Last Friday the 13t one of the better journalism profs I have ever had died in a car accident, involving a Universal Guiding Star bus and the cab she was riding in, along Commonwealth Avenue. She was a great professor, a respected journalist, and a beloved wife.

I don’t really know how to write eulogies. I don’t really know how to write. So the night after I went to her wake, I revisited some of the articles I made for her class and looked at the comments she wrote on my papers to gain insight on how I should do this post.

Good choice of topic.

Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan was my professor in J102 (News Writing) and J111 (Feature Writing). She was a respected desk editor, managing editor, investigative journalist, and a UP professor. She was 54.

Lead is not particularly strong but well supported by details.

If there is one thing I will never forget about Maam Simbulan, it was her generous smile. She always smiled. Whether you just pass by her in the hallway or when she gently points out all the negative points of your article in front of the whole class, she always has a smile on. She was very motherly. I would remember my very first day in our J102 class, she was among the very few people who was able to read my name right the first time. I remember her loose tops she would pair with jeans or slacks. Her glasses that would kinda glisten every time she sees me chatting with someone during class. Her jogging outfit paired with a sling bag that she would don every afternoon. I remember her though I’m not sure she still remembers me after our classes.

Material still too thin to work on, although time constraint may have been a good reason for this.

As a journalist Maam Simbulan has contributed to society more than most people I know. Imagine if she is still alive. She can contribute even more. She can still hone minds to follow in her footsteps. It just angers me that morons continue to roam the earth while lives that can, and have, made significant contributions are wasted. It saddens me that I could have known her a bit better, could have learned a bit more.

Good use of contrasts throughout the article.

She always had a negative comment in my articles. But for every negative comment, she was sure to add a positive one at the very end. She was appreciative. She was the only professor I had who gave plus points if you have an image to accompany your article. She knew how to appreciate the efforts her students gave. But she was a fierce editor. Beneath those smiles, she can nitpick every error you may have committed in writing. She was a brave journalist, never unwavering in her principles. All these she did with a smile on her face.

Be mindful of the need for commas.

Sadly Maam Simbulan’s life has already reached a period. No more commas for her. But if it were up to me, I would place an ellipsis in the place of that period. Because even in death she was able to bring light on an issue that plagues our nation: the continued failure to address the safety of our major thoroughfares.

Last sentence doesn’t really succeed in tying up the article. Too safe.

Goodbye Maam Simbulan.

By the time I post this, you would have turned into ashes already. But I will always remember you along with the knowledge and wisdom you have shared with me. Just like most of the articles I have written for your class, I will end this abruptly.

Because I just don’t know how to tie up a life as beautiful as the one you lived.

Lourdes Chit Estella Simbulan





This is the third time that I would be posting a Live AIDS review. Doing the reviews for the Silver edition and the Circusmaryosep edition were pretty easy. They were so much fun to do. It hurts me that I cannot say the same for this year’s version: Live AIDS 27: Jokebox Musical.

Now before you jump into any conclusion, the performance was good. It was funny. It wasn’t boring. It just wasn’t what it used to be.

For this year’s performance UP Samaskom took a different route. Instead of the usual segmented performances, what they presented was a straight out musical that is loosely based on the Wizard of Oz. Complete with a Wicked Witch of the Wild Wild West (flanked of course by your usual winged sidekicks…in the personae of Ecstasi, and you guessed it, Ecstano).

The usual things were still there, sexy dance numbers, original songs, funny antics, and even funnier characters. But somehow I miss the parodies. The political commentaries. The randomness of the funny moments brought about by ad libs. Sure, there were pretty funny lines, but after some time I found myself laughing not because what I was seeing was uber funny, but because the rest of the hall was laughing out loud.

If you will ask me to name one memorable act, all I can think of is Shalami. She stole the show for me. She was amazing. She livened up that otherwise boring “coming out” scene. I loved her “energy”, her “emotions”, and best of all her idea of getting married in a white top and jeans…with a veil. She was that tiny reminder of the kind of characters Live AIDS showed.

Now the actresses who made the Witch and Dora T. come to life were equally amazing and laudable. I have to commend them with their ad libs and quick wits. Dora’s energy was unfaltering throughout the performance and the Witch is my new life peg. Come on, with followers who are dressed in fierce feathered costumes (Twitter followers), who wouldn’t love her?

Overall, the 27th installment of Live AIDS is still noteworthy. It may have missed a few bricks on its newly paved yellow brick road, but as long as they still wear their Ruby Red shoes–their signature Samaskom brand of comedy–whatever format they choose will still be worth the tired jaws you will get from laughing.

I just hope that by the time of their June performance, they would have ironed out the less funny bits of the whole thing. But as always, go go Samaskom!


So my comment is as insightful as that of Inquirer’s, Star’s, and PEP’s. Booyeah!

Thanks UP Samaskom for including my blog in your Reviews AVP! Much appreciated. 😀

So if you wanna catch the latest installment of Live AIDS this year, then check out the details below:

April 9, 10, 11, 2011
Abelardo Hall, College of Music
UP Diliman

For ticket reservations, please contact 0915.931.0336

Or visit or

To read more on how fun UP Samaskom’s Live AIDS really is, check my reviews:

Live AIDS 2010: Circusmaryosep

Live AIDS 2008: The UP Centennial Edition

See you guys there!