Vicente “Vic” Tirol, 75
CMFR MOURNS the passing of veteran journalist, publisher and dear friend Vicente “Vic” Tirol last October 19. He was 75.
A UP Journalism graduate, Tirol began his career in journalism in Philippine News Service in 1966, a cooperative organization set up by the major newspapers in Manila. He later joined Manila Times in 1969.
Tirol left for Hong Kong in 1971, briefly working for the regional newspaper The Asian and its sister organization, the Asian News Service. He returned to Manila Times in 1972, the same year the paper was shut down when Martial Law was declared.
During the Marcos regime, Tirol worked in an NGO focused on population issues. After the People Power toppled the dictatorship in 1986, he joined the Press Foundation of Asia, organizing training programs for journalists in the Asia-Pacific region.
Tirol is best remembered as the publisher of the political tabloid Pinoy Times, founded by Inquirer founding chair Eugenia “Eggie” Apostol in 1999. While Pinoy Times hired journalists who used to work in English newspapers, the paper was in Filipino and unlike other tabloids focused on political news analysis and commentaries, including criticism of the Estrada presidency. Gaining mass readership, Pinoy Times helped people understand the issues and was seen as instrumental in the eventual ouster of Estrada.
Tirol’s work in Pinoy Times earned the paper several honors, including CMFR’s Jaime V. Ongpin Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 2017, Tirol was honored with a Medal of Distinction in UP College of Mass Communication’s first ever Glory Awards which recognizes outstanding alumni in their fields. He is survived by his wife Lorna Kalaw Tirol, herself a veteran journalist and former member of CMFR’s Board of Trustees, their sons Jo-ed and Paulo, daughter-in-law Rebbie, son-in-law Jeremy, and three grandchildren.