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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, April 12, 2018
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Join our sentimental journey

Ninfa Leonardia

Once again, your DAILY STAR is on a sentimental journey. Today, we mark our 36 th year of existence and, believe it or not, we who have been with it continuously since its maiden issue came out on April 12, 1982, can hardly believe that we could continue publishing this long. All the odds seemed against us then. We started by recruiting, cajoling, imploring and browbeating friends and relatives to join our “messianic” project, and miracle of miracles, many of them believed in us!

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But now that we have gone this far, would we ourselves have believed that a P5,000 (maximum) investment by our supporters, backers, believers and sympathizers would go this far? Ah, there were times when the few of us who continued to be on the staff seemed ready to throw in the towel, so to speak. But somehow, something always came up to inspire us further, not the least of this the constant prayers and encouragement of two men of God, who understood us, and who guided us through their prayers and encouragement.

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That is why I can never reminisce on the history of the DAILY STAR without mentioning our own version of our Patrons, then Bacolod Bishop Antonio Fortich who was “Mons” to us on the staff, and Monsignor John Liu of the Hua Ming Church and the one promoting the devotion to the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. Until now we remember them both with deep gratitude and always when hard times come. And they have never failed us.

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Today, I remember how many times we had transferred our offices since the day we started. The first was at the printing press of a friend, Albert Lim, the Bacolod Ace Printers, at Luzuriaga Street. But we had been there barely two weeks when the place caught fire and all our meager furniture, equipment (all second-hand typewriters), our bond paper, our few records all vanished in smoke with poor Albert’s printing press (may he rest in peace).

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Our next move was to the Philsucom Office where we were allowed to work on its corridors, but because they had a printing press, we didn’t mind sitting on the steps while typing our reports. Not long after, we were able to get a space at the Goldenfield Complex, but couldn’t continue to afford to rent, so we moved to the Negros Press Club building that had been newly built then. It was there where we had the most exciting times of our journalistic existence because that was the time when the insurgency was raging and when the town mayor of Kabankalan was killed and three priests were tagged as suspects.

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Now, only one of the three was Filipino, Fr. Vicente Dangan. The two others were Fr. Brian Gore, an Australian, and Fr. Niall O’Brien, an Irishman. The court case that followed drew international attention, and your DAILY STAR became the focus of reporters from all over the world, following up the case. Journalists from the top news agencies of the world were our frequent visitors and correspondents, and three of us, Allen del Carmen, Carla Gomez and I became stringers for the Associated Press, United Press International and Reuters, respectively.

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Those were the days! But after the case was over, things went back to normal and the struggle continued. We moved again to Nueva Street, and from there, later to the Teresa Development Building at Justicia Street, now Galo. From there it was to the old Kilayko residence at San Juan Street, and later to the Paglaum Building of the NOHS. I guess our luck started from there, because, despite some internal troubles, we were able to purchase a lot at Lacson Street, and subsequently build the STAR BUILDING which we now occupy! And those, with the grace of God and, I am sure, the constant prayers of our patrons and inspirers, we were able to accomplish through our very own earnings!

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And that, once again, is the Story of the Star which you, our faithful readers, advertisers and supporters have helped us through, and from whom we hope for your continued inspiration. Times are not as rosy as before, but we continue to be buoyed by the hope that we have been loved and supported this far, so it must mean that your STAR and ours will still go on shining for a long, long time.

THANK YOU AGAIN FROM YOUR FAITHFUL AND GRATEFUL STAR!*

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