Recently Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., emphasized the need to use new technologies so that the country will be able to improve the management of its water resources and ensure a stable supply for the people, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news article. Along the way, Marcos mentioned Israel as a role model that the Philippines can learn from to achieve water security.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday emphasized the need to use new and emerging technologies to improve the management of the country’s water resources and provide safe and affordable water to all.
Marcos made the statement during the opening of the 6th Edition of the Water Philippines Conference and Exposition at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
“I happened to have been given the opportunity to walk around a little bit and see some of the exhibitors. And it is very gratifying to note that in fact, the technologies that are being used, that are being employed in terms of water treatment, in terms of water management are well-known technologies,” he said. “And so, I am very optimistic that the solutions that we need to formulate are out there, the technologies are out there. What has continued to change in the light of climate change is the management, the stratagems on how we manage our water.”
Marcos particularly pointed out that flood control projects have evolved through the years, along with the changing times, noting that these are no longer just exclusively used for that.
“We take the water and we use it for irrigation, we use it for drinking water if we have a treatment plant,” he said, adding that water can be used to produce power with small hydroelectric plants.
He also cited Israel’s experience showing how it promotes the sustainable use of clean water for various purposes despite having a limited water supply.
“I’d spent some time in Israel and I saw how they treat the water because water is very scarce. They live in the desert. Nevertheless, they are able to collect the water during the rainy season, whatever is available, they put fish in it to grow fish. When the summer comes, they take it out, take out the water, harvest the fish, and then that goes to irrigation and so forth,” Marcos said.
He said the Philippines could learn from Israel and apply this approach to achieve water security.
“These are the kinds of thinking that we have to apply to the Philippines because of the crisis that we are facing and how debilitating it will be to the entire economy, to the entire society if our water supply problem continues to get greater, continues to become more dependent on what we have been doing in the past,” he said.
It is very notable that President Marcos mentioned Israel while talking about the state of water in the Philippines. I myself had been to Israel recently on pilgrimage tour and there were times when our tour bus traveled great distances on desert areas, I did not just see sand and rocks. I saw lots of plantations along the road and the sight of lively vegetation in the desert of Israel was astounding. Israel is very well known not only for their highly advanced treatment and management of water, they are also highly proficient on agriculture and creating abundant supplies of food. Very recently, the 65th anniversary of friendship between Israel and the Philippines was commemorated. We need to pray to the Lord that President Marcos and an official delegation of the Philippines will someday visit Israel and have official meetings with their Israeli counterparts, meet with the Filipino community there and come up with new agreements for greater cooperation between the two nations.
To my fellow Filipinos reading this, I encourage you to accept the truth that Israel is the land God designated specifically for the Jewish people (read Genesis 35:10-12) and His command must be followed by all. If you want to be blessed further by the Lord, do so by loving and blessing the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3). I did my part when I was in Israel.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from my personal experiences and observations during the Israel pilgrimage tour I joined. This is not a sponsored article. 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.
Welcome back, readers and fellow followers of the Lord! This is the 6th chapter of my ongoing series of articles about the holy nation of Israel with recollections about the experiences and discoveries I had during the pilgrimage tour I joined with my local church (hosted by its strategic partner Behold Israel). To see my previous Israel 2023 tour articles, click here, here, here, here and here.
In this latest edition of my Israel 2023 series, I share with you my observations and captured images about my visit at the Pool of Siloam (also referred to as the Pool of Shiloah) in the City of David (just outside of the wall of Jerusalem) which is a highly significant pilgrimage site and as of this writing there are developments being done to improve it physically. At its current location, the pool’s remains were discovered in the year 2004 covering an area of three dunams, or three-quarters of an acre dating back to the era of the Second Temple (2nd Jewish Temple).
As of our visit, only a minor portion of the ancient pool was made accessible for visiting and viewing, and there is a lot more excavation work that needs to be done to uncover it and eventually reveal its full size.
The Pool of Siloam is an ancient, rock-cut pool located outside of the wall of the old city of Jerusalem. Water from the Gihon Spring that passed through the Siloam Tunnel (AKA Hezekiah’s Tunnel) made its way to the Pool of Siloam. During biblical times, the pool was an essential destination for Jewish people to get purified first before traveling all the way up along a wide road leading to the Temple Mount in the old city of Jerusalem. Today, there is a tunnel at the end of the site of the pool moving up. The tunnel, which was discovered in recent years, points towards the Temple Mount at least in its current form. It is believed that the tunnel includes a drainage channel that apparently was used as a hiding place for the last Jewish rebels against the Romans in the year 70 CE. The Pool of Siloam ceased to function after the destruction of Jerusalem and as time passed by, it vanished from sight as it got filled with earth. That being said, its 2004 discovery is indeed a miracle from God for people of faith to visit and witness the Holy Bible come to life in front of them. Years from now, the Pool of Siloam’s full size and scope will be realized. The best is yet to come from our Lord!
To put things in perspective, our pilgrimage tour group first went through the ancient City of David and even explored the tunnels moving south. There was even water from the Gihon spring flowing along the way. After regrouping, we marched further to the site of the Pool of Siloam which has a physical set-up designed to accommodate visitors. The site was suitable for tour group members to sit down and listen to a biblical teaching and/or key updates from the tour guide. There was also excavation going on at the opposite side of the site. You can see the place in motion as I captured it with my Samsung Galaxy A50’s camera. The raw video has been uploaded on my YouTube channel and you can watch it below…
Also worth watching is this CBN News YouTube video about the ancient pool. The video was published about a month before our pilgrimage tour happened.
