Tribute to Ka Maita Gomez

by the Makabayan Coalition,

Gabriela, Karapatan and Selda


Parañaque, Metro ManilaI


July 14,  2012








MIchael, Maita's youngest son
One of best quotes at the parangal:
"Minsan sinabi ng aking nanay na sana hindi na lang ako naging Maita Gomez, kasi nahihirapan kayong mga anak ko. Kailangan nyong habulin ang mga nagawa ko para makilala kayo. Sabi ko naman sa kanya, ano ba Ma, hindi naman 'to kompetisyon. Talagang hindi ko naman kayang gawin ang mga nagawa mo. Kahit kailan, hindi ako magiging lider kababaihan!"










Tribute to Maita Gomez (Final Text)

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
13 July 2012

Julie and I wish to express our most heartfelt condolences to the children and other relatives of Maita Gomez; and to all her comrades and friends. All of us are deeply saddened by her unexpected demise.

Until her cardiac arrest, we had thought that she had many more years to serve the people in their struggle for national liberation and democracy and the women in their struggle for gender equality and for their full participation in all social endeavors. Nevertheless, her life is full of significant and outstanding achievements in fulfilling her revolutionary commitment and in rendering service to the people and the women's liberation movement.

Since the resurgence of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement in the Philippines in the 1960s, the patriotic and progressive forces have always taken a special interest in the development of the women's movement and in the increased participation of women in the struggle for national liberation and democracy.

We are enlightened by the writings and deeds of revolutionary women leaders like Clara Zetkin and Aleksandra Kollontai and inspired by the heroic examples of Gabriela Silang, Melchora Aquino, Gregoria de Jesus and other revolutionary Filipino women leaders. We are guided by Mao's teaching that the women hold up half of the sky. The activists of the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines, the Women's Bureau of Kabataang Makabayan and the women in the labor unions, peasant associations and professional circles carried forward the progressive role of women.

As cadres of the national democratic movement, we were elated by the emergence of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka) from the Women's Bureau and women members of Kabataang Makabayan and the dramatic ways by which Makibaka demonstrated the necessity and importance of the role of women in the struggle to achieve the radical transformation of society in all major respects. Even as Makibaka was initially a small organization, its protest actions stirred the interest of women in various fields.

Makibaka and its leading figure Lorena Barros succeeded in attracting to the progressive movement women who were nationally prominent. They included beauty queens who won in prestigious pageants and were known to be exceptionally intelligent. Among them was Maita Gomez, Miss Philippines of 1967. They used their celebrity status to advantage in denouncing not only the reactionary character of beauty contests but also the entire ruling system. They spoke on major issues affecting women and the entire people.

Maita Gomez was inspired and energized by the First Quarter Storm of 1970, the Diliman Commune of 1971andthe furthermass protest actions until 1972. She wanted to be a revolutionary. And she availed of the opportunities in sight for learning about the revolution. She was influenced by the events that led to the making of Makibaka. However, she received her initial education in Marxism-Leninism and Philippine society and revolution in the Humanist League of the Philippines which was a small and laid-back group in the University of the Philippines, under the influence of the Cultural Bureau of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

After the First Quarter Storm of 1970, in which large numbers of women activists participated, Lorena Barros came to our mountain camp in Barrio Dipogo in Isabela to report on developments in the women's movement and to discuss plans regarding Makibaka. She mentioned some former beauty queens being sympathetic to the national democratic movement and she regarded them as figures whose celebrity was effective for supporting the patriotic and progressive stand on national issues.
Lorena and Maita knew each other and the latter would eventually maintain an enduring relationship with Lorena's family even long after her death.

When martial law was proclaimed by the Marcos regime in order to impose a fascist dictatorship on the people, Maita decided to go underground in Manila. I was aware of her situation through the officers of the Education Department of the Party General Secretariat who were in charge of her. For a while I considered taking her into my outer staff in Nueva Ecija. There was then a possibility for posting her in the hacienda house of an ally. But comrades decided to assign her for underground staff work in Baguio City. The house she was in was raided by the enemy and she was arrested.

Through the National Liaison Committee of the Party, I came to know her plan to escape from Camp Olivas and I monitored how she actually escaped, with the help of a military officer who brought her out of the camp with him. Then some comrades in charge of accommodating Maita became concerned about the motive and behavior of the officer and about the vulnerabilty of the underground house which was close to a police station. They were able to consult me. Thus, a plan was adopted and carried out by the Party organ concerned to separate her from him and further ensure her safety.

I leave others to narrate in more detail how subsequently she and her partner Joey Decena were at first deployed in a guerrilla zone in the Quezon-Bicol border area and how they were redeployed to a guerrilla zone in eastern Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon. In both guerrilla zones, they lived and performed duties as communist cadres and guerrilla fighters. In the latter guerrilla zone, Ka Joey died as a martyr in a battle. When Ka Maita fell sick, she was brought to Manila for treatment and recovery.

Other comrades can better narrate how as a result of certain tactics and certain circumstances, Ka Maita was able to surface and join the legal movement against the Marcos fascist dictatorship in the 1980s. She co-founded the Gabriela in 1984. This emerged as the largest patriotic and progressive alliance of women's organizations. She was also one of the principal leaders of the Women for the Ouster of Marcos and Boycott (WOMB). She co-founded in 1986 the first political party of women in Philippine history, Kababaihan para sa Inangbayan (KAIBA).

Julie met Maita in 1984 and they became friends as they worked together in the movement to oust the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The three of us met at her Ermita apartment after I was released from military detention in 1986. We became barkada. We attended many public meetings and social gatherings together. On many occasions, we exchanged ideas about women and the revolutionary movement. She was then engaged in women's studies as an activist, scholar and teacher at St. Scholastica. We had become very close comrades and friends by the time Julie and I left for abroad for our global university lecture tour at the end of August in 1986.

From abroad, I learned that she had serious differences with Popoy Lagman with regard to her candidacy in the 1987 elections. She drew away from his organizational sway. But she stayed committed to the principles of the revolutionary movement. I sent word to her to stay firm in order to encourage her. At first, she did not recognize the necessity and importance of the Second Great Rectification Movement but ultimately she embraced it as soon as she came to understand the issues. She became more active in the national democratic movement. Others can narrate how she spoke and fought in the service of the people from the 1990s to the time of her death.

I met Maita for the last time in May 2009 in Amsterdam. She was winding up her work as economist in IBON Foundation. And she was happy that in the previous month she was elected co-chairperson of the Makabayan Coalition and that Gabriela which she had co-founded celebrated its 25th anniversary and all its glorious achievements.

Our conversation was wide ranging, covering so many topics, serious as well as funny. It lasted from about 8 pm to 4 am. She expressed her strong commitment to the cause of development through national industrialization and land reform and her outrage over the plunder of natural resources and destruction of the environment by the imperialist and big comprador mining firms. She was optimistic about how the patriotic and progressive forces would advance further in the legal democratic movement and in the anticipated elections of 2010.

We are all proud of our beloved Comrade Maita Gomez as an outstanding freedom fighter. She has bequeathed to us and future generations a rich legacy of writings and activism in the service of women and the entire people. We shall always love and remember her for her hard work, intelligence, sacrifices and for all her positive contributions to the national democratic movement.###

 Email address:
Telephone: +31 (0)30-2310431 Fax: +31 (0)84-7589930
Mailing address: Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, NL-3513 AG Utrecht, Netherlands


Standing ovation for Maita Gomez


▲ Singing the Internationale for Ka Maita  ▼
Click here to see video

Play the vie


A Tribute to Kasamang Maita Gomez, Fearless Revolutionary Fighter and Heroine

She never stopped fighting for the

Philippine revolution and the liberation of



NDF-Negotiating Panel

July 14, 2012


For more than forty years, Kasamang Maita Gomez, never stopped fighting for the Philippine revolution and the liberation of women.


