“Dr. Cristeta Balili-Tirol has left a huge void to the world of academe.”This was how Gov. Edgar M. Chatto initially reacted when he learned of the sudden demise of the lady pillar of university education in Bohol.
She was a co-founder of both the Cristal-e College and Victoriano D. Tirol Advanced Learning Center (VDT-ALC) and the vice president for finance of the University of Bohol until her death. Tirol also served as corporate treasurer of The Bohol Tribune, Inc.
“Mam Baby was one of Bohol’swell-loved academicians, a civic leader, a patron of the arts, and an active supporter of provincial government programs and partnerships in various fields of human development, notably education,” the governor said.
Chatto conferred Tirol the Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Award for Education during the 120th CPG Day on November 4 last year.
In the same year, Tirol was awarded as an “outstanding Carolinian alumnus, under the category of “virtus (leadership),” by her alma mater, the University of San Carlos, in Cebu City.
The governor was “so shocked to hear the sad news” as he recalled that they were just together the other week, enjoying their chat while waiting for their Tagbilaran City-bound PAL flight.
They met by chance at the Manila airport after Chatto presented in an ASEAN side-event roundtable discussion Bohol’s open government initiatives and Tirol attended an education conference.
“She was alone when she sat beside me in the boarding area,” the governor further recounted what would turn out a week later to be his last time seeing her alive.
They talked a lot about the businesses left by her late husband, former UB President Victoriano “Will” Tirol, Jr., school plans, family, etcetera.
The governor learned in that conversation of Tirol’s trip to Bali, Indonesia the following week.
Dr. Cristeta’s remains now lie in state at the ancestral home of the Tirols in Tagbilaran City.
Chatto was attending a workshop on aligning the national and regional priorities to attain the sustainable development goals in Cebu City on Wednesday when he learned of Tirol’s death.
Through a text message, the governor immediately extended his condolences to her family while recalling their last meeting and conversation at the Manila airport.
“Her passing away is a big loss to all of us in Bohol. Our most sincere sympathies and prayers,” the governor said in his text to Dr. Ryan Tirol, son of the late lady educator. (Ven rebo Arigo)