April 20, 2022
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China is saddened to learn of the passing of Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana, the Philippines’ ambassador to China. As former ABC News correspondent in China, Chito was also an early and foundational member of the FCCC, and he covered nearly all of the country’s transformational political moments throughout the last five decades.
Jaime FlorCruz, former CNN bureau chief and a close friend to Ambassador Romana had the following remembrance to share:
“As our ambassador to China, Chito Sta Romana will be remembered for helping steer the often stormy bilateral relations with his calm and steady hands. He knew how to handle even the most prickly issues, thanks to his knowledge of China and his even-keeled temperament. He showed charisma and patriotic pride tempered with humility and humanity.
He loved journalism and China reporting, despite the risks, hardships and frustrations they entailed. He was a keen supporter of the FCCC. He was collegial to peers, even to competitors. He was caring towards young reporters, news assistants, and interns.
Most of all, Chito’s heart had always been in the right place. Whatever he did, he strived for the best interest of our country and people as his overriding goal. I know that has been his mission in the 50-plus years that I’ve known him.
I lost a dear friend. The China-watching world lost an astute observer. We Filipinos lost a true patriot.”