Inspired by the First Quarter Storm of 1970, she took up intensive historical, social and Marxist-Leninist studies. Even before the declaration of martial law, she was a prominent member of the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA, Free Movement of New Women) which was founded by Lorena Barros. When martial law was declared in September 1972, she decided to join the revolutionary underground. She joined a collective consisting of Lorena Barros, Magtanggol Roque, and Dolores Feria, among others.


In her desire to live among the masses, she insisted in being deployed to the countryside. Assigned to the Cordillera area, she was arrested and detained in Baguio. However, she escaped with the help of a military officer who brought her out of detention.


Subsequently she was assigned to an armed propaganda unit of the New People’s Army in Central Luzon with her beloved Joey Decena who died as a martyr in an armed encounter with the reactionary armed forces.


Later, she was again arrested and detained. After sometime in prison as a political prisoner, she was released. She continued her revolutionary activity in the legal democratic movement. In 1984, she became a co-founder of GABRIELA, the militant and broadest women’s organization in the country. In 1985, she was also one of the principal leaders of Women for the Ouster of Marcos and Boycott (WOMB).


She co-founded in 1986 the first ever women’s political party, Kababaihan para sa Inang Bayan (KAIBA, Women for the Motherland). In 2008, she was one of the first members of BabaLa! Babae Laban sa Katiwalian (Women Against Corruption). In 2009, she was elected Co-Chairperson of the Makabayan Coalition together with Satur Ocampo.


Kasamang Maita was very visible in militant marches and rallies against the Marcos dictatorship and successive reactionary regimes. She inspired the masses and the middle forces with her uncompromising and fearless stand.


We in the NDFP Negotiating Panel are deeply saddened by her sudden death due to cardiac arrest. We convey our heartfelt condolences to her five children, other family members, her comrades and numerous friends.


We shall always remember her invaluable contributions to advance the Philippine revolution and the liberation of women. Her unrelenting revolutionary commitment through more than forty years of her outstanding life, shall be a source of inspiration for the present and future generations of revolutionaries.


Long live the revolutionary spirit of Kasamang Maita Gomez!

Long live the Philippine revolution!

The NDFP Negotiating Panel, Consultants and Staff:


Luis G. Jalandoni 
Chairperson, NDFPNegotiating Panel

Jose Maria Sison 
NDFP Chief Political Consultant



Fidel V. Agcaoili 
Vice-Chairperson, NDFPNegotiating Panel

Romeo T. Capulong 
NDFP Chief Legal Consultant



Julieta de Lima 
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Vicente Ladlad 
NDFP Political Consultant



Coni K. Ledesma 
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Danilo F. Borjal 
NDFP Political Consultant



Asterio B. Palima 
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Ruth de Leon 
Head, NDFP Panel Secretariat









by Judy Taguiwalo-Scandal on Friday, July 13, 2012

Click HERE to read an article by a former beauty queen, includes also her translation to English of this tribute by Judy.


Sa pagkakatanda ko, sa isang artikulo sa Philippine Free Press na nabasa ko sa Bacolod, una kong nakilala si Maita Gomez. Si Quijano de Manila, ang ginamit na pangalan ni Nick Joaquin sa kanyang mga isinusulat sa Free Press, ang sumulat ng artikulo tungkol kay Maita pagkatapos siyang mahirang na Miss Philippines. Bukod sa maganda (isa siya sa Manila’s Five Prettiest noon na featured din sa Free Press), lumitaw na matalas at matalino si Maita. Maalam sa mga nangyayari sa pulitika ng bansa. Beauty and brains, ika nga. Nang tinanong siya ano ang pusibleng kinabukasan para sa kanya, ang naging sagot niya ay Pangulo ng Pilipinas!


Sa UP Diliman, isa sa mga campus beauties si Maita-matangkad, balingkinitan at napakaganda ng mukha. Madalas sa bandang Pavilion 1 ko siya nakikita dahil pre-med yata ang kanyang kurso. Siyempre, hindi kami tuwirang nagkakilala noon. Alta-sosyedad ang kinabilangan ni Maita—hindi lang dahil sa angking ganda, modelo ni Pitoy Moreno, laman ng “society pages” ( ngayon ay Lifestyle pages na kuno) kundi galing sa pamilyang hacendero na taga Pangasinan. Kung napukaw man siya ng kaganapan ng First Quarter Storm ng 1970 o ng UP Commune ng 1971, hindi siya naging bahagi ng aking nilanguyan na organisasyon. Aletheia yata ang una niyang sinalihang makabayang organisasyon.


Panahon na ng batas militar nang nagkasama kami ng mga ilang araw sa kanayunan. Alamat na si Maita—ang beauty queen na niyakap ang pambansa demokratikong kilusan at piniling mag-underground para labanan ang diktadurang Marcos. Sa kanayunan, kung saan ang parachute na itim na ginawang pantalon ang unisex na gamit, designer pants ang dating ng mga ito kapag si Maita ang may suot.


Ka Dolor ang pagkakakilala kay Maita ng mga magsasaka sa isang baryong matagal-tagal na kanyang tinigilan. Nang napunta ako roon, may katagalan nang nailipat si Maita sa ibang larangan. Pero maraming kwento ang mga taga-roon sa kanya. Inalagaan siyang mabuti ng samahan ng magsasaka at ng samahan ng kababaihan dahil mahusay ang kanyang pakikisalamuha sa kanila. Mabilis siyang ikinukubli kapag may dumarating na hindi taga roon dahil pansinin nga ang kanyang anyo. Ang misteryo ng katauhan ni Ka Dolor ay nadiskubre nang sa pamimili ng mga taga baryo sa poblacion, ang nakabalot sa biniling tuyo na dilis ay cover ng isang lumang magasin na si Maita ang nakalarawan.


Pagkatapos ng martial law, nang magkasama kami ni Maita sa GABRIELA at sa pagtatayo ng KAIBA (Kababaihan para sa Inang Bayan) bilang partidong pampulitika na puro kababaihan, nakwento ko sa kanya ang magiliw na paggunita sa kanya ng mga kasama sa baryong yaon. Tandang-tanda niya ang naturang baryo dahil dito raw siya dinalaw ng kanyang anak na si Melissa na sa panahon ng pagtigil roon ay sumulat sa kanyang Lola. Ibinahagi ni Melissa ang masasaya niyang karanasan at ang iba’t ibang putahe na natikman niya—ulang (fresh water shrimps), labuyo (wild chicken), at sawa! Di ko ma-imagine kung ano ang naging reaksyon ng ina ni Maita sa ganitong sulat ng apo pero malinaw sa kwentong ito ang tindig ni Maita kaugnay ng kahalagahan na maintindihan ng kanyang anak ang kilusang kanyang niyakap.


Sa pagkakulong ko sa Crame noong 1984, ang WOMB, ang Women for the Ouster of Marcos and Boycott, ang isa sa masugid na nangampanya para sa aking paglaya. Isa si Maita sa mga palaban at milianteng kababaihang bumuo ng WOMB. At sa panahon ng EDSA 1, makakatanggap ako ng maiksing sulat mula kina Maita, Irene at Gigi at sa iba pang kababaihan ng WOMB –“huwag kayong mag-alaala sa inyong kaligtasan sa loob ng bilangguan, narito kami sa labas, kasama ang libu-libong mamamayan.”


