I am celebrating my 20th year as a TV host
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - March 27, 2020 - 12:00am

In these dire times when the whole world is suffering from COVID-19, I cannot forget that today I am celebrating the 20th year of my talk show “Straight from the Sky”. Yes, it was on March 27, 2000 when SkyCable aired my first-ever guest on this show, Manuel “Mar” Roxas who was then the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Over the next several years, I would feature Roxas three more times on this show.

It has been an exciting 20 years as a TV personality, more so that in Cebu no other TV talk show reached a year. So when I reached a year on this show I was already a record holder in Cebu. There were many other talk shows then, but at the end of the day “Straight from the Sky” is now 20 years simply because no one else was doing a similar show. Incidentally, when I became a columnist, it was the late Sir Max Soliven who gave me the name of my column “Shooting Straight”. So when it came to my talk show, it was also Soliven who called it “Straight from the Sky”.

Eight years ago, I was asked by Dr. Joen delas Peñas to run the Wealth Channel and I accepted only if he agreed to rename it as MyTV Channel 30. Since I was managing MyTV Channel, all the other TV cable companies got out of this business. It was then that I also showed “Straight from the Sky” together with SkyCable. MyTV is also shown in Northern Mindanao with PARASAT Cable in Cagayan de Oro. It is a fact that some people told me that they saw my show in Surigao and I told them I had no contacts in Surigao. Apparently our videos had been stolen and shown there without our permission. After all we are the only Cebuano-English channel in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Today, we live in historic times, not only because we are celebrating our 20th year, but the streets of Metro Cebu are traffic-free thanks to the quarantine issued by Gov. Gwen F. Garcia. Now if we are going into a lockdown, I don’t know if they will allow the TV station to make shows. This is something I have to find out. In the meantime, let’s all pray that we shall eventually see the light at the end of this tunnel.

* * *

The latest news from Cebu Province is that it has been placed under enhanced community quarantine or a “lockdown.” This was when Governor Gwen F. Garcia issued an executive order to effect its implementation. However, I really don’t know how this lockdown will be implemented. As we know the devil is in the details. But I must remind the governor that there is something more important that preventing the spread of the virus; it is to ensure that our people at this time would be able to feed themselves. A barangay that obeys the lockdown, but suffers the pangs of hunger is something that our local government units must prevent from happening as this would lead to something more dangerous...food riots!

As the governor pointed out, this enhanced community quarantine here will “custom-fit the situation in Cebu.” The lockdown is proposed to last for at least 20 to 30 days. The governor also said, President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a national state of emergency allowed LGUs to access their local calamity funds.

Meanwhile, Department of Health-7 Director Jaime Bernadas announced the other day that there are nine presumptive positive cases in Cebu. One of the nine is the first confirmed case in Mandaue City who needed to undergo a repeat test. There are six presumptive positive cases in Cebu City, one in Lapu-Lapu City, and one other in Mandaue City. These tests are still awaiting confirmation from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. Let’s all hope that all persons under influence will be negative.

Meanwhile, the Makati Medical Center issued an official statement condemning Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who went with his wife Kathryna to the MMC even if he was supposed to be on home quarantine for the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19. Angry netizens criticized Pimentel, who explained that he was “excited” about the delivery of their first child. But no apology from the Senator? Hamm…


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