The biblical significance of the Pool of Siloam
The Pool of Siloam is more than just ancient and more than just a great example of construction…it is biblical. It was made during the time of King Hezekiah and the following translations of 2 Kings 20:20 below confirmed it…
Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2 Kings 20:20 (NKJV)
The rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and all his might and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
2 Kings 20:20 (ESV)
The rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool and the canal and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
2 Kings 20:20 (AMPC)
Under King Hezekiah’s leadership, two crews dug the tunnel (as referred to in 2 Kings 20:20 NKJV) through solid rock. One crew started from the Pool of Siloam while the other at the spring of Gihon. Given the fact that they accomplished their tasks without even having the modern technologies of today, the tunnel is absolutely remarkable as a feat of engineering. God made a way for this accomplishment and with Him, nothing is impossible. With constant water flowing from the Gihon spring, the Pool of Siloam was not just a place for people to get cleaned at or a place to refresh themselves at but it became the destination for purification that Jewish people needed before they go to the Temple Mount which remains a very holy place to this day. God had all of these planned and it was executed in Israel by King Hezekiah. Remember this when you visit the Pool of Siloam in Israel.
The Pool of Siloam got mentioned in Chapter 3 of the Book of Nehemiah which itself emphasized a remarkable display of unity in relation to the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. The mention also made clear its location at the bottom of the City of David. Learn from the holy scripture below…
The Fountain Gate was rebuilt by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, mayor of the Mizpah district; he repaired it, roofed it, hung its doors, and installed its bolts and bars. He also rebuilt the wall of the Pool of Siloam at the King’s Garden as far as the steps that go down from the City of David.
Nehemiah 3:15 (MSG)
The water that flowed from the spring of Gihon and filled up the Pool of Siloam was not ordinary. It was living water and it was essential for the Jewish people and their honoring of the Lord God during those days. Each day during the Feast of Tabernacles, a joyous celebration was observed in which priests brought water from the Pool of Siloam using golden pitchers and brought them to the Jewish temple at the Temple Mount. During the procession, the people recited Isaiah 12:3. The water was poured out on the altar as an offering to God as there were people shouting and singing. Lord Jesus was the fulfillment of all that the ceremony typified. Read the bible verses below…
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7:37-39 (NKJV)
What makes the Pool of Siloam even more significant within the Holy Bible is the miracle that took place in Chapter 9 of the Book of John. I’m talking about the miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus healing a man who was born blind and the ancient pool itself was place where the faith-driven healing was realized. Learn from the translations of John 9:1-11 below…
Afterward, as Jesus walked down the street, he noticed a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this guy’s blindness, his own, or the sin of his parents?”
Jesus answered, “Neither. It happened to him so that you could watch him experience God’s miracle. While I am with you, it is daytime and we must do the works of God who sent me while the light shines. For there is coming a dark night when no one will be able to work. As long as I am with you my life is the light that pierces the world’s darkness.”
Then Jesus spat on the ground and made some clay with his saliva. Then he anointed the blind man’s eyes with the clay.
And he said to the blind man, “Now go and wash the clay from your eyes in the ritual pool of Siloam.”
So he went and washed his face and as he came back, he could see for the first time in his life!
This caused quite a stir among the people of the neighborhood, for they noticed the blind beggar was now seeing! They began to say to one another, “Isn’t this the blind man who once sat and begged?” Some said, “No, it can’t be him!” Others said, “But it looks just like him—it has to be him!” All the while the man kept insisting, “I’m the man who was blind!”
Finally, they asked him, “What has happened to you?”
He replied, “I met the man named Jesus! He rubbed clay on my eyes and said, ‘Go to the pool named Siloam and wash.’ So I went and while I was washing the clay from my eyes I began to see for the very first time ever!”
John 9:1-11 (TPT)
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”
He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.
Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, “Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?”
Others said, “It’s him all right!”
But others objected, “It’s not the same man at all. It just looks like him.”
He said, “It’s me, the very one.”
They said, “How did your eyes get opened?”
“A man named Jesus made a paste and rubbed it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ I did what he said. When I washed, I saw.”
John 9:1-11 (MSG)
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”
He said, “I am he.”
Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
John 9:1-11 (NKJV)
What we can learn from the above miracle is that faith in Lord Jesus is essential as He is God in the flesh and someday He will return to us here on Earth. This is about trusting in Him wholeheartedly and following His commands and His direction without hesitation and without any trace of doubt. The blind man, who also had been a beggar who suffered for a long time, followed Lord Jesus and went to the Pool of Siloam (as he was directed by Him) where the healing manifested. It was healing that was super natural because the Lord Himself is greater than the forces of the world.
In response to His disciples’ question about the man’s blindness, Lord Jesus noted that beyond the tragedy of human defects, which result in a general way from man’s fall and the consequent entry of sin, sickness, affliction and death into the world, God’s merciful and sovereign race is available. The many lost and unsaved souls may not realize it yet, but the truth is that Lord Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and nobody can come to the Heavenly Father except through Him (refer to John 14:6). Lord Jesus is also the mediator between God and people (read 1 Timothy 2:5). As the Anointed One, Lord Jesus emphasized responsibility in connection to doing the works of God. He took it upon Himself to help the blind man and physically used His own saliva on the ground to make clay and spread it on the blind man’s eyes before directing him to the Pool of Siloam where he should wash it off. Then the healing manifested.
For a short while, let us visit a different part of the Holy Bible pertaining to miraculous healing in the presence of Lord Jesus – Mark 5:25-34. There was this suffering yet faithful woman who was truly determined to reach out and touch Lord Jesus to be healed. This miracle has common elements with the miracle at the Pool of Siloam. Read the scripture below…
Now, in the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered horribly from continual bleeding for twelve years. She had endured a great deal under the care of various doctors, yet in spite of spending all she had on their treatments, she was getting worse instead of better. When she heard about Jesus’ healing power, she pushed through the crowd and came up from behind him and touched his prayer shawl. For she kept saying to herself, “If I could touch even his clothes, I know I will be healed.” As soon as her hand touched him, her bleeding immediately stopped! She knew it, for she could feel her body instantly being healed of her disease!
Jesus knew at once that someone had touched him, for he felt the power that always surged around him had passed through him for someone to be healed.
He turned and spoke to the crowd, saying, “Who touched my clothes?”
