LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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Merry Christmas! Enjoy the Holidays this 2012!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you are enjoying the holidays.

Merry Christmas, Greetings, Flinders St., Flinders St. Station, Melbourne, LezGoMelbourne, Christmas Lights

Merry Christmas Greetings on the Flinders St. Station

If you haven’t got too many gifts yet, then you will surely enjoy this one as Public Transport Victoria announced that train, tram, and bus services are FREE today. So now, you can travel anywhere you want to, visit as much of your friends and loved ones, and not pay a single cent. Yes, your Myki won’t be charged for anything today. Click on the link for more information.


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Ozsome Christmas Stocking Stuffing 2012

Christmas is the time for little luxuries. It’s about that glazed ham on the table and that stocking full of surprises. It’s about the wonderful tinsel on the trees and dancing Christmas lights that make you want to glow and shimmer just the same. It’s about the carefully wrapped presents just waiting to be opened and the chaos that soon follows after when one by one, each box is ripped apart. Simple joys.

Christmas is about giving yourself, and more importantly, your loved ones a bit of indulgence, some pampering, and that feeling of giddiness that comes when you smile like a kid again. You can’t deny it. You’re just waiting for that magic to happen when your eyes twinkle with excitement as everyone gathers to eat, to exchange gifts, and to settle down for some coffee and dessert.

I think it’s because I’m getting older that I’m getting too sentimental.

Anyway, Christmas too and more importantly is for wishes and fulfilling them. And no, it’s not just about buying someone a gift that you promised. It’s about making things that we hope for actually happen. It’s time we think about what we wish for and what we can do to realize them.

So in the spirit of the holidays and activism, I wish and hope to influence and challenge readers to:
o Have a healthier image of their bodies, as well as respect for other peoples’ bodies as well
o Accept, understand, and acknowledge lesbians in all our colors and sizes
o And put a stop to discrimination, misogyny, and violence towards women

May all of the above, plus my wish list for this Ozsome 2012 Christmas come true:

Lezgomelbourne Christmas Wishlist 2012, Australia Christmas Shopping, Melbourne Christmas Shopping, Christmas Stocking

A simple Xmas Wishlist for 2012

Because I am such a cheapskate most of the time, I don’t normally aspire for designer items. I am a happy camper as long as they are of a decent quality and function according to their purpose. Then again, I do have some pieces that I am just drooling at like a nice pair of boots or a nice fitting leather jacket.

  1. Beaumont Knee High Boots from Duoboots, online for £165
  2. Flore Tan Knee High Boots from Duoboots, online for £195
  3. Penny Point Clutch from Rubi Shoes, on sale online for $5.00
  4. Kimmy Wrist Strap Purse from Rubi Shoes, on sale online for $5.00
  5. A pair of red pants in time for the Christmas season. (Picture is of Current/Elliott Moto Ankle Skinny Jeans from Asos, online for $450.50)
  6. Marks & Spencer Indigo Collection Zip Through Biker Jacket, online for £69
  7. Africano Print Scarf from Rubi Shoes, on sale online for $5.00
  8. Vidal Sassoon Big Hair Styler from Big W, online and in store for Aud$49.00

Disclaimer: The following images are borrowed from the sites/brands described or mentioned.

LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above. These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

I was in a shopping frenzy two weeks prior to my flight for Australia. I was thinking, what clothes do I need? What was worth buying here that was cheaper? Do I need to bring my books?

I am a bargain shopper and I want nothing but a good deal with every peso or dollar that I spent. So, what is it that I just had to pack in my luggage and had to have shipped? And what makes sense to just leave behind? Read on and find out.

1. Bed sheets
Philippines is a textile manufacturing and garment producing nation, so if you look really well, you’d be able to find lots and lots of good sales and deals on items from something as small as socks to as big as bed sheets.

I had brought with me two sets of queen size bed sheets with a 500 thread count, both of which I had bought on sale for around $40 equivalent. If you were to buy bed sheets here, it would probably go for $39 that barely has a 300 thread count. It’s one of the luxuries you can afford.

2. How cold is cold?
I kept asking everyone as to what the weather is like in Australia. It differs from state to state, but it can be agreed upon that it can be quite chilly. And even though the temperature doesn’t go below zero in winter, you can gauge just what winter clothes you need.

I, for one, bought thermal inner wear, and a thermal lined jacket. Many may laugh at me but I can’t stand walking out on a windy, 14C evening. It’s summer here and that temperature is but normal at night. So you can imagine how cold it’ll be by winter time when it goes down to 2C.

