Filipinos in Israel Celebrate Labor Day and Flores de Mayo 2016

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The Philippine Embassy in Israel leads the procession of 31 Filipino community groups and their floral arches
at the Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv during the Santacruzan.  Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial
(2nd from left) is joined by other Embassy officials and some children of Embassy personnel.


1 May 2016, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – The Philippine Embassy led the members of the Filipino community in Israel in celebrating Labor Day and Flores de Mayo on 1 May 2016 at the Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv.

Flores de Mayo, also known as the Santacruzan, is one of the biggest cultural events of the Embassy together with the Filipino community in Israel. This year's celebration was attended by about 400 people, and participated in by 31 Filipino community organizations and groups.

A total of 33 "sagalas" and "consortes" dressed in Filipiniana attire and gowns paraded with colorful floral arches, giving guests and locals a glimpse of one of the Philippines' biggest, most colorful, and longest festivals.

Notable guests who attended the event inlcuded Fr. David Neuhaus, Patrirachal Vicar for St. James Vicariate for Hebrew - Speaking Catholics in Israel, Mr. Eliav Blishowsky, Director for International Relations of the Tel Aviv Municipality, Fr. Carlos Santos of St. Peter's Church in Jaffa, as well as prominent members of the community, the Philippine Honorary Consuls, members of the Filipino clergy in Israel, and friends of the Embassy.

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E-Force Kids wow the audience at the park with a variety of cultural dances.

Several groups in colorful traditional attire performed Philippine dances during the parade. Filipino community members wowed the guests with dances and songs during the program that followed. A "balagtasan" on the merits of "purong wika" versus "halong wika" elicited cheers from the audience. X Factor Israel Grand Champion Rose "Osang" Fostanes' rendition of "Manila, Manila", Israeli singer Tal Kravitz's "Anak", and their duet of "Dahil Sa 'Yo" delighted the crowd. The E-Force kids composed of 27 boys and girls charmed the crowd with their medley of traditional dances. Mr. Joseph Howard, winner of Kochav Tel Aviv, serenaded the King and Queen of Flores de Mayo. Ms. Ester Malka Wang performed "Colors of the Wind."

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The Filipino Cultural Society in Israel gracefully dance "Tinikling".

During the event, the Embassy also lauded the contributions of Filipino workers around the world to the Philippine economy.

The Labor Day theme this year, "Kinabukasan Sigurado sa Disenteng Trabaho", inspired many Filipino community organizations in coming up with slogan entries for the Best Slogan Award. The winning entry was by Online Radio Phil-Isra Community with their catchy and meaningful slogan: "Marangal na trabaho ikaaangat ng bayan ko, Taas noo Pilipino."

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial read the Labor Day message of President Benigno S. Aquino III. Labor Attache Rodolfo Gabasan, on the other hand, read the message of Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

Ambassador Imperial encouraged the Filipino workers in Israel to continue with their good work and preserve traditional Filipino values in their homes in order to succeed in their endeavors, help their families and the country, and promote a good image of the Philippines in Israel.

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X Factor Israel Grand Champion Rose "Osang" Fostanes and Israeli singer Tal Kravitz.

Towards the end of the program, plaques of appreciation and other special awards were given to recognize the efforts of the Filipino organizations participating in the event. Winners of the competitions this year were the following: Dangal ng Novo Ecijano Israel (Queen of Flores de Mayo), Israel Calaca Philippines (King of Flores de Mayo), E-Force (Little Princess and Prince of Flores de Mayo), Online Radio Phil-Isra Community (Best Slogan), and Filipino Cultural Society in Israel (Best Floral Arch). --END--

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Clockwise from top left: Ambassador Imperial and Defense Attache Bienvenido Regondola, Jr. with the King of Flores de
Mayo 2016, Ambassador Imperial and Consul General Pamela F. Durian-Bailon with the Queen of Flores de
Mayo 2016, Ambassador Imperial and Ms. Mellisa Ganon with the Little Prince of Flores de Mayo 2016,
and Ambassador Imperial and Ms. Daisy Al-Ayoubi with the Little Princess of Flores de Mayo 2016.