I Love Israel: Israel sending experts to the Philippines to help with vaccination against COVID-19

So much has happened to Israel in recent times. They defended themselves from the many rockets launched by the terrorists in Gaza (supported by long-time terrorism sponsor Iran) using the Iron Dome defense system which prevented massive deaths and damage from happening.

On the diplomatic arena, it is highly unfortunate that the Philippines voted in favor of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) investigation of the so-called human rights violations and abuses in Gaza which added to what I believe is the latest coordinated international attack against Israel. For the newcomers reading this, the terrorists, the anti-Semites, the Satanic Left (Marxists, socialists, Communists) and other kinds of people who hate Israel have long been using the United Nations as a global weapon against the Jewish state.

Even with these hard developments, I still believe that the State of Israel (whose founding in 1948 is a genuine miracle under the watch of God) is essential in this ravaged world as it is the light against darkness, and they have the undeniable right to defend themselves. With regards to the Israel-Philippines relationship, I still strong believe in it even though my nation committed a major blunder supporting the people who hate Israel at the UNHRC. In accordance to God’s Word (the Holy Bible), I will always love Israel and keep blessing it and its people.

While it has been working hard on defending itself on all fronts, Israel still stepped forward in assisting the Philippines by designating three experts (from their Ministry of Health) to enhance the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination operations.

To put things in perspective, here is an excerpt from the article of Philippine News Agency (PNA). Some parts in boldface…

Three experts from Israel’s Ministry of Health will help the Philippines to further enhance inoculation efforts against coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., also the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, said in a statement on Sunday that the experts are set to arrive on June 20, 2021 to discuss strategies on vaccine deployment, transition to the new normal, and addressing vaccine hesitancy.

The government, he said, is targeting to adopt Israel’s interventions on increasing public uptake, which is to provide incentives for vaccine recipients and restrictions for those who are yet to get coronavirus jabs.

Galvez said Israel’s method allows people who have received the jabs to increase their mobility and slowly return to normalcy, while those who have not been vaccinated will still need to follow quarantine protocols.

Israel’s vaccination program has been “highly successful,” according to Galvez.

Israel has officially dropped its outdoors face mask policy on April 18, after inoculating more than half of its population with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

It has also reopened schools and revived economic activities.

Israel’s success in having a majority of its people vaccinated for COVID-19 is undeniable and it is indeed a great model for other nations (still struggling with COVID-19) to follow no matter what their politics are. The hatred towards Israel, the false accusations of apartheid thrown against them and the wickedness of the socialists (as well as the Marxist racism-driven movement Black Lives Matter) with siding with the terrorists are nothing more than garbage for everyone witnessing global events through the distorted news and views channeled through Leftist news organizations.

Israel is leading the way in the fight against COVID-19, in helping people getting their respective lives back to normal, and helping nations with much bigger populations to save themselves from COVID-19. In fact, Israel has been providing much-needed assistance to India which has been suffering a lot from their own COVID-19 crisis.

With Israel’s dedication on assisting the Philippines confirmed already, this is great news that Filipinos should be very happy about and become more aware of. For months already, COVID-19 vaccination programs have been going on nationwide and there is still a long way to go before even half the population gets vaccinated fully (2 doses for each patient).

Not only are there not enough vaccines arriving here in the Philippines, there are also Filipinos that I observed are hesitant of getting vaccinated for reasons such as phobia towards needles (injections), the fear of side effects with vaccines, fear of waiting too long in line at vaccination sites due to overcrowding or disorganization (look at the disastrous Pfizer launch in Parañaque City), the inability of certain people to register (the DILG called for additional help for non-techie senior citizens while Las Piñas City recently launched a 3rd option of assisted on-site registration), and more.

How the Israeli experts will help the Philippines solve the above-mentioned factors, we will find out soon enough. What is clear is that the Israel-Philippines relationship is still living and the recent setback at the UNHRC is temporary. Eventually by the end of this year, direct flights between the Philippines and the Jewish state will be established and that means golden opportunities for Filipinos (especially those who got fully vaccinated) to visit the Holy Land.

Before ending this article, posted below is a holy scripture…

“I will plant Israel in their own land,

never again to be uprooted

from the land I have given them,”

says the Lord your God.

Amos 9:15 (NIV)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at V: The Original Miniseries (1983)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching V: The Original Miniseries and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Way back in 1983, I was fortunate to watch the 2-episode sci-fi mini-series on television titled V: The Original Miniseries. Because there was no Netflix, no YouTube, no Internet access and no DVD at the time, getting to replay the said mini-series as well as its sequel V: The Final Battle was really hard. Replays of them on local TV rarely happened.

Then in 2001, V: The Original Miniseries was released on DVD format and I got to watch it all over again with a good amount of enjoyment. In recent times, I purchased the Blu-ray release and replayed the original miniseries in high-definition at last!

