For Filipina-American journalist Cielo Buenaventura, getting into The New York Times and now holding the title of staff editor for the Culture section, was a combination of “audacious dreaming and dumb luck.”
In 1988 while on a scholarship at Ohio State University, one of her professors, a former Times editor, suggested that she try to apply to the paper after completing her master’s degree in public-affairs reporting and acquiring experience from small and medium-size papers . She said to herself, “Wow, the NYT was like Mount Everest, the mountain I’ll never be able to climb.” But he planted the idea in her head.
The Albay-born Cielo is one of two Filipinos at The Times newsroom. The other is restaurant critic Ligaya Mishan, whose mother is a Filipino immigrant.
“I learned on the job,” Cielo shared during a June 26 Kapihan forum organized by the Fil-Am Press Club of New York, where she was the guest speaker. “I didn’t have the Harvard, Yale and Ivy League credentials that other people had. But I found that The Times is a collegial place.”
News story courtesy of TheFilAm.net