Mabuhay Calgary celebrates ten years!

    The original pubilshers of Mabuhay Calgary: Arnie Laoag, Jay Raymundo and Ramel Oriel.
    The original publishers of Mabuhay Calgary: Arnie Laoag, Jay Raymundo and Ramel Oriel.

    Mabuhay Calgary start­ed 10 years ago with three friends with all the skills to create the city’s first Fili­pino newspaper.

    Ramel Oriel was look­ing to drum up business for his wife’s dental clinic amongst the Filipino com­munity. With no Filipino media to advertise in, Ra­mel decided that starting up a Filipino newspaper was the only way to get the word out.

    “My motivation was to advertise Christine’s dental clinic that we were just opening up,” Ramel recalls.

    He reached out to friends Jay Raymundo and Arnie Laoag.

    “Jay was always the en­trepreneur from business school, so he was an easy guy to approach about it,” Ramel says. “And Arnie was creative and a photog­rapher so he really com­plemented our group.”

    Arnie’s creativity led to the full-page Mabuhay ads that paid homage to Filipino customs.

    “They were special and I be­lieve important because it al­lowed the three of us to collab­orate and in our own way help share the things that make Filipinos unique and special,” Arnie says. “It was a sense of pride because our paper was the only one doing that here in the Calgary area. Plus, it gave our paper a personality and kept things fun.”

    Jay brought in friend Will Tigley, a communications major, who in turn brought in other communications major friends, Anne Claire Danan and Kathy Baker.

    Together, these three over­saw the editorial aspect of the paper by recruiting writers and searching out all the great sto­ries coming from the Filipino community in Calgary.

    Darlene Casten, a journal­ism major, joined the team a year later and started out as a writer and later joined Will as an editor.

    “Mabuhay Calgary has been very fortunate that Will and Darlene have been there through three owner­ship groups,” Ramel says. “They’ve been dedicated and give Mabuhay Calgary the professional quality control that no one else could have contributed.”

    Jay, Arnie and Ramel found an enthusiastic ad­vertising base and loved getting involved in the Filipino community and associations, sponsoring events and putting on In­dependence Day picnics over four-and-a-half years.

    During that time, a lot changed for the three friends—career changes, children (including twins) and marriage on the hori­zon for the trio.

    “The newspaper de­manded quite a time com­mitment and we could no longer continue dedicating our time to it and we were fortunate enough to be able to hand it off to Cher­rie and Cecil,” Ramel says.

    To see the newspa­per carry their legacy on strong has been reward­ing, he adds.

    “Congratulations to Mabuhay Calgary and we wish you continued success.”


    Current publishers Vangie Caoile and Paolo Oliveros.
    Current publishers Vangie Caoile and Paolo Oliveros.

    We got involved with Mabuhay Calgary in 2009 when Cecil and I were looking for a copy of the newspaper we always loved to read when­ever we were at our dentist’s office. We learned that Ramel Oriel had already shut it down for about a year.

    Having a background in advertising and looking for a business opportunity, Ce­cil and I decided to convince Ramel to let us continue the MC publication.

    Our first issue came out in September 2009 after its one-year hiatus. It was well-re­ceived by previous advertisers as well as the community at large. Associations and NGOs started to liaise with us on their upcoming activities and gatherings to be included in the paper’s next issue.

    Mabuhay Calgary as a busi­ness is not financially gratify­ing… well, not during our time as the publishers. However, there is this sense of pride once people start to recognize you as the publisher of one of the most trustworthy and straight­forward community newspa­pers in Calgary. So that’s why we focused on the paper for the next four years.

    Let me tell you the other perks we had while being the “head honchos” of MC:

    • Working with the team of young, talented, smart, in­telligent and good-looking people that made Cecil and I (especially) feel like I’m just like them.
    • The opportunity to meet and get to know different leaders in our community.
    • The privilege of being the Filipino voice on im­portant issues within the community.
    • The chance of experienc­ing a stress like no other during the first editions we published.
    • And of course, somehow earning a little so we could share more with the team.

    Do we miss it? NO.

    No, because the paper is still around as if nothing hap­pened when we passed it on to the new publishers. We missed the team, though. The TEAM is what kept us going. The monthly meetings, the twice-a-year team building and of course, our annual Christmas party.

    Nevertheless, we wish Mabuhay Calgary all the best and that you may continue to be a paper with integrity for the next generations to come.

    —Cherrie and Cecil


    Current publishers Vangie Caoile and Paolo Oliveros.
    Current publishers Vangie Caoile and Paolo Oliveros.

    This year we are celebrating Mabuhay Calgary’s 10th year anniversary.

    Mabuhay has been the most trusted and widely read Filipi­no community newspaper in Calgary and neighbouring cit­ies for the past decade.

    It wouldn’t be possible if not for all the editors, writers, photojournalists, contribu­tors and columnists. Your hard work and dedication has brought our publication original news and features that capture our readers sup­port. We would like to special­ly mention our senior editors Will Tigley and Darlene Cas­ten, photography editors Jeff Cruz and Quay Evano, layout artist Lillian Mak and illustra­tor Mark Santos. Thank you for all the sleepless weekends and for bringing Mabuhay to where it is now.

    Our vigilance, high respect for journalistic ethics and fair­ness keeps Mabuhay’s repu­tation intact and strong. We continue to serve the com­munity by gathering relevant information and providing news that matters.

    Community service over profit is the core value of Mabuhay. Its vision to build a stronger community by giv­ing it a voice is supported by our advertisers. Our shared commitment and principles has kept Mabuhay going over the years.

    A decade is a milestone for all of us and to celebrate this, Mabuhay will be launching its website www. This will be a new endeavor for our organization as we enter a new phase in our publication. Mabuhay will be expanding its presence digitally and on social media.

    To all our readers, Mabu­hay will be around as long as you all have stories to tell and share. From relevant is­sues that need attention to stories of triumph and suc­cess of fellow kababayans. Mabuhay Calgary is and al­ways will be your newspaper.


    —Vangie and Paolo

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