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Bacolod City, Philippines Sunday, April 15, 2012
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BY ALLEN V. DEL CARMEN, Starlife editor 

You  need a break from the oft-flashed reports on violence and gore, or some balance from the seriousness of issues in governance or fiscal matters, like budget and taxes. You leaf through the pages of your daily paper and somewhere, you see some light reading and you heave a sigh of relief – here’s the fare that you’re looking for.

Chances are, you have reached the features section of your favorite newspaper, the one loaded with human interest angles and a wide range of topics, at times trivial, yet interesting.

Conscious of its duty to provide readers with a balanced fare, your DAILY STAR for more than a decade now has been offering STARLIFE, the features section. Adopting a handy, small magazine format at the start, STARLIFE was developed to become the Sunday edition of the DAILY STAR. The demand for a cost efficient management of the publication, however, led to the inclusion of STARLIFE in the main issue of the publication two years ago. Today, the section comes out twice a week – on Wednesdays and Saturdays –  gaining wider readership than before as STARLIFE Midweek and STARLIFE Weekend.

Serving its purpose, it  has carried diverse topics to provide readers with entertainment, education, inspiration and perspectives through regular writers, Dumaguete-based  Ian Rosales Casocot, whose literary flair has given him various national awards, and Dean Cecile Genove of the Silliman University Communication program, who provides updates on activities in the Oriental side of the island as well as Silaynon Carlo Leonardia, whose keen and perceptive observations have gained him following among those conscious of social and everyday issues in Bacolod and Negros Occidental.

Diversity is the trademark of a features section, like STARLIFE. At one time, it features  on its cover page a travel article, like someone revisiting the exotic island of Bali, or enjoying  a tour of Europe,  going on a cycling expedition in Kathmandu, or simply shopping and sightseeing in style in Hong Kong.

It also carries local tourism activities, from the Panaad Festival to the Bacolaodiat, the happy occasions during town celebrations and  festival queens, or its stories  can be issue-based, like disaster risk awareness and practical guidelines on other environmental advocacies and concerns.

As Negrenses are widely-known for their love of sports, STARLIFE also reflects this passion. It has featured the Philippine Azkals, international competitions, training programs and other events played at the widely-acclaimed Negros sports arena, the Panaad Park. Young athletes find  a further sense of accomplishment by not just clinching medals but also seeing their names and photos in print.

While features usually veer from the current and the timely to focus on what is humanly interesting, STARLIFE does not stay away from what is relevant and helps promote events like Earth Hour, holidays and celebrations, like Ramadan, Easter and special international  events, like women’s day, as well as anniversaries, like the golden or silver year’s commemoration of an institution, an organization or an agency.

Beyond what is interesting, STARLIFE, likewise, hopes to provide inspiration to readers through the account of others, like persons with disabilities, on how they work to become better individuals by weathering storms in their lives for it believes that, beyond the function of entertainment and information, like news dissemination, features become more appealing to readers if they realize that they can get something more from what they read that they can use to improve or apply in their lives.

As  DAILY STAR celebrates a milestone in its existence this week, STARLIFE explores  more opportunities to be responsive to its readers that, together, they grow better and become more sufficient in knowledge, uplift  and experience. *    AVDC

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From sports to arts, culture and travel articles, STARLIFE provides readers with a range of entertaining, informative, perceptive and inspiring stories.*

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