TEL AVIV – More than 150 people, including representatives of the city government here and members of the local and religious community in Israel, gathered at the lush Hayarkon Park in northern Tel Aviv on May 6 for the embassy's third annual joint celebration of Labor Day and Flores de Mayo.
A total of 20 Filipino community organizations participated in the Flores de Mayo parade, carrying flower arches and wearing costumes representing their respective regions.
The event, organized in partnership with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and Overseas Workers' Welfare Office in Israel, served as the embassy's salute to more than 25,000 Filipino workers in Israel, on the occasion of Philippine Labor Day.
Ambassador Neal Imperial thanked the Filipino community and the embassy's guests for joining the celebration, and took the opportunity to honor the contributions of Filipino workers to the country's development.
"Kami po ay nagpupugay sa manggagawang Pilipino, lalo na sa ating mga overseas Filipino workers na katuwang namin sa pagsulong ng pambansang kaunlaran (We celebrate the Filipino workers, especially our overseas Filipino workers, our partners in national progress and development)," Imperial said.
In a nod to female workers, who make up more than half of the Filipino population in Israel, the envoy explained that for the embassy, the Flores de Mayo celebration is intended to honor the particular contributions of Filipino women and mothers to the country's development.
"Here in Israel, over 70 percent of our workers are women, some of whom have chosen to pursue overseas work to make sure that their family’s future is secure. Today, we honor them for their sacrifice, and for their love," he said.
"Kayo ang tunay na lakas ng pagbabago (You are the power of change)," Labor Attaché Cynthia Lamban told Filipino workers, reading from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello's message, elaborating on the 2018 Labor Day theme, “Pagpupugay sa Manggagawang Pilipino: Dangal ng lahi, kabalikat sa progresibong pagbabago!”
The Filipino community concluded the celebrations with a potluck picnic along the banks of the Hayarkon River after the program ended. (DFA PR)