didn’t even realize there was favoritism going on right? But anyway, I sure miss them both..


I really wish I could be with my family at this time, sucks that the timing was just not on my side as I have exams this week, and immigration is very strict with classroom attendance.

As a friend of mine said to me, it’s not a wrong or bad timing, its just God’s timing.

It sure is.

I’m just relieved that in my heart I know she has accepted Jesus Christ as her savior and we get to see each other again someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

April 18, 2016

Shared Lunch Party.

It’s the time of the season again, we are required to bring a plate to the office to share and of course show off our cooking skills.


Thanks to my sister’s recommendation, I decided to bring something ethnic and exotic to share with everyone. I made Hinava! It’s a Kadazan delicacy made of raw fish. It’s basically a raw fish salad. I used tuna and soaked them in lime juice overnight so that it’s marinated well.


Look at all the food on the table! Everyone brought so much food it was just food coma going on with my body after the whole event.




There’s Vietnamese spring rolls, fish curry, chicken curry, lamb curry, biryani rice, coconut rice and lots of dessert. I especially enjoyed Salu’s Samoan dish, with the coconut bun soaked in Coconut milk.. mmmmm absolutely simple yet delish!


And then there’s those who forgot it was the shared lunch day and just went ahead and brought take out from nearby foodcourt but its ok, enjoyed those food too ๐Ÿ˜Š


March 23, 2016

Shared lunch party turned Farewell. #sad


So today we had sort of a “last minute” shared lunch party. One of the classmate, let’s call him Harry, proposed that we have a little party at the end of the term as a class together with Natasha, our Business tutor.

They talked about this about a week ago, but only confirmed that we were actually gonna make it happen like yesterday. And because it was sort of last minute, I had to think of something easy but not too hard to consume in a not-so-dining setting. After giving it much thought, I went with a finger food that would also serve as a regular meal. Chicken wings! Well, without the wings though. Just the drum-ette and the other part of the hands.

I went with a quick recipe search online, and found one that I could make crispy chicken wings by baking it in the oven instead of deep frying. The secret ingredient is just Baking Powder! Who would’ve known?

A quick drop to the New World Market down at Victoria Park, good thing they open till 12 midnight! By the time I was done with all that cooking it was already past 12:30am. But good thing I didn’t burn the chicken even if they smelled like they were. So I had quite a decent dish brought for the class.

Before Natasha’s class started, we had EP’s class. She dropped a big bomb at us at class and told us she has resigned from NTEC. My heart sank. I didn’t think she was leaving NTEC so soon and was hoping she’d still be there at least until I finished my two years. Unfortunately, the grass is always greener on the other side. She was given an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. Aaaaawwww.. she even gave the whole class Easter chocolate treats!


We ended our lesson by 12noon, and prepared the classroom for a little party with all the tables lined up, and all the food we brought from home placed and displayed nicely on the table tops. I had to microwave my chicken wings for a bit and did a favor for Dishant and did his chicken curry dish too. The others just bought food from outside since they either couldn’t cook or just didn’t have the time to do so.



There was alsoย roti, waffles, potato pancakes and lots of chocolate muffins! I thought it was a good enough amount but perhaps the boys were not eating as much since they didn’t bring their own plate and spoons. I was well prepared and brought my own container equipped with plastic fork and spoon so yea, I had a good fill of all the food there is!


The boys writing their messages on the white board.


Harry also invited EP to the shared lunch get together so it was a good timing as well to bid her farewell. Natasha even set up a little display on the projector to wish her all the best and told the class to write a little note up on the whiteboard for EP. When she came and join us at 12:20pm, we shouted “SURPRISE” and it was just so nice to see her face lighten up and all smiles.


As any loving motherly figure does, she gave us a little pep talk about doing well in the coming exam and how much she cares and loves us all. Aaawww.. am really gonna miss her and it’s the truth when I say the college is not going to find anyone else as caring as she has been with us students.


Natasha being all cheeky in the background while EP gives us her pep talk.




The classmate groufie, Dinesh, Abijeet. Anu, Arun, Sergii, Natasha, Dishant, HyeJi, EP, Harshit and Danukha. Missing Linda as she just went out for a bit when I took this shot.

The whole party went well I suppose, some awkward silences in between were nicely overshadowed by the background music Dishant was playing from his phone and the mini boom box he brought to the class. I think out of all the girls AND boys, I probably ate the most food around there!

And the little party ended right on the dot at 1pm, which was just right timing for everyone else to clean up, pack up and head home. EP asked me to drop by her office after that, and I got an extra special treat from her. The Oki Doki Easter Marshmallow Pops!


I asked her to spill the beans on why she decided to leave, she said she didn’t really expect to leave but because the shipping company was prepared to pay her very well, she took the offer. I think there is probably more to it than what she meant to say, and I personally see a lot of changes happening in the management of NTEC so perhaps that was a factor to consider on whether she would’ve stayed. Oh well, life goes on, but surely we will be in touch with this lovely and caring mama!