You must be wondering if the original mini-series aged well through the decades, and is it still good to watch by today’s standards? While I will comment about its overall quality below, what I can say is that its theme about people fighting to be free from fascism, oppression, terrorism and dictatorship remains relevant to this day.

For his part, star Marc Singer stated: “I think themes of what holds society together and what tears society apart, those themes are universal themes and I think they’re always going to be relevant. I think there’s going to be a necessity for things like V to be revisited in order that society remember what it is that’s cohesive and coherent about it and why is it that we should all stand together and treat each other well.”  

With those details laid down, here is a look back at V: The Original Miniseries, written and directed by Kenneth Johnson. The first episode was broadcast on television in the United States on May 1, 1983.

V: The Original Miniseries

Early story

The story begins in El Salvador where camera operator Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) and his companion Tony risk their lives capturing footage of an armed conflict. As the two tried their best to move away from the heat of battle, a helicopter of the enemy tracks them and corners them. Just as hope seems lost for Mike Donovan, the helicopter suddenly flies away. He turns to the other direction and witnesses the presence of a huge, floating saucer-like space ship coming his way. He begins to record footage of it.

Soon enough, several other space ships arrive and float above many other cities around the world. In America, medical student Julie Parrish (Faye Grant) and her colleagues carefully watch the TV news coverage. In a nice neighborhood, several residents – including Robin Maxwell (Blaire Tefkin), Eleanor Dupres (Neva Patterson), Daniel Bernstein (David Packer) and his grandfather Abraham (Leonardo Cimino) to name a few – marvel at the sight of a space ship above them. At another location, the research of scientist Robert Maxwell (Michael Durrell) and his colleague got interrupted with the arrival of a space ship.

The Visitors formally begin their new relationship with the people of Earth.
Diana of the Visitors played by Jane Badler.

Some time later, the Visitors make verbal contact with the people around the world using varied languages of Earth. In a special arrangement held at the top of the United Nations (UN) building in New York closely viewed on TV by the general public, the Visitors reveal themselves represented by John (Richard Herd) who expresses their message of reaching out peacefully to the people of Earth, seek their help and, in return, share with them their advanced technologies that could help humanity a whole lot for future generations. The Visitors are human in appearance but speak with very distinct sounds.

As a result, the governments of Earth agree to the offer of the Visitors and establish ties with them. Symbolically, a large group of Visitors’ engineers led by Diana (Jane Badler) and security chief Steven (Andrew Pine) arrive at a refinery to formally begin collecting chemicals and minerals.

Then things start to turn bad…

Quality

I can clearly declare that the writing and directing done by Kenneth Johnson remains great, and for many reasons why. On storytelling, Johnson (who was inspired by the anti-fascist novel It Can’t Happen Here and made an adaptation of it before finally coming up with V) clearly took his time on establishing the core concept stage-by-stage, and he also found efficient ways of explaining details to viewers by using in-story news reports and videos and retrospective as effective tools of exposition (these helped cut down the reliance on expository dialogue).

As the story goes on, Johnson carefully introduced the many characters on-screen (including the use of quick introductions of some characters who are located away from others they are connected/related with), established who they are and, most notably, showed how the events that took place affected them.

The Visitors (and one member of their youth auxiliary movement wearing brown) posting propaganda material to condition people’s minds they are friendly and trustworthy. These posters are familiar to many Nazi propaganda materials used in Europe decades earlier. Prior to the release of the Original Miniseries, a real-life marketing campaign of putting up such posters happened in real life.

Johnson also used symbolism which reflects what happened decades ago in Europe with the rise of the Third Reich. The Visitors’ symbol resembles the Nazi Swastika while the persecution of scientists (as well as their families and associates) resembles the Nazi persecution of Jewish people, and the scene of Daniel Bernstein joining the Visitors through their “Friends of Visitors” movement recalls memories of the Hitler Youth. I should state that Earth citizens who chose to collaborate with the aliens from space (strongly symbolized through Eleanor Dupres), images of the armed Visitors watching several helpless Earth people being taken away from their homes and the dominance of propaganda over the free press also reflect what happened back in World War II when the Nazis occupied many parts of Europe. The fact that Johnson used alien humanoids as the Visitors make them a more universal antagonistic force that viewers can relate with.

When it comes to the cast members and their respective performances, there is a whole lot to enjoy here and I can confirm that the quality of dramatic performances is pretty good and adds a whole lot of believability to the story. The most notable performer here is none other than Faye Grant who believably portrayed Julie Parrish on her in-depth transformation from a promising medical student to a reluctant organizer of a movement of freedom-loving people called the Resistance. Faye Grant excellently portrayed emotions and even showed the fragile side of Julie as she struggles to strengthen herself to lead her fellow people who seek freedom and survival. Julie also is the most charismatic and likeable character in my view.

