SUNSTAR Davao took home three awards from different categories at the 10th Globe Media Excellence Award (GMEA) on Friday, March 31.

Digital Content and Services Head Ace June Rell Perez won the Social Media Advocacy of the Year for Digital for the online program The Talking Heads.

The program, which airs on SunStar Davao's Facebook page, invites leaders and personalities from various sectors to talk about trending and relevant topics in today's society.

"I share this award with the whole social media team of SunStar Davao. With this award, we are reminded again of our commitment to responsible journalism," Perez said.

Columnist and former sports editor Marianne Abalayan won the award for the first-ever #KwentoNgTagumpay: Uplifting Lives Through Digital Technology (Community) category.

Her winning piece is titled 'Matigsalug women bring craftsmanship to the world.' She shares that this is her first GMEA win after four nominations.

"I was wondering why I was so nervous at the start of the awarding. This is really in God's perfect time," Abalayan said.

She adds, "I thank my SunStar Davao family, my Abalayan and Saberon families, ICOC Davao, my bosses, and colleagues. To the Matigsalug Women of the Uplifting the IP Women Project Davao, thank you for inspiring me to write your stories of hope and perseverance to build up yourselves, livelihood, families, and your tribe."

SunStar Davao's former photojournalist and four-time finalist Mark Perandos also bagged his first GMEA with his piece Grandpa's Love.

Perandos thanked his wife, family, and colleagues Perez and former editor-in-chief Stella Estremera for believing in him during his five-year journey with SunStar Davao.

"Kini nga kadaogan akoang ihalad sa akoang duha ka mga higala nga mipanaw na apan nahimong dakong parte sa akoang kinabuhi. Kang Jec-Jec ug Benzayb. Para ni sa inyo (I also dedicate this award to my late friends Jec-Jec and Benzayb who were a huge part of my life)," Perandos said.

Meanwhile, finalists SunStar Davao editor Ralph Llemit, reporter Krizzy Daugdaug, and columnist Jinggoy Salvador expressed gratitude for their nominations despite not being able to bring home the main awards in their respective categories.

“Win or lose, this is such a great opportunity and honor for me that my name is printed alongside veteran journalists. So thank you for the opportunity and I hope this will not be the last one,” Daugdaug said.

Llemit added, "Being nominated in the annual GMEA awards is already an achievement for media practitioners. Out of all the entries, I was chosen as a finalist. It motivates us to do better in our stories, which is for the community."

SunStar Davao Editor-in-chief Reuel John F. Lumawag said the wins and nominations in the 10th GMEA will continue to inspire SunStar Davao’s journalists and storytellers in pursuing more meaningful stories.

“On its 10th year, GMEA continues to inspire journalists to pursue meaningful stories of their communities. Moving forward, we will continue to pursue big stories from our communities that will inspire the readers, encourage positive change, and foster meaningful discussions,” Lumawag said. ICM