A Dubai-based Filipino writer has been named editor in chief of a luxury travel magazine there targeting affluent Emirati and Arab society.
Cavite-native Josh Mangila will now handle XPEDITION Middle East Magazine alongside editor-at-large Georgina Wilson Powell, former editor of Lonely Planet, and other American and European editors.
"I believe that impossible is nothing,” Mangila said, noting his tough climb to the magazine's top post, conquering racism and stereotypes to Filipinos in the Middle East in the process.
"The competition in the media industry here is very tough," the 30-year-old former freelance writer shared. "They preferred Americans and British citizens to take the lead role."
He said the fact that English was not his native language made it difficult for him to make a start as a writer in the United Arab Emirates. Aside from that, he also had to contend with racism.
"Sadly some people here thinks that Filipinos are only good as household helpers or laborers," Mangila said.
"But it did not stop me from working harder to erase those stereotypes and show them that Filipinos can write, we can do more, we can be successful in an English-dominated industry and we can lead the way through discipline and determination” he added.
As a freelance writer, Mangila, who moved to the UAE with his sister in 2007, had the opportunity to travel and interview important people in the Middle East.
By his own count, Mangila said he has traveled to more than 40 countries and 65 cities. Among the VIPs he had interviewed were the vice president of Emirates Airlines and the general manager of Ferrari
"I always think of better ways to improve myself, I always say to myself that I am still a work in progress, that is the only way I could push myself to be better than best all the time, fly high but keep your feet on the ground," he said.
By next year, Mangila said he intends to publish his own novel under an American publishing company. —KBK/JST, GMA News