Pagkatapos nang mapatalsik si Marcos noong 1986, magsasama kami ni Maita sa GABRIELA, sa KAIBA, sa Institute of Women’s Studies ni Sister Mary John. Dito, makikilala ko ang kanyang self-deprecating humor. Sabi niya, sa mga papeles na kailangang ilagay niya ang kanyang civil status—single, married, widowed, separated, etcetera—gusto niyang ilagay ang all of the above!


Di matatawaran ang generosity ni Maita. Bukas ang kanyang apartment sa Malate sa mga aktibistang naliligaw sa banda roon pagkatapos ng mga habulan sa US Embassy o kaya sa rali sa Lawton. Noong dadalo ako sa ika-25 anibersaryo ng kasal ng isa sa aking mga kapatid na gagawin sa California at ako’y nangangailangan ng pormal na damit, nilapitan ko si Maita. Ibinukas niya sa akin ang kanyang closet ng mga damit. Hindi ito siksik ng kung anu-anong kasuotan. Iilan lang ang laman nito pero de kalidad, simple at elegante ang mga ito. At may napili nga ako na kumasya sa akin at ito ang nagamit ko sa bonggang silver wedding anniversary ng aking kapatid.


Noong unang bahagi ng 1990s, nagdesisyun si Maita na ituloy ang kanyang naudlot na pag-aaral. Pumasok siya sa non-formal education program ng PUP kung saan nabigyan ng credit ang kanyang mga isinulat (kabilang na ang talambuhay ni Laurie Barros, ang isang mahusay na pagsalaysay sa kasaysayan ng kilusan ng kababaihan sa Pilipinas na bahagi ng dokumentasyon ng kanyang presentasyon sa isang kongreso ng GABRIELA). Kagyat siya na nag-enrol sa School of Economics ng UP kung saan natapos niya ang kanyang masterado—Master in Development Economics. Magtuturo siya ng ilang panahon sa UP Manila. Maging bahagi ng IBON at bandang huli ay magpokus sa pananaliksik laluna sa isyu ng mining.


Patuloy ang kanyang pakikisangkot sa kilusan. Regular siyang kalahok ng martsa sa paggunita sa araw ng kababaihan tuwing Marso 8. Nahalal siyang kagawad ng National Council ng SELDA, ang samahan ng mga ex-political detainees. At Co-Chair siya ng Makabayan, ang koalisyon ng mga progresibong party list.


Nagbigay si Maita ng espesyal na pagkalinga sa mga kabataang aktibista. Ang kanyang apartment sa Malate, na malapit sa UP Manila, ay lalaging bukas sa mga kasamahan at kaibigan ng kanyang mga anak, partikular si Pog at si Michael. Ipinagmalaki niya ang napiling oryentasyong sekswal ng kanyang anak; at ang paging aktibista ng isa pa habang estudyante pa lamang sa high school. Kaya nga di nakapagtataka na ganito ang isa sa mga naging post ni Michael sa Facebook sa araw ng pagkamatay ng kanyang ina:


“2005, hindi ako pumasok sa letran hs para pumunta sa isang pagkilos sa US embassy. Kinabukasan lumabas ang larawan na ito sa dyaryo, pag-uwi ko nakita kong ginupit na ito ng nanay ko at inilagay sa aming ref. bumisita ang kapitbahay agad niyang tinuro ang larawan sa ref: "anak ko yan!"


Makulay ang buhay at pakikibaka ni Maita, ang bagong Gabriela, isang buhay na umaayon sa pagsalarawan ni Laurie Barros noong 1971:


The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant…She is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a woman fully engaged in the making of history…” ((Ma. Lorena Barros, “Liberated Women II” in Pugad Lawin, Taon 18 Blg 3, Enero-Pebrero 1971: 32)


Tulad ni Laurie Barros, malinaw kay Maita ang bukal ng ganitong paninindigang maging bahagi sa paglikha ng kasaysayan. Sa pagkaalaala ng isa sa mga kasamahan ni Maita sa pinakahuling National Executive Council meeting ng Makabayan kung saan pinag-uusapan ang tagline sa pusibleng pagkandidato ni Teddy Casiño sa pagka Senador, inihapag ni Maita ang ganito:


"Walang masama sa kaliwa; mabuti ang kaliwa"


Angkop na angkop ito na maging epitah ni Maita, mahal na kasama, kabaro’t kaibigan!


Maita, sa puso ng sambayanan, itatayo ang iyong bantayog!!








Nakikiramay ang MAKIBAKA sa pamilya, mga kaibigan at mga kasama ni Ka Maita Gomez.  Kami ay nagdadalamhati sa  kanyang biglaang pagpanaw sa gitna ng patuloy na pakikibaka ng sambayanan para sa pambansang demokrasya. 


Isang taas-kamaong pagpupugay ang ibinibigay ng MAKIBAKA kay Ka Maita sa kanyang pag-aalay ng  kanyang kabataan, talino at husay sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Katulad ng ating bayaning si Lorena Barros, isa si Ka Maita sa maraming kababaihan na nagpasyang tumungo sa kanayunan noong dekada ’70. Ang paglahok  ni Ka Maita sa armadong pakikibaka ay patunay sa tapang at kakayahan ng mga rebolusyonaryong kababaihan na lumahok sa iba’t ibang larangan ng rebolusyon, lalo na ang paghawak ng armas.


Tinalikuran ni Ka Maita ang kanyang uring pinagmulan at binuhos nang buong panahon ang kanyang buhay sa paglilingkod sa masa.  Hindi ito naging madali lalo na't iniwan niya ang buhay na maalwan.  Naigpawan ang mga pagsubok.  At ang paglilingkod sa sambayanan ay ipinagpatuloy niya hanggang sa huling mga sandali ng kanyang buhay.


Ang diwa ng paglilingkod at pagrerebolusyon na isinasabuhay ni Ka Maita ay mananatili sa aming mga puso at patuloy naming isasabusay sa  pagsusulong ng pambansa-demokratikong rebolusyon hanggang tagumpay.


Mabuhay si Ka Maita. Mabuhay ang mga rebolusyonaryong kababaihan. Isulong ang pambansa-demokratikong rebolusyon!


Malaya Libertad

Pambansang Tagapagsalita




UP Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Emcee

Film Director Behn Cervantes
Click here to download eulogy of Behn

National Artist Bien Lumbera
  SELDA Chair and writer Bonifacio Ilagan  



Dear Sr. Mary John: We missed you at last night's parangal for Maita
by Judy Taguiwalo-Scandal on Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 10:49am ·

Sharing with you my email to Sr. Mary John of my short account of last night's parangal sa buhay at pakikibaka ni Maita Gomez organized by GABRIELA, MAKABAYAN, KARAPATAN and SELDA. Sr. Mary John is in Europe on a religious assignment and will be away for, I believe , one year.

Dear Sr. MJ:

We missed you at last night's parangal for Maita at the Funeraria Paz inside the Manila Memorial park.

Halos complete attendance ang WOMB--sina Nikki Coseteng, Marivic Dizon, Anna Leah Sarabia at marami pang iba.

