FOR LOURDES “CHIT” ESTELLA-SIMBULAN

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

From Verafiles.org

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FEBRU-WORRIED

Because Valentines is just around the corner…and this bullshit day deserves special attention, I have taken the liberty of creating a shoutout skin for my blog.

Everyone knows that this is just one big connivance between the capitalist powers-that-be and Cupid. This is just another reason for the color red to be in season. Just another way for chocolates to sell, for flowers to be appreciated, and most importantly for s*x to be mandatory.

For all those single souls afflicted with the deadly disease…you are not alone in facing this morbid day.

YOU MAKE ME JELLY TO THE BELLY

So in Forrest Gump we learned that life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re getting. I beg to disagree. For me life is like a tray of Jelly Belly jellybeans…you think you know what you’re getting: then you get surprised.

Last night I was pleasantly surprised with a tray of Jelly Belly (the 40 flavors variant). Now I’m a big sucker for jellybeans, but the mild OC psycho within me hates it when the damn beans come in jars. I remember when I was a kid and I would get a jar of Jelly Belly I would pour out all the contents on a bowl and separate the beans one by one in ice cube trays to separate them by color. It defeats the purpose of the damn candy but I am a control freak. I have no control over the other shit the universe throws at me, so please at least with jellybeans, let me have the delusion of control.

Now back to Jelly Belly. Jelly Belly has over 50 flavors and the tray I got (40 flavors) were as follows: Island Punch, Pomegranate, Buttered Popcorn, Orange Sherbet, Chocolate Pudding, Strawberry Daiquiri, French Vanilla, Green Apple, Caramel Corn, Raspberry, Kiwi, Berry Blue, Bubble Gum, Red Apple, Sunkist Lemon, Chili Mango, Crushed Pineapple, Strawberry Cheesecake, Blueberry, Lemon Lime, Coconut, Top Banana, Licorice, A&W Cream Soda, Mixed Berry Smoothie, Very Cherry, Juicy Pear, A&W Root Beer, Sunkist Orange, Dr. Pepper, Peach, Tutti-Frutti, Margarita, Sizzling Cinnamon, Sunkist Tangerine, Cappuccino, Toasted Marshmallow, Cotton Candy, Watermelon, Pina Colada.

Then there’s the Bean Boozled shiz that comes along with every tray or jar. That bean that’s supposed to look like the other beans but is actually flavored effin differently, and I mean differently! Imagine eating Barf or Baby Wipes!

Skunk Spray (Licorice), Pencil Shavings (Top Banana), Rotten Egg (Buttered Popcorn), Toothpaste (Berry Blue), Canned Dog Food (Chocolate Pudding), Barf (Peach), Booger (Juicy Pear), Moldy Cheese (Caramel Corn), Baby Wipes (Coconut), Centipede (Strawberry Jam).

So what do all these flavors have to do with our lives and the universe? Simple. We try to choose the best bean, but the supposedly best bean sometimes turns out to be rotten shit. Which we swallow anyway, because we know we can get another bean and maybe the taste will be better.

There are beans that we prefer more than others and we try to get them. But these are also the beans that run out first, and then the beans would be gone already and you’re just stuck with all the other beans that are left.

Moral of the story: just eat whatever damn bean you get. Don’t try to get the all the best ones. Do not attempt to avoid the sucky ones. Just eat the damn bean when you get it. Savor the flavor. Then move on.

So this coming Valentines, remember that chocolates are overrated. Jellybeans are for the wise.