3. If you’re going to ask, “Can we find tabo in Australia?” As a Melbourne resident, I can say that yes, you can buy one but finding it is not easy. We went to Queen Victoria’s Market and entered an Asian Grocery, I think it was Minh Phat Supermarket and bought one for around $2.50. So go get your tabo now or later, your choice.

4. Buy new shoes. Sanitize and disinfect old ones.
Buy new shoes and pack it with you. Old shoes means you have to wash them, wait for them to dry, and then put it in your luggage.

It is much cheaper to buy shoes in the Philippines. Even a pair of boots in Payless Philippines has much better quality than a pair of boots, on-sale, at Rubi Shoes on Bourke St.

5. Toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner can be quite heavy to add to your luggage. And you can’t have liquids shipped by air or sea freight, to the best of my knowledge. So, keep them to a minimum. Purchase what you need for a couple of weeks and not more than that.

6. A pair of denims is a great investment, now and forever. One that fits really well gives anyone that tailored look. That way, you can wear it for a casual stroll along the city or dress it up on a Friday night out. Splurge and find a good tailored pair or two to bring with you.

7. Jackets. You can never have too many jackets, I think. You wear one over a dress, you wear one for the office, you wear one for the movies, and you wear one for winter.

8. Underwear, lots and lots of underwear. A good pair of briefs, on sale, can cost $5 each.

9. Buy something for your skin, especially if you have the sensitive type. Weather or temperature changes can be rough on your skin and you are best prepared to handle it with products you know and can rely on.

10. A month’s worth of over the counter medication is more than enough. Don’t forget to declare them, if or when you are in doubt.

You can also read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Kerrianne Cox

I have a very eclectic taste when it comes to music, but I have a soft spot for women singers/songwriters. They just speak to me so easily. You know the moment they strike a chord on the guitar that their music speaks of so much experience. It feeds you. It is music that gives you more substance. I think that’s what it does.

I am so glad to be watching tv and listening to Kerrianne Cox. I am so happy. Thanks Chocolate Martini. I am so happy I switched the channel at the right time to NITV. Thank you for introducing me to a really talented artist.

Now I know what I want to find in my stocking this Christmas! 🙂

If you have a friend who likes music, who shares the same tastes as you do, then share it.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All about Packing Up for Down Under

Southgate, Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia, Lezgomelbourne, Packing, Travel, Tips

The Yarra River and the Southgate Cityscape

I am a bit OC when it comes to packing. I have to have my lists, Ziploc bags, Sharpie, packaging tapes (which for security reasons, as I recently found out, you cannot bring in your carry-on luggage), and scissors among other things.

I don’t have any idea as to when or how many days you should pack before your departure. (I was packing for a whole week and I was stressed at the very last minute). I’m guessing, you should be packed, at least your check-in luggage, two or three days before your departure date. Afterwards, you can just dump anything you forgot in your carry-on luggage or purse.

Other than that, here are a few simple things you can do to make sure you got what you need:

1. Pack new clothes and ship the old ones.
You won’t be taxed for your clothes purchases, as far as I know. To be on the safe side, make sure you don’t go over $1000 on your shopping expenses, including your gadgets. So keep your receipts.

Your old clothes can be shipped as unaccompanied personal effects, including old shoes. Make sure you have used or owned them for 12 months and have had everything sanitized. Write down everything that you packed too.

2. Sea freight or Air Freight?
There are many pros and cons to having your stuff shipped from the Philippines to Australia. They call it reverse cargo and it comes at a much heftier price tag than sending a balikbayan box from the US or Australia to the Philippines.

Sea freight packages needs to be picked up at the port, which means you have to have a car. Second, you may have to clear customs by yourself and pay certain taxes. I don’t have experience on this regard so you may want to ask around. But from what I gather, you can ship as much as 3 boxes for the price of one. Still, you may have to wait for about 15 days to a month for it to arrive.

Air freight ships your package door to door, in 3-4 days. However, this does not guarantee that you won’t be charged by customs for certain taxes. There have been stories about that going around. I, however, didn’t get charged for anything at all. So, you may want to verify that and you may also want to shop for the cheapest cargo forwarder around.

PS. From what I gathered, FedEx doesn’t ship used clothes.

PPS. As of Oct 16, 2012, the DTI released a number of cargo forwarders who are blacklisted because some of the packages failed to make it to their destinations. You can view it here.

3. Check your airline baggage restrictions.
PAL offers 23kg for economy flights, a hand-carry luggage limit of 7kg, and two carry-on items such as your purse and laptop bag. JetStar allows you to choose your baggage allowance, allowing you to purchase up to 40kg. The only drawback is JetStar does not offer direct flights from the Philippines to Australia, unlike PAL.

