Legacy lives on as Tirol matriarch passes away

Passing on is not a total loss, we gain from the memory of the person that has touched our life.

A dark chapter in the collective life of the Boholanos as one of the pillars in education and business passed away this week leaving a huge vacuum in our communal lives.

Dr. Cristeta Balili-Tirol’s memory will remain in our hearts for her kindness and her passion for education. Her compassion had set the tone for her as a genuine sentinel for care and understanding.

The loss is not just for her immediate family, but also a loss to the community where she has been a part of for most of her life.

Dr. Tirol was with friends as she was touring Indonesia when she died unexpectedly from aneurysm.

Almost all the people who knew Dr. Tirol’s lifestyle was shocked to learn the cause of her death leaving some with questions.

Her zeal for life and optimism was infectious and she made everybody feel like they’re family.

It is not known to many, Ma’am Baby was a great fan of telenovelas and was fond of the great storylines performed on television every night. She hardly missed an episode.

The news of her passing was like a shockwave enveloping the entire community. It goes to show how much valued Dr. Tirol was with her involvement in the field of education and entrepreneurship.

Born on October 27, 1943 in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Ma’am Baby, as she is fondly called by people who knew her, was the guiding spirit of the educational institutions that her family established.

More than just a civic leader, entrepreneur and an educator–she was a mother.

She was a professor at UB and moved to become the head of the UB Guidance Center and to become a Dean of the Student Personnel Services.

Her efforts paved the rise of her children as great leaders of the community–Victoriano III, the Vice President for Administration of University of Bohol and President of The Bohol Tribune, Inc. – and Will Tyron, the president of Cristal-E College.

She made her mark more indelible as she continued the legacy of her late husband, Dr. Victoriano Tirol Jr., and continued on providing cutting-edge and modern quality education fit for the 21st century with the establishment of Cristal-e College, which main campus is located at barangay Tawala, Panglao.

Her steady leadership also paved the way for the rise of Universal Press, Victoriano D. Tirol-Advanced Learning Center and Cristal-V Lending as the leading businesses of its respective industries not only in Tagbilaran, but also in Bohol province as well.

Her educational background shows the type of a person she was. She is a staunched educator, guidance counsellor and an entrepreneur.

Graduating as Magna Cum Laude, she earned a degree in Psychology at the University of San Carlos in 1963.

Dr. Tirol went to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for her graduate and post-graduate studies for the field of guidance and psychology.

Not only Dr. Tirol was interested in the human behavior, but with the human soul as she has seen every person with genuine care and understanding.

She was the Vice President for Finance for the University of Bohol and the co-founder of Cristal-e College. She was the corporate treasurer of The Bohol Tribune Inc., the province’s fastest growing weekly newspaper.

She was a doting grandmother to her grandchildren especially to two young and exemplary athletes Rian Marco A. Tirol and Martin A. Tirol IV.

The public viewing continues tonight as Dr. Tirol’s remains will be put to final rest tomorrow (Monday) after a worship service at 3 p.m.


As one of the foremost patroness of the arts, leading artistic guru in Bohol. Lutgardo Labad, paid tribute to Dr. Tirol in a short social media post.

“Dr. Tirol was one of the first people who experienced the city tour that highlighted the legacy and history of Tagbilaran,” Labad said.

Labad was with Dr. Tirol in Bali, Indonesia before she died and was seen eager to see the different theatrical presentations.

Labad added, “she was so elated by the production.”

Several netizens gave their condolences to the bereaved family on Facebook.

Some gave their condolences to the family of Ma’am Baby directly to the children during the wake at the ancestral home of the Tirol’s in Caingget.

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto also expressed his deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Tirol for its loss. (see separate story on the front page of this issue)

One of Ma’am Baby’s daughters-in-law, Jucil Topia-Tirol, thanked all of those who were with the family in the time of trials and for the words of comfort they have sent.

“Please know that we truly appreciate all the love you have accorded to us,” said Jucil on a Facebook post last Thursday.


She has been given a number of awards and the latest was in 2016 where she was awarded the President Carlos P. Garcia Award.

