12 June 2012, Tel Aviv, Israel – Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge led a simple ceremony to celebrate the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence. The ceremony serves an "introduction" to a bigger celebration scheduled on Thursday, 14 June 2012, which will gather members of the diplomatic corps, Israeli government officials, business contacts and the Filipino Community in Israel.
The early morning celebration was highlighted by the simultaneous singing of the National Anthem and the raising of the Philippine Flag, followed by the reading of the messages of His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, and the message of Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge.
Vice Consul Greg Marie Concha-Mariño read the message of President Benigno S. Aquino III. The President, in his message, called on all Filipinos to uphold the spirit of hope and confidence that complements the momentum of change in our time and to remain proud of our heritage and diversity. He also noted that the Philippines moves forward to establish a future that accords with our rightful place in the community of nations.
Vice Consul Ferdinand Flores took the honor of reading the National Day Message of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario. In his message, Secretary del Rosario emphasized that the Department of Foreign Affairs endeavors to advance national security and secure our territorial integrity, effectively address the needs and welfare of overseas Filipinos, and engage in a vigorous campaign to enhance economic diplomacy.
Secretary Baldoz, whose message was read by Labor Attaché Merriam Cuasay, maintained the government's commitment to provide efficient services to, and protect the rights of, Filipino migrant workers wherever they may be. Secretary Baldoz called all Filipinos to stand united and rally their support for the government in order to overcome daunting challenges ahead.
In his message, Ambassador Calonge stressed the importance of remembering our heroes who gallantly fought and died more than a hundred years ago for a noble aspiration of establishing our own identity and nationhood. He emphasized that it is a solemn duty of modern day Filipinos to continue fighting for our hard-earned freedom against all forms of aggression and foreign domination that threaten the entire nation.
The Ambassador conveyed to the present generation his hope that the fruits of labor of our forefathers will be preserved for our children that they may also enjoy the same liberty and independence we now equally share.
The Ambassador noted that it is quite commendable that the Philippines, inspired by the sublime spirit of our ancestors, shares and demonstrates in the world stage its love for freedom and peace. "Emerging triumphant in the ashes of world wars, the Philippines demonstrated to the Community of Nations its will to become independent by being one of the founding members of the United Nations. I am proud to say that the Philippines maintains its commitments in the preservation of peace and security manifested, among others, through the sending of peacekeeping forces to different parts of the world, and right in our midst, in the northern borders of Israel," the Ambassador added.
It is also notable that, at the backdrop of the 2012 Independence Day, the Embassy also celebrates this year 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Chancery in the State of Israel, highlighting the golden year of genuine Philippine-Israeli Friendship and Loyal Service to Filipinos in the host country. —END—