5k Fun Run (Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon 2016)

I used to be active in running. My last run was back in January 2012 in Cebu, Philippines where I ran half marathon. After a while and with no practice at all, I did this 5k. 

I was kind of anxious prior because there was this pressure of breaking my personal record for 5k which was sub-30 back in June 2010 at the Nike Women’s Fitness Festival in Sacramento, CA. 

I realized it would be impossible to break my record so I set in my mind that I will not think of the time and just enjoy the run. Which I did! 

We started at 9:30am from Westpac Stadium. The weather was perfect. Cool, a little bit of sunshine and nice breeze during my run. The route was flat so it was easy. I ran continuously until I reached 3.5k mark where they were giving out drinks. I slowed down here, walked a little bit. Next thing I know, I was back to the finish line. My aim was to go under 40 minutes and I think I did a pretty good job considering I haven’t ran since 2012! 

Here’s the official result and I am extremely satisfied. πŸ™‚

And here are the photos from the run where I was obviously having fun!!! πŸ˜‚

How happy was I approaching the finish line!

Overall, it was such an organized and fun race. So happy to have experienced this during my first two weeks in New Zealand. 😊

My First Roadtrip in New Zealand

How blessed am I that I got to go on a roadtrip on my 4th day and first weekend in New Zealand. Destination? Cape Palliser Lighthouse.

First, we stopped in a farmer’s market in Lower Hut. 

It was chilly and windy so sipping coffee here was really nice after buying some fruits. 

Next stop was in Kaitoke Regional Park where I got to see this unbelievably beautiful Stuart Macaskill Lakes. 

Next stop was the Rimutaka Crossing. 

Very windy!

Then the Lake Ferry. 

We also made a quick stop in Martinborough for these amazing views.

Then there’s the Cape Palliser Bay. 

I got to drive right handed for the first time. Beautiful short drive for me! 

Finally, we arrived in Cape Palliser Lighthouse. It was quite a climb but when I got to the top? 

Here are the amazing views!!! So worth it!

How can I not look back?

Cape Palliser is just beautiful! Amazingly beautiful! 

Before heading back to Wellington, we had my first decent and expensive (LOL) meal in this cute little town of Martinborough.

Then we made a quick stop at Queen Elizabeth Park and Henley Lake in Masterton.

What an awesome weekend! New Zealand is just unbelievably beautiful that the photos don’t even need any editing. I haven’t seen much and I already love New Zealand! ❀️❀️❀️

Karori, New Zealand

As I was walking around Central Wellington yesterday, it made me want to go somewhere where there are less to no buildings and traffic. Karori showed up on Google so today I got up and bought my first Snapper card for NZD 11.00 (just the card). 

I took the yellow bus 3 which dropped me off in front of Karori Sanctuary’s parking lot. The travel time from Central Wellington only took around 15 minutes and cost less than NZD 2.00 

Here’s the entrance which got me so excited to get inside Zealandia. 

And when I got to this sign, I didn’t hesistate to go up. 

Mostly uphills and there was nobody! πŸ˜‰

From here, I got this good view. 

Until I saw this and hesitated to go inside. I went back down but then I decided to go for it since I was already there. 

It wasn’t bad. I was probably alone inside this jungle only for couple minutes.

Then I just followed the trail with the fence.

I reached this sign and instead of going to the main road to head my way back, I decided to take the route to the wind turbine which I’m really glad I did.

I kept walking alone and witnessed such beautiful views.

Then there’s the windmill.

I decided to keep walking to see more of the windmills. I had no idea how far I was. 

Until I arrived here and saw that the rows of windmills are still very far so I decided to head back since I wasn’t sure if I can catch a bus on the other side. 

The views are just beautiful. It was windy and chilly but nice. 

Going up here took me a little more than an hour. Uh oh, I gotta head back in town.  There were few cars passing by and I thought to hitch-hike but I said I’d keep walking a little bit more until a car stopped and a man offered me a ride.

His name is Keith driving her sister, Molly around who just arrived from Auckland. They asked me where I want to go and I said The Terrace but I also told them they can just drop me off anywhere I can catch a bus. He then told me he will just take us to Holloway Road then go to The Terrace. 

Holloway Road is a place with interesting old houses. Keith said the people here are conservative, like hippies. 

Had such a nice little tour with them. The next thing I know, we are in The Terrace and they dropped me off right in front of the building where I’m staying. 

How blessed I am to meet very nice people! Such a wonderful experience with the Kiwis for the first time. πŸ™‚

New Zealand Tourist Visa for Filipino Passport Holder

Filipino passport holders can apply for a tourist visa online. The official website is https://www.immigration.govt.nz/
As stated below, if you intend to stay 59 days or less, you do not have to pay the non-refundable NZD 165 visa fee. 