Dr. Tirol was one of the 2016 CPG Awardees for her invaluable contribution in improving the education in the province of Bohol.

The award was given during the 120th birth anniversary of Bohol’s most illustrious son the late former President Carlos Polistico Garcia, back in 2016.

Dr. Tirol was awarded for her contributions to the community at the same time becoming a role model to the people by providing them inspiration and motivation to work harder in their field of work, profession and occupation.


Educating one mind can create a better person. Educating minds can help make the world a better place.

Helping people toward becoming great characters is a laudable legacy in itself; and getting honored for something is just a bonus.

Lauded for her exemplary leadership in the field of education, business management and entrepreneurship,

Dr. Tirol was being honored by her alma mater, the University of San Carlos, as The Outstanding Carolinian Alumni. She is being honored for her exemplary work in managing work with the University of Bohol (as Vice-President for Finance) and co-founding Cristal e-College and VDT-Advanced Learning Center, both emerging as excellent centers of learning at par with those found in the main urban centers of the country.

More than her achievements, Dr. Tirol was also extolled for the difference she has made to her family and the community as well. She had become the epitome of a career woman who has dedicated her life to learning and helping people to achieve their aspirations and goals.

USC was honoring her achievements as a way to pay tribute to an alumna who nurtured the ideals of her alma mater and channeled them toward helping other people to achieve their own dreams.

The nomination of Dr. Tirol was screened by the Awards Committee who in turn endorsed it for approval by the University’s Board of Trustees through the University President.

Dr. Tirol was awarded under the category of Virtus (Leadership): for demonstrating moral integrity and proficiency in the practice of one’s profession in business management, civil administration, public service and entrepreneurship.

The USC said the recognition is meant to recognize the outstanding achievements of the alumni of the University of San Carlos who have significantly advanced their chosen profession, benefited their fellow Carolinians, the family and the community.

The Chairman of the Alumni association organizes the Awards Committee who selected from the nominees for endorsement and approval by the University’s Board of Trustees through the University President.

There are three categories of the Semper Fidelis award, namely:

Scientia (Knowledge): for exemplary performance and contribution to education, academic research, science, literature and creative endeavors;

Virtus (Leadership): for demonstrating moral integrity and proficiency in the practice of one’s profession in business management, civil administration, public service and entrepreneurship;

Devotio (Service): for dedicated service to causes for the under privileged and community service exemplifying the Christian values of love, justice and harmony among people.

Dr. Tirol was a recipient of the Business Achievement Award and a few of years back, a Family of the Year Award by the City of Tagbilaran.


The Bohol Tribune has randomly compiled expressions of grief and sympathy from friends, relatives, and loved ones, which were posted on the Facebook accounts of Ryan-Maricel Adiong-Tirol, Tyron Tirol, and Jucil Topia-Tirol, following the death of Dr. Cristeta Balili-Tirol.

John Titus Vistal: Dr. Tirol, and may you now reap the heavenly rewards of the service to which you dedicated your whole life.

Anik Montes-Espanola: Rest in peace Insie Bebie Cristeta Balili Tirol. You sent me this poem, it rings so true now that you are gone. We love you, thank you for a life well lived. regards to Ingko Victoriano Will Tirol and Jesus.

Maria Aiu: Extending our deepest sympathy and condolences on the untimely loss of your mom and praying that your faith will give you strength in this very painful and sorrowful time. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that your grief is shared by so many.

Lucille Yap Lagunay: Ninang Babie Cristeta, a few days ago you sent me a bunch of heart shaped balloons along with this note:”Friends are like balloons… once you let them go, you can’t get them back, so I’m gonna tie you to my heart so I’ll never lose you.” I never thought your call the night before you left for Bali would be our last conversation. I was looking forward to your return today…And now this news…I will miss your company, your stories, your messages and your wise counsel.Ninang, till we meet again. In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on the beautiful shore…

Maria KB Gee: Rest in Peace dear Auntie Babie. Be with Uncle Will in the Lord’s garden filled with your most favorite flowers. Hug your beloved Ingko Luis, my Papa, for me.

