Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Us in Oz!

Posted on March 25, 2006 by jimparedes

I can’t believe we are really in Oz.The flag is planted. The Paredeses are complete! Been here for about 4 days now while Lydia and Ala have been here 11 days since they left a week earlier. It was a good idea that we arrived in two installments because by the time we arrived, things that had to be settled were more or less done already. The house is pleasant and airy with white walls and carpet all over. It ‘s a good place to have a safe landing in a new country. Well, except for one thing: we REALLY need a car to go anywhere since the suburbs here are really sprawling. I hope to get a sedan by early next week so we can be more mobile. So far, the great thing is people we have just met are volunteering to drive us everywhere. We have been blest with people of goodwill. There’s Rod Santos, APO’s ex-producer whom I called in 2001 when we got approved for migration. I called him then just to ask where I could get a hotel room for my family while we had a look and see if we liked Oz. Since then we have become great friends and he and his family have helped us a lot and continue to so in getting us settled.

Then there’s Obet Dioniso, a fellow Atenean who has been driving us around and going out of his way to ease our problems. Yesterday, our next door neighbor Paul Nelson offered to drive us while we did errands. And so many more have been calling us and offering their time and assistance to us. It’s simply amazing! It seems to be true that when one opens one’s eyes, one sees that God sends us nothing but angels! It’s as if the Universe is telling us that our decision to move was not ours alone. I find everything that’s been happening wonderfully synchronistic.

There are so many more things we need to do and get done. Getting a car is my priority this coming week. Mio and I will be interviewed for his new school on Monday. We’ve figured out transportation for him if he ends up in Kellyville High School. He will also be on the batch that will be the first ever graduates of this relatively new school.

So far our spirits are holding up. Lydia and Ala have been cooking and the rest of us do the other chores. Our common task is taking care of Ananda who seems forever hyper in this new place. Must be the Terrible Two’s!

Tomorrow we go on a picnic with some people we have just met. I am excited about meeting new people and every little discovery I make. Every transaction we do with anyone seems to make some sort of impression on me as I try to figure the ins and outs, and both the speaking and the silent language that is used in this milieu. I fantasize sometimes that I am a spy who is ordered to zealously gather as much information as I can in the hope of fitting in and become indistinguishable from the natives. Or at least when I want or need to be!

Our furniture has arrived in Sydney and we are expecting delivery in 7 to 14 days. When the happens, it will be a giant step towards normalcy for us although I know that we still have quite a long ways to go.

Meanwhile, I am thankful for everyone who appears every time we need help in this family adventure story that we have embarked on. In the back of my mind, I know that in every hero’s adventure, a Gandalf, an angel, a Yoda or an Obi Wan Kanobi shows up each time one seems stuck. We just have to recognize them when they show up!

So far so good!

0 to “Us in Oz!”

  1. ~C4Chaos says:


    great to hear that you and your family are doing well.

    i remember reading a Zen saying just before i moved here Seattle. it was on greeting card in a grocery store in Boulder. i saw it as i was checking out. it says: “jump and the net will appear.” it was scary, but true.

    godspeed. keep us reading 🙂

  2. Boni says:

    Hi Jim,

    Welcome to Oz! I’ve been wondering how I could be of any practical help to you – now you’ve mentioned “language”, I thought I’d make up a list of common terms that you will likely encounter. It took me a while to find out what some of them mean 🙂

    loo (toilet)
    tomato sauce (ketchup)
    tomato (pronounced to-mah-to)
    lift (elevator)
    rego (car license plate – from “registration”)
    boot (car trunk)
    bonnet (car hood)
    beanie (bonnet)
    jumper (sweater)
    cossie (swim costume)
    bikkie (biscuit)
    bikie (a motorcyclist a la Hell’s Angels)
    Tassie (Tasmania)
    mossie (mosquito)
    single (train ticket – one way)
    return (train ticket – round trip)
    roundabout (rotunda)
    jackaroo (cowboy)
    jillaroo (cowgirl)
    cockie (cockroach)
    Cockie (an NSW football player)
    Cane Toad (a Queensland football player)
    lbw (leg-before-wicket – a cricket term)
    footpath (sidewalk)
    doona (thick blanket for winter)
    bluey (a redhead)
    arvo (afternoon)
    prang (car accident)
    ding (minor car accident)
    luv (what every saleslady calls you)
    ankle biter (small kid)
    strine (the Australian lingo: Australian -> Ostrayan -> strine)
    youse (plural of “you” – as in “Are youse going out?”)
    tucker (tsibug)
    petrol (gasoline)
    uni (university)
    veedub (Volkswagen Beetle)
    sickie (to go on sick leave)
    smoko (a break to have a cigarette)
    westie (someone from Western Sydney)
    vegies (vegetables)
    stickybeak (tsismosa – pakialamera)
    pash (passionate kiss)
    Maccas (McDonald’s)
    Good onya (Well done)
    spot on (ya got it right!)
    yew bewdy (you beauty – you did really well)
    fair dinkum (the real thing)
    docket (receipt)
    chook (chicken)
    white tea (tea with milk)
    Filo (what Filipino kids call themselves)
    telly (TV)

