Don't apologize for the rain
May I refer to PH News: Pope Francis arrives in rainy, windy Tacloban
By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated January 17, 2015 - 9:21am.
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Airlines flight carrying Pope Francis landed at the Tacloban Airport at 8:50 a.m. on Saturday.
He was welcomed by Palo Archbishop John Du and walked ahead of the umbrella despite the rainy, windy weather due to tropical cyclone "Amang."
Pope Francis boarded the open-air Popemobile and later on donned a yellow raincoat similar to thousands of pilgrims prohibited from bringing umbrellas.
A huge crowd was waiting in the rain in the typhoon-hit city, chanting "Viva il Papa, Papa Francesco."
The above news report was also in U.S.TV newscast “Fox News”.
The drenching rain reminds me of another visit many years ago - not of a leader from the Vatican but of a lady prime minister from the Holy Land - . Golda Meir of Israel.
Let me share with, or narrate again to you that incident below.
Rain and Open Door Policy
by Rodolfo A. Arizala
Note: The following is what I wrote in my Diary when I was Consul General in New York City, 1991-1993.
Trade promotions, attraction of investors and tourists are not new. In the past, we held seminars, workshops, and organized trade missions to and from the United States and other countries of the world.
On 06 May 1993, we held in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., a workshop or seminar on trade promotion, investments and tourism. In February 1993, we organized a trade mission from New York City to Manila Prior to said 1993 trade mission to the Philippines, there was a trade mission from Manila to the U.S., in January 1992, headed by Congressman Teves and BOI director Aquino to promote Philippine trade in the U.S., attract foreign investors and tourism.
It is relevant and worth remembering that among the U.S. businessmen who helped the Teves mission in the U.S. were those who belonged to the Jewish Community in the United States especially those in New York City.
This sympathetic attitude of the Jewish Community in the United States towards Philippine trade missions may be attributed to the fact that as far back as in the 1930’s the Filipinos already opened their doors to Jewish refugees and treated them with kindness and human dignity.
Open-Door Policy ; Never Apologize for the Rain
On 30 January 1992 at 10:30 a.m., from the Philippine Consulate General Office in 556 Fifth Avenue, New York City, I went to Marriot Hotel and joined the Philippine trade mission conference with Mr. Jack Nassur - Jewish American and former resident in the Philippines. He is the owner of a Garments Factory and Export Business called “Philippine Jelmar.” Mr. Nassur discussed with Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Emmanuel Pelaez and Philippine Congressman Garry Teves how trade between the United States and the Philippines, especially garments, could be improved as well as investments.
Then at 12:00 noon, we went to the headquarters of the World Zionist Organization where over sandwiches, noodles, soft drinks, coffee and tea, Jewish American leaders and businessmen held dialogues with the Teves trade mission. Mr. Nassur acted as preliminary spokesman for Philippine interests. He narrated to them the history of his life and about the Jewish immigration to the Philippines in the 1930’s when President Manuel L. Quezon opened the door of the Philippines to Jewish refugees from Europe and the USSR. According to him, the Jews were welcomed to live and do business in the Philippines without any problem.
Ambassador Emmanuel Pelaez on his part recalled the early period of Philippine-Israel relations when he was still Vice President of the Philippines and Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Israeli lady Prime Minister Golda Meir visited the Philippines and while he was accompanying her in Southern Philippines,it started to rain. He apologized to Madame Golda Meir for the strong rain which might have spoiled the welcome ceremony for her. But Prime Minister Golda Meir replied to him with smile: “Young man,never apologize for the rain because in Israel, rain means good luck.”
The above dialogues elicited sympathetic reactions from the Jewish leaders and businessmen gathered around the table during the business conference.
In promoting trade relations and investments between two countries, aside from the good quality of the products and friendly climate for investment, good human relations and cultural exchanges as well as shared humane experiences are also essential according to the anecdotes narrated by American Jewish businessman Mr. Nassur and by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Pelaez.
We should not feel sorry or apologize for the rain, For the rain, according to PM Golda Meir means good luck, And that MLQ’s “open-door policy” for humane consideration promote closer, durable friendly relations between countries rain or shine.