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Friday, May 16, 2008

Migrant Tales - Kwento ni CB, isang CPA Lawyer

It is a known fact that migrant lawyers, accountants and doctors are often under-employed in New Zealand. So why still migrate to New Zealand? Read what CB, a CPA Lawyer had to say about this.

I am a CPA Lawyer in the Philippines. Had a promising career back home. I even declined an offer to work as a Tax Lawyer for one of the top banks in the Philippines because they were much interested with my connections rather than my ability. I got disappointed and frustrated with the corruption. Up to now, it makes me sick.

I have always been an idealistic person. I have always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid. When I finally became one, I was shocked with the realities of law practice in the Philippines.

Corruption is one of the compelling reasons why my family and I decided to emigrate from the Philippines.

My family and I have been here for 7 months now. We received our residence permits late last year. We immigrated to New Zealand under the Work-to-Residence Permit (6 months).

Settling here was tough. But, we came prepared. Before coming here, we armed ourselves with "sensible" information and the right attitude. We knew that we will encounter challenges and difficulties. We also relied on our FAITH.

My husband and I both resigned from our work and decided to come here together with our son. We arrived in Auckland in July last year. We do not have relatives or close friends in New Zealand. We stayed for 2 weeks with my husband's former officemate. It was a big risk coming here all at the same time under a 6month-WTR.

On our first week here, my husband was able to get a job that satisfied all the conditions set by the NZ Immigration. We found a place in the North Shore and bought a car. We enrolled our son in a nearby public kindergarten.

Since most of our belongings were still on their way to Auckland, we had to sleep on an inflatable bed. We survived winter with no heater (we just all cuddled up under our duvet =)). We had no couch, no television. We just had a monobloc table and 4 chairs my husband bought from a garage sale for only $5. We rented out a fridge and washing machine from an appliance rental shop. I had to do most of the household chores. This was a big adjustment from having "assistants" back home. It was different from what we were used to in the Philippines. But, we never complained. It was one of the happiest moments of our lives.

Now, we have brand new furnitures and appliances. Some we bought in cash, some by installment. In the Philippines, you can only experience this if you're extremely rich or if you just got married (wedding gifts). We're also proud to say that we have gained new friends

When we realized that our medicine supply is running low, we scheduled an appointment with the nearest Filipino GP. It came as a surprise but I learned that I am entitled to subsidised consultations, laboratory exam, and even my blood test supplies for my blood sugar (I am a diabetic). They even have what they call "green prescription" where people get support(not financially) to be fit and healthy. My son is entitled to free vaccinations and subsidised consultations and prescriptions. One can avail more if they have a community service card. These are from the taxes we pay to the government. In the Philippines, do we have this?

From the email Anthony Taberna received from his friend, it was mentioned that doctors, lawyers and nurses are underemployed in New Zealand. This may be true. This is because there is still a need to get a license to practise their profession here. This information is not new. One can easily learn this by reading the immigration policy. BUT the email failed to mention that we already have Filipino lawyers, doctors, dentists, engineers and nurses who are practising their profession here. I have friends who are in the process of obtaining their license to practice law in NZ. I, for one, am taking steps in that direction. The professionals mentioned in the email are underemployed in NZ probably by choice.

There are so many things I miss in the Philippines. But the things I DO NOT MISS from the Philippines far outnumber the things I miss.

I am hoping and praying that one day, I will be able to do what I love doing (International Tax) without having to succumb to pressure from personal gain. It is just unfortunate that I will never attain this in the Philippines.


  • When I read CB's story, I felt a connection. To be honest, I am having a hard time explaining to our closest friends and even relatives why we've decided to leave and apply for immigration to New Zealand. They seemed so shocked, and never imagined us, in a milion years would want to migrate. When I tell them, I cannot stand the corruption, they seem to be unaffected or even amused. They even said that it's a common thing, there's corruption everywhere, you'll get used to it. But that's just the problem, i don't want to get used to it. I don't want to stay longer because I know if you live with corruption long enough it will feel natural as breathing. I have two young daughters and as early as now I want to shield them from the demons of politics and corrupt governance in the Philippines. I am hoping to expose them to a more regular form of government in New Zealand, so that someday when they decide to return home, they will have a stronger foundation and different perspective on how things should be done, the right way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:29 AM, May 22, 2008  