    Best way to eat Vegemite: on cracker biscuits with a bit of butter. You should get acquainted with this spread because Ananda will soon become a Vegemite kid!

    Zen stuff: http://www.adyar.com.au
    Also: http://phoenixrisingbooks.com.au


  3. balikbayan_box says:

    Hello neyburhud!

    I just remember my high school friend works as a chef in Sydney. I should email him and ask him which restaurant he works at. And maybe he can show you around as well during his days off.

    Good to know you and your family arrive safely in Aussie. What a great new adventure and new memories to make.

    God bless neyburhud!

  4. Jim says:

    coolmel, it’s only the beginning. Lots of things to do. Winter will set in soon and I hope we can handle that with the same humor and high spirits we have now. I guess we take things a day at a time.

    boni–wow! this is very helpful.Salamat.

    balikbayan box-It feels great to be welcomed. Everywhere I go, people seem willing to help or be called for any assistance.

    Great! What restaurant does your friend work in?


  5. Anonymous says:


    glad you had a safe and soft landing. what must ananda think of your new place? what happened to all the characters at 113?

    i gather you now have DSL. i told you, naunahan niyo pa si greg to get a connection!
    ha ha ha…kawawang pilipinas. he even got a call surveying how he liked his bayantel dsl connection! sampal sa sugat talaga… but undoubtedly funny.

    anyway, write me so i have your email, home fone and cell number, at mag-video chat tayo soon.

    we leave in 15 days for madrid!! and for rome 4 days after that. YEY!! life is good.

    days are ticking away until i am freed from azkaban…some 55 days nalang. LIFE IS REALLY GOOD!

    love to you lydia, kids and baby grand,

  6. isay says:

    nice post thanks for sharing.
    all the best and God bless!

  7. isay says:

    tip: save money for telephone calls-ask any filipino for the most cheapest telephone card that you can get in asian stores-most probably!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jim,

    welcome to the land of milk and honey!

    you arrived quite late for Mio’s HSC review. kasi, year 11 pa lang ay nagre review na sila. 50% of HSC mark is based on year 12 school grades and the other 50% is based on HSC exams which start in November.

    he might need some coaching to catch up to get the UAI (university admissions index) that he needs to pursue his uni degree.

    there is an alternative however, just in case he does not get the UAI that he needs (even old students here are finding it hard to reach their mark).Mio can still enroll in the course that he prefers but you have to pay the international fee paying students rate which is around $10-$15K a year.

    hope this helps…

    all the best to your family…

  9. Kaye says:

    HSC should be really easy for Mio since year 11 and 12 subjects are pretty much like junior and senior year subjects in the Philippines. My bros are in year 9 and 10 and they’re aceing every subject coz they say it’s pretty much like what they’re already learned in the Philippines. And Mio studied for a few months in Oxford right? That should come as an advantage too. 🙂

    Enjoy Australia!