His disciples answered, “What do you mean, who touched you? Look at this huge crowd—they’re all pressing up against you.” But Jesus’ eyes swept across the crowd, looking for the one who had touched him for healing.
When the woman who experienced this miracle realized what had happened to her, she came before him, trembling with fear, and threw herself down at his feet, saying, “I was the one who touched you.” And she told him her story of what had just happened.
Then Jesus said to her, “Daughter, because you dared to believe, your faith has healed you. Go with peace in your heart, and be free from your suffering!”
Mark 5:25-34 (TPT)
The above biblical account proved that the woman got healed because of her faith in Lord Jesus who in turn recognized her faith in Him. Without faith in Him, there would not have been any healing. Going back to John 9:1-11, the blind man who got healed at the Pool of Siloam fully trusted Lord Jesus with all his heart and this confirms his faith in Him. The man believed in Jesus!
Lord Jesus’ mixing of His saliva with the substance on the ground to make clay is symbolic. The spit and clay symbolize Jesus as God in the flesh (the form of a man). The saliva that came from His mouth symbolize the spoken Word of God and God as incarnate. The clay symbolizes man for our human vessel is a jar of clay. The blind man previously heard people spit as they walked by him and expressed their disgust of him. They were disgusted because they believed that blindness was caused by a curse (refer to Deuteronomy 28:28). Of course, those people did not realize that Lord Jesus was God in the flesh nor did they realize that God’s only begotten Son walked among them and only He could make super natural healing and other miracles happen.
After getting healed and gaining vision, the blind man caught the attention of the people there at the Pool of Siloam and he revealed to them he met Lord Jesus and followed His instructions faithfully.
The story of the miracle at the Pool of Siloam did not end there, however. In fact, the impact of the miracle made the people bring the healed man to the Pharisees and it was on the Sabbath when the encounter with Jesus happened. Learn from the bible verses below…
Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”
Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”
Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”
The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.
John 9:14-34 (NKJV)
To make things very clear about the biblical account above that took place after the miracle at the Pool of Siloam, I want to stress to you all that Lord Jesus did not lead the healed man into trouble. In reality, it was the Pharisees’ failure to realize that Jesus is Lord and Savior of all as they were stuck with their old ways, their religion and blindness to the truth. The perverse reasoning of the Pharisees placed them in a dilemma from which the only escape was to disprove the miracle that happened. They expressed that no miracle could have occurred because it was the Sabbath, and that God would never violate the law of rest by healing a person.
The undeniable fact that a man born blind got healed and gained perfect sight refuted the theory of the Pharisees. Thus, they must either deny the facts or confess the divine nature and holiness of Jesus. The logic of the healed man was undeniable and irrefutable. Unable to deny the man’s testimony, the religious leaders took the cowardly way out by excommunicating him. To be removed from the synagogue was a tremendous loss for most Jews. The religious leaders had their chance to realize the truth and submit themselves to Lord Jesus but they blew it because they did not have faith and they did not realize that Lord Jesus was God in the flesh walking among many people. As the Pharisees excommunicated the healed man, the above biblical account still has the elements which reminds me of the Nazareth Jews who rejected Lord Jesus.
Of course, Lord Jesus learned about the healed man’s excommunication. Read the biblical account below…
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”
Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
John 9:35-41 (NKJV)
As the man who was previously blind submitted himself to Lord Jesus with undeniable faith, He eventually encountered the unbelieving Pharisees responsible for excommunicating the healed man. What Lord Jesus told the Pharisees was about spiritual blindness (as opposed to physical blindness).
Lord Jesus moved the discussion from physical blindness to spiritual blindness. To believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior means to see spiritually, whereas those who do not believe in Him remain blind.
Furthermore, even though the healed man was unable to read Scriptures due to the blindness he was born with, he still established his faith in Lord Jesus! This should remind you all that traditions and superficial knowledge of the Bible can blind our hearts if we do not believe in Lord Jesus above all other religious dogmas. There are many out there who knew the Scriptures but still refused to believe. There are many people out there who strictly practice religion, idolatry, rituals, traditions, the vow of poverty, worldliness and distorted teachings about the Bible while failing to realize that faith in the Lord and His Word is always essential. There are lots of people out there who are not only lost and unsaved, but also spiritually blinded! This should remind you that as Christians, we should never give up evangelizing others with God’s Word and help them come to Lord Jesus in faith.
Ultimately, the miracle that happened at the Pool of Siloam proves that God had come to see us!
In a greater context within the Holy Bible, the Pool of Siloam links King David, King Solomon, King Hezekiah and Lord Jesus together with Jerusalem as the holiest city of all. Also connected are the stories of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The Pool of Siloam served as the water system and place of purification of Jerusalem in biblical times. Today, the excavation at the Pool of Siloam continues to go on and in due time, its entirety will be realized and that would make it an even greater holy site for faithful people to visit.
Indeed, our pilgrimage tour group’s visit to the Pool of Siloam is a big blessing from God. I myself brought my Holy Bible to the site and took time out to read the verses about Lord Jesus’ healing of the blind man. Me and our group companions got blessed all throughout the pilgrimage tour of the Holy Land.
Going back to Chapter 9 of the Book of John, the biblical account is a lively reminder that we must always have unwavering faith in Lord Jesus, follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, live on with the truth that miracles and super natural healing are only possible with Him, and we must never allow religion, unbelief, traditions, biblical distortions, idolatry, rituals and the wickedness of the world to get in the way of our faith in Him. We need to seek Lord Jesus first and follow His light. We need to be faithful to the Lord always and I encourage you to read the following holy scriptures below…
Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.
Hebrews 11:1-3 (TPT)
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (AMPC)
As you can see, Hebrews 11:1-3 and Hebrews 12:1-2 connect well with the healing of the man who was previously blind at the Pool of Siloam which is the result of him being faithful and trustful to Lord Jesus who helped him and gave him a direction. It is his faith in God’s only begotten Son that is the highlight of the miraculous healing at the ancient pool. Jesus is clearly the finisher, the author, the leader and source of our faith!
