Philippines Celebrates Independence Day in Israel


Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial and Mr. Mark Sofer, Deputy Director General for Asia and
the Pacific of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the cake cutting ceremony

22 June 2015, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – The Philippine Embassy celebrated the 117th Year Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence with events that promoted unity and patriotism among Filipinos in Israel, fostered ties with the host government and partners in the tourism and business community, and showcased the best of Philippine culture and tourism.

Filipinos in Israel encouraged to unite

On 12 June 2015, the Embassy held a flag raising ceremony attended by its personnel and their families, Honorary Consuls, Filipino community leaders, and friends of the Embassy. The Independence Day messages of President Benigno S. Aquino III, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario, and Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz were read during the event, as well as Secretary Dimapilis-Baldoz's message on the occasion of the 20th Migrant Workers' Day.

In his speech, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial emphasized the true essence of the occasion and encouraged everyone to contribute to the country's development. Speaking in Filipino, the Ambassador said, "magkaisa po tayo para maipagpatuloy and ating kalayaan at pagunlad ng ating bansa." He went on to highlight the fast and robust growth of the Philippine economy which is projected to further improve in the coming years.

During the short program, the Embassy personnel and guests sang patriotic songs, such as "Bayan Ko". Mr. Arnold and Ms. Malou Eligado and X Factor Israel Champion, Ms. Rose "Osang" Fostanes also performed beautiful renditions of "Himig ng Pag-ibig" and "Pagbabalik", respectively.


Clockwise top left: Flag raising ceremony. Right: Ambassador Imperial reads the Independence Day
message of President Benigno S. Aquino III. Bottom middle: X Factor Israel Champion
Rose "Osang" Fostanes. Bottom left: Mr. Arnold and Ms. Malou Eligado.

Fostering ties and friendships

The Embassy also fostered ties with the host government, diplomatic missions, partners and friends by welcoming around 240 guests during a diplomatic reception on 15 June 2015.

Mr. Mark Sofer, Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was guest of honor in lieu of Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabai on that day as all Ministers were summoned to the Knesset (Parliament) for urgent discussion.

In his speech, Ambassador Imperial spoke of the rich history of relations between the Philippines and Israel. He cited the Philippines' rescue of Jews and support to UN Resolution 181 leading to the creation of the state of Israel, the presence of more than 22,000 Filipino caregivers in Israel, and ongoing defense and agricultural cooperation as pillars of their deepening ties.

Mr. Sofer congratulated the Philippines on the occasion and also talked about furthering partnership between the two countries. Mr. Sofer specifically noted the hospitality of Filipinos which he observed during his visit to the Philippines. He said that Filipinos are among the friendliest of the people he has met. He added that this warm and welcoming character of Filipinos is one and the same with the hospitality shown by Filipinos in the late 1930's when they welcomed Jews in the country to save them from the Holocaust in Europe.

At the end of their respective speeches, both Ambassador Imperial and Mr. Sofer raised their glasses in a toast to the unique and deepening relations between the countries.


Ambassador Imperial with the Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild

Promoting Philippine economy, culture, and tourism

Highlighting the Philippines' economic achievements, investment opportunities and positive business atmosphere, Ambassador Imperial encouraged partners and other guests to visit the country and explore the opportunities in there.

To showcase the best of Philippine culture and tourism, the Embassy featured the Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild from Manila to perform traditional songs and dances from the country's different regions during the event. Sindaw's graceful movements and colorful and exotic costumes captivated the guests during the cultural show.

The It's More Fun in the Philippines videos projected continuously on three big screens inside the hall showed guests the many beautiful tourist attractions offered by the country.--END--


Sindaw wows the guests with graceful dances and beautiful costumes.