Marc Singer’s Mike Donovan is the closest thing this miniseries has to an action hero. Donovan is not a soldier, nor a policeman, nor a combat specialist. He is a hard-working media employee who has covered a lot of armed conflicts overseas and along the way he learned how to fight. As he is not a fighting machine, Donovan was portrayed to be vulnerable and really ends up struggling a lot. In a way, Donovan symbolizes people who take action once they realize what is wrong and what lies they have been fed with. It should be noted that before Bruce Willis wowed audiences as the vulnerable hero John McClane in Die Hard, Marc Singer’s Donovan was the vulnerable and struggling action performer realized ahead in time. On the dramatic side, Donovan’s talk with his mother Eleanor is a great scene to watch, and his contrast with Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan) must be seen! If you ask me, Mike Donovan is Marc Singer at his best!

Faye Grant’s portrayal of Julie Parrish is highly believable complete with a good range of emotions. Her character development all throughout the Original Miniseries is very believable.
Marc Singer as Mike Donovan.

The other most notable role is none other than the Visitors’ commander Diana excellently played by Jane Badler. Diana was played to be charismatic, powerful, and sadistic at the same time. She is not a mere evil figure nor is she your typical pure evil antagonist. In fact, she is the powerful extension of an unseen high authority of the aliens and this alone makes her worth your attention. Also, through her interactions with her fellow aliens Steven and Brian (Peter Nelson), you will see very interesting traits of Diana’s personality. I should state that Jane Badler’s eyes and expressions really gave her character a very commanding presence on-screen. Even though her screen time is not dominant, Diana’s impact remains very strong.

As for the other cast members and their contributions in the film, I can state that Robert Maxwell was excellently portrayed by Michael Durrel to be the very caring father striving to protect his family even as society has been manipulated to demonize scientists like him. Daniel Bernstein is clearly the traitorous Earthling who has gotten so involved with the Visitors, and I am confident that David Packer will get on your nerves. Willie is the good-natured Visitor who tries to fit in with the people of Earth and his friendship with Harmony Moore (Diane Cary) is very symbolic. Given the reputation of Robert Englund as a horror icon, his performance as Willie is a must-see!

The most notable of all the supporting cast members here is none other than Leonardo Cimino’s Abraham Bernstein who is a Jewish man who went through the Holocaust and survived to establish the family in America only to see evil return in the form of the Visitors. His dramatic scene of protecting a certain family is a must-watch, and most likely it will stir your emotions.

This scene shows the contrast between Abraham Bernstein (Leonardo Cimino) in the background and his grandson Daniel (David Packer) in the foreground. Abraham is an old Jewish man who went through the Holocaust and lived on. Daniel, who is 17-years-old, willingly joined the Visitor’s youth auxiliary movement which parallels that Hitler Youth.

In addition to being successful with telling the story, spreading the details and getting solid performances from the cast, Kenneth Johnson also proved to be really crafty with the way the camera captured images and how the very important moments were presented to captivate viewers. Johnson’s work here is clearly a labor of love. As for the music, Joseph Harnell did a good job overall. His style gives V a distinct aesthetic on tunes and I noticed his music becomes more lively late in the 2nd episode. Harnell also knew how to add musical excitement when the narrative needed a boost of energy or speed.

People of Earth, including children, are helpless under the Visitors.

Last but not least, I want to talk about the action and visual effects here. The action is, for the most part, raw and believable to watch. The action performers dressed as the Visitors never looked like they were trained but at least their ways of positioning themselves to fire their laser weapons made up for it. The hard action has that raw aesthetic which I actually liked because the action performers – including Marc Singer himself – were convincing with the way they exerted efforts. In this modern age of wire works and digital effects, seeing raw action and real human effort combined with risk taking is refreshing to watch.

More on the action scenes, I should state that the concept of showing the humans using conventional guns against the laser-armed Visitors was done in a satisfying and believable manner on-screen. Such concepts could have turned out bad had Kenneth Johnson and his team lacked talent and precision. As for the visual effects, they resulted a mixed bag as far as quality and artistry are concerned. While the laser blasts still look very good (and their impact was felt thanks to excellent timing with the on-set explosions and fireworks), the huge motherships really look dated as they were matte images (not miniatures), and in a few shots the matte lines were clearly exposed in high-definition which broke the immersion for me. The smaller space crafts that were shown flying also had that similar, out-of-place look (note: they did not match the lighting of the live-action footage). Still, the practical effects used are good to see and the matte paintings used for two key shots in the 2nd episode were photo-realistic.  

Conclusion

The free and righteous praying to the Lord.

As it is clearly still great and engaging to watch, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) certainly aged well, it remains essential to watch even by today’s standards and most of all, its theme about the conflict of freedom and dictatorship makes it completely relevant to this day. It is a reminder about what your part in your society is, who you are, what your values are, and why you have freedom in your local society which can be destroyed by an alienating force once your fellow people refuse to resist it. As mentioned earlier, the cast is great and I am confident that you readers will find a character or two to relate with.

