About writing for SunStar Davao

If there is one task I never I would last at it would be writing. I know I can never excel in this undertaking. I’m lazy, moody, easily get distracted and a procrastinator, traits that don’t make a good writer. I’ve also cast reading aside in favor of TV, another poor characteristic of mine. Thus, my vocabulary is limited and my storytelling is that of a high school student, I’ve been told. 

On days that creativity strike, words can flow like gentle water on a stream. Okay, other times it’s like a tsunami that words get superfluous. I’ve been called out on that, too. That started me to practice restraint. This is one of the things I’ve learned working for a daily newspaper. 

It was in 2000 when I was invited to join the SunStar Davao team and given a page on a Sunday. Write anything you want, said the publisher. And I did. Twenty years after, I’m still writing for the newspaper. Surprised? I am, too, after the confession I made.

A SunStar Weekend story published in 2003

There is joy in sharing stories. I do the “easier task” of writing about lifestyle and events, I can’t do what my colleagues in news and business can do—and I’m talking about award-winning writers and editors. I’m not on their level. The only “award” I have received and will receive is when I don’t submit a story on time (award is gay lingo for getting reprimanded).

Somehow I developed the discipline. Weekly I wrote my pieces. On good days I submit before deadline and on infertile days I do so on the last hour (writer’s block is real!), which editors don’t appreciate.  

Writing for SunStar opened a lot of doors. I got to meet the movers and shakers of the various industries locally and elsewhere. More than a handshake, there was a chance to chat and mingle with them. I got to enjoy first dibs on a lot of things, from food promotions to a new product introduced to the market. Travel invitations came and I was able to visit places I’ve never been to, meet more people and establish connections. All these experience made me excited to write and share to the readers. 

A SunStar Weekend story published in 2003

Yup, those are dignitaries behind me. It happened becuase I’m part of SunStar

In the twenty years, I’ve witnessed the changes. There was already the internet but that was dial up. Documents can be emailed and with no scanner, photos had to delivered to the office. Then came my digital camera, but these files have to sent by batches and can take forever to load. Eventually, sending everything became easier and I can do that from anywhere in the world. Thus, I never missed a single Sunday story in the past 20 years. Well, not until this pandemic struck and the Sunday issue has to be cut off the printing line. 

It’s heartwarming to be considered a part of the SunStar family for 20 years now and counting

SunStar is surviving this challenging time. I believe it’s the only newspaper that didn’t halt its printing and has the most active web page and social media account in the city. The new breed of journalists and officers are doing an excellent job. 

On September 7, SunStar Davao will celebrate its 25th year. It’s a milestone for the community newspaper and the team behind it. Happy anniversary, Sunstar! 

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

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