Back to the Holy Land

I am visiting the Holy Land again beginning August 4th. I am co-leading a small group of 13 people–mostly United Methodist young adults. These young people came from around the world.

One thing I noticed is that traffic feels like Manila. Not quite like EDSA but close enough. The taxi that took us from the airport to the hotel earlier today considered lanes as suggestions in the same way that Filipino jeepney and taxi drivers did.

The taxi swerved from one lane to another, almost hit a bus, almost hit another car, but doing a good job not actually hitting any other vehicle.

Photo taken near Mt. Arbel in Israel

Two years ago, when I co-led the same program, my son gave me a red HotWheels car so I could take photos of it in the places I visit. It was a cool thing!

HotWheels cars overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

Now that we have two sons, Coco gave me two HotWheels cars to take photos of. I will be glad to do that on this trip.

The Holy Land is full of contradictions. There is a lot of history. A lot of significant places to the three monotheistic religions of the world. And yet, it has also been the setting of many violent incidents.

I will write about our experiences and reflections. The more sensitive ones, though, I will leave out and share by coffee conversation.

It’s a good thing that Filipinos can come here without needing a visa. Thanks to the goodwill that our people has shown to the Jewish people during World War II when we accepted some Jews who didn’t have a place to go.

Speaking of which, I wish I could get access to the movie “Quezon’s Game,” which features this incident in our history.

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