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In memoriam: Jose Maria ‘Joey’ Alarilla, a visionary in digital media and technology

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The digital world has lost a true pioneer and advocate with the passing of Jose Maria “Joey” Alarilla. A beloved husband and father, Joey was known for his storytelling prowess and passion for using technology to create positive change. He was the Head of Content at Playfix.io, where he continued to champion digital innovation.

Joey’s wife, Ellen Alarilla, confirmed his passing in the early hours of 06 July 2024, due to MEITL — a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 52.

Alarilla’s contributions to the digital landscape were vast and varied. As one of the original pioneers behind INQ7, now known as INQUIRER.net, he played a crucial role in transitioning the Philippine Daily Inquirer into the digital age. His work included managing portals like the hackenslash gaming news site and the Global Nation portal, which catered to Filipinos living abroad. These initiatives not only attracted new audiences but also generated significant revenue streams, demonstrating Joey’s strategic acumen and foresight.

A true innovator, Joey trained the country’s first multimedia journalists, and launched blogs, podcasts, and online video networks, setting new standards for digital journalism in the Philippines. His expertise was also recognized beyond his home country. He was one of the pioneering tech bloggers for Singapore-based CNET Asia and a multimedia critic for the US-based PopMatters.com, where his insights reached a global audience.

Joey’s influence extended to his tenure at Yahoo! as the Southeast Asia Head of Social and Community. Here, he built and implemented a vision that successfully grew and engaged the Yahoo! community across the region, reflecting his exceptional ability to connect with people through digital platforms. He was also instrumental in the growth of online gaming in the Philippines when he was the Multimedia Head at Level Up Inc.

In February 2020, Joey launched Digital Life Asia, a platform dedicated to covering technology, science, gaming, geek culture, and entertainment across the Asian continent. His vision and dedication to this project were a testament to his lifelong commitment to digital media and its potential to inform and entertain.

Most recently, Joey joined the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation as a Tech News Columnist, continuing to share his insights and expertise with a broad audience.

His literary talents were equally impressive. Joey won third prize in the prestigious Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature with his essay “Surviving the Zeroes,” showcasing his eloquence and depth as a writer. He also authored the Philippine Internet Commerce Society’s “E-Business Made Easy” handbook for SMEs and contributed essays to notable publications such as “Tikman Ang Langit: An Anthology on the Eraserheads” and ANI 32, the 32nd edition of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ official literary journal.

Joey Alarilla’s legacy is one of innovation, inspiration, and dedication. He leaves behind a profound impact on the digital and literary worlds, having paved the way for future generations of journalists, writers, and digital champions. His life and work will continue to inspire those who believe in the power of technology for good.

Rest in power, Joey. So long, my friend.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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