Jing delos Reyes Luspoc: You will always be remembered Ma’am Babie! I may not know youpersonally but hearing the students about your kindness and how you take care of your people kay makasayang :(, one of your graduatingstudent’s (last march) imo pa jud gitabangan, ikaw pa mismo ni pirma sa clearance para jud maka graduate. Ma’am, your kindness will never be forgotten! Rest In Peace…

Tonet Rosel: I love you my BFF! I cannot still believe you are gone!

Ma Theresa Tavita Salas: Such a beautiful soul gone to soon.Goodbye my friend. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Requiescat in pace.

Natividad Gonzaga: I deeply mourn the passing away of this great friend, a woman ofsubstance cristeta babie balili tirol.l pray that God has you in his keeping , my dear friend. Condolences to your sons and the familymembers you left behind.

Michael May: No one can replace your mom, but God can comfort your heart. He knows what you need during this time much better than anyone else.

Therese VC: I will always remember Ma’am Babie as a very kind VP. Having worked under her during her time at SPS made me realize how blessed I was tohave such a kind-hearted superior. I will never forget her. Our deepest condolences…

Jewel Fudalan: we will miss you dearly lola Bebie thankyou for the wonderful things you have done for all of us. Im really going to miss you. You are an inspiration. Thankyou for being such a great person to have in our lives. May the Lord be with you and i hope you are doing well in heaven. We deeply are going to miss you. I always remember, every sunday when you walk in i always greet you “goodmorning” and i always help you get around the church to make sure your okay. – you will be in our hearts always we love you lola Bebie

Cleofe Lamdagan: A friend hard to find….loving and fun to know..sorely missed….MAY THE GATES OF HEAVEN BE OPENED FOR YOU WITH ANGELS REJOICING ….WELCOME HOME Cristeta Balili Tirol.

Sylvia Dagami-Fortich: Bros. Ryan and Tyron, my sincerest condolence on the passing of your Mom . . . my prayers for her eternal peace and happiness in God’s kingdom. May she rest in peace. Amen.

Mich Ti: My deepest sympathy to your family Ryan-Maricel Adiong-Tirol on the passing of your mom. I will always remember with fondness the days I spent with Mam Babie and Sir Will in bohol when I went there to train your Informatics personnel. They are two of the most gracious and kind people I have ever met. I truly miss them. I will pray for their peaceful repose. And i pray that God will continue to bless all ofyou so that you can continue the vision of your parents and bring continued honor to their legacy.

Dioscoro Jun Ayag Jr: My tribute to an accomplished regal yet simple, unassuming lady, the 2016 Outstanding Carolinian – Scientia. Am proud having you nominated and get awarded as outstanding alumna of our Alma Mater, the University of San Carlos with your dedication and service to education as pillars to Cristal-e College, University of Bohol/VDT-ALC, Bohol Tribune amongst others. Thank you Maam for the friendship you’ve accorded to me and to my family (for visiting my mom’s wake and free newspaper ad for our Thank Yous for those who were with us in Mom’s Journey to our Creator). Just say hello to my mother in Heaven, am sure she will be happy to acknowledge your gestures and convey too my profound gratitude to Sir Will for the love as my superior when I was a member of both Academic and Administrative Councils in the University . Paalam at Salamat.

Angelica Ganas Garsuta: Mam Babie, your memories will be treasured forever in ourhearts…thank you for your kindness!…

Marilou Ursos: gimingaw jud kong mam Bebie kay ok rato sya knunay labi na ug naay tay activity I remember her pag birthday ni mam Dina Ramiro didto sa Kew Hotel nga akoy iyang gipapili sa iyang hat nga props nato unyaiya jud tong gipalit nimo sis Lucille kay giganahan sya..We miss you mam Bebie

Rosario Corales: This is very shocking news, indeed….but who are we to question the wisdom of Almighty God? I too, had a standing “date” with her, nagsalig lang ko kay dugay-dugay pa ‘mi sa Tagbilaran karon. Babie undoubtedly lived a life full of joy and love shared with so many, from the time that she was a very, very young girl. Dear Babie, you have now been summoned to join your beloved Will…both of you have indeed left a wonderful legacy to this earthly place we’ve called home. For now, dear friend, rest in Jesus’ peace; please remember us all to the Lord, and help us pray that someday we’ll finally get together in His eternal kingdom.

