Chit Estella, 54

They say the only time you’ll be able to feel a person’s worth in your life is in his/her absence. Saying goodbye is my weakness, more so is death. A college professor of mine died last night in a bus-taxi collision along “killer highway” Commonwealth Ave. She was aboard a cab that got disastrously smashed by a Universal Guiding Star PUB. Lourdes “Chit” Estella Simbulan, a veteran journo and respected professor, was 54.

I only had one class under Ma’am Chit in my entire college stay in UP Mass Comm. I enrolled under her Journ 121 (Newsroom class) which basically introduced me on how the news desks in broadsheet dailies work and operate.

We held our class in the old Luis Beltran Newsroom that was refurbished semesters after. Almost all Journ 121 classes had their sessions in that dingy room then housing a “bipolar” set of air conditioners. Those notorious ACs would either freeze you to death or lead to your asphyxiation every time they bog down. The computers, on the other hand, were arranged on the sides  and in the front-center stood Ma’am Chit. I didn’t know it then but I’ve kind of realized that the bulok ACs and the PCs’ setup were such to make every session… intimate.

Going to Journ 121 class has been my favorite part of my day back then—particularly on Thursdays when we held classes for three hours every afternoon. It was siesta time for a lot of people but, along with my blockmates, I  was kept awake just by listening to Ma’am Chit’s lecture.

See, Ma’am Chit has always been a talker. She had this distinct flair in her speech and diction that transcended to eloquence. She also used to call her students with a Mr. or Ms. “Mr. Viloria. Ms. Balod. Ms. Suarez.” She would ask you how to do this and that, if you, for example, were a copyeditor. She would swell with her anecdotes every time. Albeit her hard news background, she’d often  make every journalism class seem, sound light. Perhaps, it’s on how she’d always end her sentences with a warm ~auto~ smile.

Yes, that auto smile.

(Photo by Alan Robles)

Meantime, Ma’am Chit will be missed boundlessly by both her colleagues and her students.

I may not have known the brave Chit Estella who once served both as senior reporter and editor in major publications—the woman who edited Pinoy Times, the tabloid that has fearlessly hit then President Joseph Estrada.

I have known, however, Ma’am Chit—the mentor who had shown exemplary dedication in the craft. One who has never stopped hoping that someday, as she once told several students, WE’ll be able to “turn the country upside down.”

Chit Estella (Photo by VERA Files oh which she was a trustee)

Chit Estella (Photo by VERA Files oh which she was a trustee)

You tend to do more than what is asked for. Keep things simple. Effort is recognized though. (Ma’am Chit to me) 😥


About barrycyrus

Hi, I'm Barry Viloria, 21 and not a blogger. I occasionally bitch about what's hot, what's not, what's life-threatening and what's Blake Lively wearing but I refuse to be called a "blogger." That's it.

Posted on May 14, 2011, in Campus, Persona and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Life is truly unpredictable….Condolences to her family! I remember one of my teachers way back in high school died not by an accident but disease. It takes time to heal the wound if you know that person really means to you. To you Barry, sorry to hear the news…Everything happens for a reason! Stay strong!

    • Yeah. Pag oras natin, oras na natin talaga.

      I, together with a lot of my journ friends, am deeply saddened by this. Ma’am Chit’s legacy will sustain us.

  2. Barry, a well-written eulogy!

  3. Condolence to her family. Tragedy is like a thief in the night. My humble prayers for her.

  4. oh god, i never had a class under her but i’d see her around. thanks for this barry.

    condolences to her family.

  5. Super like. Bow down me.

  6. I felt really sad when I heard the news. I had her for two subjects…

    But more than sadness, I feel anger. Anger for that moronic driver who ended a soul that was so beautiful, loved and has touched so many lives. That driver still lives, and what has he contributed to society? His whole existence can’t even compare to that of Maam Simbulan’s and yet he is the one who keeps on living.

    • Aww, you’re a Simbulan baby pala.

      But as Ellen Tordesillas had said yesterday night, maybe the death is not so senseless as it is. This actually urged the government to take action re: road management.

  7. my condolences to the family. she’s a loss to the industry.

  8. Wonderful items from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you’ve received here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way wherein you say it. You are making it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to learn much more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

  1. Pingback: [In the news] Chit Estella: Soft-spoken journalist with solid principles – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News | Human Rights Online Philippines

  2. Pingback: Stories for Ma’am Chit « PinoyJourn: Stories behind the Stories

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