February 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Saj!


Kobe! You’re only 23??!! Whaaaaattt…

Hehehehe.. this tall Indian dude from Amristar is my colleague, former classmate, bro, and I would even call him my best friend. He can be silly, funny and at times annoying. Calling me fat when really he’s just playin’. Ladyboss cares for him so much that she even thought of the little surprise even before I did. Hahahaha.

After lunch, Khaleed went ahead and got this dude a very “old” birthday card , ice cream and a chocolate most cake! Although his actual birthday is tomorrow, it was good timing to celebrate it a day earlier with everyone in the office.ย So we get to have tea time break because ofย this guy’s milestone of turning a little bit more into an adult. Just a bit.


With Pavel, Aaron, Rashmi, Merwyn, birthday boy, Khaleed, Aimee, Valerie (from Marketing, so lucky to have drop by during the cake cutting session), Ting, Nick, Elwin and myself, the cameragirl of course.


Happy birthday dude! Grow wiser, stay charming, but most of all keep smiling and lighting up the lives of other people around you. God bless! ๐Ÿ™‚

January 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Varsha! #birthdaygirl #newYearbaby

The very lovely and elegant Varsha invited me over for dinner and another celebration of her glorious 25th birthday. It was New Year’s day after all. ย I spent all day just staying in bed and not doing anything much aside from greeting people and chatting with them over WhatsApp and what not. By the time I arrived at her place, it was already 8pm.



The groufie! With Sasha, Aadi, Oppie, Birthday girl Varsha, Analyn, Juhi and Shubam.


We started off with a quick group photo session, and then headed straight for the food! Aadi cooked some really awesome chicken curry and I wish I could have more but I didn’t have any work out today so I wanted to make sure I am still on track with my new year’s resolution.


There was also a tofu dish and dessert (rice cooked with coconut and the sweetness level was just right! I forgot what it was called though) made by Juhi, and also tasted great, and again I wished I could have more, I just drowned the rest of my longing and desire for good food with a lot of booze and dancing.


It was a simple gathering of a few of us, and I hoped we had made a memorable 25th birthday for Varsha. She did mentioned that she was missing her family and boyfie very much this time and it’s hard to show more excitement than you really feel even if it’s your birthday, so I understand, and hope that we managed to bring a bit of joy to her special day.


December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015! #newyearcountdown #auckland #fireworks

Going against the crowd flow of flocking to the city to watch the fireworks at the sky tower, my gang and I went instead a little outside of the city, to Mt Eden Domain and caught the view of the fireworks from there! We could’ve walked all the way there from the city, but that would’ve been quite a hike, so we took a bus instead. And got there at about 8pm. Skies were still bright!

Here we are after a short walk from the bus stop, the Glenfell Place entrance. Behind us is the steep staircase going up to the summit. With the ladies, Sasha, Varsha and Juhi. Thanks to Aadi for being the thorn among the roses and helping us take a lovely shot here.


Once we reach the top, the view was just breathtaking! Look at the whole city area from where we sat! It was very windy and cold, so after a quick photoshoot without our cardigans and jackets, we had to put them on quickly!




With the lovely birthday girl Varsha, who turns 25 right at 12 midnight! The very reason why we’re here at Mt Eden and giving her a special celebration.


A selfie with the very “hot” Juhi. Can’t believe this girl was so brave to go out in sleeveless and not even bringing any jacket with her!


After the photo shoot session, we finally managed to set up our picnic blanket on the ground and start eating our very late dinner, Subway sandwich takeaway!


We also had to carry all our drinks and some fruits and snacks up to that mountain. After all, we did have about 4 hours to go before the countdown.


There were no lights or lamp posts on the mountain so there wasn’t much shot we could take when the skies grew dark around 9:30pm.ย As midnight closes in, more and more people kept coming up to the summit. Which at first we thought nobody was going to be there with us. Unfortunately, we were quite wrong. Loads of people came up after!


Because it was just too windy at the area overlooking the city and skytower, we thought we’d just move in to another spot where the wind isn’t as strong. Here we are with all our bags on the ground and just sitting around, talking, chilling and passing time enjoying each other’s company.


Finally the countdown! We didn’t have any official timers, so we just went along with the other people in the crowd that were counting down just before the fireworks came on. The fireworks lasted about only 5 minutes but from where we saw it, it was really small. Nevertheless, a good experience and the view, man, just cannot be described. Could be a very romantic place too if only I had someone to go with

Anyway, gave my gift to Varsha, and greeted her Happy Birthday, and then Happy New Year! After the fireworks show was over, we walked on towards the other summit where the crater is, and saw the rest of the mountain domain. Aadi also took the opportunity of the night to make it official with Sasha, oh the cute couple!

Then we ended the New Year’s Eve celebration with a good looong walk back towards the city center which took at least about 20 minutes! What a work out!!! Starting my new year right! Yeaaahhhh!!