Malaya's Legacy

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about activism.... view prompt




Pangarap and Sikap rise from their chairs as soon as Buhay gave the news.

Pangarap and Sikap look at each other, their brows furrowed and their foreheads showing creased and worried lines. “What happened?”

Buhay continues to breathe heavily as she tries to recover and gasp her breath. 

“I was going to the library since Malaya and I still have to discuss how we can junk the Terror Bill. It was outside the Library when I saw the clowns coming in with their trucks and vans.”

“Did they see you there?” Pangarap asked as he handed her a glass of water.

“No.” Buhay drank the water offered to her and set it at the wooden table. The two men continue to stand and look at Buhay as she finishes the story.

“I hid from one of the abandoned houses near the library and I tried to call Malaya to let her know not to come anymore. But I was too late.”

Buhay brings her cellphone out as she showed the recording from her phone.

“Let me go!” Malaya screamed as she tries to run away from the clowns. The clowns caught up to her and shoved her to the floor. Malaya coughs blood as she tried to escape the clowns.

“Malaya, you are under arrest for threatening the Philippine Government and the democracy.”

“I didn’t do anything!” Malaya spits at the clown speaking to her. “You have no right to arrest me for my freedom of speech!”

The clown only chuckled and looked at her in the eye. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Malaya’s eyes bulged at what the clown has said. Her voice erupted as she tries to gain the attention of everyone within her midst, 

“I KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING! I KNOW THE LAW AND I KNOW MY RIGHTS!” Malaya screams as the clowns shove and pin her to the ground. Breathing heavily, she continues to shout as a clown leans over and puts his weight on top of her body. “You can’t treat me like this!” Malaya struggles as the clown puts more weight on top of her.

“Yes, we can.” The clown retorted as he put his weight on top of her body.

“You’re crushing me!” Malaya tries to kick the clown on top of her, but her struggles were only met with the clown cupping her mouth, her screams becoming muffled. She continues to struggle to get free, only with more clowns coming in.

They push her hands at her back and handcuff her. Malaya’s eyes are larger than ever as the clown continues to keep her mouth shut. Silence meets her muffled screams.

The clown keeping her silent shouted in pain as he lifted his hand from Malaya’s lips.

“You bitch! You bit me!” The clown held his hand and cowered in pain. Malaya laughs loudly and manically.

“You think you can silence me? I am Malaya! My name screams freedom itself!” Malaya stands up straight, with her chest pumped out as the clowns suddenly cower at her appearance.

The clown looks at his companion, who then nods. The clowns holding her arms kick her on the back of her knees.

“What are you doing?”

“Malaya,” the clown said, “You are being executed-“

“Without due process” Malaya retorted. The clown gets his gun from his pocket,

“For threatening the Philippine Government-“ He loads the gun with bullets.

“Since when has been walking to the Library a threat?!” 

“And the democracy-“ He unlocks the holster.

“This democracy died the moment you denied my rights and the rights of the 30,000 you killed!”

“These are your last words. Speak now.” The clown points the gun to her forehead.

Malaya looks at the clowns and laughs, “Bark, you dogs, bark for the bitch you serve.”

“Malaya will rise again.” Malaya closes her eyes.


Malaya falls to the ground, her blood slowly seeping to the floor.

The clowns speak to each other, “Were there any other witnesses?”


“Let’s ride.”

“What about the girl?” One of them asked.

“Leave her. Let her body be a warning for everyone.”

The clowns load in their trucks and drove away.

“When the last of the cars finally went away, I ran here as fast as I can.” Buhay closes the phone and looks at the two men hovering at her.

Buhay breaks down and crumbles, “I could have stopped her. I could have stopped those clowns!”

Sikap pats his hand on Buhay’s shoulders. “Malaya was a strong woman. She chose this. She’s fighting for this country.”

Buhay looks up at Sikap as Sikap kneels down to face Buhay face to face.

“Everyone here knew the risks when we spoke up. All of us knew this could mean our deaths. But if this means our future children won’t have to fight like this, wouldn’t that make it worth it?”

Buhay wipes her tears as she ponders on what Sikap has said. She nods her head continuously as Sikap continues to remind her of the cause.

