Historian and Journalist Carmen Guerrero Nakpil Passes Away at 96

The influential matriarch was a celebrated icon in publishing.

Renowned journalist and champion of history Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil died early July 30, at 1:30 a.m. at age 96. During her final days, she suffered from pneumonia.

Her daughter, Lisa Guerrero-Nakpil, wrote a tribute piece released by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It read: “She combined a charismatic glamour with razor-sharp wit and intelligence that soon catapulted her to a platform in the country’s most widely circulated newspapers.” Notable personalities in the arts, literature, and politics mourned the great loss by honoring their “Tita Chitang.”

Her extended family consisted of famous playwrights, poets, essayists, painters, and fictionists. Her father, Alfredo, was a doctor, and her mother, Filomena, was the first Filipino pharmacist and celebrated journalist and essayist Carmen Francisco Guerrero, who also comes from an impressive lineage of artists.

She was widowed twice, first to Ismael Cruz and then to architect Angel E. Nakpil. Journalism was one of her greatest passions. She quickly worked her way from proofreader to editor and eventually wrote a daily column in the Manila Chronicle and a weekly column in the Sunday Times. She later headed the National Historical Commision and Cultural Committee of the Philippine Commission for UNESCO as chairwoman. The award-winning writer’s most notable works include The Philippines: The Land and the People, Woman Enough and Other Essays, and The Rice Conspiracy.

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