  10. gracia says:

    hi, tito jim!

    grace po ito! it has been part of my weekends to read your posts… grabe, para kitang nakikitang nagkukwento, na nasa harapan lang kita… talagang navi-visualize ko ang mga hand gestures mo when you are making kwento.

    glenda emailed me about your migration to OZ, and she even told me that there was a send-off party nga… sabi ko sa kanya, kahit di mo sabihin sakin, i know that the paredeses ang migrating, kasi nga lagi akong nagvi-visit sa haringliwanag. i miss that send-off night, wish i was there to hug you…

    to jim, grabe! sobrang natawa ako sa “fanny serrano” thing! grabe, naluha talaga ko sa katatawa! kaloka yung girl na yun… bakit kaya si TF ang tingin nya sayo? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ahhh…siguro, that’s her way of breaking the ice… pero, pasaway talaga!

    to jim, mami-miss mo ang ‘pinas, i’m sure… parang ako, when i migrated here in illinois, kala ko, ganon kadaling iwaglit sa sistema ang ‘pinas, di pala! lalo na ang pinoy food – gosh! iba pa rin!

    to jim pag may raket ang APO dito sa chicago, post mo sa blog mo ha? promise, we will watch! and i’ll make sure na front seaters kami ng husband ko!

    miss you, to jim! and i know, madali kayong makakapag-adjust dyan sa OZ! regards po kina tita lydia and the kids. grabe, laki na ni mio, papa material na! then, erica’s mom na and ala has grown up to a very pretty lady. sobrang blessed ang isang jim paredes!

    mabuhay ka!

  11. namumundok says:

    Welcome to Oz..

    After a while you’d get used to the ‘quietness’ of your surrounds…it can be defeaning specially if your used to hearing tricycles…jeepneys…and, balut vendors…he he he..

    You’ll be OK..you’re in the community of Pinoys…

  12. jey says:

    sir jim, happy to hear that so far it has been good!=)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Jim P.,

    although ur group is not actually my fave, ‘cept for the “til i met u” hit (joke po! paborito ko kayo!), i’m glad that ur fam finally made it to Aus. My brother and his wife are also thinking of either working or migrating there permanently, so if they became stable in that country, I may follow suit. i hope i can correspond with u then, to get info/advise or whatever.

    nice articles btw.. i’ve been reading ur blog for 2 mos now (at work… not sure if that’s a good thing though.. hehe). i thought ur blog got closed a few weeks ago? hmm… ur posts are very informative and inspiring… esp. the ’86 revolt and APO stuff. i was way too young to recall the things that transpired then.

    keep posting them articles.. need to do something at work. hehe.. Thanks Jim!


  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi there!

    I always visit your site but this is the first time im leaving a message, wala lang, para naman maiba. hehehe.

    Im just glad everything’s falling into place there with you and your family. I know there’s still a long list of to do and to fix pero with all the angels helping out,everything should be manageable.

    Take care always & regards to everyone!

    See you in August!


  15. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Jim –

    Welcome to the land of the laidback characters. Boni missed a couple of important Oz-isms, “Ta” which is short for Thank you & boiling the “Billy” which is an alternative word for “kettle.” I found that the best way to get your ears attuned to the Aussie accent is by watching the news at night and listening to ABC Radio National. Check it out when you have time.

    kind regards,

  16. Wolf says:

    Hey Jim, Welcome to Oz…

    Oh and we’re having a club dive on the 9th of April. It’s a shore dive, so it’s free(well except if you need to hire gear of course). If you’ve settled by then and want to come along, please do so. You can contact me through my blog.

  17. enigma says:

    hi Jim, i was at the APO’s concert 2 saturdays ago,i had a lot of fun and really enjoyed your performances, the medleys and the different versions of your songs, the marching band of Buboy, your RocknRoll and Danny’s chacha, hahaha! i also love it each time Danny and Buboy make fun on each other.

    it was my first time to watch your concert and i can truly say that i really had a blast and also it was one of the happiest birthdays that i had, but on the other hand, there’s also sadness, to the fact that you will be migrating to Oz. my prayers will always be with you and your family. you’ll do great in there. keep well and be safe. thank you.

  18. Cindy says:

    Hi, Jim….

    First and foremost, I’m wishing you and your family the best in everything in the Land of Oz….

    Secondly, I want you to know that I am such a big APO fan and a fan of your photography and writings…

    Does this move mean no more APO? In the event that we’d like to take the chance to see all three of you or Buboy/Danny to sing, who may we get in touch with?

    Thanks and best regards,


  19. Anonymous says:

    welcome to the “real” world, my friend. 🙂

  20. Geejay says:

    Hi Jim,

    I just want to welcome you to Oz even though I’m in Melbourne rather than Sydney. 😀 I hope you and your family enjoy your stay here. Fortunately, there are a lot of Filipinos in Sydney so I’m sure you’ll not feel homesick at all.