Nagbigay ng parangal si Behn Cervantes, Liza Maza, Nikki Coseteng, Bien Lumbera, Boni Ilagan at Satur Ocampo. Binasa ang mga mensahe mula sa NDFP, Joma at Julie Sison at MAKIBAKA.

Joi Barrios sent a poem written especially for Maita.(see below)

Dondi Ong of UP's College of Music opened the parangal with "You'll Never Walk Alone". Monique Wilson, who had just arrived two nights before from London, sang a capella the John Lennon song "Imagine." Tony Palis of the Concerned Artist of the Philippines offered two guitar numbers. Rica Nepomuceno, accompanied by Nato Reyes, sang "What Makes A Hero. And Sining Lila performed "Babae Ka."

Nelia was in Caticlan and could not make it last night.

Luis Decena, Maita's son with Joey Decena (who died in the battle field in Nueva Ecija during martial law) and Michael Beltran, Maita's youngest son who is also an activist, gave responses on behalf of the family.

Among others, Michael shared the following:

"Minsan sinabi ng aking nanay na sana hindi na lang ako naging Maita Gomez, kasi nahihirapan kayong mga anak ko. Kailangan nyong habulin ang mga nagawa ko para makilala kayo. Sabi ko naman sa kanya, ano ba Ma, hindi naman 'to kompetisyon. Talagang hindi ko naman kayang gawin ang mga nagawa mo. Kahit kailan, hindi ako magiging lider kababaihan!"

The place was packed and the audience composed of Maita's family, her classmates from Assumption, FQS comrades, members of Makabayan, GABRIELA, Karapatan and Selda and other people's organizations, and a lot of young activists of the present generation sent off Maita with two energetic and loving standing ovations.

The parangal ended with the singing of the Internationale.

We missed you MJ.

You might also like to read the following article on Maita and Dolphy:

Tula Para kay Maita Gomez, kapwa kasapi ng GABRIELA
by Joi Barrios on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 7:08am ·
Kay Maita[1]
Ni Joi Barrios, BAYAN Women’s Desk

Sa mga larawan na sa iyo ay nagpupugay,
pulang rosas ang katabi ng Iyong mukha.
Kasabay nito’y papuri sa iyong ganda,
Sa iyong pakikisalamuha sa masa,
Sa iyong pasya
na lumahok sa pakikibaka.

Maita, Maita.
Lahat ng rosas ay nalalanta.
Ngunit itinuro mo sa amin,
iyong mga kabaro’t kapatid.
Iyong mga kasama’t kapanalig,
Na sa pagdaan ng mga taon at dekada
Hindi dapat kumupas
Ang tingkad
Ng paniniwalang matatag.
Malaon nang namaalam ang iba
Sa paghihiwalay ng mga landas.
Ngunit nanatili ka sa aming piling,
Mutya ng masa na pinili mong yakapin.

Ikaw na aming kayrikit, kaygiting, na rosas,
Sa digmaang mapula,
Naghatid ng anong halimuyak.

[1] Karangalan kong magbigay-pugay kay Maita Gomez, kasama sa Gabriela, at minsang nagpaunlak na magbasa ng aking tula para sa isang rali.


Click here to download eulogy by Boni Ilagan
NDFP consultant Vicente Ladlad

NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis
Former Senator Nikki Coseteng IWA Chair Liza Maza MAKABAYAN President Satur Ocampo



July 14, 2012


*The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant…She
is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a
woman fully engaged in the making of history…” ((Ma. Lorena Barros,
“Liberated Women II” in Pugad Lawin, Taon 18 Blg 3, Enero-Pebrero
1971: 32)

The life of Maita Gomez embodies an exemplary response to this most
relevant call for all of humanity, this most significant call for all

Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders in the
Philippines, pays tribute to Maita – activist, rebel, intellectual,
mother, teacher, former political detainee, fashion model, beauty
queen, a woman whose life was dedicated to the struggle for freedom,
national democracy and women’s emancipation.

She passed away on July 13, 2012 in her sleep, but she left a legacy
that inspires all women, especially those of the younger generation,
to continue and persevere in the struggle for the defense and
assertion of women’s and people’s rights.

From being a fashion model/beauty queen to a dedicated fighter and
organizer of the armed underground movement, unto her arrest and
detention and eventual escape from the hands of the military, to her
leadership of and participation in women’s and people’s organizations,
Maita clearly demonstrated her intellect and deep grasp of the
people’s struggle.

Maita, in all her wit, beauty, kindness and humor, exemplifies “the
new woman, the new Filipina,” as described by Ma. Lorena Barros, one
of the founders of the Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan and a

Maraming salamat, Maita! You will live on in the struggle of the
generations of women that you have awed, challenged and inspired.

References: Kiri Dalena and Cristina Palabay, convenors, Tanggol Bayi
(thru contact numbers: 09295373010 [Kiri], 09175003879 [Cristina])

Tanggol Bayi is an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines to advance women’s rights as human rights. Tanggol Bai is formed to further develop the capability of women human rights defenders to protect and advance women’s, human and peoples’ rights while giving special attention to the rights of WHRDs; to provide a venue by which WHRDs can give mutual assistance to one another especially to those who are facing immediate threats; provide information and facilitate HR education to WHRDs to even better sensitize them to violations of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights; through common effort, enable WHRDs to effectively forward policies and legislations, fight for their rights and generate resources for the needs of their human rights advocacy; and network with other human rights organizations in the country and abroad.

Contact us at:
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets
Barangay Central District, Diliman, Quezon City
Telephone: (632) 434 2837
Fax: (632) 435 4146


ILPS-Philippine Chapter Chairperson  Rey Claro Casambre
reads tribute of Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Luis Decena, son of Maita



Kay Maita [1]
Ni Joi Barrios, BAYAN Women’s Desk

Sa mga larawan na sa iyo ay nagpupugay,
pulang rosas ang katabi ng Iyong mukha.
Kasabay nito’y papuri sa iyong ganda,
Sa iyong pakikisalamuha sa masa,
Sa iyong pasya
na lumahok sa pakikibaka.

Maita, Maita.
Lahat ng rosas ay nalalanta.
Ngunit itinuro mo sa amin,
iyong mga kabaro’t kapatid.
Iyong mga kasama’t kapanalig,
Na sa pagdaan ng mga taon at dekada
Hindi dapat kumupas
Ang tingkad
Ng paniniwalang matatag.
Malaon nang namaalam ang iba
Sa paghihiwalay ng mga landas.
Ngunit nanatili ka sa aming piling,
Mutya ng masa na pinili mong yakapin.

Ikaw na aming kayrikit, kaygiting, na rosas,
Sa digmaang mapula,
Naghatid ng anong halimuyak.


