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A Champion of the People

Teach for the Philippines mourns the loss of its beloved Trustee, Ambassador Jose Santiago “Chito” Santa Romana.

We wish to express our deepest condolences to his wife Nancy, his children Norman and Christopher, his family, colleagues, and friends. His sister Neni Santa Romana Cruz, a former Trustee of Teach for the Philippines, and his close friend Jaime FlorCruz, a champion of our organization, are especially held in our hearts and thoughts as we mourn Chito together.

We will always remember Chito with deep gratitude for his unwavering support, encouragement, and generosity that made the work of Teach for the Philippines possible. A steadfast champion for education, Chito was committed to ensuring that every Filipino child receives an excellent and relevant education. Chito has served our Board faithfully since 2016 and had already been an inspiration to us for many years prior. In everything he did and every role he accepted, Chito always placed the best interest of our students, our people, and our country first. All of us at Teach for the Philippines will miss his gentle guidance, kindness, friendship, and courage. His legacy will live on in all of us forever – shaping future generations of Filipinos with his integrity and example.

Chito was a veteran journalist, historian, educator, and diplomat. As Ambassador, Chito dedicated a significant amount of his time to strengthening Philippine-China relations. As a journalist, Chito reported on major news events, including the 1989 Tiananmen protests, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and the US-China relations crises. His work in broadcast journalism earned him global recognition, eventually becoming the Beijing Bureau Chief for ABC News.

We miss him deeply.