Filipino Dance, Music and Costumes Captivate in PH Tourism Fair in Israel


Clockwise top left: Philippine Ambassador Neal Imperial, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, and Castra Mall owner
Gil Dankner leadthe ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the two Philippine exhibits at the mall.
Top right: Ambassador Imperial, Mayor Yahav, and Mr. Dankner officially open the Philippine
Tourism and Country Fair in Haifa with a traditional Canao ritual. Bottom right: Ambassador Imperial
welcomes travel agencies during the country presentation.  Bottom left: Ambassador Imperial
welcomes the audience to the fair and invites them to visit and experience the Philippines' best.


22 June 2015, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – The best in Philippine traditional dances, music and costumes were showcased in Israel on 17-18 June 2015 at the Philippine Tourism and Country Fair in Haifa, Israel.

More than 1,000 guests and visitors had a glimpse of the richness and diversity of Philippine culture and the beauty of its islands and people at the 4th Philippine Tourism and Cultural Fair at the Castra Mall in Haifa. A sister-city of Manila, Haifa is Israel's third largest city and home to more than 3,000 Filipino caregivers.

The fair was opened in colorful fashion by Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial with Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav and Mr. Gil Dankner, owner of Castra Mall, with a traditional Canao ritual performed by tribal dancers and the banging of a Cordillero gong.

Garbed in delicately embroidered colorful costumes from the different regions of the archipelago, the Manila-based Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild regaled the Israeli and Filipino crowd with ethnic and Spanish-influenced dances and songs that evoked the best tourism destinations the country has to offer.

For two evenings, Israelis and Filipinos who flocked to the fair were especially amazed and captivated by the colorful and exotic costumes, soulful music, and elegantly choreographed movements of Sindaw, who performed the Singkil, pandango sa ilaw, tinikling, and tribal dances from the Cordilleras.


Sindaw dancers wow the audience with their graceful movements and colorful and exotic costumes.

Other prominent performers in the event were X-Factor Israel Grand Champion Osang Fostanes, Kathleen Eligado, and Israeli singer Tal Kravitz, who sang classic Filipino songs like "Dahil sa Iyo", "Anak," and "Manila, Manila."

Along with the cultural show, the Embassy also organized a country presentation on the first day of the event for travel agencies and tour operators interested to include the Philippines as a preferred destination for Israeli tourists.

As part of the tourism fair, two Philippine exhibits were earlier opened at the mall by the Philippine ambassador and the Haifa Mayor. The first one, titled "It's More Fun in the Philippines: A Tourism Exhibition" showcased the country's top tourist attractions, traditional Filipiniana attire and accessories. The second exhibit, "An Open Door: Philippine Sanctuary for Jewish Refugees (1937-1941)" highlighted the little known story of the rescue of 1,300 Jews during the Holocaust, when the Philippines opened its doors to European Jews escaping Nazi persecution.

Those who attended the fair had a taste of Philippine flavors from booths that served popular Filipino street food such as halo-halo, gulaman, lumpia, palabok and adobo, as well as Philippine mango and calamansi liqueurs. Other booths sold native Philippine handicrafts, souvenirs and imported food products, while free samples of banana chips, dried mangoes, sweet potato chips and coco sugar were distributed.

While playing the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" videos onstage and at the tourism exhibit, the Embassy distributed DVD copies of tourism videos, posters and brochures from the Department of Tourism.

The Philippine Tourism and Country Fair in Haifa was organized by the Embassy as part of its intensive tourism campaign to sustain and further boost the significant increase of Israeli tourists to the Philippines.

From January to April 2015, a total of 4,886 Israeli tourists visited the country marking a 48.38% increase from last year's figure (3,293) during the same period. In 2014, the total number of Israeli tourists to the Philippines was 8,776 which is a 14.35% increase of the full 2013 figure of 7,675.

The fair was organized with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Municipality of Haifa, Castra Mall and private sector partners. --END--

Clockwise top left: An Open Door: Philippine Sanctuary for Jewish Refugees. Top right: It's More Fun
in the Philippines: A Tourism Exhibition. Bottom: A visitor gets a tourism brochure while others check
the free Philippine food products offered by the Embassy and souvenirs sold by other booths.