Tel Aviv PE: Saludo sa Manggagawang Pilipino ng Makabagong Panahon


Flores De Mayo Collage 1

05 May 2013, Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv – Braving the scorching heat of the sun and sudden change of temperature, the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv led a simple celebration of the 2013 Philippine Labor Day Celebration at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv back-to-back with the yearly parade of flowers and gowns known as Flores de Mayo in popular Filipino culture. The singing of the Philippine National Anthem, led by Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge at the Chancery grounds, marked the beginning of the Labor Day Celebrations in which Filipino Community members, special guests and other spectators gathered together at the Hayarkon Park, opposite the Chancery.

The Philippine Labor Day Celebrations in Israel would not be complete without the May Flower Festival or Flores de Mayo, providing the Filipino Community with an opportunity to dress up in the best Filipiniana attire and showcase colorful floral arches. Leading the long queue of arches, muses and escorts, the Philippine Embassy kids lined up and marched the Hayarkon Park, together with Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge, carrying the 2013 Labor Day Theme: Manggagawang Pilipino: Handa sa Hamon ng Makabagong Panahon. A total of thirty four Filipino Community organizations joined the parade with each one having the determination to bag prizes at the end of the program which were donated by generous sponsors, namely the Philippine Honorary Consuls Boaz Waksman and Shimon Weinbaum, Western Union / Israel Post represented by Vardit Katz-Ezra, flyeast Ltd. represented by Mr. Yariv Fisher, and Megaworld International, represented by Mr. Moshe Solita and Mickey Arceo.

Flores de Mayo Collage 2

In the statement of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz read by Welfare Officer and POLO Officer-in-Charge Ms. Alice Lim, Secretary Badoz praised the nobility of Filipino workers and said that the government appreciates and recognizes the valuable contribution of workers in Philippine development. "The ingenuity of our workers is not only noted in our homeland but also in most parts of the world. We believe you can overcome trials and challenges and that your dreams and aspirations for your loved ones will be achieved through your perseverance."

Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge also delivered his own message for the OFWs in Israel.

"This year's theme which is read as "Manggagawang Pilipino: Handa sa Hamon ng Makabagong Panahon" speaks well of the inherent ability of our workers to adapt to the changing environment and their resiliency in the face of overwhelming odds," the Ambassador emphasized in his speech.

"Labor Day Celebration is an opportunity for the Philippine government to extend its appreciation for the sacrifices made by Overseas Filipino Workers not only in Israel but in all parts of the globe. Their contribution to the development and sustainability of the Philippine economy through their remittances, especially in times of crisis, is immeasurable. Our OFWs can be said to be steadfast partners of the government in building our economy. It is through your help that our country has recently had two very positive economic achievements: two investment ratings from two rating agencies, namely Fitch and Standard and Poor," the Ambassador said.

Flores de Mayo Collage 3

"Our Israeli friends and guests, and even passersby, are indeed captivated by the colorful arches being displayed and by the Filipiniana attire you are wearing," the Ambassador continued. "The Embassy would like to express our appreciation for your joining and participating in this year's edition of Flores de Mayo and we thank you for your invaluable contribution. Little do you know that you strongly complement the Embassy's goal of promoting Philippine culture in Israel. It is through events like these that we show to the host country the beauty of our country and the richness of our culture," Ambassador Calonge noted.

"This activity is a testament that we Filipinos, wherever we might find ourselves in the world, carry and nurture the values taught to us by our parents and whenever an opportunity presents itself, taas noo po nating ipinagmamalaki ang ating kultura," the Ambassador added.

Flores de Mayo is a centuries old tradition brought to the Philippines by Spain. It has been traditionally celebrated as part of the Catholic faith. It tells the story of Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, finding the true cross. Since then, this story is being retold and relived through this event and celebrating this occasion becomes memorable, mainly for Christians, especially since it is performed in the Holy Land.

"Before I conclude, I invite all registered voters who have not yet cast their vote to come and visit the Embassy which is just right across the street. The 2013 Overseas Absentee Voting is still open until 13 May 2013 at 2:00pm. Your vote matters and will dictate the direction of our country's future. Let us participate in decision making by electing leaders that would lead us towards prosperity and success. The OAV is the government's way of extending its appreciation for your hard work and a mechanism ensuring that your voices will be heard even though you are thousands of miles away from home," the Ambassador concluded. —END—