[1] Karangalan kong magbigay-pugay kay Maita Gomez, kasama sa Gabriela, at minsang nagpaunlak na magbasa ng aking tula para sa isang rali.



by Sonny San Juan

July 15, 2012

“No uprising fails… Each one is a step in the right direction.” –Salud Algabre

Anong kapangahasan Apoy ng kababaihan

Biruing ibulalas: “Walang sayang, hoy!
Bawat siklab ng pagbabalikwas ay pagsulong
sa wastong direksyon—”

Mula Cabiao, Nueva Ecija hanggang Sta. Rosa, Laguna, nauna na si Salud Algabre---
sumunod si Maria Lorena Barros, Cherith Dayrit, at ngayon si Ka Maita—

Ilang titis lamang, sumiklab ang rumaragasang sunog

lampas na sa hanggahang naigpawan, di nasayang

Anong kapangahasang lumagablab
tumutupok sa bawat sagwil ng pulis at militar ng diktadurya’t imperyo

Mapangahas na nagliliyab ang parang dagat lunsod
mula Bontoc hanggang Tawi-tawi, di nasayang

Sa pinagkiskis na buto’t laman ng ilanlibong inang nagdiringas dumadarang

Apoy ni Maita Gomez, armadong paraluman—

Alab ng ilanlibong babaing naghihimagsik

Gumigising sa mga nabuwal sa dilim ng pagkaduhagi’t pagkaamis
Bumabangon mula sa gabi ng pagkaalipin at pagdadalamhati
Binubulabog ang luksang bilanggo’t kuta ng mga salaring nasayang

Nagpupumiglas upang matamo ang luwalhati’t sayang pinapaginipan

“Walang sayang—”

Sa bawat kiskis
tumitilampon ang titis,
nagliliyab ang parang, salamat sa iyo, pinakasasabikan,

---E. SAN JUAN, Jr.




Handog kay Maita Gomez, armadong paraluman

Nagliliyab ang lansangan ng Islang Puting Bato nang ikaw’y lumisan
Sa iyong balintataw nagtalik ang liwanag at dilim
Nagtipan ang luha’t ngiti sa hanggahan ng pangako’t alaala
Saang likong landas tayo naghiwalay, nakipagsapalaran?

Pumalaot ka sa lagim ng lungsod, napigtal sa diwa’t nakintal sa dibdib
Patnubay ang masang kumalinga, sabik sa paglaya’y naglakbay

Bagwis sa budhi’y pumailanlang sa madugong larangan
Sa gilid ng bangin naglamay, sa gubat ng gunita naghintay
sa tukso ng mapagkandiling bituin….

Sa bawat pintig ng iyong kaluluwa, sa bawat himaymay
Nagpupumiglas ang sinag ng kinabukasan—
Luningning ng pag-asa, halimuyak at alindog ng panaginip
ng armadong diwatang kusang naghandog, kumalas, nagligtas—

Nilambungan ng usok at apoy ang gayuma ng iyong pilik-mata
Humagip ang bagwis ng guniguning lumipad lumapag
Lumusong ka’t tinahak ang tulay sa nilunggating ligaya
Sa dusa’t aliw ng busabos, binalangkas mo ang hiwaga ng darating.

Saang dulo ng landas kaya tayo magtatagpo, abot-tanaw?
Binaybay mo ang ilog, dumaramay sa udyok ng mapagpaubayang
batis sa lambak

Sa takipsilim gumapang ang sugatang katawan sa dalampasigan
Sinasalubong ang luwalhating biyaya, agos ng bukang-liwayway.

Sa bawat pintig ng iyong kaluluwa, sa bawat himaymay
Nagpupumiglas ang sinag ng kinabukasan—
Luningning ng pag-asa, halimuyak at alindog ng panaginip ng armadong
diwatang kusang naghandog, kumalas, nagligtas—

Mabuhay ka, Ka Maita, armadong paraluman ng sambayanan.








Makabayan Coalition mourns Maita’s death

The Makabayan Coalition mourns the sudden demise, due to heart attack Thursday afternoon, of its founding co-chairperson, Maita Gomez, and pays tribute to her long service in our people's struggle for freedom, justice and peace.

Makabayan is a political coalition of eight Philippine progressive parties: Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, COURAGE, Migrante, ACT Teachers and Katribu.

"We in Makabayan are proud and honoured that she gladly accepted her nomination to co-chair the coalition in 2009, and she consistently and most capably performer her duties until her unexpected demise.” said Satur C.Ocampo, Makabayan president.

Ocampo added, that "Maita never failed to speak out on the issues being discussed and her points were always well taken – reflective of her intellectual acumen and wisdom, built up from a multifaceted life and deep involvement in our people’s struggle.”

Makabayan was only the latest of many organizations to which Maita lent her unstinting support and leading participation, Ocampo pointed out, "after distinguishing herself as a selfless and dedicated fighter-organizer among the masses in the countryside in the armed underground movement during the Marcos dictatorship." She suffered arrest and detention for that, but managed to escape from military detention, he added.

"Maita has etched her indelible mark in our people's struggle, yet she retained her humility throughout and, yes, her peculiar sense of humor," Ocampo concluded.

Her wake is at the Funeraria Paz in Manila Memorial park in Paranaque.# # #


"We in MAKABAYAN are proud and honored that Maita gladly accepted her nomination to co-chair the coalition in 2009, and she consistently and most capably performed her duties till her unexpected demise. She never failed to speak out on the issue being discussed, and her points were always well taken - reflective of her intellectual acumen and wisdom built up from a multifaceted life and deep involvement in our people's struggle." - Satur Ocampo, MAKABAYAN President





Kay Maita: Ang Reyna ng ganda at pakikibaka

ni Richard R. Gappi

Nagpaalam na ang Hari ng Komedya.
Ilang araw lang ang lumipas, nagpaalam na rin si Maita:
ang Reyna ng ganda at pakikibaka.

Ngunit ano at nasaan ang ganda?
Ano at nasaan ang pakikibaka?

Ito’y nasa Isla Bonita.

Sapagkat dito, ang ganda ng pakikibaka
ay nasa pakikibaka para gumanda.

Naiintindihan ng babae
ang kanyang sinasalubong.
Hindi, manapa’y
isinasabuhay ito at nasa puso.
Sapagkat bahagi ito
ng kanyang pagkatao.
Maano pang
inilarawan ang pagbabago
tulad ng isang babaeng nagdadalantao
at nagsisilang ng bagong sanggol?

Ng bagong-tao.

-Richard R. Gappi
4:27pm, Friday, July 13, 2012
Angono Tres-Siete (3/7) Poetry Society
Angono, Rizal, Pilipinas



Monique Wilson sings IMAGINE

Tony Palis plays Tarrega's Lagrima. He also performed Babaylan

Sining Lila performs Babae Ka

ni Pia Montalban

Maita, ikaw ba'y isang kalaw?
Sa pagtalon sa bangin, di namamanglaw,
Di ka bumabagsak at napipinsala,
Bagkus idinuduyan kang marahan ng amihan.

Di man kumakampay ang iyong pakpak,
Nakalilipad ka nang anong taas ng tahak.
Milyang pulgada man ang layo ng liyag,
Natatanaw mo siya't nagagabayan sa layag.

Maita, ikaw ba'y Imelda,
Isdang matambok at mapula?
Saan mang ilog mapadpad ng ragasa
Hanggang sa dagat, ika'y lumalangoy sa paglaya.

Mahuli man ng mangingisda't sa aming dulang
Magdulot ng kainamang kabusugan--
Di namatay ang iyong habing pula
Hanggang makain kaliskis, walang pagkapusyaw.

Maita, ikaw ba'y Leon?
Reyna ng kagubatan, kaisa ng kalikasan,
Pinuno ng hukbo ng tunay na bayan,
Rebelde kung ituring ng bulag na lipunan.

Maita, ikaw ba'y Diwata?
Sa anking sigasig, ang ganda mo'y lagpas balat
Tagos hanggang buto
Dama sa bawat tibok ng iyong puso.

Ikaw nga ito Maita
Ikaw na umiibig ng walang humpay
Bumutas at pumatag ng bagong daan
Dumulo na wasto ang linyang tangan

Ikaw ang magpapapula
Sa aming bawat umaga
Ng pakikibaka.

