Chit Estella: Soft-spoken journalist with solid principles
ANDREO C. CALONZO
May 16, 2011
For her colleagues in the media, the late veteran journalist and university professor Lourdes “Chit” Estella Simbulan will be remembered as the “calm” at the center of the frenzied newsroom.
Lourdes “Chit” Estella Simbulan has been described by some of her colleagues in the media as the calm at the center of a frenzied newsroom. Tita Valderama
Broadcast journalist Ed Lingao said Simbulan “broke the stereotype of a reporter” when he first met her covering the Palace beat in the 1980s.
“She was courageous, principled and firm, but was quiet,” he said during a tribute to the veteran journalist on Sunday night.
Simbulan, 54, was killed Friday night along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, the so-called “killer highway,” when a wayward passenger bus collided with the taxi she was riding. The driver of the bus fled the scene and has yet to surrender.
Lingao also recalled how Simbulan exuded an “approachable” aura — always welcoming and ready to flash a smile at anyone.
Columnist Ellen Tordesillas, meanwhile, remembers her fellow VERA Files trustee as a “gentle” woman with “rigid” ethical standards.
“When it comes to ethics, hindi siya nagdi-dilemma. Kapag tama, tama (For Chit, what’s right is right. No ifs nor buts),” she said at the same tribute.
Tordesillas also shared how Simbulan would bring packed food when covering government events to avoid eating “lavish” meals offered by officials.
Simbulan also did not find anything amusing about being bribed, and was “disgusted” even by the mere thought of receiving money from her sources.
Vicente Tirol, Chit’s colleague in the tabloid Pinoy Times, for his part, talked about how the late journalist had “lived a principled life.”
“Isa siyang malinis na peryodista. Wala siyang bahid ng korupsyon,” he said.
(Chit was one upright journalist. Not a taint of corruption on her.)
Tirol also recalled how “strict” Simbulan was when it came to editing the tabloid, refusing to accept any write-up which did not meet the deadline.
For her widower, Roland Simbulan, she will always be remembered as his “best critic.” “She was not only a good writer and good editor. She had a way of pointing out what was wrong in a very gentle way,” he said.
He even recalled how Simbulan would correct grammatical errors in his love letters when he was still courting her.
“She was my best critic and I respected that. Akala mo gentle siya, but she was solid as a rock when it comes to principles,” he said.
Mr. Simbulan admitted that he still has “not yet come to terms” with his wife’s death, but believes her inspiration will remain with each person she met.
“I think Chit will continue to live with us if we not only admire her qualities but match these qualities,” he said.
Simbulan’s remains will be cremated on Tuesday morning at the Arlington Memorial Chapel. — MRT/KBK/HS, GMA News