TEL AVIV 11 December 2018 — Filipinos in Israel came together to welcome the start of the Christmas season, as the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv, in collaboration with the Filipino Community, opened the holidays with its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and parol competition at the Terra Sancta School in Jaffa on 01 December 2018.
Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial led the annual ceremony, which he said was also a celebration of Philippine culture and holiday traditions such as parol-making and Christmas caroling. He thanked the community for their enthusiastic participation, noting that this year’s parol competition had the largest number of participants since it began in 2009.
The Ambassador emphasized that the celebration of Christmas in the Holy Land is most special because it is where the Christmas story began.
Christmas carols featuring traditional favorites such as “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells” opened the program, followed by energetic dance and song performances from Kids for Christ and Youth for Christ. Chorale groups from all over Israel also performed Filipino Christmas songs such as “Pasko Na Sinta Ko” and “Pasko Na Naman”, with a nostalgic performance of “Christmas in our Hearts” rounding off the program.
The Embassy holds the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the first Saturday of December every year.