Walang pagkapagal,
Tatahakin namin ang daang iyong hinawan.
Hindi namamatay ang mga gaya mo Maita,
Natutulog ka lamang sa bawat isa,

Magigising sa bawat namumulat at naoorganisa.


Soprano Rica L. Nepomuceno of UP College of Music sings What Makes A hero,
accompanied by BAYAN SecretaryGeneral Renato Reyes, Jr.



Elehiya kay Maita Gomez

ni Glenn Ford B. Tolentino


"The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant...

She is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a woman fully engaged in the making of history..." —Ma. Lorena Barros


Niyayanig ng hapis at hinagpis ang aking gunita,

Sa tuwing nauulinig ko ang kidlat/kulog ng Unang Sigwa. 


Hindi luha ng himala, ang lunas sa mga araw at gabi ng pagkapiit.

Hindi luha ng himala, ang lunas sa mga araw at gabi ng pagtortyur.

Hindi luha ng himala, ang lunas sa mga araw at gabi ng pagkawala.

Hindi luha ng himala, ang lunas sa mga araw at gabi ng pagpaslang.


Wala sa mga high-end closet at wala rin sa life style/society pages

ang dalisay na imahen ng babae na iyong tinatalunton. Marahil,


Nasa mga dibdib at pusod ng masusukal na kabundukan

—nananalamin sila sa mga rabaw ng ilog, dagat, pasigan

sa buong kapuluan. Hinahasa wari ang sundang at tadyang.


Wala ka man sa mga eleganteng tarpulin o bilbord,

dahil nagpasya kang isaboy sa mga baryo't nayon

at sa nanlilimahid na kalye't abenida ng Edsa-Maynila


ang Iyong







at halimuyak.


Itinakda ng iyong kaliwang talampakan,

ang humakbang at pumanig sa mga magsasaka,

manggagawa, kabataan, kababaihan/Gabriela,

at iba't ibang progresibo't kilusang Makabayan


dahil batid mo na:


"Walang masama sa kaliwa, mabuti ang kaliwa." [1]




Ka Dolor,

Malaon nang nakalatag ang nangagningning-pulang karpet—

na iyong tinahak at aming tinatahak tungo sa paglaya't tagumpay.




Ang Reyna

Salin ng Tula ni Pablo Neruda, "La Reina"

Salin sa Filipino ni Glenn Ford B. Tolentino


Pinangalanan kita bilang reyna.

May mas matangkad sa iyo, mas matangkad.

May mas dalisay sa iyo, mas dalisay.

May mas marikit sa iyo, may mas marikit.

Subalit ikaw ang reyna.


Kapag ika’y nasa lansangan

walang sinuman nakakikilala sa iyo.

Walang nakapapansin ng iyong kariktan, walang lumilingon

sa pula’t gintong alfombrang

nahabi nang iyong tahakin ang daan.

Ang 'di umiiral na alfombra.


At pag ika’y nagpakita

lahat ng lawa ay nauulinig

ng aking katawan, Kampana

niyayanig ang panganorin,

Ang iyong himig pinupunan ang daigdig.


Ikaw lamang at ako,

Ikaw lamang at ako, Mahal ko.

Pakapakinggan mo ako.


Kay Maita
Paalam, kasama at matalik
na kaibigan. Salamat sa
mga ambag mo sa
rebolusyon. Di kukupas
ang ganda ng yong
rebolusyonaryong pamana
sa bayan at kababaihan.

Julie & Joma


Maita (Ka Dolor) Gomez
ni Rogelio L. Ordonez

nang sumilakbo sa iyong ugat
dugo ng mga sawimpalad
at dumagundong sa iyong puso
hagulhol ng mga dukha
tinalikuran mo, maita,
tanghalan ng balatkayo
itinakwil mo, maita,
ilusyon ng puting telon
mukha mo’y nahilamusan
sa bukal ng katotohanan
upang makitang malinaw
salungatan sa lipunan.

inilantad-nilitanya mo, maita,
inhustisya’t pagsasamantala
ng gahamang diyus-diyosan
ibinandila di lamang kapakanan
ng aping kababaihan
kundi maging sagradong mithiin
ng nilatigong masang mamamayan
nagmartsa ka sa kadensa
ng laksa-laksang mga paa
tinig mo’y umalingawngaw
sa lansangan ng protesta
buong giting na isinigaw:
“makibaka! huwag matakot!
“makibaka! huwag matakot!”

niyakap mo, ka dolor,
dibdib ng kabundukan
nakipagsayaw ka sa talahib
ng kumalingang kaparangan
perlas mong itinuring
mga hamog sa damuhan
ng matubig na mga linang
ng nagpuputik na kabukiran
damdamin mong nag-aapoy
at hitik sa pagmamahal
sa lupaing umaagos
luha ng dalamhati
ng inaaliping uri.

oo, ka dolor,naging armado
kang mandirigma ng bayan
laban sa mapanikil-malagim
ng nagmumultong panahon
ng imbi’t sugapang mga panginoon
mga salot pa rin ng lipunang
namamayagpag hanggang ngayon
ibinilanggo ka man, ka dolor.
at dinusta ng diktadura
parang brilyanteng di natapyasan
o esmeralda pa ring kumikinang
matimyas-dakilang hangaring
magluningning bilyong bituin
sa mukha ng bayan ng dusa’t hilahil.

namaalam ka man, maita,
sa la tierra pobrezang pinakamamahal
at sa anino ng gabi inilulan
ng aliw-iw ng hanging nagdarasal
tumakas na hininga ng pagsinta
sulo ka pa ring magliliyab
sa dibdib ng sawimpalad
muhon ka ring di matitibag
sa lupain ng pakikitalad
kikiwal sa ugat ng mga api’t dukha
alimpuyo ng dugo mong mapanlikha
di mapapawi ng panahon
magiting mong mga gunita
manalasa man ang daluyong
sa burol ma’t kapatagan
bahain man ng delubyo
kanayuna’t kalunsuran
marmol kang monumento
sa puso ng pagbabago.

hanggang inhustisya’y nilulumot
diyus-diyosa’y laging buktot
at tunay na demokrasya’y binabansot
hanggang manggagawa’y alipin
ng grasa’t makina sa mga pabrika
hanggang libingan nitong magsasaka
malawak na bukid na di maging kanya
saan ka man naroroon
si maita ka man o ka dolor
ihahatid ng sagitsit ng kidlat
at nakagugulantang na kulog
himagsik ng tinig mong humihiyaw:
“makibaka! huwag matakot!
“makibaka! huwag matakot!”





Maita Gomez
by Mark Joseph Rafal

Mabuti ang kaliwa, Ka Dolor.
Dahil kaya nilang magpasilab
ng libong mga sulo na di
kakayanin ng balatkayong
pagmamabuti ng kanan,
ng tama.

Mabuti ang kaliwa, Maita,
pagkat nakapagsusubo sila
ng kanin ng hustisya at
pinapawi ang uhaw sa
kaluluwa ng naghumpak-impis
na tiyan ng sambayanan.

Mabuti ang kaliwa, Maita.
Tulad mo, ang ganda'y
tinatangi nilang panlabas
lamang at nakatuturol na
sa kamao naglalagi ang esensya
ng kariktan, mabuti ang kaliwa.

Mabuti ang kaliwa, Ka Dolor,
pagkat sabihin na nating silang
kanan ay kanan, ngunit hindi
sila naging right, kailanman.





