Satisfy Your Inner Adrenaline Junkie at Wanaka’s “Have A Shot”

Have you ever fantasized about joining Frodo Baggins’ merry band of heroes and going toe-to-toe against the, I dunno, Orcs? (Clearly, I’m part of the 1 percent that didn’t watch the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Bear with me, please.)

If so, you’re in luck. There happens to be a place in New Zealand where you can do just that, sans the prosthetic feet that Elijah Woods donned as the legendary hobbit.

It’s called “Have a Shot,” and it’s in Wanaka.

This thrill-seeker’s paradise is basically one big complex where you can do all sorts of adrenaline-pumping activities. Here, you can learn how to wield a bow like Katniss, fight in a battlefield alongside a dozen other people, and even try your hand at clay bird shooting, all within a safe environment and under the supervision of Have a Shot’s friendly, expert staff.

Another thing that’s great about this place is that they are open even on rainy days, so weather conditions won’t put a damper on your plans. The prices are quite reasonable too, with the most expensive activity on offer setting you back by NZ$38 (unlimited arrows at the archery range for 3 pax, about 30 mins. per alley).

Those who aren’t too keen on doing fantasy action movie stunts won’t run out of things to do either. For starters, there’s the golf-range where NZ$8 gets you 50 balls and NZ$2 allows you to rent a club. They’ve got a mini-putt over there too, so small children can also play for only NZ$5 per head.

Golf and Cropool

One other activity worth looking into at “Have a Shot” is Cropool. The name is basically a combination of the words “croquet” and “pool,” and that’s exactly how the game is played. Imagine playing on a giant pool table, but using a croquet mallet to hit croquet balls. NZ$6 per head for singles and NZ$5 per head for doubles gives you 30-40 minutes to play as many games as you like.

Have a Shot is located at 87 Mount Barker Road, Wanaka 9382. They are open everyday from 9 AM to 5 PM during winter and from 9 AM to 5:30 PM in the summer.

2017 New Zealand Job Openings for Filipinos (And the Accredited Agencies That Offer Them)

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge this 2017 and move to New Zealand. You’ve crafted your CV, lined up your finances, and are now actively seeking employment opportunities in the land of Hobbits (and cows, one must never forget the cows).

Guess what? We’ve got you covered. It just so happens that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has thousands of approved orders for Filipinos in New Zealand this year.

If your skill set and previous job experience applies to any of the following fields, New Zealand would have immediate and long-term employment opportunities for you:

a.) agriculture and forestry;

b.) construction;

c.) education;

d.) engineering;

e.) business/finance;

f.) health and social services;

g.) recreation;

h.) hospitality and tourism;

i.) science;

j.) trades;

k.) transport.

Christchurch City in the Canterbury region still has high demand for skilled construction, engineering, and telecommunications workers while they continue repairing the structural damages from the 2011 earthquake, so that’s another area worth looking closely at if you’re urgently in need of a job.

To help you jumpstart your search, here are a list of the accredited agencies that can facilitate your placement, along with their contact details:

1. Uniplan Overseas Employment Inc. (MHM Overseas Employment Agency Corporation)

Office Address: G/F and 2/F, 302 J.P. Rizal St., Quezon City

Contact Number/s: 4118972 / 9118548 / Mobile: 09175588832 / 09175588834

Email Address: uniplan.agency@gmail.com

Website: www.uniplanoverseas.com

2. MITAC Overseas Manpower Corporation (Formerly Emmylou’s Manpower Inc.)

Office Address: Room 609 and 611 Dona Felisa Syjuco Building 1872 Remedios St. cor Taft Avenue Malate, Metro Manila, Philippines

