For the past two years, we’ve been building several new platforms to compliment our Asian Journal community newspapers and Balikbayan Magazine. In the coming months, we will be unveiling BalikbayanProgram.com, LoveOfCountryStore.com, and LoveOfCountry.ph. At the same time, we’ve been developing our new website for AsianJournal.com and BalikbayanMagazine.com which we are launching in the coming weeks. We’re hopeful and very excited to provide you with modern and personalized platforms to provide you with the information, features, and editorial content that you’ve enjoyed for nearly 3 decades. Throughout all of these years our goals have never once changed. Number 1: To empower and uplift Filipino communities throughout the World. Number 2: To connect you to the news that matters most—your local community, regional, national, and news back home in the Philippines. Number 3: To ignite and fuel economic development in the Philippines. And lastly, Number 4: To inspire you to travel, invest, retire, do philanthropic work, or study abroad in the Philippines.

Undoubtedly, recent news events in the Philippines may have discouraged many of you to travel or invest in the country. And many of you may be worried about your loved ones in the Philippines during this rather volatile time. Immediately after the events unfolded at Resorts World and the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao by President Duterte, all of my family and friends called me to “come home” back to the States. But it’s a lot more nuanced than that. The Philippines is home. And with that notion I thought to myself, how can I leave the country now?—It needs me—it needs ALL of YOU now more than ever. 

I have two daughters that live in New York. Each and every day I pray that they are safe because of the heightened security we now live in because of the threats of terrorism. Despite this constant fear as a parent, I will surely not stop my children from living their lives despite the threats of terrorism—because when we do that—when we change our lives and the pursuit of happiness, they win, and we can’t let that happen.

It is our thoughts that shape our reality. If you say you don’t want to go to the Philippines because it is not safe—well that is simply false. It is safe—rather, it is very safe. Davao is safe. Manila is safe. Like anywhere in the World, you just have to be aware of your surroundings. Manila is as safe as Manhattan—period.

I love the Philippines. It would take a lot more than terrorism for me to ever stop travelling and investing in the Philippines—and I hope it’s the same for you. Us Filipino people are incredibly resilient. If you look back at our nation’s history, we’ve been shaped and devastated by hundreds of events. Yet each and every crisis we have been faced with, we certainly don’t shy away from trying to solve them.

Roger Oriel
Roger Oriel

Roger Oriel is the Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of the Asian Journal Media Group.

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