28 milestones of Sunstar Davao

SunStar File Photos
SunStar File Photos


Founded by Elpedio Damaso, Peryodiko Dabaw was born and published bi-weekly


Peryodiko Dabaw started publishing 5 times a week.


On September 7, 1987, Peryodiko Dabaw was relaunched as Ang Peryodiko Dabaw marking the entry of the LS Sarmiento Sr. Group of Companies as investor.


Exactly 28 years ago today, SunStar Publishing Inc. bought Ang Peryodiko Dabaw and rebranded it first as SunStar Peryodiko Dabaw before it was renamed again to SunStar Davao.


Sunstar Davao launched its first magazine, the Sunstar Weekend Magazine. It also launched its own website during this year, way ahead of its mother company, Sunstar Cebu, which launched the website for all its affiliates a few years later.


The community newspaper launched SunStar Davao Superbalita, Sunstar Davao's Bisaya counterpart to cater to more readers.


SunStar Davao won its first Philippine Press Institute (PPI) award, bagging the major award: Best Edited - Daily Category.


During the latter part of this year, the community newspaper launched its weekly edition: Sunstar Davao Weekend.


Sunstar Davao Weekend bagged the PPI's Best Edited and Best in Business and Economic Reporting - Weekly Category.


Sunstar Davao Weekend bagged the PPI's Best in Photojournalism - Weekly Category.


Sunstar Davao bagged its first award in PPI's Best in Editorial Page.


For the first time, Sunstar Davao got most of PPI's awards, including the major award, the Best Edited Newspaper, and Best in Business and Economic Reporting and Photojournalism awards. While it's weekend edition also bagged the Best in Editorial Page.


Sunstar Davao first published its yearbook magazine, Sunstar Davao Yearbook.


Another first for Sunstar Davao when it won four out of five awards of the PPI's Community Press Awards, bagging the Best Edited, Best in Environmental Reporting, Best in Economic and Business Reporting, and Best in Photojournalism awards. The succeeding years saw Sunstar Davao still winning several awards from PPI.


As the decade turned, SunStar Davao rode to the waves of the changing times as it adapted to the digital platform through the SunStar website.


Four years later, Sunstar Davao's Facebook page was launched to cater to the younger generations who are more inclined toward social media. SunStar Davao’s Facebook page was also created to battle misinformation and disinformation.


The community newspaper strengthened its digital and social media presence in preparation for the 2016 elections.


Also this year, SunStar Davao has recently acquired the global web machine, a cutting-edge printing machine that promises a more refined quality for daily copies. It is the only community newspaper in Mindanao to acquire a web machine that is capable of printing as much as 36,000 in an hour.


A year later, its Instagram account was also created, making it the first community newspaper in the region to have a presence both on Facebook and Instagram.


The first milestone for SunStar Davao's social media pages was achieved when its Facebook page breached the 100,000-follower mark.


SunStar Davao launched the digital version of Best of Davao, an online search for homegrown brands, especially in the food industry. Best of Davao is the organization’s gesture of helping promote the best and high-quality local food brands in Davao City. The first episode featured Davao chocolates.


The community newspaper's new look was launched during this year - Compact with an Impact.


Sun Star Davao won social media campaigns in the prestigious Globe Media Excellence Awards (GMEA). It bagged the Social Media Advocacy for Digital of the Year award for its production of SunStar Dasig. This segment champions Dabawenyos' stories of success and trials. SunStar Davao won the same award in 2020 and 2022 for the campaigns “A convo series” and “The Talking Heads”, respectively.


As more people turn to digital following the pandemic, Sun Star Davao launched a series of weekly online shows namely The Talking Heads, 20 Something, Beshies in tandem which was relaunched as Beshies & Angkol, Istorya Ta, and Ask Atty. Migs (relaunched as Paano Ba Atty in 2021).


SunStar Davao ramped up its digital presence as it expanded to breakthrough platform TikTok. It immediately became one of the most-followed media accounts on the platform in the Philippines. One of its best practices like daily roundup news was also shared by other media companies in Southeast Asia proving that news and relevant stories can be effectively shared on TikTok. At present, Sun Star Davao has over 637,300 followers on TikTok.


The Davao Media Freedom Day (DMFD) forum spearheaded annually by SunStar Davao reached more student journalists as it went online in 2021. It was attended by participants around Mindanao schools including Davao del Norte State College, Davao Oriental State University, and Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, among others. The virtual seminar shed light on topics such as misinformation and fact-checking, journalism ethics, campus journalism, literary journalism, alternative online platforms, and social media’s influence on news gathering and reporting.

DMFD is an annual event to commemorate the Maguindanao Massacre that happened in 2009 and see how the media industry in Davao and Mindanao pushed forward after the gruesome event that took the lives of 58 individuals, 32 of whom were journalists.


Sun Star Davao successfully pulled off a special live coverage for Kadayawan Festival 2022 aired on Facebook, Youtube, and TikTok. It’s the first time the community newspaper braved live coverage streamed on multiple platforms in real-time. This initiative showed that the community newspaper can level the coverage broadcast media is known for.


Sunstar Davao's Facebook page breached 1 Million for its number of followers, the only Facebook page among all community newspapers in the Davao Region that has achieved the milestone.


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