As John 9:1-41 includes the unbelieving religious Jews who excommunicated the healed man and came into conflict with Lord Jesus Himself, let me remind you not to get into conflict with the lost and the unsaved, and never ever fall into anti-Semitism (prejudice against the Jewish people) which is still a global disease and proof that being worldly is unholy.
Do not reject the Jews who reject Lord Jesus. Instead, you should keep on persevering to love and bless the Jewish people, preach God’s Word to them, share your testimony with them and help (not force) lead them to Jesus so that they can decide for themselves to accept Him as Lord and Savior. The pilgrimage tour in Israel proved to be a very holy and enlightening experience for me and I can clearly say that Israel has a special place in my heart. This is not surprising at all because visiting Israel was God’s answer to my prayers and it was destiny for me to join the pilgrimage tour through my local church. There is nothing like witnessing the Holy Bible come to life while visiting many sites where the recorded events happened. The Holy Bible is more than just a book – it is the living Word of God and it is eternally holy!
Along the way, I encourage you all to stand united with Israel no matter what happens within the country and around the world. Israel is clearly the land that God designated for the Jewish people and His declaration stands way above the so-called rules and philosophies of wicked worldly entities or groups like the United Nations, Amnesty International, Black Lives Matter (BLM), Iran, the so-called state of Palestine, the U.S. Democrat party and others. Learn from the holy scriptures below…
And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”
Genesis 35:10-12 (ESV)
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)
Finally, to the readers who are about to visit the Holy Land, I encourage you to verify with your tour group leader the inclusion of the Pool of Siloam in the itinerary of Jerusalem. Israel is a great and holy place to visit! Visit Israel with the Holy Bible! Pray to the Lord and reveal to Him your heart’s desire to visit Israel to deepen your faith in Him. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!
Watch out for more Israel 2023 travel articles here. There is more to come!
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from my personal experiences and observations during the Israel pilgrimage tour I joined. Additional information from the official social media account of the subject business is also used. Take note that this is not a sponsored article at all. 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.
During the free day I had on February 15, 2023 – the day-off from the Israel pilgrimage tour I was part of – I used the additional time to not only go to key sites in the old city of Jerusalem (the Temple Mount, revisiting the Western Wall, revisiting the Jewish Quarter, King David’s Tomb, revisiting the Upper Room plus Oskar Schindler’s grave in a cemetery outside the city wall) but also explore what Jerusalem has to offer in terms of food and beverages.
The popular Mahane Yehuda market was my destination of choice to have lunch at and explore other joints within. This was actually my return to Mahane Yehuda as I had my first visit to the place a few days prior. On my way to the market marching along Jaffa Street all the way from the old city, I managed to find time to have a much-needed break at Tmol Shilshom. It was an elegant place that was worth the challenge finding.
After the short-but-sweet stay at Tmol Shilshom, I proceeded to Mahane Yehuda but I noticed something…the weather suddenly got colder as a light rain took place. This is Israel winter season I am talking about here and a little rain is enough to make the air colder.
Eventually, I returned to Mahane Yehuda market. The difference compared to my first visit is that the air was colder and the pavement was slightly wet due to the weather. As I was desiring to have Shakshuka for lunch, I went into the roofed part of the market and eventually made my way to the one food joint that specialized with what I wanted to eat – Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda.
For the newcomers reading this, Shakshuka (also spelled as Shakshouka) is a dish composed of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, oliver oil, pepper, onion and garlic topped with green vegetables and some spices.
Going back to my arrival at Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda, I was fortunate enough to find a vacant seat (located near the small restroom). The pretty lady behind the counter handed me their menu in English which I carefully viewed. For my meal, I eagerly ordered their lunch special composed of Shakshuka with bread, pickles, colored tahini and a soft drink. The type of Shakshuka I specifically chose was the Classic/Fire (48 Shekels).
The pretty lady behind the counter proceeded with my Classic/Fire Shakshuka order. She prepared the ingredients for the Shakshuka and had it cooked within her workspace. The bread, meanwhile, was cooked in a toaster oven.
When my meal was served really hot, there was this nice aroma that greeted me. There was also this instant relief from the cold air. While I was already hungry considering how far I walked from the hotel to the sites in the old city, to Tmol Shilshom and the Mahane Yehuda market, I paused for a while to admire the my Classic/Fire Shakshuka meal. It was, after all, my first-ever Shakshuka meal and the end of our Israel pilgrimage tour was near.
Finally, I decided to take my first bite of the Classic/Fire by eating like a local. I cut off a piece of the hot bread and moved it through the Shakshuka to catch a portion of it, and then ate it. Instantly, I really enjoyed the unique taste of the Shakshuka and this includes the freshness of the tomatoes and ingredients cooked together. Consuming it with a piece of bread (note: which I learned from consuming bread with Humus) along with the green vegetables added this nice texture into what I consumed. Then I went on to cut off another piece of hot bread, moved it through the Shakshuka (note: I got more of the egg this time) and ate. It was a really joyful eating experience.
After running out of bread, I started using the provided spoon to slowly consume the Shakshuka. The heat was really nice and I really felt it inside me after consuming portions. I ended up being fully satisfied and really happy to have my lunch there at Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda. I paid my bill and, in support of the business, I gave a tip.
I really had a great lunch at Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda inside the popular Mahane Yehuda market. Their lunch special was very delicious, nicely cooked and fulfilled what was promised. The Classic/Fire variant of their lunch special is just one of several types of Shakshuka offered. Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda also offers Eggplant Shakshuka, Spinach Shakshuka, Yellow Pepper Shakshuka, Alfredo Shakshuka, Eggplant Parmesan Shakshuka, Cream-Spinach and Feta Shakshuka, and even Pizza Shakshuka. The food joint has so much to offer customers looking for not only freshly cooked Shakshuka but also sandwiches, French Fries, Israeli Salad and coffee.