I have also been reading certain information on the forums that you can try and get the help of IOM or International Organization for Migration for booking your flights as family/migrant to Australia. The contributors to the forums also said that you would be able to get between 40kg – 60kg baggage allowance per person. Again, you may verify this on your own.

4. Electronics
You may be asked to pay certain taxes or fees by Australia customs for bringing in more than $900 worth of new electronic goods or gadgets. But, if your gadgets have been used or owned for more than 12 months, then I’m guessing it’s all good. So, once again, keep your receipts if you can.

But, the duty free concession for minors is less than $450. So please, compute and check how much your household will be bringing in. You can read more about it here.

5. Piracy
Australia is strict when it comes to piracy. So don’t bring any pirated CDs or DVDs. I’m not sure about pirated, luxury bags, but to be on the safe side don’t bother.

They may also do random checks on your laptops or external hard drives. Purchase and store only original software, music, movies, and books. No pirated materials!

6. Bag it!
Place all your gels, liquids, lotions, and even perfume in Ziploc bags so the customs can easily see how much liquid you have on your carry on. More than 100ml and Philippines customs will chuck it out before you board the plane. But, if you plan to put them in your check-in luggage, double bag it for good measure.

7. Porn
Do you really have to?!? No porn!

8. Food Stuff
You can’t bring in any dairy products or food with dairy as an ingredient from the Philippines such as milk, cheese, or polvoron. Meat products, canned, dried, or otherwise, cannot be brought in Australia as well. Certain spices, fresh fruit or dried fruit with seeds, produce, and other food stuff with seeds are not allowed either.

One way to breeze through customs is to just not bring in any food, even the ones from the airplane. But, if you persist, read and familiarize yourself with Australia customs rules and regulations.

9. Cigarettes
Only 50 pcs of cigarettes is allowed tax-free. Bring more than that and you either have to throw it away or pay the appropriate fees and fine.

10. Wood, shells, feather, and raw hide.
No, no, no, and no. If the restriction on animal by-products is too vague for you as it was for me, I declared the pearls that I was wearing to Australia customs and I had no problems whatsoever. So, if in doubt, declare it.

This list is not a comprehensive guide that lists what can be brought in or what shouldn’t be brought in. It is a rough guide that will give you an idea on what restrictions there may be. So, once again, if you aren’t sure, declare it to customs. Or you can learn everything by heart here, here,
and here.

You can also read:

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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LezGoMelbourne Guide – 10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

Once you’ve gotten your visa approved, now is the time to make other life changing decisions. I’m sure you have plans already laid out, even before you applied for a visa, but now it’s time for everything to take shape. Time is crucial.

The moment we received notice of our approved visa, my partner, Boo, had less than one month to prepare. I had around two and a half months to pack, prep and fly as well. Every day of the week since then, we had to accomplish something. And so should you.

It’s time to drill it in your head that you’re moving to Australia. Building your life there can be both difficult and exciting, but before you can get to that part, you have to fix your priorities first. So, settle your affairs one at a time and remember to do the following:

1. Make a calendar and set the date.
You may or may not have an employer waiting for you, but it is important that you get things in motion so you can properly prepare yourself or your family for the move. This way, you can have as much time as you want or you can easily allocate what little time you have and spend it with your friends and family.

Prepare your calendar so you can make the most out of your everyday. Planning ahead means you’ll save yourself plenty of head ache, and of course, money. That means, you also have to book and pay for you flight as soon as you can. The early birds get to pay a cheaper fare than the others.

2. Money is crucial.
Count what’s in your piggy bank because you won’t be able to go far without it. Ask yourself, how many months can your savings afford you or your family housing and living expenses? One month may not be enough, even if you have a job waiting for you. You just can’t risk it, especially if you don’t know firsthand how expensive it is to live in Australia.

3. Gather all the documents you need and identification that you can.
There are so many reasons why you need them that I don’t know if I still need to emphasize it. Still, you need them because: You need doctor’s prescriptions for certain medications that you are bringing with you. You need skill certifications for your profession. You need to produce employment history when you are job hunting. You may need police clearances when applying for another visa. You need school transcripts for you or your children. You need medical records and birth certificates and so on and so forth.

PS. Photocopy everything and have important documents validated or notarized.

4. Print your Visa Approval Notice or Letter
Yes, the Australian Embassy in the Philippines no longer stamps your passport. Your visa is attached electronically, but for some reason, the immigration officers in Philippine airports still want you to present proof that you have an Australian visa. Don’t ask me why, it’s just the way it is. Been there, done that.

