March 8, 2014

The Airmalta Advert.

Most of you who follow me on facebook or on this site must have seen the new Airmalta advert from a few days ago. It was such a pleasure to drive around Malta and visit my “usual haunts” with a fantastic (and funny!) crew that Airmalta contracted for the filming of this advert…

I am sure that some of you out there will question the authenticity of the advert and whether it really represents what I think of Malta. The answer is both yes and absolutely. Almost all of the sites we visited are some of my favourite spots in Malta. Starting from the North we visited Little Armier bay. This is a spectacular small beach facing Comino. Ray’s Lido offer efficient sun bed/umbrella service and they have very decent food served al fresco. A little to the left you have the Baia beach Lido which is beautifully designed and offers excellent food in an idyllic environment. If visiting by boat they will even send a dinghy out to get you.

A stone throw away (and also featured on the ad) you can find the “red watchtower” ore more accurately “St Agatha’s tower” built in 1649 with impressive views which spans from the North West Coast all to Gozo and Comino. A walk to the edge of the cliffs is spectacular offering amazing views enhanced by the permeating smell of wild thyme which grow in abundance in the area…we ended the day of filming in my hometown Mellieha where, in a bar with the most spectacular view on the island, we had some Maltese Ftira washed down with our local softdrink and beer.

The above is only a small fraction of what Malta and Gozo have to offer. Indeed, one can get lost and drunk in the poetry, mystery and transcending beauty that our rugged coast and crystalline sea have to offer.

To sum it up yes I am truly in love with the Maltese Islands and its people…well at least most of them…in fact I sometimes I wished that more of my countrymen loved our island more…


St Agatha’s Tower-

File:St. Agatha's Tower-NW.JPG



Little Armier Bay –





  1. Malcolm R McEwan

    Malta is a truly beautiful island with a dramatic and interesting history. It is a small country surrounded by many larger and stronger ones but that has made it tough and fiercely independent but at the same time welcoming to those who take the time to visit and show an interest in its people , beauty and culture. Malta is a wonderful confection of many different elements that make it so unique. If you have not visited it before then you should give it a try .

  2. Nicely said!
    Loved the ad… Missing Malta especially Mellieha (also my hometown), The bar with a view & their yummy Ftira

  3. Marie-Louise Previtera

    I just want to say how proud I am of you and your love of Malta. You are a worthy Ambassador for Malta and you bring great joy to people all over the world through your God given talent. Somehow you make your audience believe you are singing only to them alone. You are blessed to call Malta home, and you choose to live there. I left Malta as a young child with my parents and family. Malta will always be home to me. God bless you Joseph.

  4. Tricia

    I am coming to Malta next Tuesday. .so excited..its like coming ‘home’ to me…this time I am coming on my own .I am very comfortable to go anywhere on the island by myself never feeling intimidated or worried about walking round by myself. I love the amazing architecture. much history to explore. And I love the people. ..if I could this would be my permanent home…its my birthday next Thursday (13th) I will take myself into Valetta and have cake ( oh! How I love the cakes. . And kinney) and ice cream and sit in the square.I love to hear you sing Joseph it sooths my frazzled nerves. Thank God for paradise on earth in a tiny island called Malta.

  5. Stephen Mifsud

    Hello Joseph ..i love Malta as much as you do Malta is overbuilt overly expensive and heading for an iceberg like the Titanic because we cant see it and not watchhing for it just like the ship we will hit it and sink !!! ok you might ask why so negative ?? well what goes up must come down and we have been in fake economical rise for years but this bubble will burst and the signs are brewing in so many areas such as poverty in Malta is rising fast and property values are way over inflated ,Malta belongs to everyone now so being Maltese will be a whole diff meaning , jobs dont pay well for the masses , people are very anti clandistine , the maltese need to be fined for littering even if its a cigarette butt or chewing gum thrown on the ground only after a warning period of commencing this law ,costomer service is very poor , way to many food vendors no wonder obesity is so high on Malta ,way to many cars on Malta , the prevoius government took the vintage busses away and failed miserably with the Valletta gate and parliament fiasco …the shanty towns in Armier and similar places needs to demolished and gone ….

  6. Manuel Briffa

    Dear maestro Calleja, let me start by expressing my gratitude for all that you have been doing to promote our beautiful motherland, both through your incredible musical achievements, as also your national pride. I am truly in awe of your worldwide achievements and the fact that you have managed to remain so down to earth and close to the people despite your immense talent. To me, this is as awesome as your incredible voice. May I therefore please suggest that in your unique role as Malta’s cultural ambassador, you start referring to our homeland by its proper name Malta, instead of the horrible Molta, as so many of us unfortunately tend to do. As you no doubt appreciate, Molta is just an Anglicised version of our Country’s real name and is only used by English speaking countries as they sometimes pronounce ‘a’ as an ‘o’ as in Malt, but not in mama or market for example. Indeed, all other countries refer to our country correctly as Malta.I have been in the tourism industry for the last 45 years and sadly, whenever I inform English speaking visitors that it’s Malta and not Molta, they think i’m pulling their leg, because everyone else they spoke to, including locals, say Molta. I know it’s probably a lost battle, but I firmly believe that Maltese people like yourself, ministers, ambassadors, artists and others who perform on the world stage are in the best position to redress this unfortunate situation. May it be Malta’s favourite son to set the ball rolling. Best wishes and keep making us proud.