The focus of this miniseries on fascism invading the lives of the free people easily reminds me about how, in this modern age, sinister influences like Marxism, socialism, Communism, unrestrained political correctness and fascism poisoned the minds of millions of people through the academic system and turned them into social rebels, domestic terrorists, looters, rioters and new criminals who are so determined to go against their fellow people who do not share their beliefs. In modern-day America, the ongoing movements of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, SJWs, the anti-Semitic BDS movement, the rabid LGBTQ+ movement, the so-called democratic socialists and other agents of Satan have been harming patriotic Americans, attacking their values, taking the innocence of the youth and children away, destroying businesses and tearing down societies as we know it. The 1983 mini-series will remind you that from time to time, social order will be pushed hard by the invaders (be it people or be it influences so alien to the society) and the people who are righteous can choose to restore the said order as well as their respective lives.

Seriously, if you value your freedom, your culture, your values, your people and your faith in the Lord, you certainly would not want to submit yourselves to a foreign people who intend to destroy you.

No matter what happens, people should never lose faith in the Lord and they must look up to Him for deliverance. The Lord will punish the wicked and make ways happen to lift up the faithful. Clearly, V’s theme about the fight for freedom is truly universal.

Symbolism and socio-political relevance aside, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) also comes with a good amount of spectacle that make sense within the narrative. Do not expect to see extensive, over-the-top action scenes of modern-day cinema/television here but I assure you that the spectacle (note: even with the flawed matte imagery of the visual effects) in this production paid-off nicely in relation to the build-up of events throughout the story.

I strongly recommend you acquire V: The Original Miniseries on Blu-ray while it is still available. Watching it in high-definition is a great experience on my part.

Overall, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) is highly recommended! That being said, I strongly encourage you to buy it on Blu-ray disc format while it is still available and affordable. If you want more of Kenneth Johnson’s other work related to V, I suggest you to look for his book V: The Second Generation. Don’t forget to visit Johnson’s website at http://www.kennethjohnson.us/

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more V-related writings of mine, check out my retro comic book reviews of the V comic books (published by DC Comics) issues #1, #2, #3 and #4.

I Love Israel: Israel’s success in dealing with the pandemic acknowledged

Yesterday, there was this article published in the Philippine Star (online version here) with a title that caught my attention…O Israel!

The said article was written by long-time columnist Boo Chanco (who cited the Washington Post, Capital Economics and Deutsche Welle for context) and to put things in perspective, below are notable excerpts for your reading. Some parts in bold…

Excerpt 1

According to The Washington Post, Israel is now partying like it’s 2019.

“With most adults now vaccinated against the coronavirus and restrictions falling away – including the lifting this week of outdoor mask requirements – Israelis are joyously resuming routines that were disrupted more than a year ago and providing a glimpse of what the future could hold for other countries.”

Oh, Israel! How did you guys do it? We are still in limbo. The best guess for us puts two more years of aimless wandering in the COVID desert.

Excerpt 2

According to The Washington Post, “the rate of new infections has plummeted – from a peak of almost 10,000 a day to about 140 – and the number of serious coronavirus cases in many hospitals is down to single digits.

The emergency COVID-19 ward at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv resumed duty as a parking garage, and waiting rooms are suddenly flooded with non-COVID patients coming for long-deferred treatments.”

But Israeli health officials are quick to note that the pandemic is not over. They are worried about the variants. There is also the possibility of outbreaks in schools, where most students are too young to be vaccinated.

Still, Israel is showing what other nations can expect if they can keep on vaccinating.

“With almost 90 percent of the most vulnerable cohort – those 50 and older – fully inoculated, experts say hospital ICU units are now shielded from being overwhelmed, as almost happened earlier in the pandemic.”

Just two months ago, the spread of the disease stubbornly refused to slow. Vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine is making the difference for Israel.

Dr. Tony Leachon, who once advised IATF, however observed rightly that while “vaccines save lives, the success of Israel is anchored on leadership and governance, and agility in execution.”

According to Deutsche Welle, Israel was able to secure large quantities of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine because Israel agreed to pay double the price for each dose.

Excerpt 3

Israeli officials explained they agreed to pay extra per dose because they figured that in pure economic numbers, the total amount they overpaid was a miniscule fraction of what it costs to lockdown the country. This is not counting the extra medical costs of COVID and the incalculable price of losing a loved one.

Poor Filipinos. We don’t have leaders who think as clearly as the Israelis. We have red tape loving bureaucrats. So, we didn’t have enough vaccines early enough, and it seems we have the wrong one.

A successful vaccination rollout would be our country’s economic game changer. But as Capital Economics said, progress has been disappointing as only one percent of the population has been inoculated almost two months since the start of the program.

Israel launched one of the fastest rollouts in the world. According to The Washington Post, Israel delivered just under 10 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine regimen, reaching 4.98 million people or about 55 percent of its total population. An additional 400,000 Israelis have received one shot.

“If those who have been infected and then recovered are added, more than 60 percent of Israeli residents now have some level of protective antibodies. The virus is running short of vulnerable bodies to infect.”

