The embassy group and I were an hour early at the Tel Aviv beach during last Tuesday’s Fireworks Display (celebrating Lag Ba’omer). Good, I thought. We have the time to really look for a place where we can have the best view of the fireworks. Finally, we got to this grassy area near the sea food joint Manta Ray. We were almost in front of the floating barge at the sea (one setting off the fireworks). The event was touted as the grandest fireworks show ever to happen in Israel. So we have got to have the best seats.
Large speakers are set up along the stretch of the beach – so we were treated to great music (mostly Israeli techno sounds) while waiting for the show. Then at one point the speakers were blasting music with words “Filipino! Filipino!” It suddenly caught the group’s attention. I listened intently – and the entire lyrics were indeed in Tagalog. It’s an unfamiliar piece to everyone so we were wondering about its title and why they would play it.
Then I remember Black Eyed Peas is having a concert in Israel. One of its members, Apl de Ap (real name: Allan Pineda) is a Filipino –and he is quite vocal about this in the States. The fact is, the hip hop and rap group has already a few tagalog songs done – I thought this may be another new one. Ann, Chito’s daughter and a more updated Peas fan arrived and confirmed that it is their song. (So I guess the group is quite popular in Israel. Even my friend Ross, a caregiver in Central Jerusalem, texted me and asked if they are visiting Jerusalem and the Western Wall. No access to their itinerary I bluntly told her.)
It was past 8.30 pm when the fireworks finally started. Some in the group thought the show was short and wanting of impact. The child in me thought it was a magnificent and awesome display! I wonder how much the Jaffa City authorities and the French Embassy spent. A hefty sum for sure. But if it is for reasons like fostering a more meaningful friendship between two countries, it is money wisely used.