Comeback

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The Visayan DAILY STAR is back after a one-month hiatus.

Hopefully, the white knight that wouldn’t allow its closure to become permanent will succeed in the ongoing restructuring of the organization and business model that will allow the institution to serve the global Negrense community for another 38 years, or longer.

Adding to the good news that many alternative news outlets have quickly sprouted to fill the void left by the absence of both the Visayan DAILY STAR and ABS CBN, the return of one of the country’s oldest community newspapers is always a positive development because it means the public gets more reliable sources of news, opinions, and features to choose from. In an age where fake news and propaganda are threatening to win the war of information and disinformation, we need as many credible sources we can get.

I am hopeful that the Negrense community will continue to support the local media by not just with clicks and likes, but also through the actual buys and purchases that will keep these endangered businesses running so they can provide our communities with this public service. Buy a newspaper from your suking newsboy or news stand, advertise, and subscribe to premium content.

Remember that although the news media may be a public service, it is not a charity. Media outlets need revenue to stay alive and those who cannot get it from legitimate customers will sell whatever they can to the highest bidder. That is something communities who want their news outlets to remain independent and viable need to keep in mind in this age of social media where so much is “free”.

We will need your prayers and support as we embark on this new chapter in the history of the Visayan DAILY STAR.

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On the topic of comebacks, I was at the mall this weekend to accompany my wife for a supply run that coincided with a sale and it was surprising to see a semblance of normalcy.

Although the number of people in the mall and department store was still far from the pre-COVID-19 sale levels, there were enough people to make it look like a normal day. The sight made me worried and hopeful at the same time.

After almost 8 months of setbacks, our world is slowly making comeback after comeback. Many businesses have shuttered, either temporarily or permanently but many have continued fighting it out or have even resurrected.

Some people would probably be shocked and worried had they seen the number of people at the mall last Saturday afternoon, but there are others who would be at the very least glad to see life and business finally picking up. Hopefully the months of training we went through during the world’s longest and strictest lockdown period have ingrained in us all the necessary protocols and precautions for “normal” life to continue.

Based on what I saw in the mall, mask and face shield wearing is already second nature, but we still need work on physical distancing. Although it is understandable that nuclear family members will see no need to be physically distant when in public since they already spend so much time together, we have to be extra considerate during these times because consistent physical distancing will make it easier for strangers to feel comfortable in public. Increasing that level of comfort will be necessary in reopening the economy so let us all pitch in to make everyone around us feel safer and more comfortable as we attempt this comeback from the scourge of COVID.

We have no choice but to continue living. Many of us have adapted by going online, ordering everything from the internet and having stuff delivered to homes. But if local businesses are going to thrive, we are going to have to go out into the wild every now and then. Let us do all we can to make everyone around us feel safer by following the health and safety protocols such as mask wearing and physical distancing. We have to level up and this time, let us do all that not only for our own sake, but for the sake of our communities that have to sustain this comeback.*

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