Contact Number/s: 353-7846 / 994-1688

Email Address: mitac_8phils@yahoo.com

Website: www.mitacoverseas.com

3. YWA Human Resource Corporation (Formerly Yanghwa Human Resource Corporation)

Office Address: 1268 Gen. Luna St., Paco, Manila

Contact Number/s: 5242181 / 5242185 / 5242188 / 5253407

Email Address: administration@ywacorp.com / recruitment@ywacorp.com

Website: www.ywacorp.com

4. Staffhouse International Resources Corporation (Formerly Staffhouse Resource)

Office Address: 43 Westpoint St., Cubao, Quezon City

Contact Number: 4371234

Email Address: info@staffhouse.com

Website: www.staffhouse.com

5. HMO International Human Resources

Office Address: Units 201 & 202, Aussie Tower,1418 MH Del Pilar, Ermita, Manila

Contact Number/s: 5228714 / 4002757

Email Address:  info@hmoihr.com

Website: www.hmoihr.com

6. Orion Site Medlink (OSM) International Resourcing Inc.

Office Address: U-401&404, RAMAN COND, 1130 PASONG TAMO MAKATI

Contact Number: 5537771

Email Address: mail@omsi.com.ph

Website: www.orionsitemedlink.com

7. Omanfil International Manpower Development Corporation

Office Address: Rodeo Building, 802 (KM18) West Service Road SSHway, Pque

Contact Number/s: 8211650-55 / 8222141-45

Email Address: manpower@omanfil.com

Website: www.omanfil.com

8. Filhigh-GNS Inc. (Formerly Fil-High International Manpower Inc.)

Office Address: GF (RW&LW) and 2F, Metroview Real Estate, 915 San Antonio, Malate, Manila

Contact Number/s: 2543428 / 2547500 / 2547896 / 2547829

Email Address: leila_filhigh.process@hotmail.com

Website: www.filhighgns.com

9. Greenfields International Manpower Services, Inc.

Office Address: 1916 Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila

Contact Number/s: 256-2311 / 353-6898 / 09285009949

Email Address: hr@greenfieldsmanpower.com / edagfields@yahoo.com

Website: www.greenfieldsmanpower.com

10. SMC Manpower Agency Philippines Company

Office Address:  1726 Rd 2 St. Cor. Rd 7 St., Fabie Estate, Sta. Ana, Manila

Contact Number/s: 5610405 / 09999979715/ 09175429545

Email Address: smc.philippines@yahoo.com

Website: www.smcgroupcompany.com

11. Grand Placement and General Services Corporation

Office Address: 2/F 1636 Building 1636 F. Agoncillo St., Malate, Manila

Contact Number/s: 5251031 / 5267992

Email Address: grand@pldtdsl.net

Website: www.grandplacement.com

Before anything else, however, do note that New Zealand is a no-placement fee country. This means that all POEA-accredited agencies, such as the ones listed above, cannot charge you with such when you apply for jobs through them. Should any of them do otherwise, you can report them via POEA’s official Facebook page.

Good luck!

Bee Pretty and Healthy at New Zealand’s Happy Valley Honey

New Zealand is big on wellness. They’re also keen on enlisting Mother Nature’s help in the quest for such, it seems.

Apart from the soothing and numerous hot springs, organic health and beauty aids abound among New Zealand’s attractions. One of the best sources for the latter is Happy Valley Honey.

A name like that will probably make you envision a quaint little bee farm owned by a sweet, unassuming couple living in a, well, happy valley. And you’d be half-right.

Happy Valley Honey was founded in 1975 by Ben and Dot Rawnsley. It started out as a hobby for the bee-loving couple, but the demand for their honey was such that their little project quickly grew into a shop and office on their Mill Road farm premises. Many of the company’s loyal customers still recall the original shop, where they brought their own containers to fill with their favorite honey.

In keeping with the tradition of organic bee products, Happy Valley Honey broke new ground back in 1990 when they commercially produced Fresh Royal Jelly.

The business was relocated to its current address in Drury back in 2003 when the Lipscombe family fully acquired the company, but Happy Valley Honey remains the only commercial producers of New Zealand Royal Jelly.

The company still produces a lot of high-quality honey for third party resellers and individual consumers alike, but much of its output also goes into its extensive range of beauty and wellness products, such as the following:

1. Comvita Propolis Toothpaste.

Comvita Propolis Toothpaste
Image Credit: HealtHint

This 100% natural alternative to commercially-produced toothpaste has Xylitol, a natural substance found in birch trees, and Propolis, a substance derived from bees. These prevent plaque build-up and brighten teeth, respectively, while Tea Tree Oil and other similar essential oils freshen your breath.

2. Comvita Propolis Lozenges.

Comvita Propolis Lozenges
Image Credit: happy mum happy child

New Zealand Manuka honey has long been valued for its health-gaining effects and Propolis contains a high amount of flavonoids. Combined, they make for a delicious yet effective remedy for sore throats.

Happy Valley Honey’s range of lozenges come in three delightfully different flavors: blackcurrant, aniseed, and lemon & honey.

