Asia Trend Magazine is putting the past behind it. Starting this month, you won’t see its magazine rack beside Asian language newspapers or local newspapers like the Tampa Bay Times or Tampa Tribune at Asian restaurants and stores in Florida.
“We started the magazine 10 years ago. Can’t believe it was like yesterday. In 2005, we started a new magazine called Asia Trend Magazine, reporting on Asian-related news, lifestyles, food, community, business and it’s been 10 years. During this anniversary year, we decided to go a step farther and start using a new website, www.asiatrend,org. You’ll be able to see the magazine everywhere. We’re going completely online, starting this September 2015,” said Shally Wong in Tampa this week.
“While we were picking up our magazine racks, a lot of business owners and customers told us they will miss the magazine,” Wong said.
Shally Wong, C.K. (Ching Ka) Lau and Ada Wong founded and launched magazine printed in English in the Orlando area. Shally and C.K. immigrated from Hong Kong and became naturalized United States citizens. They stayed in Florida, but Ada Wong returned to Hong Kong and remotely contributes to the magazine.
“We started the magazine 10 years ago and at that time, we all thought we don’t have that much Asian-related news reported by mainstream media. That’s why we wanted to do it ourselves. We want more of our news shared by others,” Wong said.
During the magazine’s 10-year run in print, Wong, Lau, staff and volunteers published 120 monthly issues and delivered the free magazines to 22 places in Florida, but some places were hard to reach, Wong said.
Going mobile is the trend, Wong said. The new website also will help the magazine reach a wider audience and more readers. Go to http://www.asiatrend.org to see latest weekly online edition.
“From now on, you can read this magazine from your mobile phone, tablet. Besides Florida, we try to go more global. We can go to California, New York and try to report news from Asia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam. We can do a lot of news overseas and put it on our website,” Wong said.
“I’m excited and hope readers and advertisers will keep supporting us and share our articles on social media. It will help a lot,” Wong said.
Before Asia Trend Magazine, Shally Wong graduated from the University of Central Florida and earned a BA in Business Administration in 1994. Lau earned his Graphic Designer degree at Hong Kong First Institute of Art and Design and worked at Radio Hong Kong Art Department and advertising companies in Hong Kong before moving to Orlando in 1999. Lau also started his design and graphics company in 2004 and became publisher of Asia Trend Magazine in 2005.
While in Florida, Wong and Lau have made many friends, Asians and non-Asians. Orange County officials and Asian groups have recognized and honored Wong for outstanding community service, including the Ellison S. Onizuka Humanitarian Award from the Asian American Chamber of Commerce. The humanitarian award given to Shally Wong honors NASA Astronaut Ellison Onizuka who was born in Hawaii and was a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded in January 1986.
Wong and Lau also have partnered with many to organize and sponsor dragon boat races, parades and festivals in Orlando and around Florida to celebrate Asian culture.