On Distant Shore, a collection of essays written by veteran journalist Val G. Abelgas under a weekly column of the same name, has been released for distribution. Four volumes of the book series are now available through Amazon and Kindle.
Abelgas, a multi-awarded journalist, writes the weekly column “On Distant Shore” that is published in nine Filipino publications in the United States and Canada. He occasionally contributes op-ed articles to the Manila Standard in Manila. He was the first managing editor of the 30-year-old daily newspaper.
He started writing the column “On Distant Shore” in 1992. His articles tackle topics in Philippine and US politics, foreign policy, society and economy and includes some personal essays.
Abelgas has been a professional journalist for more than 45 years, 20 of them with Manila’s daily newspapers and 25 years with Los Angeles weeklies. He started as a sportswriter with the now defunct Philippines Daily Express while still a junior at the University of the Philippines Institute of Mass Communication. He became the then biggest Philippine daily at a very young age of 24, and rose to become its managing editor in 1986. He wrote a twice a week column “As We See It” for the Daily Express.
When the Aquino government closed down the Daily Express on Jan. 31, 1987, he moved on to become the managing editor of the Manila Standard, which began publication in February 1987. He later became an editorial consultant for the Philippine Star Group of Publications before joining the Philippine Journal as managing editor in 1989.
In 1991, he and his family moved to Los Angeles. He obtained his green card as an alien of extraordinary ability in the field of journalism. In 1993 and 1994, he won Newspaper of the Year, Column of the Year and Columnist of the Year honors in the Philippine Press Club of America Media Awards. Last year, Abelgas was named Journalist of the Year by the Fil-Am Press Club of California.
In 1993, Abelgas organized the first national convention of Filipino editors in North America with President Fidel V. Ramos as guest speaker. Filipino editors from as far away as Toronto, Canada and Hawaii attended the conference at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
Abelgas now publishes and edits the Philippine Post, a community newspaper based in Los Angeles. He has edited various Filipino weekly newspapers and magazines in Los Angeles.
The four volumes of On Distant Shore can be purchased by accessing www.amazon.com and type “On Distant Shore” or “Val Abelgas” in the search bar. The book was published by Jobo Elizes Publishing.