I submitted my online application on May 25, 2016 while I was in Malaysia traveling. Right after I submitted my application online, this is what I got;

Don’t! I suggest that you DO NOT send your passport until you receive an actual email that your application has been approved. 

On May 27th, I received an email from my case officer who is located in Manila, Philippines asking me to upload additional documents (proof of relationship to my sponsor) which I did on the same day. 

On June 2nd, I received another email requesting that I send them my passport. This is when you should actually give them your passport. 

Since I was in Malaysia and unfortunately, there is no Visa Application Center there for New Zealand. I had to submit my passport in VAC Singapore which is closer than my country. I got to submit my passport on June 3rd. I paid SGD 32.00 handling fee in cash and the receipt includes your tracking number. I was told that the process is 7 business days. 

Below is the info for Singapore office which is very near Raffles MRT station.

On June 8th, I received the below email stating that my application has been approved with the following conditions. This time, I’m guaranteed that I will get my passport back with a visa stamp on it. 

By the way, up until this step, all the communications were uploaded to my ONLINE account by my Immigration New Zealand case officer. 

You will get constant email updates from VFS once you give them your passport. On June 10th, my seemed to be long wait is over.

I collected my passport on the same day! Yeepee! 

It took total of 13 business days for my case from the date I submitted my application online until the day I got to collect my passport. 

VFS office in Singapore was very efficient. Although, there were only two windows dedicated for New Zealand, I didn’t have to wait that long and the officers were friendly and showed willingness to assist. Specially my officer, Stellar. πŸ™‚

And I was off to New Zealand 4 days after I got my visa. πŸ˜‰


-When you submit your online application, upload all the documents you think might help to get their approval. 

-When you go to VFS office, you have to go through security first and you will be asked to turn off your phones so I suggest you do that before. 

-When you submit your passport, you will be asked to write your current address, email address and phone number so if you don’t know this by heart, you should write it on the thank you letter before going inside. 

Vaniday Ladies Night at Hotel Sofitel So Singapore

I luckily found out about this event the night before. I didn’t hesitate to go and thankfully my dorm mate, Lea from Germany came along. 

It was kind of awkward at first since most people seemed to be professionals who went there after work. 

We arrived there a little before 6:30PM which was also our appointment for the free express manicure. The ladies who did our nails very friendly and made us comfortable. There were few choices of nail polish to choose from. 

It turned out very well despite the 15-minute job and we love it! Here’s mine below! πŸ˜‰

As we claiming our free champagne, the people from myspa offered to give us 15 minutes massage since they were free. 

Joyce was my masseuse and she defintely did a good job. We looked so relaxed, weren’t we?

There was a DJ as well and the music was nice. This Rooftop Pool and Bar is definitely a nice place to hang out in Singapore! 

Thank you Vaniday and Hotel Sofitel So Singapore for this treat. You guys definitely gave us an awesome ladies night! πŸ™‚

Happy Snail Hostel Singapore

If you want to feel homey and comfy, this is the place to stay. Run by a lovely couple, Mike and Christine. They just come over some time during the day so this is pretty much an independent hostel. 

The hostel has a minimum stay of 2 nights and the rates are below through hostelworld. 

This is basically a 3-bedroom apartment converted to a hostel of 18 beds. It has 2 bathrooms with hot water. There’s cable TV for movies and a laptop for guests use. The wifi is very good that I get to watch on my Netflix all the time. 

The free coffee, tea, bread and spreads are definitely awesome. Who wouldn’t want this specially if you can have it anytime all day and night?! πŸ™‚

There are sodas in the fridge for SGD 1 each. You can do your laundry for SGD 6 which also includes drying.  

Since it’s a small place, you can easily mingle with other travelers. Clean and secured. This is definitely like a home and I highly recommend it for people who wants a relaxing place. Apparently this is not for party people. I will definitely stay here again when I return to Singapore. 

Tip; Read everything posted on the wall. A lot of information that’ll help you with your stay at the hostel and your Singapore trip so READ! 

Info; Food court, grocery store, salon, ATM are just literally few steps away. The hostel is located at Block 147 Silat Avenue #01-32 Singapore 160147. The nearest MRT station is Outram Park which is just a little over 1 kilometer away. I find it easier to take exit F and walk to and from the hostel. 

If you decide to walk and take exit F, as you can see on the map below, it’s not too hard to find. Just take exit F and turn right, walk all the way until you see block 149 building on your left then you’ll know you have to cross the road. Block 147 is located behind 149 and the entrance is at the back. 

Enjoy your stay! πŸ™‚