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The STAR Principle

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Forgive me if your Twinkling will sound a bit out of tune today. We are still groggy from the thought that yesterday, we marked the 39th anniversary of your DAILY STAR! Imagine that! Thirty-nine years, when other local journalists were betting that we would not last  one year. We had no millionaire sponsors, we were so idealistic that we swore each other never to be influenced by big shots or politicians, Oh, you know how idealistic one can be at that age. But until now, I firmly believe that the Good Lord must have meant us to survive!

***

He helped us, or rather sent us the best journalists in the city, professional at that. First there was Allen del Carmen, a Master’s degree holder in Journalism from Illinois University in the U.S. Where could such a talented and qualified professional find a job fitting for his qualifications? But Allen immediately accepted our offer, and that is why, to this day, our staff still go by the standards he set. And until now, despite some health problems, he is there behind us for advice, and support.

***

And then came Carla Gomez, a petite chinita, and wide-eyed (not exactly) graduate from Silliman University, who proceeded to Arizona and acquired her Master’s degree, also in journalism, and hurt the feelings of her sponsoring aunt there, when she insisted on returning to the DAILY STAR after graduation. Even I, as president and editor-in-chief, got an inferiority complex, but assured myself that, anyway, I had taken up journalism courses at the University of the Philippines with the most respected newspaper editors in Manila, then Armando Malay, and Rodolfo Reyes, as my teachers. Later I also got a scholarship at the Asian Institute of Management, which somewhat eased my complex.

***

Ah, what problems and struggles we went through to keep the star shining. I don’t want to recall them, and instead just give thanks for our survival. On one anniversary, I can’t remember no which, I wrote a parody on the famous “Anniversary Song” (with apologies to the original composer, of course, that we sang on our fifth year of struggle.) Until now, I can hardly believe how we were able to get together a staff so idealistic and hardworking that, believe it or not, we missed only 10 issues at the height of the COVID pandemic.

***

Enough of the vicissitudesin the life of the DAILY STAR. All we ask our readers and supporters now is for their continued support and prayers as we near the milestone of 40 years. In the meantime, let us all  concentrate  on praying for each other and for the COVID  virus to be conquered before it does further losses in lives throughout the whole world. Let us all pray together that the vaccines our government is acquiring will all be foolproof against this disease.

***

A bit of good news is that oil prices are expected to go down today, and I hope it will be by a maximum amount that can ease our financial problems a bit. Maybe the  oil-producing countries are having a bonanza, and let us pray that they continue to reduce prices to lessen our problems. And I also hear that our country is acquiring the Sputnik vaccine next week. Sputnik was the name of the spaceship Russian sent to the moon. I hope the vaccine does not send us into outer space!

***

But still on vaccines, there is a report that South Korea has produced one that is better than those already in the market because it does not cause blood clots. I think we have to wait a while until all similar products have proven their worth before undergoing  it. Meanwhile COVID is not the only problem troubling other countries. Myanmar is in big trouble because its government has been taken over by the military and it is literally in the state of Martial Law. We know how Martial Law operates, let us pray for the people of Myanmar.

***

Sometimes readers ask me: “Where do you get ideas for what you write?” At first I was nonplused, but later admitted that I listen to people, watch TV, read other newspapers and observe happenings in our own province and city. But all the time, I have to pray that I do not stray from the truth or hurt other people’s feelings with false information, and that is the principle the Daily Star has maintained in all those 39 years, and promise to be guided by in the next 61 years, God willing.*

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