Can you imagine if we were able to do that for Metro Manila? NCR’s population is comparable in number to Israel’s.

Wow! Those are very notable details. It is very clear that Israel went all-out and paid heavily to protect their people and set the stage for social and economic comebacks. I admire Israel for their focus, their efforts and management of the COVID-19 crisis (China Virus) there. To put things in perspective, watch these related YouTube videos below…

By comparison, the efforts here in the Philippines are nowhere as efficient and nowhere as successful. It should be noted that yesterday, the Philippines’ total number of COVID-19 cases has passed the 1,000,000 mark. Regardless, I encourage you all to read Boo Chanco’s article in full at https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/26/2093707/oh-israel

Going back to Israel, they already announced that they will open their borders to foreign visitors who have already been vaccinated for COVID-19.

In ending this piece, let me ask you readers the following questions:

  1. What is your opinion about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program and the way they managed their economy and society?
  2. Here in the Philippines, what is your opinion about the COVID-19 crisis-related efforts of the national government as well as the local government units (LGUs)?
  3. Also here in the Philippines, as local citizens, do you believe your respective mayors are diligently working to serve you and protect your from COVID-19? Do you find your mayors more focused with their egos instead of performing public service?
  4. Still here in the Philippines, if you are a local business owner or manager, has your local government been helpful or harmful?

If you are willing to answer, please do so in the comments section below. If you want more privacy, please contact me directly online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

I Love Israel: Israel opening up on May 23, 2021 to foreign tourists who got vaccinated for COVID-19

Israel (population 9.3 million), which recently celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, announced that it will welcome foreign visitors who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (China virus) starting May 23, 2021. The opening of the borders for foreigners will be done gradually (by stage). Filipinos or Philippine passport holders may enjoy visa-free access into Israel for up to ninety (90) days.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the recent news article published through Philippine News Agency (PNA). Key parts in bold…

Israel is opening up its borders to foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting next month.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism said the initiative will begin on May 23, starting with a limited number of groups that will be increased based on the health situation and progress of the program.

Individual travelers will be allowed into Israel in its “second stage”, with health considerations determining the timeline.

All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding the flight to Israel, and a serological test to prove their vaccination, upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport” it said.

In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.

Israel’s vaccination program has been successful, outpacing much of the world in inoculating its population.

“After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation,” said Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Health.

This is really great news! Personally, it is my heartful desire to visit the Holy Land in Israel where I can discover places Lord Jesus had been to, realize what I’ve learned in the Holy Bible and deepen my faith in Him even more.

I also strongly value the friendship between Israel and my native Philippines. In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation had a groundbreaking visit to Israel. The friendship of the two nations was clearly reflected during the Networking Night of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) of 2019 which I personally attended. It should be noted that Filipino caregivers in Israel were vaccinated for COVID-19 for free. Truly the Israel-Philippines relationship should be treasured forever! For insight about the many Filipinos who got vaccinated in Israel, watch the video below…

For all Christians reading this…if you are looking for spiritual tours of the Holy Land with a credible tour organizer, I suggest Behold Israel. You can check out their Holy Land tour packages online. For those who have yet to know Behold Israel, it was founded in 2001 by Amir Tsarfati who grew up and lived in Israel all his life. After the end of his military service, he studied at Israel’s School of Tourism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked as a licensed tour guide for Sar El Tours and Conferences, and was eventually promoted to CEO (Chief Executive Officer). While guiding dozens of church groups from around the world, God convicted him of the great need – particularly within Evangelical Christianity – to explain Israel and its role in God’s plan. Since 2013, Behold Israel became a major provider of the worldwide, real-time access to reliable sources of news and information about Israel from within the powerful context of Bible history and prophecy. I encourage you to visit https://beholdisrael.org/ and for insight, I recommend watching the videos below (one of which was Amir Tsarfati’s online interaction with my fellow Filipinos).

There is also the organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which now has over 10,000,000 members worldwide who are dedicated to defend Israel and fight against anti-Semitism. CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and is the foremost Christian organization educating and empowering millions of Americans to speak and act with one voice in defense of Israel and the Jewish people. The organization is committed to confronting indifference and combating anti-Semitism in all its forms wherever it may be found. CUFI was founded in early 2006 and since grown tremendously. They are accepting donations online and if you believe in protecting and empowering Israel, head on to https://cufi.org/donation/donate/

Going back to Israel-Philippines relations, there is also the online presence of the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines (Facebook page: Israel in the Philippines). Check out their web page welcoming message below…

We will never forget how President Manuel Quezon opened the doors of the Philippines to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe during the Holocaust.

Israel has a great deal of admiration for the approximately 30,000 Filipino caregivers who are working in Israel and have an integral, cherished and respected part of Israeli society.

Israel is considered global high-tech power and a leader in cyber industry. I’m also very proud of the long agriculture cooperation between our two countries. We are excited to promote cooperation in these areas.

Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

On the Facebook page Israel in the Philippines are lots of useful updates related to Israel and its ties with the Philippines. They also publish videos about Israeli culture, cuisine, places of Israel and more. Important or special events are also announced. As such, I recommend you to visit and follow Israel in the Philippines.

In ending this, here are videos related to Israel from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and from Hagee Ministries for you to watch. Love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Filipino caregivers and students get free vaccine in Israel

I am a Christian and I strongly believe in the strengthening of ties between the Philippines and Israel. This past February, Israel opened an honorary consulate in Davao City. Most recently there was a relevant news report that got published about the Philippines and Israel that I really loved reading.

The other day, the Israel Embassy in Manila announced that thousands of Filipino caregivers, students and diplomats availed of free COVID-19 vaccines in Israel. Below is an excerpt from the news report published by Philippine News Agency (PNA)

The free inoculation is part of the Israeli government’s vaccination drive to immunize all residents in the country, regardless of their citizenship status.

Around 5.2 million people have so far been administered with at least one dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Israel, 30,000 of whom are Filipino caregivers and 400 are exchange students.

Filipinos with expired working permits as well as the staff of the Philippine Embassy in Israel also received the free Pfizer shots.

Israel Ambassador to Manila Rafael Harpaz said this free access to vaccines is another way of expressing Israel’s gratitude to the overseas Filipino workers, particularly caregivers working in their country.

A Filipino getting vaccinated in Israel. (source – Israel in the Philippines Facebook page)

“Israel is thankful for the Filipino caregivers for helping the elderly and the disabled Israeli citizens during the Covid-19 outbreak. For many years, the Israeli government has been providing the Filipino caregivers with full access to the advanced medical services of our country,” he said.

Harpaz added that Israel has been taking “good care” of the Filipino caregivers while citing a 2018 agreement signed during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel.

Israel in recent months has also supported the Philippine government in its pandemic response by donating personal protective equipment to the front-liners of the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police, and equipment to assist the Department of Education in implementing distance learning.

To put things in perspective, the ties of the Philippines and Israel go a long way back. Many decades ago, then President Manuel Quezon (head of the Philippine Commonwealth Government) offered save haven to Jewish refugees who fled the Nazi regime. This act was never forgotten by the Israeli people. In 1947, the Philippines voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 81 which created the State of Israel. Philippines-Israel ties progressed further by establishing full diplomatic relationships in 1957 and the following year, a treaty of friendship was signed.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte visited Israel (Duterte is also the first Philippine President to visit there) which was groundbreaking. Watch the videos below…

In July 2019, I attended the Networking Night of the members of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) in Makati City. During that event, there were speeches delivered by Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad, the Embassy of Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov which gave me a clear view about the growing ties between the Philippines and Israel.

In ending this, praying for the Israelites and for the peace of Jerusalem is essential for all Christians. Here’s a video from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) for you to watch.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

To All Single Parents, Be Happy Because God Loves You And Has Plans For You! (Part 1 – Hagar the Single Mother)

Long ago here in the Philippines, I noticed there were negative vibes against single parents. Specifically I’m talking about the individuals who became parents without getting married and also those who became parents (having at least one child while being married to a spouse) who became widowed (losing the spouse).

Decades ago, I noticed that there is this expectation within many families that getting married and raising a new family is a traditional goal which is expected to be fulfilled by the children as they grow into adulthood. This expectation, in my observation, is for the most part the result of religion-based traditions and rituals that influenced Philippine society for many generations.

As a result, there is a side effect caused by those religious traditions and rituals that emphasize marriage – discrimination towards individuals who became parents without getting married.

For the people who became single parents as a result of losing their respective spouses, they (as widowed individuals) often encounter expectations or suggestions from others to get married again.

In my experience, I noticed single parents get questioned harshly, get viewed with skepticism, and even get discriminated by others because most people got indoctrinated by the religious influence and expectations related to marriage. Of course, I am not saying that marriage itself is bad.

I personally know people who strongly believe in religious views of marriage and carry in their minds the false belief that single parents and their descendants are cursed and will always be treated as lower-class people. This belief, of course, adds to the discrimination against single parents. As such being a single parent is often challenging not only here in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world.

If you are a single parent reading this, fear not about your status. Do not let others put you down because what many of them do not know is the truth that God loves, cares and has plans for all single parents! That’s right! God values single parents and for as long as they keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, they will be blessed by Him!

The good news here is that it is all recorded in the Holy Bible and in this article, we will focus on the true story of Hagar!

Let’s look back at the Book of Genesis.

Hagar the single mother

Some time after God established the first blood-sacrifice covenant with Abram (Chapter 15), his wife Sarai had no children with him (Chapter 16). She told her husband, “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” (Genesis 16: 2 NKJV)

Sarai took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife. After getting involved with him, Hagar conceived. Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar who fled from her presence. An Angel from the Lord found her by a sprint of water in the wilderness.

