Ethel Soliven Timbol

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Ethel Soliven Timbol (born Ethelinda Villaflor Soliven) is a journalist and was the lifestyle editor of the Manila Bulletin, published in the Philippines. She was born 22 January 1940, the ninth child of Congressman Benito Soliven and Pelagia Villaflor Soliven. She is the youngest sister of journalist Maximo V. Soliven.

She finished High School at St. Theresa's College in Manila. After two years of college at St. Theresa's, she left to study at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, USA. on a Knights of Columbus scholarship. She majored in English and Child Psychology.

Timbol joined the Manila Bulletin in 1960, handling the police beat at the Western Police District, which at that time included then patrolman, now Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. Aside from her reportorial beat, she was tapped to edit the Youth section, "The Page for the Young at Heart."

She has also been assigned to the beats covering the Department of Education, Trade and Industry, and the Commission on Elections, often meriting front-page stories in the tumultuous '60s and '70s.

In 1976, she was appointed editor of the "Life & Leisure" and "Sunday Leisure" sections of the same newspaper. Apart from her editorial duties, she is a respected columnist, writing the twice weekly society column "Pacesetters," and the once weekly "Consumers' Observation Post," a consumer advocacy column, which she started with Deedee Sytangco.

In 1991, she received a special citation from the Manila Rotary Club for her consumer advocacy work.

She is a cancer survivor, successfully recovering from colorectal cancer, through a combination of neo-adjuvant medical therapies, nutritional supplementation and dietary changes [1].

She retired from the Manila Bulletin on December 31, 2007 after 47 years of service. She continues to write occasional columns for various newspapers and magazines in the Philippines.


When asked about the difference between young people today and young people before, she replied: "The young people before called me Ethel, today they call me Ma'am."

"I always mean what I say when I say it. That may change later."


She is the widely acknowledged "Dean of Philippine Lifestyle Editors."

The original caricature for her Pacesetters column included a cigarette in a long stemmed holder. When she stopped smoking in 1995, she asked that the cigarette be removed from the caricature.

The Life and Leisure and Sunday Leisure sections of Timbol generate the most advertising revenue for the Manila Bulletin.