Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Garcia Imperial

“Nang isilang ka sa mundong ito, laking tuwa ng magulong mo…” aptly described how the late lawyer Ramon Serrano Imperial of Camarines Sur and his Davaoena wife, Bernardita “Ditas” Garcia-Imperial, felt when they were blessed with three healthy, intelligent, handsome and conscientious boys.  The sons namely Romano, Nathaniel and Christopher Garcia Imperial dutifully followed their strict parents’ house rules taking with them all the values and skills that have been ingrained in them during their youth on to their eventual personal road to success as lawyer, diplomat and businessman.  Throughout their lives, their parents taught and always reminded them to work hard regardless of adversity; and to give back to the community by rendering particular meaningful service as devout Catholics and responsible citizens of this country.  Thanks goodness that not one of the dutiful sons turned into the family’s “black sheep.”

The spotlight, however, has been focused recently on the middle child.  Nathaniel Garcia Imperial was confirmed as Philippine Ambassador to Israel last September 17, 2014.  He was sworn into office by Senate President Franklin Drilon.  The young diplomat, who was born in Quezon City on November 27, 1968, has assumed first position in the Philippine Embassy in Israel where he is tasked to look after the welfare of Filipino workers there; while keeping a tight watch on the complications that the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts may bring and bear upon our OFWs.  What a difficult job, indeed!

You could say that His Excellency, the Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Garcia Imperial was already an achiever when he was still in school.  Neal, as he is affectionately called by family and friends, studied his lower years in Jose Abad Santos Memorial School in Quezon City where he graduated Salutatorian.  He continued his high school education in Ateneo de Manila and graduated second honor.  While in high school, Neal co-wrote and directed the anti-Marcos satire, “GomBurZa…Ngayon,” which won the Gawad Sibol for one-act play.  Neal obtained his Bachelor of Arts major in Political Economics degree in Ateneo de Manila University.

“While in college, Neal was sent to five cities in the USA as a delegate to observe the US Presidential Election which was called the ASEAN Youth Leadership Project.  He was editor-in-chief of “Matanglawin;” co-founder and editor of the literary journal “Bagwis;’ and columnist for the school paper, “The Guidon.”  He was co-writer of a book of English and Filipino poems entitled, “Salimbayan.”  After graduating from college, he taught the English subject to the fourth year students of the Ateneo de Manila High School for two years.  He then worked at the Ateneo de Manila University Art Gallery as curator.  Neal eventually became an office staff member of Congressman Mar Roxas,” revealed the proud mama, Bernardita Garcia-Imperial, who was, herself, in government service for a long time; and a Department Head of the Home Economics Department of the San Francisco High School of Quezon City before she retired.  Tita Ditas now happily resides in Davao City with her youngest son, Christopher, an MBA degree holder from the Ateneo de Davao University.

It was in the University of the Philippines where Neal took his Master of Arts in International Studies.  He immediately took the examination in Foreign Service and was ranked top two.  For his first diplomatic assignment, Neal was sent to Jakarta, Indonesia, as Vice Consul in 1997.  After a year, he was appointed Consul.  In 2001, Neal was assigned to work as Consul in Vancouver, Canada.  By 2004, Neal was Consul General and later, Minister in the Philippine Embassy in Singapore where he stayed for six years.

It was in the year 2000, when Neal met Octavia Leeman, an Indonesian-Chinese.  The gorgeous Octavia finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing at the University of Singapore.  She became a tv personality, a model and a flight stewardess later on.  In 2001, Neal married Octavia in Jakarta in Roman Catholic rites.  She later bore him a beautiful daughter named Gabrielle.

Public service seems to be in Neal’s family’s blood.  His Davaoeno relatives on his mother’s side of the family include City Chief Assessor Felipe B. Garcia, former Judge Camilo B. Garcia, former Vice Mayor Luis C. Bonguyan, Councilors Louie John Bonguyan and Jo Ann Bonguyan, former City Administrator Carmelo Gempesaw, to mention some. Famous relatives on his father’s side include PNP Director General Raul S. Imperial, Philex Mining Corp. Senior VP Gregorio S. Imperial, Justice Jorge Imperial, US Consultant and Psychiatrist Boris Imperial, Congressman Carlos D. Imperial and Gov. Dominador Imperial Lim of Albay, and Legazpi Mayor Gregorio Imperial.

Congratulations, His Excellency Ambassador Nathaniel Garcia Imperial.

Thank you, tita Ditas Garcia-Imperial and tita Jo Bacani-Angeles, for the pictures and data on Ambassador Nathaniel Garcia Imperial.



Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Garcia Imperial


Leeman-Imperial wedding in Jakarta:  (l-r):  Gertrude Garcia, Ocatavia Leeman-Imperial, Amb. Nathaniel Garcia Imperial, lawyer Romano Garcia Imperial, Bernardita Garcia-Imperial and Christopher Garcia Imperial


Senate President Franklin Drilon and Amb. Nathaniel Garcia Imperial

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