The next time I visit Jerusalem and the Mahane Yehuda market, I would not hesitate to come back to Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda and try their other Shakshuka variants. I am deeply thankful to our Lord for the great Shaksuka lunch I had. Never forget to thank the Lord and glorify Him in return for the good food and drinks you enjoy. In fact, always thank and glorify the Lord for the blessings you receive from Him and for His plans for you. Also, learn to stand united with Israel and love and bless the Jewish people. Learn from the holy scriptures below…
So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMPC)
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
Psalm 9:1 (NLT)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
Again God said to him, Your name is Jacob [supplanter]; you shall not be called Jacob any longer, but Israel shall be your name. So He called him Israel [contender with God].
And God said to him, I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you and kings shall be born of your stock;
The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and to your descendants after you I will give the land.
Genesis 35:10-12 (AMPC)
God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.
I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 12:1-3 (MSG)
If ever you will be visiting Israel and you will be spending time in Jerusalem, then I highly recommend visiting Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda for meals as part of your visit in the Mahane Yehuda market.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from my personal experiences and observations during the Israel pilgrimage tour I joined. Additional information from the official website of the subject business is also used. 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.
During the one and only free day I had in my recent tour of Israel, I decided to make use of the extra time to visit the Temple Mount, the Western Wall (note: my return for prayer), the Jewish Quarter, King David’s Tomb and Oskar Schindler’s grave on foot. It was also my plan to have lunch at the popular Mahane Yehuda market.
Coming from the old city of Jerusalem, I marched along Jaffa Street heading towards Mahane Yehuda. However, the accumulated stress of very long walks in the morning caught up with me and I needed a break. It was then I decided to pursue finding a certain Jerusalem joint known for good food, drinks and books which was featured on the YouTube channel of Israel (called Jerusalem’s culture café). That place is Tmol Shilshom and as soon as I saw a sign of it along the very busy Jaffa Street, I made the decision to search for it knowing it was a challenge to do so.
What exactly is Tmol Shilshom? It is described as “the one holy place of Jerusalem that stands above the fray,” quoting Amoz Oz.
According to the official material of theirs, Tmol Shilshom is a Jersualem institution. A café-restaurant and bookstore that was established in 1994 in a century-old building in the Nahalat Shiv’a quarter of the city center. The joint’s name means “yesteryear”, is the title of a classic Hebrew novel by Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon. Tmol Shilshom was founded as a unique way to combine culture, good food, and a cozy atmosphere, as imagined by the late David Ehrlich who was the business partner of the joint’s owner Dan Goldberg.
For several minutes, I struggled to find Tmol Shilshom going through a few narrow walkways coming from Jaffa Street. I did not have mobile Internet access with me and there was no way Google Maps could help me. I simply paid attention to details of the walkways and the signs that I saw. There was a point when I thought I got lost but I found another sign leading to the place. After some further walk, turns and climbing up some steps, I finally made it to Tmol Shilshom!
My experience inside Tmol Shilshom
As soon as I entered the café-restaurant, I felt this great relief not only from the cold weather outside but also because I found the place’s beautiful interiors very welcoming and cozy instantly. The place’s heater was so good, I took off my trench coat and sat at the nearest table enjoying the instant warmth and comfort.
As it was my plan to have lunch at Mahane Yehuda, I first wanted to try Tmol Shilshom’s coffee. On the table, however, I noticed there was this visual reference about their special drinks offered complete with descriptions and prices (in Shekels) displayed. After some thinking and wanting to try something really unique, I decided to order their Halva Drink which is a vegan beverage composed of date honey, tahini, hot soy milk and shredded Halva. I stated my order to the waiter who passed it on to the counter. The waiter was also helpful in granting me access to their Wi-Fi.
After several minutes of browsing and checking updates online, a pretty blonde served to me my Halva Drink and she said, “Enjoy.”
Just looking at the Halva Drink, I was very impressed with the way it looked and how Tmol Shilshom made it. As a native of the Philippines who had been to local cafés and other cafés in the United States, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong, the drink truly looked one-of-a-kind to me!
After marveling at it, I finally decided to start drinking my Halva Drink. The first sensation of my tongue registered a mild sweetness that was also delightful. Naturally, I wanted more of the enjoyable taste so I continued consuming it. The combination of Halva combined with the other mentioned ingredients made it a pretty engaging and very unique drink experience for me. Whoever prepared the Halva Drink there at Tmol Shilshom deserves admiration and thanks! The same should also go to whoever designed the drink there.
As I enjoyed my drink, I took a break from my smartphone and observed the really nice interiors around me. There was this unique feeling of being at home (note: explanation in the Conclusion section) while also feeling comfortable as a consumer. I have been to many cafés and restaurants in my life but Tmol Shilshom is not only very unique but also a standout.
It comes to no surprise that the Halva Drink, combined with the warmth, the coziness and fine atmosphere of the interior, relaxed me a lot. The stress and the slight soreness of my feet faded away, and I was ready to move on to Mahane Yehuda for lunch and further exploration. Before leaving, I ordered bottled water (to keep myself hydrated), paid the bill and tipped them.
While my stay at Tmol Shilshom lasted less than an hour, my experience there still proved to be memorable with the mentioned factors above. I really enjoyed the place (note: the building was originally residential and it got converted for commercial use) and the minimal interior space was not a problem to me at all. Their workers were very professional, friendly and accommodating. It should be noted that apart being a fine place for dining, reading and working, Tmol Shilshom also established itself as a place for special events and gatherings.
If ever I will get to revisit Jerusalem, I would not hesitate to return to Tmol Shilshom and try out their meals and other offerings. It is truly a very special place of Jerusalem and I encourage you to visit them for your food and beverage interests. I personally thank our Lord for guiding me to find the place.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJV)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from my personal experiences and observations during the Israel pilgrimage tour I joined. Additional information from the official website of the subject business is also used. Take note that this is not a sponsored article at all. 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.
