Tel Aviv PE Meets Filipino Journalists Visiting Israel

gw.Visiting Journalists with Embassy Peeps

06 September 2012, Tel Aviv, Israel – Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge received five (5) Filipino journalists who embarked on a five-day visit to Israel upon the invitation of the Israeli government. These were Mr. Mariano Andres Bona Garchitorena (Public Relations of the Peninsula Manila), Mr. Josef Raymund Ilagan Isaac (Filipino photographer), Ms. Michaela Fenix Makabenta (Food and Lifestyle Columnist of Philippine Daily Inquirer), Mr. Isagani Gellaaduga D'bayan Jr. (Assistant Editor of the Philippine Star Lifestyle section) and Ms. Christine Olivares Cunanan (Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Travelife Magazine).

Ambassador Calonge hosted the entire group to dinner which provided them with an opportunity to candidly share their lasting impressions about Israel, particularly its culture, traditions and way of life. Aside from providing additional information about Israel, Ambassador Calonge explained to them the Embassy's plans and programs to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. He also introduced the profile of the Filipino Community by explaining that Filipinos in Israel are generally caregivers.

The group noted that their visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial was truly memorable and touching. Ambassador Calonge pointed out that the Embassy is pushing for Yad Vashem's recognition of the Philippines' role in saving Jews from the Holocaust when President Quezon allocated 10,000 visas to them and, as a result of such humanitarian gesture, more than 1,200 Jewish refugees were able to reach the Philippines. At this point, Amb. Calonge solicited the journalists' assistance in actively campaigning for this recognition.

The year 2012 has so far been remarkable as both countries have endeavored to increase the number of exchanges and visits and further strengthened institutional linkages. Concrete examples of these exchanges were the Joint Commission Meeting held in Manila in May, the continuous acceptance of Filipino agricultural students to Israel, the visit to Manila of Mayor Yona Yahav of Haifa in February (Manila and Haifa relations are vibrant and active owing to their sister city agreement), the visit to Israel of the Mayors Jejomar Erwin Binay, Jr. and Sara Duterte of Makati and Davao, respectively, in May, visit of Prof. David Farragi, Rector of Haifa University, in Manila in August, the participation of young Filipino scientists in the Asian Science Camp 2012 in late August and this most recent visit of journalists in September. —END—