  • if only i was patient enough to research dati on how to go there in NZ, siguro i'm there na. the problem before was that we didn't know anyone from there and my family don't want me to take the risk to go there alone. so one of my frustrations is NZ... i really, really want to go there. nice blog, by the way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:04 PM, May 23, 2008  

  • This is just what we need. I'm working for a corporation here in the Philippines which has a pending civil case before the District Court in Auckland. We are trying to find a Filipino lawyer who is licensed to practice law in NZ. Please recommend any lawyers we can contact.

    My contact details:
    Ivy Grace Torres or

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:42 PM, January 06, 2009  

  • kamusta na kaya si cpa lawyer?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 AM, March 25, 2009  

  • That's the same reason why I am pushing my husband to settle in NZ. Hndi lang naman sa government nor politician ang corrupt even in private companies here. We have buss here in Phil and aside from the corrupt personnel in gov't that we're dealing with, we are also dealing with corrupt personnel of private companies (our client). aside from cash that you need to give them they are also getting time and even your health is at risk. They steal your time na dapat for your family and at the same time stress, pressured ka, puyat at kung ano2 pa ang ibibigay nila sa health mo. YOu are working so hard for your work tapos aayain ka for night out at your expense and syempre may kasama pang "alam nyo na". tho i know my husband, na hindi sya sasali of taking girls but the fact na ur tolerating or ikaw pa ang nagbibigay ng pambayad sa mga ganong klase ayokong kalakihan ng kids ko ang ganung set up and to think my kids are all girls. ganun kasi ang kalakaran if not wala kang trabaho, "as they say".

    Okay naman ang buhay naman dito sa pinas, my kids are studying in one of the biggest private school here but I cant stand any longer with the "kalakaran" na tinatawag dito. Pano kaya malilinis ang corruption sa pinas if there's a lot of individual person are enjoying??? or parang na glue na sa system na nila ang panghihingi. Sana pinoy won't think of migrating in other country kung magtutulong tulong ang bawat corrupt individual na magbago, na sila mismo ay matututong mabuhay ng simple at hindi mabubuhay sa panghihingi.

    Thank God and we were able to get our WTR and we're now in the stage of packing things and we'll be in NZ in a few months. After praying so hard to have our WTR, now I am pryaing that my husband will find a job that will qualify us to have a PR.

    The reason why we choose NZ, simple buhay at simple community. nakaktuwang mabasa mga blogs dito na magandang relationship ng mga pinoy. hope makasama din ako sa inyo in the near future.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:58 PM, February 22, 2010  

  • Hi there,

    I am one of you-- a CPA-Lawyer here in the Philippines and is also frustrated in transacting with government.

    Now I know that I am not alone and I am also thinking of trying my family's luck abroad.

    Thanks for your blog! God bless.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:45 PM, April 11, 2012  

  • Corruption is really inevitable here in the Philippines. I know you are afraid of it but as a lawyer, I think you should have done something to stop it.

    By Anonymous NDV Law: Top Caliber Filipino Lawyers, at 12:58 PM, August 15, 2014  

  • Sayang lang na many of great filipino lawyers choosing to go to NZ rather than working here because of corrupting issues and unreasonable hiring. I'm not a lawyer myself, but by reading this, I understand and I can feel you.

    By Blogger diana jane cervantes, at 2:22 PM, August 22, 2014  

  • Hello sir! Inspiring yung post nyo. There is someone who offered to sponsor a flight for me in New Zealand. In that case, I want to grab the opportunity but I have no idea what lies outside the beyond our seas. I am a Filipino, 21 years old, a fresh CPA (Oct 2015), graduated with honors. I believe it would be tough but would you be kind enough po to offer help, kahit in terms of information lang that I might need in gping there--like the kind of life or employment waiting for me in the said country. Based on some of my readings, NZ ir really a good country! I really wanted to grab the opportunity offered to me so I am humbly asking for assistance/advice. Thanks and God bless!

    By Blogger Ben Bernardo, at 12:34 AM, April 23, 2016  

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