Let me start by confirming to you all that I just had the greatest foreign trip ever in my life…a pilgrimage tour in Israel with my local church (led by two of its designated pastors for the tour) hosted by its Israeli partner.
During a particular day of the tour, our group was in close proximity to the Sea of Galilee (also referred to as Lake Tiberias) when some of us – including myself – participated in water baptism at the Yardenit Baptismal Site. After that, our group went to a nearby store for organic goods and spices to shop. The problem was the store we visited was closed for some reason.
As an alternative, we went to the area of Kinneret (located in close proximity to the Sea of Galilee) and visited the Tamar Bakfar Visitors Center (also referred to as Tamar B’kfar Visitors Center). It turns out, the change was splendid.
Upon entering the store, Tamar Bakfar’s people welcomed us very warmly and one of them oriented us about what they were selling, how wide their lineup of organic goods was, which products are healthy, why nature is emphasized a lot through their products, and the like. The store has a very nice interior design and the products were cleverly organized to be customer-friendly and even be attractive.
As I personally observed, Tamar Bakfar Visitors Center sells a lot of different types of products that can meet the needs or wants of customers. They have dates and date products (note: date spread, date honey, date conditioner, date syrup and so on), nuts, dried fruits, spices, honey (note: avocado honey, eucalyptus honey, and Galilee-sourced honey to name a few), olive oil, chocolates (note: chocolates come in many different forms), wine and other types of sweets.
Anyone looking for self-care products should check out their cosmetics section where they have products that used natural ingredients such as age-away hydrating cream, avocado and rosemary soap, the black bamboo soap, cypress nurturing hand cream, honey hand-and-foot cream, and the lavender body wash to name some. If you are insistent on having self-care products that come with natural ingredients, then you will find something here.
If you are into kitchenware, Tamar Bakfar Visitors Center has a good production selection for you: lunch cubes, multipurpose kitchen scissors, thermos bottles, stainless steel pots, bamboo cups, espresso cups, barbeque grill pans and more.
In my experience, walking around the store and observing the products offered was a joyful thing. Just about every product I saw had that premium aesthetic which you will realize by visiting the place and seeing the products personally.
I can say that our visit at the Tamar Bakfar Visitors Center is a nice blessing from our Lord. Their store is huge and attractive. Their personnel are customer-friendly, helpful and professional. Also what they have in-store are very varied and plentiful. So many choices you can make based on what you need or want. More notably, their store offers the finest of the Galilee region’s harvest in the form of dried fruits, spices, ingredients and more. Galilee is blessed and this should not be surprising at all as our Lord and Savior Jesus spent a good amount of time in the region thousands of years ago. Refer to the holy scriptures below…
On the third day Jesus left there and continued his journey to Galilee, where he had been raised. Now Jesus knew that prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometown. Even so, as Jesus arrived in the province of Galilee, the people welcomed him with open arms. Many of them had been in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival and had witnessed firsthand the miracles he had performed.
Jesus entered the village of Cana of Galilee where he had transformed water into wine. He met there a governmental official from Capernaum whose son was very sick and dying. When he heard that Jesus had left Judea and was staying in Cana of Galilee, he decided to make the journey to Cana. When he found Jesus, he begged him, “You must come with me to Capernaum and heal my son!”
So Jesus said to him, “You never believe unless you see signs and wonders.”
But the man continued to plead, “Come with me to Capernaum before my little boy dies!”
Jesus looked him in the eyes and said, “Go back home now. I promise you, your son will live.”
The man believed in his heart the words of Jesus and set off for home. When he was still a distance from Capernaum, his servants met him on the road and told him the good news, “Your son is healed! He’s alive!”
Overjoyed, the father asked his servants, “When did my son begin to recover?”
“Yesterday,” they said, “at one in the afternoon. All at once his fever broke—and now he’s well!”
Then the father immediately realized that it was at that very same hour that Jesus spoke the words to him, “Your son will live.”
From that day forward, the man, his servants, and all his family believed. Healing the official’s son was Jesus’ second extraordinary miracle in Galilee after returning from Judea.
John 4:43-54 (TPT)
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Luke 4:14-15 (NKJV)
If ever you are visiting Israel and will be spending time in the Galilee region, then I highly recommend visiting the Tamar Bakfar Vistors Center in Kinneret. Visit the company’s official website at https://tamarbakfar.co.il/ and follow them on Instagram.
Watch out for more Israel 2023 travel pieces here.
The tourism numbers for the State of Israel covering the calendar year of 2022 have been finalized. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism confirmed that the state attracted a total of 2.675 million tourist entries which generated tourism revenue worth 13.5 billion shekels (US$3.8 billion). The Jerusalem Post confirmed the tourist entries figure as well. Take note that Israel opened its borders to international travelers in March 2022 and very clearly their tourism industry is bouncing back strongly which is good for their economy. The above reported figures are the best since 2019 (the record year of tourism in Israel).
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from official report of the Ministry of Tourism. Some parts in boldface…
In 2022, 2.675 million tourist entries were recorded (as opposed to only 397,000 in 2021 and 831,000 in 2020). The skies in Israel were opened officially to incoming tourism in March 2022 and only three months later, in May, without any restrictions. Incoming tourism to Israel in 2022 is about 41% lower than 2019, a record year for incoming tourism. Revenue from incoming tourism stands at about NIS 13.5 billion (not including cost of flights) as opposed to about NIS 23 billion in 2019.
The Ministry of Tourism notes that there are a number of factors that have affected tourist entries in this recovery year: tourists plan their trips far in advance, and Israel opened for incoming tourism later than similar destinations in the area and Europe. Therefore, Israel’s recovery rate from the crisis is slightly lower than the global average of about 36% decrease in the volume of incoming tourism relative to 2019.
However, a renewed growth in tourism can be seen. In December 2022, 266,200 tourist entries were recorded (compared with 20,500 in December 2021 and 358,300 in December 2019) – a decrease of about 25% (only) in relation to December 2019.
