Angela Briana Alforque dressed as Miss Israel in the Philippines (Courtesy) (Courtesy)
Angela Briana Alforque dressed as Miss Israel in the Philippines (Courtesy)

This kindergartner from the Philippines was inspired by Israeli beauty queen Noy Ben Artzi and decided to dress as Miss Israel for her school’s United Nations Day celebration.

By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler

Following the crowning of Israel’s Noy Ben Artzi as Miss Congeniality at the Miss Asia-Pacific International pageant in the Philippines on October 9, five-year-old Filipino Angela Briana Alforque could not wait to share her love for Israel. The kindergartner chose to dress as Miss Israel at her Santa Ana Elementary School United Nations Day celebration in Manila.

“Congratulations to Ms. Israel. My niece chose to represent Israel in [her] school during United Nations Day,” Belle Alforque, Angela’s aunt, told United with Israel (UWI).

Philippine students from Sta.Ana Elementary school in Manila (Courtesty)

Philippine students from Sta.Ana Elementary school in Manila (Courtesy)

Alforque shared with UWI that she designed the Star of David on the neck of her niece’s gown.

“Through the Bible, in our country, we really love Israel,” she said.

Ben Artzi, 22, a Tel Aviv native, was selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow 53 competitors at the competition in Manila.

She said that she was honored to receive the award, adding, “In my eyes, this is the most significant award, because I won it by the vote of the other contestants, and to me that means I also have character, and not just beauty.”

According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, “The competition’s goal is to empower and enable women to ignite positive changes in their countries and around the globe.”

That goal is particularly important to little Angela. According to her aunt, the young girl suffers from a bent bone in her leg. She asked that people pray for Angela’s recovery.

“I am for Israel,” Alforque explained to United With Israel, “and I ask God to bless my niece. I know and I believe God loves Israel. My father always pray for Israel and every time he prays he cries to God to keep Israel safe.”

“I declare blessings for Israel,” continued Alforque, “God bless Israel!”

Strong Bonds

Israel and the Philippines have a long history of warm relations.

“Israel is like a family to us since the time of our late President Manuel Quezon,” Alforque told UWI, adding that Israel represents strong biblical values, such as honoring one’s parents and respect for one’s family.

Alforque cited the ten commandments, “which were given to your great leader Moses,” as an inspiration and source of blessings for Filipinos.

In 2009, Israel erected the “Open Doors Monument” in honor of President Quezon at the Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon Lezion, Israel. Between 1937 and 1941, approximately 1,300 Jewish refugees were given safe haven in the Philippines through Quezon’s auspices. Additionally, he provided 10,000 visas to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi regime.

Quezon wanted to give 100,000 visas, but was prevented from doing so following the Japanese invasion of his country.

The president’s actions reflect the Philippines’ status as one of the few nations that unconditionally opened its doors to Jewish refugees. Quezon was also a lone voice in condemning the Nazi persecution of Jews prior to the outbreak of World War II.

On April 23, 1940, Quezon donated 7.5 hectares of his own country estate in Marinika as a working farm for the Jewish refugees, known as Manilaners.

“It is my hope, and indeed my expectation, that the people of the Philippines will have, in the future, every reason to be glad that when the time of need came, their country was willing to extend a hand of welcome,” he said at a speech on that occasion.

Quezon’s words seem almost prophetic in light of 2013’s Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated the Philippines. The surviving Manilaners mobilized and raised funds to help those affected by this tragedy, demonstrating their gratitude to the Filipino people.

She's beauty she's grace, she's…Miss Congeniality! Israel's 🇮🇱 Noy Benartzi was crowned Miss Congeniality 👑 at the…

Posted by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, October 24, 2019