Bobit Avila, STAR columnist, writes 30

The Philippine Star
Bobit Avila, STAR columnist, writes 30
Valeriano Avila

MANILA, Philippines — Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, whose opinion columns graced the pages of The Philippine STAR and The Feeman for decades, died yesterday. He was 70.

His family has not made a formal announcement as to the cause of his death but he had been diagnosed with cancer last year. He also had a kidney transplant several years back.

He was writing a daily column in The STAR and Freeman called “Shooting Straight” before his illness forced him to temporarily stop writing last year. Aside from being a columnist, Avila also hosted the talk show “Straight from the Sky” on SkyCable, which unlocked a key milestone in local television production when it turned 20 years last year.

In a special feature in February 2020, The Freeman economic journalist Ehda Dagooc wrote:“Long before the word ‘influencer’ became a buzzword in today’s digital generation, Bobit has already owned this reputation in the field of journalism in Cebu and in other parts of Visayas.

Because of his untarnished name, Bobit easily gained the trust of the community as well as the leaders of various sectors, may it be in politics, business or the religious sectors. In fact, in just one year from the debut of ‘Straight from the Sky’ talk show, he became the first TV record holder. All other TV shows never lasted for a year, even those shows in the mainstream channels.”.

The Cebu Citizens-Press Council, in a Facebook post, said it was also mourning the seasoned writer’s passing.

Before Avila made a history in the local television scene, the outspoken true-blue Cebuano had been in the journalism sphere as a young businessman.

According to Dagooc’s article, Avila finished Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) at the University of San Carlos and that journalism was initially not part of his life’s itinerary. He thought his heart was to help the family’s flourishing business in real estate, leasing and entertainment management (cinema).

However, his sharp thought and intellect brought him to an unfamiliar ground in print and broadcasting under the tutelage of Philippine journalism guru, the late STAR publisher Max Soliven.

After the EDSA Revolution in the 1980s, Avila found himself falling in love with the selfless nature of being a journalist. He became the first regional bureau chief of the Philippine STAR, held a program over DYLA, and got himself a generous space in the opinion page of Cebu’s oldest newspaper, The Freeman.

Avila managed several of his family’s companies, located in both downtown and uptown areas. – Freeman News Service

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