Very clearly, Israel continues to rise with its tourism industry as their nation keeps on persevering with recovering from the depression that came with the COVID-19 crisis a few years back. Considering what was achieved in 2022 in terms of attracting visitors from overseas, further growth this year should not be surprising. There are many millions of people around the world who are eager to visit Israel and spend time at the many holy sites in relation to their faith. For insight about the recovery and growth of tourism in Israel, watch the videos below…
Be thankful to God that the State of Israel is recovering strongly from the COVID-19 crisis. Thank Him for the big rebound of tourism Israel is having right now. Be thankful to Him as many millions of people around the world who believe and follow Lord Jesus will have opportunities to visit the Holy Land to deepen their faith in Him even more.
The year twenty twenty-three – 2023 – is finally here. While we do not know for certain what events will happen to us in the next 365 days, we must always be faithful to our Lord and keep on living on and moving forward with His Word (the Holy Bible).
2022 is officially over and looking back to it, there are miracles and positive events that happened which we must thank the Lord for. I am personally thankful to God for His provision, His guiding light and His love for me in 2022. Along the way were blessings from Him such as my attendance of the Planetshakers worship event in September 2022, breakthroughs in my private sector job, further growth through my local church, having attended Sunday worship and the 17th anniversary of CHAN International Ministries in Bulacan province, and the continued global reach of my website and blog at www.CarloCarrasco.com to name some.
Speaking of my website, I am thankful to our Lord and also happy to share with you what was achieved in 2022. For the full year of 2022, www.CarloCarrasco.com attracted over 160,000 hits (page views) worldwide and the Top 5 nations of users/readers were from my native Philippines at #1 followed by Cambodia (the host of the 2023 Southeast Asian Games), the United States, India and the United Kingdom. In terms of online visitors, over 122,000 worldwide were attracted in 2022. The single biggest month in terms of page views was December 2022 with over 17,000 hits.
With regards to how many hits were counted for my website in terms of lifetime (starting January 4, 2019), more than 800,000 hits worldwide were counted as of December 31, 2022. I am aiming for the milestone 1,000,000 hits mark.
As such, I would like to express my thanks to all the readers and Internet users who visited my website and blog for news, Christian teachings, Christian music appreciation, entertainment, special features and other content. I also want to thank the local government units, the homeowners’ associations, local churches, the local news media outlets and other private entities for sharing content and letting me magnify or publicize them through my website. For this new year, I have some new special feature articles planned for publishing.
To those of you who enjoy my website, be reminded that I am accepting donations online to keep it running and to keep more content coming in to not only entertain you but help you and enlighten you all. Visit https://carlocarrasco.com/donate/ to donate online.
For 2023 and the future, I urge all of you readers to never lose faith in the Lord no matter how good or bad your situation is. Jesus is our Lord and Savior and no matter what happens, we must always rejoice with Him.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)
If you are hurting and you need healing badly, come to Lord Jesus with unwavering faith in Him.
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Mark 5:25-34 (NKJV)
Ultimately, Jesus is the way, the life and the truth that we must follow with unwavering faith.
Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too.”
John 14:6 (TPT)
Always remember to maintain unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus to move on with 2023 and beyond. Reject the evil ways of the world, push the idols out of the way, and reject religion, atheism and secularism so that you can clear your path of faith in the Lord and make room for Him in your heart. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!
Have you been searching for something fun or interesting to watch on YouTube? Do you feel bored right now and you crave for something to see on the world’s most popular online video destination?
I recommend you watch the following videos below…
#1Worship music videos of Shifting– New Life Music is an anointed music team of New Life Philippines. Through my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, I already reviewed their original worship songs Now I’m Alive, God of the Breakthrough, Touch From Heaven and The Coming King, and each of those songs have music videos on YouTube. There is another original worship song by New Life Music titled Shifting (composed by Nash Soliven, Camille Cuna, Daniel Grospe, Daryl Pinon, MJ Malubay) and there are these YouTube videos of it for your viewing and enlightenment.
#2 Christmas in Israel – Yes, it is true. The Christmas season is also present in Israel, the land that God designated for the Jewish people (refer to Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 35:10-12 in the Holy Bible). Posted below are recent videos about what the Christmas season in Haifa, Jerusalem and Nazareth look like, complete with exploration of varied places and scenes of people enjoying the season. No matter what your faith or culture is, Christmas is truly all about our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Rejoice with Lord Jesus every Christmas.
#3 The common links between Atari and Chuck E. Cheese
In my life, I never ever got to visit any branch of Chuck E. Cheese which is best known for serving meals to customers as well as providing in-door entertainment with arcade games, stage shows and more. As a kid, I got to play lots of video games in the comfort of our home with the Atari 2600 video game console. As a young adult, I learned that Chuck E. Cheese and Atari were historically linked with each other. If you are wondering how or why were they connected, you should watch the two videos below. Watch and pay close attention to the details.
#4 A look back at The Fly (1986)
In the history of cinema, The Fly movie franchise spawned a total of five films from 1958 to 1989. The most notable and most popular of those movies was the 1986 cinematic remake simply titled The Fly (directed by David Cronenberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis). That being said, it is not surprising at all that YouTube has lots of retro movie reviews, movie trivia videos and movie reaction videos about it. Posted below are a mix of The Fly (1986) reaction videos, an explanatory retrospective video, a retro movie review and a trivia video.
#5 Videos and info about the upcoming Xbox-exclusive video game Forza Motorsport (2023)
The Xbox-exclusive simulation racing game Forza Motorsport (2023) is easily one my most anticipated video games of twenty twenty-three. I really am very eager to play the upcoming game (developed by Turn 10) on my Xbox Series X console and the last FM game I played was Forza Motorsport 6 on my Xbox One. Ever since the June 2022 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Team Xbox and Turn 10 only released a few videos of gameplay footage about Forza Motorsport (2023) and they have yet to release new pre-release videos or trailers about it. A lot has already been promised as to what the upcoming game will have (examples: overhauled physics, fully dynamic time of day system, track temperature changes, advanced car damage, tire and fuel management, multiple tire compounds, and real-time ray tracing). While a 2023 release has been confirmed, Team Xbox has yet to announce a final release date. Regardless, Forza Motorsport (2023) is the racing game to watch out for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Windows PC plus Xbox Game Pass (XGP). XGP subscribers will only have to download the game on launch day and play it without paying anything extra. If you are an Xbox gamer who has not yet subscribed, I encourage you to do it.
