CHIT ESTELLA-SIMBULAN: A PROFILE
Lourdes Estella Simbulan, also known as Chit Estella, was born on August 19 in the year 1957. Her parents are Atty. Elijio Estella and real estate broker Mrs. Antonia Panganiban-Estella. Chit is second in a brood of five. Her siblings are Eli or “Bong” (deceased), Gil, Imelda, and Ian. She was married to University of the Philippines-Manila Professor Roland Simbulan. She finished AB Journalism at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 1978, and obtained a Master of Public Management degree from the UP Open University in 2010.
As an academician, she became a lecturer at the UP College of Mass Communication in the years 1997 to 1998, and at the Ateneo de Manila University from 2002 to 2003. She was Instructor 7 at the Department of Journalism, College of Mass Communication, at the University of the Philippines in 2005 and became Assistant Professor II in 2011. She taught at the premiere state university until her passing on May 13, 2011.
A veteran journalist, Estella had wide and varied experiences in her profession. From 1980 to 1981, she wrote for the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, a social development arm of the Philippine Catholic Church. She had her media reporting stints at The Manila Evening Post (1981 to 1982), Tempo newspaper (1981 to 1982), and Malaya newspaper (1986 to 1994).
Estella worked in the Philippine Daily Inquirer as a copy editor from August to December 1994, and in the Manila Times as managing editor from January 1995 to April 1999. Chit took over as OIC editor-in-chief of the Manila Times when its editor went to Harvard as Nieman Fellow. She became editor-in-chief of the ground breaking tabloid Pinoy Times from August 1999 to January 2002, and also in Kilosbayan Magazine from February to March of 2003. In Mirror Magazine she served as contributing editor (July 2003-2005). She was editor of the Philippine Journalism Review Reports of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility in August 2005 to December 2007. In March 2008, Estella co-founded the Vera Files news agency.
Professor Estella-Simbulan received recognition from Developing Asia Journalism Awards (Asian Development Bank), as first runner-up winner in the Poverty Category for her article Nursing Schools Sell Dreams of a Life Abroad (April 2006), in PCIJ, and won in the Catholic Mass Media Awards for Special Feature Story with her article Travails of an Honest Civil Servant, (2003), in Kilosbayan Magazine.
Some of Estella’s researches were Advertising and Other Owners of Media: The Search for New Models of Survival among Media Organizations (February 2010), which was a faculty grant research, and Gender Sensitivity in News Reporting that was presented in the Graciano Lopez Jaena Seminar in October 2005.
She was a contributing writer in: Huling Ptyk: Da Art of Nonoy Marcelo (2005); Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism’s (PCIJ) book on political coverage in media, the Uncovering the Beat (1997); and The Search for the Centennial President (1998), a book on the candidates of the 1998 presidential elections published by The Manila Times and the Ateneo Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs.
She edited various books and journals and some of them were: Health Social Sciences: Experiences and Insights from the Philippines of the Philippine Health Social Sciences Association, 2003; Embering: Essays on Loving and Living by Mely Cruz-Roa, 2003; Boss Danding (An Unauthorized Biography of Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr.) by Earl Parreño, December 2003; Running Peace (Essays by Fr. Robert Reyes), March 2004; The Life and Music of Col. Antonino R. Buenaventura, July 2004The Modern Principalia: History of the Philippine Elite by Dante Simbulan, 2005; and the Plaridel Journal, February 2010.
The collection of her recently written articles included: Lack of Nurses Burdens an Ailing Health Care System, PCIJ, March 2005; The Senator and the Healer, Mr. and Ms. Magazine, June 2005; Oh, What a Perky Life (The Perks of Journalism), Philippine Journalism Review Report, 2005; When Media Takes a Stand, Philippine Journalism Review Reports, September to October 2005; Mystery of the Midnight News, Philippine Journalism Review Reports, 2006; The Religious Press and Martial Law, Philippine Journalism Reports, 2007; and her various articles in the VERA Files online publication, 2008-2010. Estella wrote The Future of Newspapers in Plaridel Journal in 2007, which she presented in a seminar at the UP College of Mass Communication in 2007.
Her list of extension works included the following: Member, Board of Judges, Explanatory Articles, Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism, 2005; Member, Screening Committee, Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism, 2005; Chairman, Board of Judges, Philippine Collegian Editorial Exam, February 2006; Lecturer, “Political Reporting,” Bicol University journalism students seminar, March 2006; Lecturer, Seminar on News Editing and Opinion Writing, St. Joseph College, March 2008; and Lecturer, “Writing the News,” Holy Angel University, March 2010.
She received trainings from The Manila Times’ Si Bossing Ang Galing, a managerial competence upgrading seminar in 1999; Covering the New Congress, a seminar-workshop on advanced reporting by the Philippine Press Institute and Asian Institute of Journalism, 1987; and the U.S. International Visitors’ Program for Journalists, 1986.
The specific seminars and conferences she attended were the following: Media Nation 3, Media and the Market, Clark, Pampanga, February 2 to 4, 2006; Trainer, Keeping It Legal and Ethical, Seminar Workshop for Batangas Journalists, Tagaytay, November 2007 (Trainer); Moderator, plenary lecture, 8th Asean Inter-University Conference for Social Change, Manila, May 29, 2008; Lecturer, Inside Philippine Newsrooms, Writers’ Edge Seminar, AIM Conference Hall, Makati, August 4, 2008; Participant, The 2009 Budget and the Power of the Purse, INCITE Gov, Edsa Shangri-La, Mandaluyong, July 13, 2009; Participant/rapporteur, Echo Conference: The Challenge of Being UP, UP Diliman, November 24, 2009; and Resource person, Civil Society and Journalist Partnership for Monitoring and Reporting on the 2010 Elections, Vera Files, Clark, Pampanga, Jan. 13 to 16, 2010.
Estella also worked as editor in Haribon Foundation in March 2004, Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood Project in 2003, SIBS Publishing House in 2003, and St. Paul Publications from 2002 to 2003. ###