The Angel, who called her by name and her occupation as Sarai’s maid, asked her where she came from and where she was going to. Hagar replied that she was fleeing from Sarai.

“Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” (Genesis 16: 9 NKJV)

The Angel’s message did not just end there. He further said (Genesis 16: 10-12 NKJV):

“I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”

“Behold, you are with child,

And you shall bear a son,

You shall call his name Ishmael,

Because the LORD has heard your affliction.

“He shall be a wild man;

His hand shall be against every man,

And every man’s hand against him.

And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

It was made clear to Hagar that God really has plans for her and her son with Abram. As she was not married to Abram and her involvement with him was the result of Sarai’s intervention (which symbolizes the dangers of taking God’s promises into our own hands), Hagar was illegitimate but God did NOT abandon her nor cursed her.

God really cared for Hagar and even before the birth of Ishmael, He made a plan for him as well. Eventually Hagar bore Abram his son. Abram, who was already eighty-six years old, named the baby Ishmael. At this stage, Hagar became a single mother.

Some time after Sarah (formerly Sarai) gave birth to Isaac, her son with Abraham (formerly Abram), Hagar and Ishmael’s time with them came to an end.

According to Genesis 21: 8-21, Isaac grew and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast on that very day. Then Sarah saw Ishmael. She told Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.”

This displeased Abraham. Eventually God said to him, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”

In case you got lost, Hagar is referred to as the bondwoman. The single mother’s challenges continued but God still cared for her and Ishmael.

The fateful morning came when Abraham gave bread and a skin of water to Hagar, then he sent her and Ishmael away.

So did the single mother and her boy just get lost and died shortly after? Absolutely not! There definitely is more to the truth about them in the Holy Bible. As recorded in the Bible, the land promised to Abraham became Israel which was passed on to Isaac and Jacob. While Abraham’s line went on to become highly significant as God fulfilled His promise to him, this does not mean that Hagar and Ishmael ended up empty and abandoned by God. Now we go back to them.

Together Hagar and her son wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. Eventually the water ran out and she placed Ishmael under one of the shrubs.

Hagar went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot. She said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.”

Then she sat opposite him and lifted her voice and wept.

The God responded to the voice of the lad and He sent an Angel to Hagar!

“What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”

Then Hagar’s eyes were opened by God and she saw a well of water. She went to the well, filled the skin with water and gave Ishmael a badly needed drink.

As God had plans for him, Ishmael grew up and dwelt in the wilderness where he became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran and Hagar took a wife for him from her native Egypt.

Lessons learned

Hagar’s story in the Holy Bible clearly showed that God loves, cares for and made plans for single parents like her. This also means that blessings from God were extended to their children as seen through Ishmael.

While Ishmael did not inherit anything from his father Abraham, he still went on to live a life as an archer and as a husband as God fulfilled the promise he made to Abraham regarding his son with Hagar.

Along the way, God made clear to Abraham that He would establish his covenant with Isaac.

As recorded in Genesis Chapter 17: 18-20, Abraham mentioned Ishmael to God stating that he (son with Hagar) might live before Him.

God responded, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”

Going back to Hagar, the single mother in the Holy Bible symbolizes the person who has been unfairly treated, deserted, and cut off with little provision. But even so, the Lord intervened with provision (both spiritual and physical) for her. She and her son went on to live longer as God fulfilled His promise of making a great nation out of Ishmael.

When Hagar was desperate and struggling to survive in the wilderness, she called out to God crying. Even in the worst of times (being put down by Sarah, getting banished by Abraham and the like), she still believed in the Lord and trusted Him. From Heaven, God sent an angel to her and the well of water that suddenly materialized right there in the wilderness was only the beginning that led to the realization of His blessing for Ishmael. This proves that God will never abandon nor forsake His children. All it takes is having faith in Him and putting our trust in Him no matter how bad or how challenging life becomes.

To put things in perspective about God’s love and care for ALL of us (including single parents), here is a scripture from Deuteronomy 31: 6 (NKJV)

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

In John 14: 18 (NKJV), Lord Jesus (the Son of God) said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

In Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV), God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

To put into perspective God’s love, mercy, care and plans for all of His children, heed this scripture from Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV).

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Going back to the topic at hand, it is obvious by now that for as long as we keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, God will always love us, provide for us and accept us into His Kingdom. All of these apply to single parents and the story of Hagar and Ishmael is the biblical truth that can be lived with.

God’s love and provision for the single mother Hagar and her son easily kills the false belief that single parents and their children are cursed. If you know someone who still lives by that false belief and looks down at single parents and their children, tell that misguided person to read Genesis 21: 8-21 in the Holy Bible. The truth should set that person free!

If you are a single parent who has suffered a lot and you lived a life of religion or unbelief, and you truly want to establish faith and a relationship with God, then you must realize that you need to be born again because Lord Jesus said so (refer to John 3: 3 and the subsequent verses).

