PHL Embassy Launches Chess & Bowling Tournaments for the Benefit of the Filipino Community in Israel


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gimped-Amba Speech6 March 2013, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge spearheaded the Embassy's launching of a sports fest in the form of chess and bowling tournaments. Several Filipino Community organizations took this opportunity to join not only to showcase their individual talent but also to enjoy the activities with their friends thereby relieving them of stress or pressure of a busy life of an OFW.

The chess tournament was held on 23 February 2013 at the Embassy. The bowling competition,on the other hand, is being held every Friday evening in Rishon Lezion and will continue until the end of March 2013. The initial game was held on 1 March 2013.

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This modest project was made possible through the joint effort and cooperation between the Embassy and sports sponsor: Israel Post/Western Union.

"Having been in the Foreign Service for a long period of time and being posted in different countries, I fully understand and feel the difficulties faced by Overseas Filipino Workers. Homesickness, magnified by the physical separation from loved ones, is the most common challenge for all," the Ambassador said.

"The Embassy cannot do anything about homesickness as everyone is vulnerable to it. Nevertheless, I espoused a policy, when I arrived in Israel almost two years ago, to help the Filipino Community deal with this reality through sports, among others," the Ambassador added.

The Ambassador emphasized that engaging the Filipino Community through sports, such as the bowling tournament, has several multiplier and beneficial effects.

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"Chess and Bowling develop physical stamina and sound mind; foster camaraderie and friendship; improve one's outlook in life; and, most importantly, divert our attention and relieve us from the pressures brought by the demands of our daily work," Ambassador Calonge emphasized. 

 "Developing a sound mind and a body that is physically fit are in the pipeline of medium to long-term plans of the Embassy for the Filipino Community in Israel. This is just a very simple token of appreciation extended by the Philippine government in view of the contributions given by migrant workers to the Philippine economy," the Ambassador concluded.

The Embassy hopes that this initiative will be continued and sustained through the help of sponsors as well as the cooperation of the Filipino Community, and that all Filipino organizations in Israel will join similar tournaments in the future. —END—