Danilo Pongos: Condolence to the bereaved family… My prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of Ate Babie. She was with our pilgrimages to Holy Land and Marian Tours in Europe several times… Rest in peace Ate Baby.

Madamme Montero: Condolence Sir Ryan and Ma’am Maricel, Ondo and I had a very good, unforgettable and memorable experience to the goodness of your Mom in 1997 in our HOLY LAND Tour. May she Rest In Peace with our Maker, our sympathy to the family

DonWinkie Adiong: Our prayers and thoughts to you bro and sis and the entire Tirol family. We just cannot believe it.. we know it’s hard but be strong the kids draw their strength from you specially during this time of grief. We know she is in a better place now. May the Lord’s perpetual light shines upon her. God bless Ninang Babie.

Jing Arnaez: Gaw Ryan-Maricel Adiong-Tirol condolence to your family. I know it would not be easy but we know they are always be with us,guiding andprotecting us. Be strong gaw.

Marie Nickie Bolos: Our heartfelt condolences to your family. May God give Ma’am eternal rest.

Florette Arcenas: Auntie Babie will be missed, she’s a kind and loving aunt. May the Perpetual Light of God shine upon her and lead her to God’s heavenly kingdom through HIS Mercy and Rest In Peace eternally.

Jessica Josol Bacolta: Rest in peace Mam Babie! Thank you for sharing your life with us. You will be in our hearts.

Nancy Ebron: Eternal rest grant unto Tita Babes oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her! May she Rest in peace!Our deepest sympathy to Ryan & Tyron and the whole Balili-Tirol family

Favorite Montes Garfinkel: Im still in shock. Rest in peace ninang insie Babie. You are now in the hands of God. We love you Ryan-Maricel Adiong-Tirol Tyron Le Magnifique Jucil Topia Tirol

Cedric Mabalot: Condolence to the Tirol family…maam babie was included in the 210th PCGA list of troops inducted therefore she will be accorded PCGA honors..she is l/CDR Cristeta B. Tirol, PCGA.

Emelen Redillas Nakao: My heartfelt condolences, Ry and to the whole family. I remember your mom as a very wonderful person. I am with you in prayers.

Geline Uy-Pacana: Once again our prayers for her eternal repose and for strength for the whole family in this sudden loss. Condolence

Maria Lourdes Balili Lañada: Our deepest Condolences to the bereaved family…MAY THE SOUL OF THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED THRU THE MERCY OF GOD REST IN PEACE…AMEN.WE LOVE YOU AUNTIE BABIE…

Diana Pizana Ampong: Our deepest love and sympathy to the bereaved family of Sis Bebie B. Tirol. We are really saddened of the news but we know that she is now in the bosom of our Lord. God bless!!!

Malou Valmoria Fudalan: Mam Babie..i never thought that your “Bye sa Tanan” last tuesday before you went out of the office would be the last words I would hear from you..huhuhu..bye pud Mam maayong pagbyahe…thank you for being so nice to me… I will miss your positive comments with my work..love you Mam

Dong Gonzaga: Our family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of a kumare,cousin and true friend,Babie Varquez Balili Tirol.While we fully accept the will of the Lord,we rest on the happy thought that Babie is now reunited with her beloved Pare Will in the embrace of God in heaven.Farewell Mare Babie.Our condolences and prayers to Ryan-Maricel,Tyrone-Jucil,grandchildren and the Balili-Tirol Families.God bless!(with a report from Dave S. Albarado)



About the Author

The Bohol Tribune is the leading newspaper in Bohol, Philippines, circulating in Tagbilaran City and in Bohol's 47 towns. Widely considered as the best newspaper in Bohol, The Bohol Tribune offers the most comprehensive coverage of news and features, presented in a world-class printing quality. For feedback/inquiries: 0920-630-1130 (smart) | 0927-6310-965 (globe) Landline: 038-501-0919 | E-mail: boholtribune@gmail.com

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