THE family of the late VERA Files trustee and journalism professor Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan and VERA Files launched Tuesday the Chit Estella Awards for Journalism.
The launching was timed with the commemoration of the 40th day of her death and her interment at the San Agustin Church columbarium.
Simbulan, a journalist of three decades, was known to the public by her byline “Chit Estella.” She was killed on the evening of May 13 when a Universal Guiding Star bus rammed the taxi she was in near the Ayala Technohub on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.
VERA Files president Ellen Tordesillas, who unveiled the awards, said the Chit Estella Awards for Journalism will honor the year’s best journalistic report and photo essay in print and online—the media Simbulan worked in—starting next year. The awards are intended to keep alive the excellent and principled journalism Simbulan had always engaged in, she said.
The awarding will be held every August, Simbulan’s birth month. Simbulan would have been 54 on Aug. 19.
The award-giving body will be composed of veteran journalists and journalism teachers and trainers. At the time of her death, Simbulan was a journalism professor of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
Simbulan’s family is providing the seed funding for the awards that will be administered by VERA Files in cooperation with a university. The mechanics of the awards are being finalized.
Earlier in the day, running priest Robert Reyes and Simbulan’s husband, Roland, led relatives, friends and students in a run on Commonwealth Avenue and Tandang Sora dubbed “Run for Road Safety, Justice for Chit Estella-Simbulan.”
The UP College of Mass Communication also unveiled a photo exhibit in honor of the veteran journalist. It will run till Aug. 19.