    BTW, I’m a big APO fan when I was growing up. Wish you and your family the best.

  21. Rubai says:

    Hi Jim,

    Its me again, Ham’s mom.
    Just wanting to see that you guys got there safe and are doing fine.
    Just in case you are wondering, everything looks fine across the street. I think everyone misses all of you there.

    Just wanted you to know, we made a sort of short piece for Ananda. You might want to see it here –

    Keep writing, God bless, send Sam’s regards to Ananda

  22. lala says:

    we’re stucked between moving and staying…its seems harder to make a final decision the more we prolong arriving at one. i hope if we do move we’ll be as blessed as you are, with friends-anonymous jumping in offering help. not to burst your bubble, but, do you think they’ll be all willing to extend a helping hand if it were not you? i mean, you’re famous. would they do the same to ordinary folks like us?

  23. KaDyo says:

    Good to hear na you & your family are slowly adjusting to life downunder. We will continue to pray for all of you, take care.

    Good day Mate!

  24. Jim says:

    gracia–ha ha jha! nice to hear from you. It’s really been awhile. So glad you have a life going there sa Chicago. Yes, we missed you sa despedida. sayang. We will I hope pass by your territory sometime soon. What’s your email?

    rubai–we are so touched by the tribute you made. Yes, ananda still looks for “Ham’. Just yesterday, she was shouting “Ham’s name in the park. Thank you.

    lala–jump and the net will appear. What would you rather regret? what you did or what you did not do? People here are friendly. I am sure it helps to be a little well-known in my case, but I just feel that deep down, they are open to most anyone.

    cindy–write to apohikingsociety.org. someone will answer on our behalf about inquiries for apo.

    kadyo, anonymous,enigma, barang and all those who wrote–salamat.

    wolf– thyanks for the invite but my gear has not arrived yet. next time nalang.

  25. Mon says:

    Jim, pare glad to hear you guys are doing well. Sarap nga basahin mga kwento mo – kaka inspire.

    Best wishes,

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Australians have a saying – “you can take the man out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the man.” So very true! I’ve been living & working in Oz for 26 years and I have friends who have been here much longer and I can categorically say that Manila (in my case because I’m Manilena) will forever be in my heart. Everytime I go home (still home!) there is always the need to check up on what’s happening in White Plains (where we lived), Katipunan, etc. I also continually check the Filipino newspapers for what’s happening in politics, real estate, entertainment (although I’m not really up to date on who’s who in the entertainment world) – just add the Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, etc to your favourites.

    Lala, jump in! Anywhere you go in Oz you will find that there will always be Filipinos to welcome you (but, of course, Queensland’s the best place).

  27. alf says:

    Hi Jim, welcome to Australia. I’m glad your whole family is doing fine… and everything will be better and better for sure… considering the lots of help you’re getting. I’m just one state away if you need anything from me at all.

    Lala, there are lots of pinoys who helped us when we just started. My wife and I are just common people but even those who just met us offered help and showed us around… common traits to pinoys that i’m very proud of.

  28. snglguy says:

    Hi Jim! Glad to read that you’ve finally landed in OZ. And it’s nice to read that so many Pinoys out there are only too willing to lend a helping hand.

    Hope to be reading more of your adventures in OZ… Cheers mate! 😀

  29. jaleesa says:

    hi tito jim,
    tito na lang po itatawag ko sa inyo 🙂 napanood ko po yun daughter nyo sa tfc habang pinapakita niya yun house nyo before you leave manila. i have been reading your blog for awhile. btw, i am from melbourne. my parents, siblings and i came to australia in 1988. sa una mag-aadjust po kayo pero i’m sure you and your family will be just fine. sana po makapagconcert kayo ng APO dito sa melbourne one day. have a good day! 🙂

  30. Jim says:

    Hi Alf, will let you know if we go to Canberra.

    mon., singlguy, anonymous–salamat

    jaleesa–we MAY do Melbourne this June. Please check the APO website regularly. We should be making the announcement soon if it willl be happening.



  31. lala says:

    jim, anonymous, and alf: thanks for responding. really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and personal experience about migrating. we still have about 6 months to decide, or we’ll lose our chance. hope we make it. i will let you know 🙂

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  33. Jessica says:

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