Philippine Embassy celebrates a Filipino Christmas in Israel

2 December 2017, Tel Aviv - For the eighth year running, the Philippine Embassy, in collaboration with the Filipino community in Israel, celebrated a Filipino Christmas with its annual ChristmasTree-Lighting Ceremony and Parol Competition at the Terra Sancta School.

Chargé d'affaires Randy Arquiza, speaking on behalf of Ambassador Neal Imperial, thanked the community for coming together to support the event. "A good portion of our program ... is the product of good old-fashioned bayanihan," he asserted. "No matter where we are, [that] is one of the things that brings us together as a community."

Nine community organizations participated in the parol competition, which assessed entries according to originality, creativity, and use of native materials. The winning entry by United Novo Ecijano-Israel, a throwback to the traditional star-shaped parol, was adorned with thousands of empty seashells that the organization's members had collected from Israel's beaches.

The program also featured chorale groups from all over Israel who treated guests to unique and quirky takes on Christmas caroling, including a heartfelt kantaserye that centered on an overseas worker's longing to be with her family during the holidays.

The Philippine Embassy holds an annual Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony on the first Saturday of every December.- END


Charge d'Affaires Randy Arquiza (right), along with (from right to left) Rev. Fr. Carlos Santos, the Guardian of St. Peter’s Church and the Parochial Vicar of St. Anthony’s Church, Mr. Winston Santos, President of the National Alliance of Filipino Communities and Ms. Mardy Rosino, Treasurer of the Federation of Filipino

Communities, leads the Filipino community in Israel during the lighting of Christmas tree.



The Good Shepherd Filipino Catholic Community Choir officially opens the event with the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night”


E-FORCE kids during their performance at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony


ConGen Arquiza with the judges of the parol-making contest: Mr. Simi Salpeter (left), Rev. Fr. Carlos Santos(3rd from left) and Ms. Rina Cardema (right) during the awarding of winners: United Novo Ecijano – Israel (1st place), Batangas Radiant Colligation (2nd place), and Israel OFW Association (3rd place).