The Embassy of Israel in the Philippines celebrated Israel’s 75th Independence Day with a reception at the historic Manila Hotel on the 4th of May.

“This 2023 is a year full of celebration. Aside from Israel’s 75th year of independence, we are also celebrating 65 years of friendship between our countries. Our special friendship is deeply rooted in our common history and values,”

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, Ilan Fluss

During the event, Israel-Philippines historically friendly relations were highlighted in a video presentation which includes: the Open-Door Policy of former president Manuel Quezon that provided a safe haven to Jews fleeing the Nazi regime and the vote of the Philippines in favor of the UN Resolution in 1947 for the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. Also given emphasis was the humanitarian assistance of Israel to the Philippines during Typhoon Yolanda and Odette, economic and defense cooperation between the two countries, and the historic visit of former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Israel in 2018, which is the first official visit to Israel of a Filipino president in office.

“I am proud to represent Israel, a country that within 75 years has become a global leader and a source of knowledge, research, and development, and innovation and technology,” Ambassador Fluss said. The Ambassador expressed his eagerness to partner with the Philippines to build more bridges in various areas, including innovation and technology, between the two countries and their people and to support each other in addressing the challenges in the years to come, especially during times of need. Ambassador Fluss also recognized the 30,000 Filipino caregivers in Israel dedicated to taking care of the elderly and disabled people.

The guest of honor in the event was Executive Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines and Retired Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin. Also on stage during the ceremonial toast were Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Charles Brown, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta. The night was attended by the diplomatic corps, senators, governors, other elected officials, the Israeli community and friends from the public and private sector.

An Israeli all-female drummer group, Rhythmania, performed during the celebration. Rhythmania also held a series of workshops and outreach events at White Cross Orphanage in San Juan City, Laura Vicuna Foundation, and children from different schools in Makati City.

In 2023, Yom Haatzmaut or Israeli Independence Day falls from sundown on April 25 to sundown on April 26 in the Hebrew calendar. This day marks the rebirth of Israel as a nation by a United Nations plebiscite in 1947.

The Philippines and Israel celebrated 65 years of friendship on February 26. This was the day when the Treaty of Friendship was signed in 1958 between the Republic of the Philippines and the State of Israel, establishing their full diplomatic relations.