#6 Worship music video of All
Here is another worship song from Planetshakers that you must listen to, especially when you want to reach out to our Lord…the song is titled All (part of Planetshakers’ 2020 worship songs album Glory Pt. 2). I previously reviewed and analyzed the song in my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) article back in April 2020 and I can say that All was written to lead people to Lord Jesus, God the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit by powerful faith. Posted below is the official music video of All for your viewing and your faith in Him. By the way, Planetshakers will have its faith conferences in Australia this coming January and you can learn how to join them by clicking here.
#7 Filipino stores in Israel
If you are a fellow Filipino who is already in Israel and also struggling to find Filipino-made products as well as other goods imported from Asia. You should watch the videos below. Pay close attention to the details.
The Philippine Navy (PN) is looking towards Israel with regards to their plan to acquire several more missile boats, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). To be specific, they are looking for Israel-produced Shaldag Mark V missile boats. Thank note that Philippine Navy recently received two new missile boats made in Israel.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
The Philippine Navy (PN) is planning to acquire at least 15 more Israel-made Shaldag Mark V missile boats, which are the basis of its Acero-class patrol gunboats.
“We are planning to get 15 additional ‘Acero’-class gunboats (to augment the) nine (now on the pipeline),” Navy chief Rear Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr. told reporters on the sidelines of the commissioning and send-off ceremony for the fast attack interdiction craft missiles (FAIC-Ms) BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) and BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902) Monday.
Adaci said the additional “Acero”-class gunboats would help them to meet their requirements in “patrolling the seas of the country”. He also said the FAIC-Ms will be assigned to the Littoral Combat Force.
He said four more FAIC-Ms, the other name of the “Acero” class in the PN service, will be delivered sometime in 2023.
“I don’t know the exact delivery dates next year but this shall be throughout (next year),” the PN chief added.
The last batch of three, which will be built at the PN shipyard in the Naval Station Pascual Ledesma in Cavite, is scheduled for 2024.
Adaci said Israel Shipyard Limited will help the PN rehabilitate the old shipyard and make it more modern and allow it to build these types of ships.
“In that way, our people can learn how to do it, maintain these ‘Acero’ class boats and that will be the start of the transfer of technology,” he said.
These 32-meter high-speed vessels are equipped with quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons, and short-range missiles that are capable of delivering precision strikes against larger hostiles and high-value targets on land and sea.
Four of the FAIC-Ms will be armed with non-line-of-sight (NLOS) missiles with pinpoint accuracy and a range of 25 kilometers while the other five will be armed with Typhoon-mounted 30mm main cannons and .50 caliber heavy machine guns.
The acquisition of these FAIC-Ms is among the 2019 projects approved by former President Rodrigo Duterte under the Horizon 2 List of the AFP Modernization Program.
The notice of award for the FAIC-M project, worth around PHP10 billion, was issued on January 5 last year. These are expected to replace the force of patrol killer medium or medium-sized patrol craft.
For the newcomers reading this, Israel is a military super power as well as a provider of advanced technologies which authorities here in the Philippines are realizing even more in relation to their military needs and objectives. For far too long have locals been obsessed with Silicon Valley (California, the United States) for just about anything related to technology. Many do not realize it but Israel is a major player in technology. As such, we should be thankful to the Lord that the Philippine Navy continues to look at Israel for new military hardware which is surely beneficial.
In recent times, the State of Israel engaged with the Philippines on managing water which is clearly an essential resource, according to a Manila Times news article. Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss spoke at the meeting.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Times article. Some parts in boldface…
ISRAEL is offering innovative solutions to help the Philippines improve water resource management and conservation.
Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation and the United States Agency for International Aid shared with the Philippine government and local water concessionaires in the Philippines the expertise and experience of Israel on water resource management.
“Israel invested in technology to support the growing demand and urbanization in the country,” said Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss during a recent seminar.
The technologies, he said, “were introduced together with good policies and regulations that made Israel the leading country in the world in managing the water sector.“
“From desalination to reuse of sewage, minimum loss of water and more,” the ambassador said.
“Through this seminar, we hope that the Philippines’ key implementing agencies will gain insights from the Israeli experience and adapt them to local conditions,” he added.
He noted that Israel faced challenges in water conservation and management. The Middle East is a dry area and more than 50 percent of “Israel is actually desert,” he said.
The Israeli Embassy in Manila said National Water Resources Board Director Susan Abano shared the challenges that the Philippines faces as water availability continues to fall due to rising demand.
The embassy said that engineers Rodel Rik Tumanda and Jon Michael Esteban of Maynilad and Manila Water, respectively, as well as Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System chief regulator Patrick Ty presented their perspectives on managing water scarcity.
“These were analyzed by the Israeli water delegation and presented advanced solutions to better manage the water sector of the country,” the embassy said in a statement.
“The Israeli companies highlighted Israel’s innovation and technology to inspire and encourage the Philippine water sector, businesses and local government units to invest in technologies that will help manage water sustainably,” it added.
Among the Israeli companies who presented their water technologies were ARAD Group, Atlantium, Okiana and Watergen.
For the newcomers reading this, Israel is known for innovation not only with technology and agriculture but also in water management and the development of new sources of water. Constant problems of water supply and resource handling here in the Philippines are not new anymore and the assistance we got from Israel is crucial. This is something we have to be very thankful to our Lord for and we should pray that the Philippine water stakeholders who attended the reported meeting will put into action what they learned from their Israeli counterparts so that water management in the country will be improved.