Buhay then rises and looks at the two boys, “So,” she folded her hands. “What is the plan?”

“Independence Day. Friday. We march and demand for our rights and the rights of others.” Pangarap speaks as he gets a huge paper and lays it out across the table.

Across the paper are all the advocacies they have been fighting for. Each protest and subject has already been a trending subject in SpeakerUp with their hashtags.

“We have the Jeepneys and Tricycle drivers joining our side. They’re protesting for their phaseout. This can lead to the loss of their jobs.” Sikap peaked.

“So #NotoJeepneyPhaseout is still a go?” Buhay asked.

“We’re trying to gain more momentum. Tons of people still think they cause traffic.” Pangarap said.

“So, we provide more information and studies on this. They’re just doing their jobs. They’re trying to make a living.” Buhay responded to the argument.

“Exactly. We already contacted the research team to release more articles on this.” Sikap informed Buhay.

“Good, what’s next?” Buhay shifts the paper as they set their attention to the other issues.

“Next up, we have the educators. They’re protesting for the Lumad Schools.” Buhay said.

“Any update from the Lumads?” Buhay asked.

“None. It’s just the same as last time.” Sikap said. He pointed at a hashtag #SaveLumadSchools.

“That’s not comforting.” Buhay pointed out.

“I agree. But it’s better than the situation being far worse.” Sikap said.


“It’s still not good.” Buhay retorted. Her voice continues to rise as her face flushes, “The Educators’ Ministry is shutting down their schools-“

“200 schools” Pangarap interrupted.

“Over 2000 students are affected. The only thing worse than this if they started killing off Lumad communities. Which they are!” Buhay screamed as his hands fly around in anger at the government.

“Okay, everyone, calm down.” Pangarap walks over to Buhay to calm her. Buhay pushes him away as he continues to express his sentiments.

“Being calm will solve nothing! People have tried to be calm for four years. Four long years in hell. Being calm for this damn long is the reason we’re having this revolution in the first place! We will not be calm anymore.” 

Silence meets the angry shouts of Buhay. They all knew she was right. They have been silent for too long. And too much is now at stake.

“If this is how they treat us, how do you think will they treat our kids? We need new leaders.” Buhay sulked off as she slumps over to a chair.

“Which brings us to this point.” Sikap offers his hand to let Buhay join in on their ultimate plan. Buhay looks only at Sikap, and at Pangarap, who look at her. They all need each other. Malaya gave her life to this country. One argument will not end it.

Buhay takes Sikap’s hand and rises to join them for their plan.

“Malaya wanted this to be the grand ending of the plan.” Pangarap said, “But since Malaya is not here. We have to do what she would have wanted. What this country deserves.”

“The #OusttheDog?” Buhay piped up.

“That’s right,” Pangarap said.

“Whether or not he agrees to the changes, we will demand his resignation,” Sikap announced.

“But that’s almost impossible!” Buhay said, “There are still tons of clowns protecting and defending the dog.”

“Look at the numbers. People have been taking off their costumes. Malaya did. And now, so much more will.” Pangarap said.

“Listen.” Sikap took Buhay’s shoulders as he begs Buhay to look at him in the eye. “This is not just about us or our future generations. This is our country. Our independence. Our lives and the blood of others are at stake here. Let’s not put them in vain.”

Sikap lets go of Buhay’s shoulders as they all look at their plan.

“So,” Buhay said, “The revolution on Friday?”

“On Independence Day,” Pangarap said, “we fight for our freedom.”



  • Buhay - Life
  • Pangarap - Dream
  • Sikap - Endeavor
  • Malaya - Freedom

*NOTE: These events are happening in the Philippines. As much as we would like to join the solidarity march for black lives, we also have to fight for our own rights and the rights of others in this country. Our Independence Day was celebrated on June 12, with a birthday party, "mananita" all over the country to prevent the cops from arresting people in mass gatherings (selective justice).

  • Jeepney drivers are being forced to be unemployed, saying this is the cause of traffic. But research shows private transportation causes as much or more traffic as PUV vehicles do.
  • Lumad schools are schools in the Philippines where teachers and students are being arrested for no valid reason.
  • Our independence is being threatened. Help us join the cause.
June 12, 2020 16:51

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.