On 11 June 2017, the 5thPhilippine Tourism and Country Fair organized by the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv,Municipality of Haifa and Castra Mall, opened in a festive atmosphere in the northern city of Haifa as the Philippines tries to sustain the rapid tourism growth from Israel.

During the one-day event, simultaneous activities on tourism and cultural promotion and highlights of the 60 years of strong bilateral relations between the Philippines and Israel were featured at the Castra Mall. Around 800 Israelis and Filipinos enjoyed the cultural program that showcased multi-awarded Filipino soprano singer, Ms. Francis Anne “Princess” Virtudazo, and the best talents from the Filipino community in Israel.

Two Exhibitions Opened

(In photo from left to right) Philippine Honorary Consul General Carmel Hacohen, Ms. Sharon Kalujny, Head of Department of Education of the Ministry of Haifa, Mr. David Castel, Chairman of the Haifa Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador Neal Imperial and Ms. Nitzan Marciano, General Manager of Castra Mall.

Two exhibitions will run at the Castra Mall from 11-15 June 2017 featuring the highlights in the 60 years of Philippines-Israel bilateral relations and the promotion of Philippine tourism. The exhibitions are expected to draw a deeper understanding of the foundations of our bilateral relations and appreciation of the culture of the Filipino people who are very dear to Israelis.



Philippines and Israel at 60: An Enduring Friendship, A Growing Partnership
A photo exhibit will until 15 June 2017 featuring the highlights of the six decades of friendship between the two countries showing the significant role of the Philippines to Israel when it opened its doors to European Jews fleeing the Holocaust in the late 1930S to 1941.
The exhibit also presents a documentation of various areas of cooperation in the political sphere, labor, agriculture, defense, tourism, development cooperation, and other areas.

Tourism Exhibit

The tourism seminar was complemented by a tourism exhibit, giving the guests a glimpse of Palawan and Boracay, two of the best islands in the world voted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. The exhibit also features local handicrafts, Filipiniana attire, and indigenous textile. Photos of scenic mountains, pristine white beaches, majestic limestones and waterfalls, enchanting coral reefs and sand bars in the different parts of the country were showcased. The exhibit will run until 15 June 2017.

(In photo from right to left) Ambassador Neal Imperial, Mr. David Castel, Mr. Dakila Gonzales and Philippine Honorary Consul General Carmel Hacohen.

Seminar on The Philippines: A Multi-Destination in the Far East

Mr. Dakila Gonzales from the Market Development Group of the Philippine Department of Tourismconducted a tourism seminar for Israeli travel and tour operators, travelers and PR companies. The seminar highlighted the various destinations and introduced the new adventures awaiting Israeli tourists. Mr. Gonzales showed 500 unedited photos of the enchanting sceneries and alluring charm of the natural wonders of the Philippine islands, which left the audience in awe at the beauty of the Philippines.

Mr. Igor Akerman, Marketing Representative for Turkish Airlines, provided information on the frequency of the flights for the Manila-Tel Aviv route and incentives offered to travel agencies.

Israel was the fastest growing market of the Philippines in 2016 with a phenomenal tourist arrival growth of 42%.

Mr. Dakila Gonzales from the Philippine Department of Tourism conducts a presentation on Philippine tourism.

Cultural Program

A Cultural Program served as the culminating event of the day. Ambassador Neal Imperial, Mr. David Castel, Chairman of the Haifa Chamber of Commerce, and Mrs. Aviva Dankner officially opened the Tourism and Country Fair with a gong ceremony.

Filipino soprano singer Ms. Francis Anne "Princess" Virtudazo, champion in the Opera Division and a gold medalist for Broadway and Open Categories of the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) 2015 in the USA, wowed the crowd with her classic rendition of Kundiman, original Filipino music and songs from Broadway musicals .

The pride of the Filipino community in Israel, Ms. Ezra Joy Ng, performed her entry song which led her to win the third place in the recently-concluded The Voice Israel.

Mr. Howie Joseph Danao, a winner of KOKAV Tel Aviv 2016, serenaded the audience with his acoustic version of 80s and 90s songs.

The crowd was also amused with the performance of Mr. Mark Oliver “Ever” Sy from all-Filipino Rockend Rhythm Band and dancers from the Association of Igorot Migrant Workers in Israel (AIMWI) and Filipino student-trainees of Granot Agro-studies Program under MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. Mr. Guy Kaplan entertained the crowd with his juggling act.

About 800 Israelis and Filipinos enjoyed the cultural program at the 5th Tourism and Country Fair in Haifa.

Philippine Bazaar

A Philippine Bazaar was participated in by members of the Filipino community from the Israel OFW Association (IOA), Mommies of Haifa and CEC Collective, who promoted Philippine cuisine, various handicrafts and souvenir items on the Philippines.

Also displayed were various Kosher-certified products from the Philippines courtesy of PS Kosher Foodworks, Inc. Philippine food products being marketed in Israel by Taste of Asia, Ltd. were patronized by Filipinos and Israelis while enjoying the cultural program. The Embassy’s partners to the event, Landbank, Turkish Airlines and Mona Tours also participated in the Bazaar.


Photo Philippine Embassy