    • admin

      You’re absolutely right! But “Molta” is not only the doing of the English speaking…Many around the world refer to it like that…I will try to remember. Thanks for your feedback!

  7. maria

    malta is wonderfulll but most of all because you make us
    very proud , may god showered you with all his blessings
    best wishes coming from all my family and obviously me.

  8. Thomas Meilak

    I’ve been coming to Malta for the past 27 years and never get tired of it! I’ve recently introduced my girlfriend to Malta and it was love at first sight so much so she gets excited every time we make the trip down from London. Malta is special in many ways; it has at least 8000 of documented history, pretty much every nation passed through Malta (and left its mark) when travelling through the Med. And for such a small nation it really does punch above its weight in many areas and stand out in a crowd of 7 billion. Malta is lucky to have such an ambassador like Calleja and I’m proud to have Maltese heritage. Keep up the good work Sir 😉

  9. maria briffa

    tks for your lovely review of our beloved MALTA .looking forward for more interesting subjects and reviews . tks for being a worthy ambassador to our vast and rich cultural history . may you keep our proud nation and it s people entertained with you beautifull voice and great talent . bless

  10. Kiki

    Dear Joseph how wonderful to see Malta through your eyes. You showed beautiful places and so I get to know my new home country a little better. Thank you for this.
    So now and than you must miss Malta although you’re travelling wonderful places. Warm regards, Kiki

  11. Rita Seguna

    Dear Joseph if every Maltese loves Malta as much as you ,Malta is nice ,but it will be Better, You are a great Ambassador for Malta, and we should speak more Maltese between us so we don’t loose our Language.we are proud of you

  12. charlie buttigieg

    Hello Ambaxxatur ta Malta Tghana, jien miessier Ivy li hi wkoll mezza soprana kont iltqajt mahha meta kont Toronto, jien wkoll is sid tal Malta Bake Shop jien insegwig kemm jiesta jkun u niehu gost hafna meta niesimhek tkanta hafna drabi fuq r radio 96.3 awguri u sahhiet u God bless

  13. vince arrigo

    The Best Ambassador Malta can have. Keep it up Joseph. May God Bless you.

  14. Maestro Calleja …. I am looking forward to your memior. Your voice -spoken, sung and written is so eloquent and unique. I missed you when you were in NY and promise to keep better track of your appearances. My parents are from Cospiqua. They immigrated in the late 50’s. Most of my family, however, is still in Malta. My Nanu used to travel to Sicily back in 1920’s to hear opera. I relished his stories. He would have loved you to no end, as so many do. All the best with your career and “being” who you are ……

  15. Kiki

    What a nice photo together with Bryn Terfel. You have an intense life but eith a beautiful balance of hard work and joy. So nice you share also this part off your life. Have a good time. Kiki

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Joseph's Blog

May 16th, 2016

Quo Vadis Eurovision and other stories

Malta did not win the Eurovision but lo and behold the sun still rose and the island (the center of the known universe) still spun…

My two cents is that Ira Losco gave a really good performance and that the whole presentation was excellent. She shouldn’t have performed cause she is pregnant? Come off it – I have performed repeatedly with pregnant opera singers well into their 7th and 8th month of pregnancy and trust me when I say that rehearsing and performing for a full opera production is much more physically demanding than a couple of days at the Eurovision. Of course there are those who know much better than the undersigned and who went on to say that the presentation was a tad “camp”…oh the irony when one considers that the Eurovision is the campest of them all.

Meanwhile, this wouldn’t be Malta and the Eurovision wouldn’t be the Eurovision unless its politicized to the exhaustible hilt. The inevitable “mud slinging competition,” which we will see a lot of in the coming 22 months, ensued and even yours truly (inexplicably) ended up in the midst of the fray, in yet another “supernova” in a tea cup. The Eurovision suddenly became an interchangeable bullet to be used ad nauseam by both sides much like bitter parents who use their innocent children during disputes.  I have always found sycophants interesting, even amusing but they will not be getting the much desired Streisand effect from me, thank you very much. It is part of human nature after all to conjure conspiracies and we are not going to let the simple truth get in the way of some exciting and convenient fiction.

Speaking of “conjuring” is it me or is a company advertising real estate using a chap “connected” with the tragic and unnecessary death of an underage girl? It must be a clone or a”doppleganger”, otherwise this would be the epitome of bad taste and a 100 shades of wrong. Don’t get me wrong I am all for “second chances” and all of that but shouldn’t there be due process first? After all Lisa Marie didn’t get a second chance did she?