MANILA — A Filipino scholar who used to be a newspaper dealer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the latest toast of the affluent Emirati and Arab society as well as the pride of his Filipino countrymen.

Dubai-based writer Josh Jr Mangila is now the editor-in-chief of the XPEDITION Middle East Magazine catering to luxury travel and lifestyle clients has earned the respect and support of his editor-at-large, Georgina Wilson Powell, and other editors from USA and Europe in such a short time.

Mangila was born and raised in Cavite. He went to Dubai with his sister in 2007 and became a freelance magazine writer in several publications.

From 2008, he just kept improving his craft writing for whether he has a regular job or not. In 2010, he became junior editor and contributing editor for Travel Trendz International and Prestige Magazine.

By 2012, he was accepted to World Media Academy, the only media school in Dubai that is accredited by Washington-based ICFJ (International Centre For Journalist) through a scholarship and was awarded as ‘Most Dedicated Journalist of the Year’.

In 2014, he became the features editor for En Route Middle East and this year he landed the role as Managing Editor of EXPEDITION Middle East before finally being promoted as editor- in chief this November.

XPEDITION Middle East is targeted to affluent Emiratis, Expats and Arabs in the region with more than 12,000 Very Important subscribers plus 15,000 copies quarterly that circulates in five star hotels, fine dining, tourism boards, high end travel agencies, first class and business class lounges, airlines and selected Sheikh’s offices in the Middle East, in some parts of Asia, Europe and America.

XPEDITION Middle East’s readers and subscribers make up the upper echelons of Middle East society. They are highly discerning and accustomed to the very best in life. They are constantly on the look out for new and exciting luxury travel destinations and are really big spenders.

Through the help of a mutual friend, Joaquin Adelbert, we were able to get first hand information about the good-looking young man who said, “I believe that nothing is impossible.

“When I was starting as a freelance writer, it was really hard as English is not my native language and the competition in the media industry here is very tough.

They preferred Americans and British citizens to take the lead role. And I was even a victim of racism. Sadly, some people here think that Filipinos are only good as household helpers or laborers.

“But it did not stop me from working harder to erase those stereotypes. I wanted to show that Filipinos can write and we can do more; lead through discipline and determination and become successful in an English-dominated industry.”

As to his amazingly fast success via the luxury travel industry, Mangila admitted having enjoyed travelling to more than 40 countries and 65 cities interviewing big shots and VIPs in the Middle East such as the VP of Emirates airlines and GM of Ferrari cars.

“I always think of better ways to improve myself, I always tell myself that I am still a work in progress; that it is the only way I could push myself to be better or the best all the time. I fly high but keep my feet on the ground” Mangila said.

Mangila is now becoming an inspiration to many people in the Middle East in conquering the world of luxury media.

The young scholar progressed by leaps and bounds from delivering newspapers when he was in college to support his studies to becoming the editor-in-Chief of XPEDITION Middle East.

He hopes to launch his first novel next year under a well-known US publishing company. Lily O Ramos/PNA