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Can’t help but compare



I am in transition. Retirement has made it so. I am spending more time with family in New Zealand and while I miss Manila, especially my 515 golf buddies, technology has allowed me to stay in touch with those I have left behind. I am in a different place where grass is greener and where the air is fresh and clean. I am in a place where driving is easy and people are kind and disciplined. I am in a place where transactions are completed in the blink of an eye.

I have transitioned from selling cars to buying cars. In the four months that I have been in New Zealand, I have bought three cars, each a replacement of the previous, not as a matter of whim or collection. And no, they are not brand new. They are carefully selected pre-owned vehicles. It helps that my youngest son is into the used-car trade so I get the best deals in terms of quality and price. I first bought a 2016 RAV4, which I then replaced with a 2009 HARRIER, the twin of Lexus RX350. Both are good cars but coming back here after a brief stay in Manila, I found myself buying another replacement, a 2017 CAMRY Hybrid with a mileage of only 9k, leathers and all.

Buying and selling in NZ is done in a breeze. There is not much paper work to be done and there are no tedious processes. Take my last transaction. My son advertised the Harrier on Trade Me, an internet auction website in NZ. An interested buyer inspected the unit, expressed interest to buy and paid a minimal earnest money with an agreement to collect the car in two days after office hours. At the appointed time, the buyer came, transferred the full payment from his account to mine via mobile phone. The transfer readily registered as a deposit to my account. He acknowledged receipt of the unit via a text message as a protection to me that should anything happen when he left our home, he was in fact already the owner of the car.

The following day, I logged in to the website of NZ Transport Agency (the equivalent of our LTO) to effect the change of the car’s ownership online. I had to fill in some basic information which includes writing down my NZ driver’s license which I do not have yet. (Philippines driver’s license is honored here with a validity of one year from your date of entry). If you cannot completely fill out the information online, you are advised to call their office, which I did. The female officer was prompt in answering my call asking how she could be of help. I told her about the purpose of my call. I gave her the plate number of the car and voila! She gave me the full description of the car. She then asked me some questions like full name, date of birth and address to confirm my identity. After a few seconds, she said no worries.

You’ve got nothing to do. The buyer had already registered the Toyota Harrier under his name the previous night. I didn’t have to do anything. I got the money, he got the car. No Deed of Sale, no ANCAR clearance, no macro etching no transfer fees, no hassle whatsoever.

I went to the Toyota Dealership to get my Camry. After a quick signing of documents, I transferred the payment to the dealership’s bank account using my mobile phone. Done! I drove off with my new car.

No red tape, no thick documents to sign. Just plain honesty.



October is the birth month of the most thoughtful and generous person in my list of very good friends. The man who gave me the ticket to ride the Toyota network and who kept me inspired to work hard and play hard. I honor you on your birthday and always. I hope we come together here, there and everywhere across the universe. From me to you, happy birthday and long live, Boss!