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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, August 3, 2020
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Rallying for the STAR

Ninfa Leonardia

The DAILY STAR staff and I were all stunned when news spread around that the DAILY STAR would stop publication. I don’t think anyone of us had ever made such announcement because, despite all the vicissitudes that this pandemic has foisted on humanity, as well as on the media, we still clung to the thought that times would improve and if we keep swinging long enough, we will still come out with fists in the air! For the information of all our readers, friends, supporters and sympathizers, we have not missed a single issue since the plague descended on the world. And with the blessings of the Lord, who had inspired and guided us all those 38-plus years, and the support and encouragement of all you readers and friends, we will continue to do so and still rise every morning to supply you the news.

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Our plight apparently reached even the biggest and most popular newspapers in the country whose members have expressed sympathy for us. That, and the prayers and encouragement from all of you, our faithful readers, advertisers and supporters, have kept us going and, together, when our Lord hears and grants our prayers, we will continue shining as long as we have His blessings, and yours, our faithful readers and backers. Times are really bad right now, but “Hindi tayo nag-iisa”, or, we are not alone. Worldwide, this plague has affected all endeavors, but let us just go on praying and assure ourselves that “We will survive”!

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“STAR TO STAR”. It was heartening to hear from our “tocayo” national paper, the “Philippine STAR” whose president sent a message through the Mayor, who was apparently misinformed because he thought we had ceased publication. Said Mr. Miguel “Mike” Belmonte, president of the Philippine Star: “I was sad to think that our sister daily decided to stop publication of your Visayan Daily Star after 38 years of existence. It is the most challenging time for the publishing business.” Miguel Belmonte and the Philippine STAR staff. Well, Mr. Belmonte, we may be gasping, but still coming out, and with God’s help and blessings will continue as long as we can.

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May I also quote segments from what the Philippine Daily Inquirer wrote in a recent issue.“The VDS is considered a pillar and institution in the community press in the country. The DAILY STAR is a multi-awarded newspaper. It is also home to committed journalists … This paper of 38 years will be missed. I hope and pray it can bounce back someday, said Ariel Sebelleno, executive director of the Philippine Press Institute, the national association of newspapers. “This is so sad and heartbreaking to know, I grew up with the Visayan DAILY STAR as a staple print news source in Negros …“ Harold Geronimo, Megaworld assistant vice president and head of public relations and external affairs, said in a Facebook post.

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Well, I would like to assure all our readers, supporters and sympathizers that your STAR has not thrown in the towel yet, as boxers would say. “We are still going on, not having missed a single day, COVID or No COVID, and continuously praying for the protection of our staff and supporters so we can all rejoice together until, as a popular hit of the 60s said “The clouds roll by”. Again, I emphasize, that there is no truth to the rumor that the STAR had stopped publication. Who knows what the coming days will bring? But, check your copies and you will see that our indomitable writers and dedicated staff are not the type to give up easily. And with your prayers and support, let the STAR continue to shine brightly!

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I do not mind admitting that some of our staff have taken this setback so hard that it has affected their health. Please pray for them and for all of us because that is what we need to go on. Of course we admit that while our spirits are still very high, our finances are rock bottom, so unless some Guardian Angel or fairy Godfather or Godmother waves a magic wand over us, the day we fear the most might come. But as we always believe, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”, and that is what is keeping us up. And that hope is for your continued support and patronage of the very first DAILY newspaper ever to thrive for 38 successful years in our city and province and even has patrons worldwide.

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But this I must say for the information of our readers, friends and supporters. In all those 38 years of publication, no libel suits or charges have ever progressed against the STAR. We have stuck to all the rules of journalistic ethics and we can look anyone in the eyes to claim that we always do our best to be fair, truthful and accommodating to anyone with a grievance. If I sound as if I am writing a valedictory, that is far from the truth. In fact it even seems as if these challenges have invigorated our loyal and highly professional staff to continue coming out swinging – through the help of prayers and the love and support of our community. So help us keep our STAR shining and serving our community and country!*

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