Maita Mia
Kapirasong Kritika ni Teo S. Marasigan


(1) Nakilala niya si Maita Gomez sa konteksto ng hindi pagkakasundo, sa maagang bahagi ng 2006. May hindi ito nagustuhan sa isang ginawa ng mga aktibista. Kinausap niya si Maita para magpaliwanag. At dahil kilala si Maita na prangka at hindi mahilig makipagbolahan, sinabi niyang mas malamang ay uulitin ang naturang ginawa, hindi man sang-ayon ang kausap. Siguro, nagustuhan ni Maita ang katapatan, ang palagay na mauunawaan niya, ang hindi pagmenos sa kakayahan niyang maintindihan. Doon nagsimula ang malapit na pagkakaibigan hanggang namatay si Maita nitong 12 Hulyo.

Sabi ni Prop. Jose Maria Sison, naganap ang huli nilang pag-uusap ni Maita simula alas-8:00 ng gabi hanggang alas-4:00 ng umaga. Sa ganyang mga kwentuhan din niya nakilala si Maita. Minsan, biglaang pagdalaw niya, pero mas madalas, imbitasyon ni Maita sa hapunan. Mahilig makipagkwentuhan at mahilig tumawa si Maita. Natuwa siguro si Maita na may mga taong hindi sa pagiging beauty queen niya interesado, kundi sa pagiging gerilya at aktibista niya, sa mga pananaw niya sa pulitika at ekonomiya ng bansa. Mahusay lang din niyang naitago ang pagkamangha sa ganda at gaang ni Maita.

(2) Bukas-palad, mapagbigay si Maita. Ibinukas niya ang bahay sa mga kabataang aktibistang kumikilos malapit sa dating bahay niya sa Malate, Maynila. Sabi niya, pinakain at kinanlong siya ng masa kaya panata niyang magpakain at tumulong sa mga nangangailangan. Dagdag pa niya, ang masa, hindi tinatandaan ang pagpapakain sa mga bisita – hindi katulad ng mga naghaharing uri na hindi malimut-limutan. Sa mga usapan, lagi siyang may mababanggit na tinutulungan – magpaaral ng anak, lumipat ng bahay, kumuha ng trabaho. Walang indikasyong siya’y umaasa ng kapalit o nasisiphayo.

Mapagbigay rin si Maita pagdating sa mga pananaw at kwento. “Lahat ng taon ko sa Kilusan, maganda,” sabi niya nang puno ng katiyakan. Hindi raw siya gumising nang patanghali at halos wala ring day-off. Lagi niyang pinag-isipan kung paano mas mahusay na maipapatupad ang mga tungkulin – at agad na tinatasa ang resulta nito. Minsan, maingat niyang tinapat ang isang alyado tungkol sa planong pagrekluta sa natitsismis noong ikalawang asawa ng mister nito. Ang sabi raw ng alyado, “Alam mo, Maita, ikaw ang paborito kong Komunista.” At hindi pa nga siya nagtatapat dito!

Ang maganda kay Maita, mapagbigay man siya sa kwento at komentaryo, hindi ka makakaramdam ng pagmamataas o pangangaral. Hindi rin siya mariringgan ng pagmamaliit o sama ng loob sa Kilusan. Masaya lang siya, sa paglalarawan ni John Berger, manunulat: “Nagaganap ang ligaya kapag kayang ibigay ng mga tao ang kabuuan ng kanilang sarili sa yugtong pinagdaraanan, kapag ang Pag-iral at Pagiging ay parehong bagay [“The Soul and Operator,” 1990, Selected Essays, 2001].” Masaya siyang ibinigay niya ang mga pinakaproduktibong taon niya sa Kilusan, sa sambayanan.


(3) Siguro, dahil handa siyang magbigay at magsakripisyo, matapang si Maita. May kasama raw siya sa New People’s Army na namatay sa tabi niya, habang natutulog sila sa mga cogon ng Gitnang Luzon. Lagi raw niyang kinokontra noon ang mga insureksyunistang pakana ni Felimon “Popoy” Lagman sa kilusang masa, kahit ang kapalit ay ang paglusob ng huli sa kanyang bahay nang sumisigaw. May nagsulat, sa mga kasamahan niya sa Women for Ouster of Marcos and Boycott o WOMB, na hindi siya binatuta sa mga raling kontra-Marcos dahil maganda siya. Hindi totoo, sabi niya.


Noon daw, may kasama siyang lalaking magsasaka sa NPA na minamaliit siya. Ang tingin niya, dahil galing siya sa maykayang uri at isang babae, ang tingin nito ay duwag siya, takot mamatay. Minsan, may “kaaway” o militar sa kanilang erya. Bilang lider ng yunit, nagpanukala siya ng rutang dadaanan para makaiwas sa militar at makatulog sa gabi. Kinontra siya ng kasama, na naggiit ng rutang malapit sa militar. Pumayag siya. Nang nasa delikado na sila, sabi niya “Para! Tigil tayo. Dito tayo matutulog.” Yanig ang buong yunit. Lumapit ang katunggali. “Sige na, kasama. Lumakad na tayo,” sabi nito.

(4) Masayang kakwentuhan si Maita, parang kabarkada. Walang seryosong usapan ang hindi napapagaan ng ngiti, tawa at halakhak niya. Matalas, simple siyang magpaliwanag; hindi madalas masabi sa mga parangal na isa sa mga unang yunit niya ang Instructors’ Bureau ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. Masarap pakinggan ang boses niyang parang malat, tulad ng kay Lotte Lenya, mang-aawit – “one octave below laryngitis.” Puno siya ng buhay. Minsan, pinilit niya ang mga kaibigan na manood ng bidyo ni BLKD, rapper na kanyang paborito. Kapag nagra-rap na ang kalaban, panay ang sigaw niya: “Gago!”

Handa rin siyang maging sentro ng katatawanan. Nang minsang may humingi ng payo tungkol sa buhay mag-asawa, ang bungad niya, “Una sa lahat, congratulations. Nagkaroon ka ng relasyon na mas matagal sa kahit aling relasyon ko.” Ang tsismis, may nagmumultong white lady sa nabili niyang isla sa Laguna. “Hala kayo, Ma’am,” biro ng mga kaibigan, “dahil kilala kayong tagapagtatag ng Gabriela, magpapatulong sa inyo iyun.” Hanggang may nakaisip ng solusyon: Kapag lumabas na ang white lady, dapat sumigaw si Maita ng “Anti-mining! Anti-mining na ang advocacy ko ngayon!”

(5) Nagulat ang mga kaibigan ni Maita sa biglaan niyang pagpanaw. Alam nilang may diabetes siya pero larawan siya ng katatagan. Kahit mas bata sila, naisip nilang pupunta si Maita sa burol nila, hindi sila ang pupunta sa burol ni Maita. Ni hindi nila siya natanong tungkol sa gusto niyang mangyari kapag namatay siya. Nakasubaybay siya sa bawat yugto ng buhay nila, nagpapayo, nagbibigay ng inspirasyon. Marami pa siyang plano, katulad ng pagsulat ng kanyang memoirs. Ni hindi sila nakapagpasalamat sa kanya sa lahat ng itinulong nito sa kanila. Paanong bigla na lang siyang mawawala?