3. Manuka Honey Nuglets.

Manuka Honey Nuglets
Image Credit: KiwisAndKaleidoscopes

Honey fans will adore these golden nuggets of flavored honey. They were designed to help cure dry throats and to provide bursts of energy on outdoor activities like hiking, mountain-climbing, and picnicking.

As with the lozenges, these come in different flavors too: ginger, manuka, lemon, aniseed, and green tea.

4. Royal Skin Bee Venom Mask.

Royal Skin Bee Venom Mask

If you’ve been curious about Kate Middleton’s rumored bee venom beauty regimen (skin care specialists claim that its effects are similar to botox) but don’t have NZ$490 to spare, Happy Valley Honey makes a more affordable alternative.

At NZ$65, the Royal Skin Bee Venom Mask is a cheaper version of the Duchess’ favorite treatment for moisturizing and plumping up the skin, effectively smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

5. New Zealand Royal Jelly and Manuka Honey Soap.

New Zealand Royal Jelly and Manuka Honey Soap
Image Credit: HappyValley

Forget about milk baths. Fine-milled soap made from the finest royal jelly and Manuka honey is where it’s at.

Happy Valley Honey’s mild, honeysuckle-scented soap cleanses, rejuvenates, and relieves even the most sensitive skin. Clients who suffer from eczema and dermatitis have even attested to the effectiveness of this luxurious soap on their skin conditions.

Best of all, this soap holds its form and doesn’t turn into gooey mush in your bathroom.

Happy Valley Honey products can be purchased at 520 Great South Road, Papkura, New Zealand, but you can also try availing of them from any of the following stockists.

You Shall Not Miss These 5 Wineries in New Zealand

Some of you may not know that wine is one of New Zealand’s top tier exports. The popularity of its 11 wine regions continues to grow. So, be sure to include these wineries as you visit or reside in this wonderful country.

Rippon Vineyard

Rippon Vineyard

A viable candidate for the most picturesque vineyard in the world, the Rippon Vineyard is situated in Central Otago. This region is renowned for its Pinot Noir.

Rippon boasts its own twist of Pinot Noir, along with the bright Riesling and the interesting Osteiner. There is a limited production of the latter worldwide. You see, Osteiner is a hybrid of two German grapes. The rarity of their products make Rippon standout!

Rarity pours throughout the wine process as the owners rejects chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Simply, Rippon’s wines are organic.

Website: http://rippon.co.nz

Greywacke

Greywacke
Image Credit: Dumol

Greywacke’s namesake is New Zealand’s most common sandstone. Owners Kimberly and Kevin Judd found an abundance of this rock in the soils of the vineyards where they source their grapes. To their surprise, the Marlborough’s stony soil produced quality fruits.

Greywacke creates some of the best Sauvignon Blanc as well as their very own “Wild Sauvignon”. It uses wild yeast, which tastes like toasted sesame and thyme. Are you up for that?

Website: http://greywacke.com

Neudorf Vineyards

Neudorf Vineyards

Who knew that an attractive gem is hidden inside one of New Zealand’s smallest wine regions? This tucked beauty is none other than Neudorf Vineyards. Thriving in the sunny Nelson hills is Neudorf’s subtle Chardonnay and the timeless Pinot Noir.

The brains that brought this vineyard to life was Judy and Tim Finn. Their elegant shed was built by hand in 1980. A lot has changed since then. Today, they use their backyard as a venue for concerts.

Website: http://www.neudorf.co.nz

Osawa Wines

Osawa Wines

Taizo Osawa’s passion for wines took him into a whirlwind search to find the best place for his own vineyard. This Japanese civil engineer travelled from America to New Zealand. Finally, he found haven at a a sheep farm in Hawke’s Bay (North Island). He planted his pioneering vines 11 years ago with the help of the famous winemaker Rod McDonald.

Osawa Wines has established premier varieties such as in the Pinot Noir (i.e., cherry, strawberry, and brown spices) and Chardonnay (i.e., bright and creamy).

Website: http://www.osawawines.co.nz

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill winery is quite an icon in Hawkes Bay. Enter the rustic cellar door to experience the friendly service of their personnel. You will frequently find the owner John Hancock behind the counter or hosting some guests.

When you are there, you must try Trinity Hills’ Tempranillo and Homage Syrah. You will find magic in these two bottles.

