WE CALL it our big little sister. This is because it is smaller in paper size and smaller in number of staff.

But Sun.Star Davao Superbalita, Sun.Star Davao's tabloid in the vernacular is bigger, much bigger... in circulation. In the past 11 years, it has become a much sought-after local newspaper, the daily early morning fix of the masa, even in provinces where English newspapers are not so appreciated and other local newspapers can only survive if they are given away for free. And no, Superbalita is not for free. That should tell you how popular it is.

Superbalita was launched on July 24, 11 years ago, as a community newspaper in the vernacular, and thus stands pat on the decency of its content.

Through the past 11 years, other local tabloids with the sex and gore format tried to grab the market leadership from Superbalita, but even the seemingly phenomenal rise in circulation of these sleazy tabloids couldn't force Superbalita to play in their chosen field of dirty games. The challengers have fallen on the wayside, with the illicit thrill of lewd stories never able to sustain continued patronage.

After 11 years, Superbalita has come full-fledged as the newspaper of the masang Dabawenyo featuring not just breaking news and developments in their own barangays, but also help services with regards government service and programs as well as advices for their health and livelihood.

Readers are also tapped to have their voices heard on current issues that affect their communities, cities, towns, and country through snail mail or text messages. Interaction with real readers and with real concerns come fast and often, it could rival the virtual interaction offered by websites.

But most of all, it is in touch with the communities it serves.

Today, Superbalita is manned by its managing editor Ely M. Luciano with a little help from editor in chief Stella A. Estremera along with a lean and mean staff composed of desk editor Wenz G. Mendoza, reporters Rhona Goc-ong, Alger Dura, and Dina Parcon, photographer Seth delos Reyes, provincial correspondents Marvin Pineda, Edgardo Fuerzas, and Orlando Dinoy, and columnists Emmanuel C. Roldan, Leo R. Villareal, and Al Genoguin.

Through these staffmembers and contributors Superbalita is churned out everyday full of news, issues, ligelihood and health tips, short stories and jokes for every member of the family, whether young or old.