It is indeed true that by nature, religion is mean, it will frustrate you and prevent you from establishing a relationship with God. You may not realize it until now but you really do not need religion at all. What you need is faith and relationship with the Lord. I know! Religion and its believers frustrated me and kept me in prison (literally) and it even pushed me away from God and made me a lost soul for a number of years. After that, thanks to the Lord and His Instrument (my dearest friend in life) I repented, submitted myself to God and I willingly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have been saved and been blessed a lot, and my life has moved forward a lot in a short span of time.

You have the power to decide to be born again. This includes repenting to God for all the sins you committed, submitting yourself to Him and then accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is never too late to be born again and never too late for you to break the chains of religion (along with all the idolatry, rituals and traditions it comes with) or unbelief that has hindered you and your child (or children) for so long.

Think of the truth in the Holy Bible. Apart from the truth of Hagar and Ishmael who got banished by Abraham, there is also the truth of Adam’s rebellion against God which caused chaos and brought humanity downwards. Even with all the chaos that happened, God sent His Begotten Son Jesus into the world to spread the good news, died to redeem humanity (caused by the Fall of Man and Adam’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden), came back to life, made His resurrected presence felt and ascended to Heaven with the promise of His return.

If you seek salvation right now by becoming born again, be prepare to repent to the Lord, submit to His authority, let go of all the elements that hindered you from connecting with Him (the idolatry, traditions and rituals of religion and other unholy elements) and be ready to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No more worshiping people and idols in any form. It is only the Lord you should always worship from this point on.

Ready? Then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you. As such, I encourage you – the born again single parent reading this – to read the holy scripture in Acts 16: 31. Grab the Holy Bible to read it as your first lesson and whatever new lessons you learned afterwards, do the Word of God by applying it in your life.

In the near future, another article about single parents and their situations in the Holy Bible will be discussed. Remember that God is not a tyrant and therefore nobody living in the flesh has the right to put you – the single parent – down. God is a loving, caring and providing father to all of us who believe in Him and have a personal relationship with Him. It is true that single parents like you who have faith in Him are welcome in His kingdom.

In closing this, here is a Christian music video for your reflection and faith in the Lord.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

With regards to Christianity, if you are within the BF Homes or Alabang areas of South Metro Manila and you are spiritually lost looking for someone to talk to or to join a Christian church that will welcome you, please feel free to contact me by mobile phone at 09053350831 or by email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com to schedule a meeting.

You Want The Truth About The Ten Commandments? Pay Attention To The Holy Bible, Not The 1956 “Classic” Movie.

I am a geek and I love watching movies, playing video games, reading comic books, attending pop culture conventions and the like. But more importantly I am believer in Lord Jesus Christ and God The Father.

TenCom
As a person of faith, I don’t hold this classic movie with high regard anymore. We are better off reading the Holy Bible if you really want to follow the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments from God.

Very clearly the Holy Bible contains the Word of God and it truly is the definitive source of holiness and the Truth.

Already there have been many movies around the world that adapted stories from the Holy Bible which created mixed results with regards to accuracy and portrayals.

One notable movie to tackle here is Cecile B. Demille’s 1956 Hollywood “classic” film The Ten Commandments which starred Charlton Heston (who played Moses), Yul Brynner and many others.

I first saw the movie on television as a young boy and found it to be engaging. Of course, that was my old life and I was not yet dedicated on reading the Holy Bible. In fact, I was rather lazy to read the Bible back then.

While The Ten Commandments is an epic film of the 1950s with acting that feels rather unnatural by today’s standards (note: stage-style acting and speaking was the norm in the 1950s), it certainly is NOT the proper way to realize the Truth and the Word which can only found in the Holy Bible.

For one thing, the script of the movie adapted content from non-biblical sources like the Sepher-ha-Yashar, Josephus and the Chronicle of Moses (this only provides a mere hint of verses from the Bible). Next is about the the rulers of Egypt who were named in the movie and yet in the Holy Bible they each were referred to only as “Pharaoh.” Oh, are you aware that the mother of Moses in the Holy Bible (New King James Version) goes by the name of Jochebed (Exodus 6: 20) but in the movie she is referred to as Yoshebel?

Also there is no reference in the Holy Bible about Moses having any early relationship with any of the Pharaoh’s sons.

Truly The Ten Commandments had lots of inaccuracies (and missing details) here and there and this alone should compel each of us believers in Christ to focus mainly on the Holy Bible. Personally, I don’t hold the 1956 movie with high regard anymore.

It may have been a major cinematic epic of the 1950s that also won lots of acclaim and sold a lot of movie tickets. It sure was included in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in America for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” but the thing remains that Cecile B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments still does NOT come close to the Holy Bible for truth and accuracy when it comes to following the story of Moses, the Hebrews and God’s Ten Commandments.

If ever you watch the movie, do not take it seriously as the definitive reference about Moses. The definitive reference of Moses, the Hebrews and God’s Ten Commandments is still the Holy Bible!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com