A SECRET FAIRY GODMOTHER
By Ruth Navarra-Mayo
Editor, Junior Inquirer
“More of that. My apo liked it,” she would say about an issue of Junior Inquirer
that she appreciated. Sometimes, when she was impressed with a project, but which I would hesitate to do again due to the cost, she would say, “How much will you need ba? If you need the budget, you can take it from mine.”
She was a problem solver, a secret fairy godmother to our section.
Personally, she represented a sense of security. I liked hearing her voice in the newsroom. It made me feel that someone was in control, someone I could trust. And yes, that feeling of awe that I was working with a woman who helped shape our nation never left me.
A Superwoman, an officemate called her. She was that and so much more. She was always an inspiration. An example of courage and grace. She was loved. Dearly.
It was a privilege and an honor to have worked in Inquirer under her watch. My heart is still broken.
(READ: Growing up with LJM)
THREE NIGHTS WITH LJM
By Vaughn Alviar
Editorial Production Assistant
I’ve worked with Ma’am Letty Jimenez- Magsanoc that many nights for Page One, and on one of them I remember her telling me, “Hindi pa ba tapos ’yan?”
I was reading an article for the second edition, and the editor in chief had one rule: When she’s finished placing her corrections, everyone else should be finished, too.
She just trusted that the editors passed already clean copies, I guess. Or, maybe, she trusted that the EPAs read the articles well before the first edition went to press.
Sometimes—well, most of the time—we didn’t read well enough, but LJM trusts—trusted—us, anyway.
I do not think she knew my name. I can only hope she recognized my face because, when I “resigned,” she looked at me, as if to register my face in her mind, and said, “Sayang naman, hindi pa tayo close.”
She’s one of the reasons the INQUIRER is the best newspaper in the world, in the universe, rather.
Bye, LJM. Rest in peace. Sayang naman, hindi pa tayo close.
(READ: LJM: EVER GRACIOUS AND GENEROUS)
THE REAL ‘MISS UNIVERSE’
By Armin Adina
Desk Editor, Libre
Ikaw ang tunay na “Miss Universe” ng malayang pamamahayag sa Pilipinas. Maraming salamat sa pagkilos upang makamit natin ang kalayaan, at pagbabantay upang mapanatili ito. Mahal ka namin. I miss you already.
(READ: THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT I COULD EVER RECEIVE)
LOOKING FOR LAUGHTER
By Tatin Yang
As someone who fell into writing for a newspaper by accident, I sometimes feel like I’m still living along the fringes of journalism, plodding along, knowing I still have so much to learn.
Such was LJM’s omniscience; she would have kind words and praise even for contributors like me—she knew my name even though we had never been formally introduced, and would talk about the latest article I had turned in during the rare occasions when our paths would cross.
Instead of shushing us when our laughter reached ear-piercing decibels, she encouraged it, and even looked for it when beating deadlines would leave us mute.
Everyone remarked how her death was so sudden. When a legend dies, no one will ever be prepared.
Only LJM’s body gave up, but the ideals, passion and indelible spirit that was LJM will continue to live on in the many lives she has touched.
(READ: DANCING WITH THE EDITOR IN CHIEF)
‘TRY AGAIN, PEN’
By Penelope Endozo
Editorial Production Assistant
“Why don’t you write again? Why don’t you try again, Pen?” our editor in chief asked in a brief conversation at a chance encounter. My heart sinks now, knowing it would be our last talk outside the daily grind, more so because I never had the chance to give her an honest answer.
Farewell, Ma’am Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc. The newsroom—or rather, the whole of Inquirer—will never be the same without you. You have always been an inspiration. You have always believed in us. May we be worthy of that trust to carry on what you have started. May you rest in peace.
‘MAKE A DIFFERENCE… MAKE CHANGE’
By Jovic Yee
Tandang-tanda ko, Ma’am LJM, nung gabi ng Feb. 20 nang tumawag si sir Volt (Contreras) para sabihin na meron kayong gustong ipa-cover sa Taytay, Rizal, tungkol sa arrears ng retired soldiers at pensioners. Kahit na may pag-aalinlangan
ako tinanggap ko ’yung assignment.
Kinabukasan, habang papunta na kami ng Taytay at binabasa ko ’yung documents na pinadala sa inyo, nakita ko ’yung note written in your distinct handwriting na kung tama ang pagkakaalala ko ay, “For Metro.”
At that moment, ’yung pag-aalinlangan ko ay naging takot—takot na baka ’di ko magawa nang maayos ’yung story, na ’di ko ma-deliver what you expected. Hinugot ko na lang ’yung lakas ng loob sa mga sundalong tuwang-tuwa at nagpapasalamat
na binigyang-pansin sila ng Inquirer.
Three months later, pinanigan sila ng COA. Nung kinuha ko ’yung file sa office, may pink sticky note kayo (na hinahanap ko pa rin hanggang ngayon kung saan ko naitago), this time with my name on it and telling me na ito ’yung fruit of our labor.
Bilang isang bagitong journalist, ’di niyo lang alam ma’am kung gaano niyo ako napasaya nung araw na ’yun. Naulit pa ’yung saya na ’yun nung kinausap niyo ako tungkol sa Marcos jewels.
Limited man ’yung naging interaction natin, masaya ako na kahit papaano ay nagkaroon ako ng pribilehiyong makausap at makadaupang palad kayo.
Lagi kong tatandaan ’yung sinabi niyo sa interview niyo with Ate Tarra (Quismundo): “It’s a privilege for me to be in a job like this. You can make a difference…”
Maraming salamat ma’am. Sana ’di namin kayo mabigo.
(READ: LJM: LARGER THAN LIFE)
A COMPASSIONATE BOSS
By Tere Cruz-Tenorio
Editorial Production Assistant
The Inquirer newsroom feels lacking without our dear editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc. Everyone is still in a daze. Some still think this is just a bad dream. Officemates share LJM anecdotes and are almost always on the verge of tears.
You can say she really was the heart of the paper because of how gracious and kind she was to each and every one of us. She was a compassionate boss who made each of us feel appreciated. Whatever role or position you hold in the newsroom.
The paper will never be the same again without her. But we will try to live by her example, with kindness, humanity and compassion. Like how, every time after she is finished with closing the second-edition pages, she would always say, “Thank you, guys. Thank you.”
Thank you, Ma’am. Thank you, LJM!
By Me-ann Ayos Perido
Assistant Head of Editorial Systems
In the daily grind of putting the Inquirer front page to bed, LJM would sometimes ask me, “So which do you think is a better head? For you, what stands out?”
At first I was taken aback. Who wouldn’t be? The editor in chief was asking for my opinion.
When I realized she was serious, I gave her an honest answer. I was even flabbergasted when she said I could now type my chosen head. In more ways than one, LJM let me speak my mind. She trusted me, believed in me, and that boosted my confidence.
Working closely with her meant I had to always be on my toes, keep abreast of the news and read for sense. Whenever she asked me to encode her corrections and fit her headlines in the limited space, I was expected to exhaust all means—er, computer commands—to deliver and “refresh” everything before the deadline.
At the end of the night, our efforts were always rewarded with an upbeat and appreciative “Good job!” and “Thank you.”
She was very generous with praises and thank yous, even for little things.
In a Christmas card she gave me in 2013, she thanked me for reading her penmanship.
Farewell ma’am… You will be sorely missed. I love you and thank you for everything.