THE UNTHINKABLE happened on Christmas Eve.
The newspaper had been put to bed early in deference to the occasion, so that it was the editors and staff of its online edition who scrambled to report that editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc—innovative, iconic, of frail figure but larger than life—had passed into the light. Unthinkably, hours before the most important day of the season that she so loved, on the verge of a new year that promises to be critical to the nation.
A recitation of her credentials would annoy her; she who demanded detail from reporters to make a subject emerge robust and unique and not a mere name was not one to tout her laurels, although they were substantial and numerous. Now that she is gone, one casts about for words that would memorialize her, like a butterfly under glass, as seemingly infinite, like John Updike wrote, as “one of Vermeer’s moments frozen in an eternal light from the left.”
But she herself readily talked about her work during martial law—including Eggie Apostol’s Mr. & Ms. Special Edition that was a thorn in the side of the Marcos dictatorship—especially to the young generation of journalists, “the ones,” as in the song, “who are next in line.” She talked about fighting strongman rule and the crying importance of remembering. She talked about Edsa I and the sheer folly of forgetting.
Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc is the Inquirer’s 2015 Filipino of the Year, chosen in a poll conducted by the Inquirer among more than 50 editors from across its multimedia platforms.
It took six months to finalize the details of Sen. Grace Poe’s guesting at the Meet Inquirer Multimedia Forum, and when the day finally came yesterday, the paper’s editor in chief, Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, was no longer around to fire off the toughest questions.
Three senators have filed resolutions in the upper chamber to honor and remember the late Philippine Daily Inquirer’s editor in chief Letty Jimenez Magsanoc who passed away on December 24, 2015 at the age of 74.
WITH her gift for words and nose for news, Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, known as LJM at the Inquirer, helped oust a dictator and shape a nation’s future. This gift also gave me a new name and a new passion. On my first day at work as research head of this paper on Aug. 10, 1998, LJM […]
SHE would have cringed at all the attention, this editor who always reminded writers to keep themselves out of their stories.
A resolution, honoring the late editor in chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), Letecia Jimenez-Magsanoc, for her “lifelong service to the nation through her fidelity to journalistic excellence and integrity,” has been filed at the Senate. Senate Resolution 1701 filed by Senator Loren Legarda recognized Magsanoc’s significant role in the pursuit of journalistic freedom […]
The passing on Christmas Eve of the esteemed Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, LJM to her Inquirer family, is one big reminder that Filipinos must never forget Edsa 1. On Dec. 26 the newspaper’s banner story was titled “LJM: Keeper of the Edsa Flame.” Indeed she was, and the role of the Inquirer as agenda-setter and mobilizer in the post-Edsa 1 years depended heavily on her journalistic savvy and instincts. She and Inquirer founding chair Eugenia Duran-Apostol are of the same mold.
The year began with the frenzied preparations for and a visit from Pope Francis that brought light into the lives of many, Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and nonbelievers. Inspired, we wanted to hope, to believe in the Pope’s messages about the power of mercy and compassion, but it has not been easy in a year […]
It was mid-1980s and Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and I had yet to meet face-to-face. But in her handwritten (in green ink) letter to me, urging me to be courageous and face the lions, she was telling me in so many words that we were in this together because “you—we— have a cause worth fighting for.”
THIS TEXT message I received made me smile: “Question: How would Adam have greeted Eve on the day before Christmas? “Answer: It’s Christmas, Eve.” * * * In today’s Gospel (Lk. 2, 41-52), we hear of the anxious moments of Joseph and Mary when they lost their 12-year-old boy, Jesus, in the temple, and of […]
AN EARLY memory of Letty was my barging into the bathroom of our family home in Cubao during a clan reunion and finding her there smoking and then frantically waving away the smoke to escape detection. Later, hearing that her then fiancé Carlitos was on his way, she asked my older sister Neneng for some […]
The story is told about an elderly man who asked a gym trainer: “What machine should I use to impress the ladies around here?” The trainer took a long look at him and said: “Lolo, I humbly advise that you go outside and use the ATM instead.”
FEW PEOPLE know it, but Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc was an ardent supporter of the medical profession. She gave light to the health issues of our times. Behind the scenes, LJM quietly gave voice to the concerns of doctors and patients. I should know. As a cardiologist and health advocate, I met with LJM several times. Each […]
I DID not get to meet personally Inquirer’s late editor in chief Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc, but I am sure she knew me by name since I regularly sent her my letters to the editor for evaluation in terms of clarity, length and relevance, and to ensure that my letters would be published as part of “balanced […]
So I replied when asked about Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc. Recovering from shock, I added, “Self-effacing. She refuses any attention to herself. She would rather ascribe her success and accolades to her people and to Inquirer’s readers.” In that spirit, let me move on to the second of two columns I wrote two weeks ago in anticipation of the holidays (the first was printed last Sunday).
The story is told about a reporter who interviewed a man in the scene of a fire. When asked how the fire started, he said it was because of the chicken in the neighborhood. When asked further what happened, his response was: “I heard it was caused by poultry wiring!”
If Nick Joaquin was known for his love of beer, then Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc was known for her love of wine.
Over a decade ago, Eggie Apostol, chair of the Foundation for Worldwide People Power, held a series of discussions with noted academics, education executives, business leaders and social scientists to see why the positive social and civic values that should have flourished after Edsa 1 had not taken root in our youth. They all said that the declining quality of our schools and the curriculums that they live by was a key reason for the weakened social fabric.