The Return

On Facebook, one of my friends made a post saying that the coronavirus is not serious and that the way it is being covered in the media and the general public is “annoying.” Being born and raised in the Philippines and later migrating to America, you really become thick skinned and after awhile, it can only take truly significant, profound stupidity to make my blood boil—which this certain Facebook post did (We’re still friends, it’s important to respect other people’s opinions). However, I disagree. The coronavirus is very serious. More than 1 person has died and that is 1 too many. And the impact that the coronavirus has, had, and will have on the economy is serious. Did you know that with every 1% increase in unemployment, 40,000 people die? I’d say that’s quite serious. To say the least, these are volatile times—2020 is off to a rather alarming start.

Because of the influence and importance of the Asia market on the global economy, the economic impact on the livelihood of all people living on Earth (everyone)—the billions of people around the World is tremendous.

If people won’t travel, people won’t make money. If businesses can’t sell their products, they can’t operate, so people can’t get paid and will die. These are facts. 

So what does this all mean specifically for the Philippines? It is not news that China is now heavily invested in the Philippines. Of course with anything, there are positive and negative effects because of Chinese influence on our country’s economy. China has  certainly helped ignite and fuel economic growth the past year which in turn has created thousands if not millions of jobs in the Philippines. If hotels are fully booked, condos are being sold, and restaurants and shops have customers, then the economy thrives—is booming. Yet, because of unforeseen circumstances such as the coronavirus, our country cannot be so heavily reliant on China. Businesses cannot be so reliant on the Asia market. As a business, you have to participate in the global economy—it is vital. In today’s business landscape of competition, being global is as necessary as having a well-designed website. Which is why, we have been working hard to create an offline an online business ecosystem to help your business thrive—from our business expo, The International Travel, Trade, & Consumer Expo in Los Angeles, California which helps Philippine products scale into the US market. Our community newspapers informing the over 4 million Filipinos living and working in America about what’s going on back home to our digital platforms like which helps businesses compete and standout from competition to provide Balikbayans with special travel perks.

That is why it’s critical for the public and private sector to return their focus to you—the Balikbayan. We need you to return because our country needs you now more than ever. And you can surely count on us to work hard to make sure you’re efforts to helping your country is known and respected. The Philippines is your country. It doesn’t belong to everyone—not China, not America, not any other country or ethnicity. Yes all are welcome and we must be welcoming to all people to enjoy the fruits of our beautiful country, but let it be know that the Philippines belongs to us—Filipinos. So take it upon yourself to support the country however which way you can. Did you know that there are special laws protecting Filipino rights in the Philippines? Foreigners cannot own land in the country and real estate developers can only sell a certain percentage of their condo units to foreigners. The majority has to be sold to Filipinos.

Don’t be afraid to travel. And certainly do not be afraid to invest in the Philippines. That is why in this issue we have 8 glorious destinations for you to consider rediscovering in the Philippines.

Roger Oriel

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

Spotlighting the growth, development, and progression of the Philippines since 2009. Balikbayan Magazine is a publication of the Asian Journal Media Group.

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