5. Update your resume and your references
You need to update your resume and make different versions of it. Why do you ask? Well, if you are making a career change or applying for different positions, your resume should reflect the requirements of your potential employers.

Also, you need to secure the telephone numbers and email addresses of your references. They have to be up-to-date so employers can easily communicate with them.

6. Secure your bank accounts, forward your mail, and cancel subscriptions.
You can easily do some of these transactions online, but since it’s the Philippines, sometimes it’s more reliable to just transact over the counter. I easily activated Cirrus on my BPI ATM card at a bank branch and had them forward any bank statements to another address. Also, you may want to ask BPI to approve a local account, such as your mother’s or your wife’s account number, so you can make online deposits to it even when you’re overseas.

Face-to-face transactions are more reliable. One time, I encountered a bill collector for a local cable subscription company who was more than keen to cancel my subscription for me. He also asked that I provide him with some monetary assistance as cancelling cable subscriptions can be tricky. I smelled something fishy. So, I went directly to the cable provider’s office and cancelled my subscription without paying anything. So, beware of your bill collectors. Some are liars! They can be devious.

7. Research and shop for a new neighborhood
Nobody will do it for you, so you have to look hard where you and your family may live. Think about neighborhoods with proximity to the things you need, like school for the children, your commute to work, the nearest grocery, and the post office among others. Walkscore is useful if you want to know where or how near things are.

Another site which helped me a lot is www.realestate.com.au. I really recommend it.

8. Go to POEA and get your Exit Clearance. And for emigrants, secure your CFO sticker and attend your PDOS or peer counseling seminar. You can check the following website for more information: www.poea.gov.ph and www.cfo.gov.ph.

9. Secure your dollars.
You can withdraw and access your money from any ATM in Australia, but it also helps to have a few dollars on hand. So far, I have seen only one foreign exchange accepting Philippine Pesos and that is at the airport. At the time, they are selling Australian dollars for Php47. Yipes!

You can bring in as much as $10,000 Australian dollars, but more than that, you have to declare it. But, if you can access your money through your ATM, why would you even hold on to that much cash?

10. Build your network
Filipinos can be found all over the globe, so I am sure you can find a friend or a relative somewhere, somehow. They’ll be more than glad to help. At least that’s what the reception I have had so far. Anyway, to help you set your expectations and get your hands on some real and friendly advice, you can interact with lot of Australian residents and Filipinos on www.pinoyau.info and
www.forums.whirlpool.net.au.

For other ideas and tips, best to visit the site of the Australian government on immigration about moving to OZ here and here.

You may also want to read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the RHBill, and Why It Caused Storm Pablo?

I have always been curious as to why people think women should be like this and women should be like that. I don’t know who started it and I don’t know why the consensus before went along with it, but I just can’t take it.

I can’t understand why they keep telling me to not climb trees or run around or even ride bicycles. I don’t know why you can’t talk too much or laugh too loud. And I don’t know why they think women shouldn’t love other women.

But what I do know is that gender quality is important. A good body image is important. Reading books make you smart and is important. Safe sex and sex education is important. And that having a say and control over your body and health is important.

So, pray tell me, what does Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo think is important? What does the likes of Melvin Castro consider as “god’s creation?”

The Philippines has been pushing for the RH Bill to be passed for decades now. And the Catholic Church and all other religious zealots, who think that maternal mortality is not important, is derailing the bill and using all their money and influence on stopping it.

And now, they’re even saying that the Storm Pablo which ravaged Southern Mindanao and claimed hundreds of lives, is an act of god? That devastation brought on by the flood is a lesson for everyone? That the winds that brought down houses and left women and children cold and hungry is a show of power that proves that god is against the RH Bill in the Philippines? Really? You are using a vengeful, sexist, misogynist god to create fear and instill your influence over the RH Bill by sensationalizing this tragedy, just so you can use it for your own skewed view of the world?

Unimaginable.

I am so angry that I couldn’t believe these priests in the Philippines would resort to this. Forget about credibility. Whoever thought they would argue against UN and WHO, as reported here on Philippine Daily Inquirer to declare that condoms have holes, big enough that viruses such as HIV, could penetrate through them?

Forget about decency. Nobody has the right to declare that Storm Pablo was rightfully deserved by the victims, by the people of Mindanao, just because of the RH Bill.

Forget about being a human being. That wasn’t compassion, that was just pure politics.

I wish I could forgive and forget this, but I won’t. I won’t forgive and I won’t forget.

P.S. Nobody puts it better than Rina Jimenez-David, so please read her column on Philippine Daily Inquirer or check out the latest news on www.inquirer.net.