Website: http://www.trinityhill.com

As a Filipino tourist, have you ever been to any New Zealand wineries? If so, you may leave your favorite spots in the comment section below.

10 Movies (That Aren’t “The Lord of the Rings”) That Were Shot in New Zealand

Forget about cows, sheep, and I don’t know, Anchor Milk. With the surprising amount of Hollywood films being shot in New Zealand, the movie industry may as well be the country’s breadwinner.

And no, I’m not just talking about the Lord of the Rings franchise (although the proceeds from that production alone probably equated to a robust GDP for an entire year).

Thanks to its breathtaking natural scenery, roster of talented directors, and the presence a top production company (the Weta Workshop, which steadily rose up to be a world-leading design and effects facility from the back room of a Wellington flat), New Zealand is a movie buff’s dream location.

After a fair bit of exhaustive research, namely binge-watching quite a few all-time, most popular flicks, we’ve come up with the following list of movies that put the “Wellywood” in Wellington:

1. “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (2005).

The Chronicles of Narnia
Image Credit: stuffpoint

Much of the first two Narnia films were shot in New Zealand (yep, Narnia = New Zealand, never mind that Middle Earth = New Zealand too). Filming locations like Flock Hill in Canterbury, Purakaunui Bay in Otago, Auckland City, and of course, Cathedral Cove in Coromandel were key to bringing C.S. Lewis’ magical world to life.

2. “The Frighteners” (1996).

The Frighteners

Before Peter Jackson became famous for the LotR movies, he directed a horror-comedy that would go on to become a cult favorite (you can watch the trailer here). Apart from being shot in New Zealand, “The Frighteners” also happened to be the first film collaboration between Jackson and Weta, and we all know how that turned out.

3. “The Last Samurai” (2003).

The Last Samurai
Image Credit: The Samurai of Japan

What??? You mean to say Tom Cruise’s samurai flick wasn’t shot in Japan???

‘Fraid not. It was shot in the Taranaki region, which is home to the snow-capped peak of Mt. Taranaki, a complete dead-ringer for Japan’s Mt. Fuji.

4. “Vertical Limit” (2000).

Vertical Limit
Image Credit: Bustle

Since the typical image of New Zealand involves calm, rollicking hills and wide, green fields, excitement isn’t really an emotion that you would associate with this country. This 2000 film about climbing and falling from mountains changed that, however, and placed the spotlight on the country’s highest mountain: Aoraki Mt. Cook.

5. “Whale Rider” (2002).

Whale Rider

Based on a novel of the same name, this award-winning New Zealand film was filmed in Whangara, which was actually the setting in the book. Apart from treating viewers to a stunning visual of the New Zealand coast, the movie also brings Maori culture to the forefront, what with the protagonist being a young Maori girl.

6. “Avatar” (2009).

Avatar
Image Credit: AvatarMovie

Clearly, this film wasn’t shot in New Zealand per se, but its special effects, props, and conceptual design were produced by, you guessed it, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. They’re reportedly producing the sequels now, but you can visit a workshop in Miramar, Wellington and go on a behind-the-scenes guided tour.

7. “The Adventures of Tintin” (2011).

The Adventures of Tintin
Image Credit: A113 Animation

As with “Avatar,” the New Zealand-based Weta Digital team was responsible for breathing cinematic life into the classic French comic book.

8. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009).

X-Men Origins Wolverine

Okay, so the scenery isn’t what you would remember from this critically-panned film (well, it’s hard to pay attention to the background when there’s a shot of Hugh Jackman jumping off a waterfall buck naked), but many of the farm scenes where James/Logan/Wolverine finds sanctuary post-transformation were filmed in Dunedin.

9. “The Piano” (1993).

The Piano

Set in 1850’s New Zealand, this movie about a mute woman sent off to wed a wealthy plantation owner featured the country’s West Coast as one of the film’s stars and even led to the then 9 year-old Anna Paquin (Rogue from “X-Men” and Sookie Stackhouse from “True Blood”) attaining the world record for being the youngest Academy Award winner.

10. A slew of Disney Channel Original movies.

The Disney Channel seems to enjoy sending their stars halfway across the world to film mostly unmemorable movies like “Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior” and “Avalon High.”

Perhaps it’s much cheaper to launch up-and-coming stars in Wellywood rather than in Hollywood, eh?