Mar 202013

CMC honors Lourdes Estella-Simbulan (1957-2011)

Bernice P. Varona


Journalism instructor Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan (August 19, 1957-May 13, 2011) was the subject of a tribute at the UPD College of Mass Communication (CMC) last May 18. Simbulan died in a motor car accident on Commonwealth Avenue last May 13.

Her ashes were brought to the CMC auditorium where colleagues, friends, students, and family gathered to honor her.

Known in the journalism profession as Chit Estella, she died at the age of 53 when the taxi she was in was rammed by a bus as she was on her way to have dinner with friends at the UP Ayala Techno-hub along Commonwealth Avenue. The accident happened at around 6 p.m. last May 13.

In her opening remarks, Journalism Prof. Rachel Khan said that Estella-Simbulan was a good, reliable friend who also served as an inspiration for her accomplishments in journalism.


UP CMC faculty, students and staff toast to Chit Simbulan at the end
of the tribute.


Journalism Prof. Danilo Arao, who is also UP assistant vice-president for public affairs, read UP President Alfredo Pascual’s statement. Pascual said that Estella-Simbulan’s death is “a great loss to the academe and the field of journalism, where she upheld the highest ethical and professional standards of the profession through teaching, research, extension and actual practice.” Pascual stressed the need to improve road conditions in the country to prevent other tragic accidents and mishaps, citing several studies done by the UP National Center for Transportation Studies (UP NCTS).

Other speakers during the tribute included CMC Dean Roland Tolentino, Department of Journalism Chair Marichu Lambino and former CMC Dean Georgie Encanto who is also a member of the journalism faculty. They all talked about Estella-Simbulan’s professionalism, high ethical standards and achievements in journalism. For her part, CMC Administrative Officer Gina Villegas said that Estella-Simbulan was generous, sincere and humble.

Estella-Simbulan’s former students also recounted how Estella-Simbulan touched their lives. Kristine Felisse Mangunay, an incoming faculty member of the Department of Journalism, talked about how Estella-Simbulan’s vision of producing journalists with high ethical standards who are accountable to the public affected the conduct of the work of journalists. Mae Hernandez, who served as student assistant of the Department of Journalism, mentioned Estella-Simbulan’s patience and willingness to teach. For his part, Eunille Ocampo of the UP Journalism Club (of which Estella-Simbulan served as faculty adviser) said that she set an example for the students and “walked the talk.” Franz dela Fuente of Tinig ng Plaridel (official student publication of UP CMC) recalled how Estella-Simbulan effectively guided him as he wrote his undergraduate thesis.


With heads bowed in silence, some UP CMC faculty and Chit’s family
members offer a prayer while inside the deceased instructor’s room
in the college.

Speaking for the family, Gil Estella, Chit’s younger brother, said that his sister was well-loved. He added that it was Estella-Simbulan who influenced him to become a writer. Prof. Roland Simbulan, former UP Faculty Regent and Estella-Simbulan’s husband, expressed his gratitude to everyone who paid their last respects. He said that Estella-Simbulan was not just a strong wife but also a “committed partner” in fighting for change in Philippine society.

A toast to Estella-Simbulan’s life concluded the tribute. UP CMC faculty, students, staff and alumni then planted trees on CMC grounds in the professor’s honor. The pealing of the UP Carillon bells to the tune of “Bayan Ko” also happened at around noon.

Credits go to the original article posted here



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