Chit Estella: Intrepid Journalist, Nurturing Educator, Servant of the People
Alfredo E. Pascual, President, UP
August 17, 2012
Isang mapagpala’t mapagpalayang umaga sa inyong lahat!
Today we recall not with sorrow but with admiration the works of one of the most prolific journalists and educators not only in the University of the Philippines but also in the whole country.
When Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan died last 13th of May 2011, we lost not only a devoted educator, but also a passionate journalist and a committed social reformer.
Driven with passion after working at the Roman Catholic Church’s National Secretariat for Social Action or NASSA, she wrote for publications like the Manila Evening Post, Tempo, Malaya, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times and Philippine Journalism Review Reports.
In the wake of so many problems confronting the nation, Chit staked her fortunes with sectors often forgotten in your average daily newscast. She chose to pursue the stories of the exploited, the silenced and the disenfranchised.
Chit has done much to contribute to the growth of Philippine journalism. Her works in exposing the questionable practices in governance, seemingly inexplicable social ills and injustices done in various sectors, helped forge a brand of journalism which lives up to the commitment of elevating the social consciousness in pursuit of the truth. And the manifestation of that commitment would be the creation of the Vera Files.
Even in her death, Chit exposed the hazards in our streets. It was the incident which took Chit away which galvanized the call for road safety, particularly in what is considered our country’s “killer highway.” She would gather advocates and supporters who have lost loved ones to the perils in our streets, and magnify their calls for safer roads.
With the launch of the book Chit Estella: A Reader on Media Ethics, People’s Issues and Governance, the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and the Department of Journalism of the UP College of Mass Communication pay tribute to one of UP’s finest.
May Chit’s words contained in these pages serve as a reminder, particularly for those engaged in journalism, of the responsibility that comes with reporting of the news and making sense of social reality.
May this profession of reverence also serve to inspire other Filipino journalists, as well as our students to seek the path Chit chose in the profession.
And may we always remember Chit as the intrepid journalist, the nurturing educator, a true servant of the people.Thank you.