Totoo, ayaw ni Maita na pinag-uusapan sa publiko ang buhay niya. Pero ang kamatayan niya, na sing-bigat ng Sierra Madre, wika nga, ay naganap sa gitna ng mga kongkretong buhay na kanyang tinulungan at hinikayat. At iyan ay dahil gusto niyang makatulong sa bayang ito, sa Kilusang inaasam niya ang pagtatagumpay. Kahit sa kanyang kamatayan, nagbibigay siya – ng liwanag na hindi man natin laging masusunod ay pwede nating kuhanan ng direksyon. Nagpupugay tayo kay Maita dahil binubuhay ng salaysay niya ang pinakamahusay sa ating sarili bilang tao, progresibo, aktibista, at rebolusyunaryo.

25 Hulyo 2012



Ano nga ba ang kagandahan?
Elehiya kay Maita Favis Gomez
ni Pia Montalban

Ano nga ba ang kagandahan?
Hilatsa ba ito ng mukha,
Pintadong kilay at tikwas na pilik-mata?
Biloy sa bawat pagngiti,
Pantay na puting ngipin,
At kumbinasyon ng mapulang aping?

Alampay ba itong may nakasulat,
Binibining Pilipinas, binibini o binibini!
O koronang dyamante
Sa nililok-sa-parlor na buhok,
O tamang apelyido, lahi
Sa alta sosyedad na mapili?

Nasa tarheta ba ito ng damit?
Dinisenyo ng mga sikat na mananahi
Ipinustura sa hubog ng katawang inukit
Sa debuho ng mga anak ni Venus,
Ang kagandahan ba'y nasa kulay
At kinis ng kutis? Paano nga ba makikilatis?

Kapag dumadaong ang kagandahan
Sa ating mga piling, para itong bahagharing
Miminsang magpakita sa bughaw na ulap.
Isang pangako na ang pagdatal
Ay pagpugos sa delubyo't sakuna ng ulan,
At bagyo ng mga buhay nating inuunos ng dalita.

Inilalatag natin ang pulang alpombra
Inihahanda sa pagkabusog ang mga sikmura
May lisensya ang piging at pagsasaya
Dahil may pista sa bawat pagsilip ng ganda
Sa buhay nating nilugami sa sakdal pangit na ugma
A, ang tunay na gandang magliligtas sa ating takda.

Gaya nang biyayaan kami ng iyong ganda, Ka Dolor:
Alampay mo'y higit bilang Binibini sa tindig at postura
Nakatitik sa bawat mong buntong-hibik
Mga sinok ng uhaw na maralita
Mga hingal ng manggagawa't magsasaka
Mga hikbi ng babaing Pilipina.

Kapos ang titulo't korona para patunayan
Ang iyong gandang tagos hanggang kaluluwa.
Rumampa ka sa Amerika at Europa at binuhawi sila ng balita,
Nang nagmartsa ka sa Sierra. Sa iyo'y, "walang masama sa Kaliwa,"
Umindak ka sa awit ng iyong pangarap at pananampalataya
Hubad sa apelido at stilleto, hindi ka lamang inagos ng Sigwa,

Ikaw at ang iyong ganda, ang Sigwa
Na nanalasa sa kademonyohan ng diktadura.
Nang dumaong ka sa aming mga buhay,
Bumaba ang bahaghari at pinintahan ang aming bandera
Ng tagumpay. Nang pangunahan mo ang rampa
Sa pulang alpombra ng militanteng pakikibaka,

Sinong hamak ang makahihindi sumunod
Sa tagumpay na atin ang pakinabang?
Ina kang nagluwal kina Melissa, Luis, Antares,
Cris, Michael at sa bawat babae't lalaking
Handang mag-alay ng buhay sa bayang inalayan
Ng halos apat na dekadang hininga.

Margarita ka sa iba, Maita sa iba pa,
Babae, Alta sa Sosyedad, Anak ng Haciendera
Ngunit Aktibista't Rebolusyonaryo,
Ka Dolor ang buhay mo'y hindi abo ng nagsidaang siglo,
Pagkat bawat gabok, nagbubuo sa aming tuktok,
Nagtatakda, nagbibigay halimbawa:

Ano nga ba ang tunay na ganda.


Roger Soluta, Secretary General, presents KMU's tribute plaque to the family of Maita Gomez



Without women emancipation, there can be no social emancipation
Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos 
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao 
March 8, 2011

On the occasion of the 100th International Women's Day, we remember the women proletariat in Europe and the Americas who, in the 1800s, bravely fought against low wages and inhuman labour conditions brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Their struggle has been the inspiration for the worldwide March 8 celebration, which, in the Philippines, was first heralded by Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka) and the Katipunan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Katipunan) in 1971 that led multitudes of new Filipinas to the militant struggle against fascist repression and, later on, to the revolutionary front.

Under this historical context, the NDFP-Mindanao joins the world in celebrating International Women's Day and express our unequivocal support to the Filipino women's fight for their emancipation alongside the entire Filipino people's struggle for new democracy and national liberation.

We would like to give our red salute to the women revolutionary martyrs who became Party cadres, political officers, Red commanders and fighters of the New People's Army (NPA) as well as to all women comrades in the women's revolutionary mass organization Makibaka for having displayed keen determination to advance the revolutionary armed struggle and have kept alive the fight against the four "authorities" of women oppression.

Toiling class women in the Philippines are subjected to semi-feudal and semi-colonial forms of oppression and exploitation, social deprivation, and gender discrimination imposed by society. They are also subjected to be in service of the husband, rearing and raising of children and household chores.

In the countryside, Peasant and farm-working women, including Moro and Lumad women, face landlessness, severely low wages, child labour, illiteracy and human rights abuses. In Mindanao, big agri-business plantations, like Dole and Del Monte, and large-scale mining companies have not only grabbed their land but have also exploited them as hired hands receiving meagre wages and benefits. In cities, women workers also suffer debasing wages and benefits under decrepitating working conditions. Their daily wage is hardly enough for a family of six to subsist on. Many among them are forced by circumstances to go overseas and submit to exploitative and oppressive conditions.

Under these, Filipino women must, therefore, reaffirm and persist in the struggle for democracy and national liberation. They must continue the revolutionary tradition of women in the Philippines: emulate Gabriela Silang and other brave revolutionary women and uphold the women revolutionary spirit spurred by Makibaka. In order not to digress, they must never be misled by bourgeois and reformist concepts of "feminism" that beguile the women's struggle to veer away from the entire people's revolution.

Women who chose the revolutionary path -- the new women - have already emancipated themselves. They are no longer beholden to any repressive authority and, in fact, gained the freedom to smash them.

In the countryside, these new women are the women Party cadres, Red Commanders and fighters of the people's war, and the thousands of Makibaka revolutionary organizers who live among millions of struggling peasants and peasant-workers. In urban centres, these emancipated women are the revolutionaries in the factories, offices, schools and universities, ports and market areas; they are the thousands of new women who work ever tirelessly for the full emancipation of womankind and of the people, which can be fulfilled upon the complete victory of the revolution.

"Women, you carry half the heavens on your shoulders!" Without your emancipation, there can be no social emancipation. Come, join the revolution!

Thus, we call on Filipino women to join the New People's Army and the Makibaka to struggle for women's genuine aspiration along with the people's struggle for national liberation and democracy.

Mabuhi ang rebolusyonaryong pakigbisog alang sa pagpalingkawas sa kababayen-an!

(Long live the revolutionary struggle for women's liberation!)



A Precise Syntax
by Sarah Raymundo on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
(for Pog and Herbert over last night's talking like there is no tomorrow)

How you met your mother would have landed better
on half-listening ears, half-deaf with the bustle that wakes
the silence that was sleep . Suppose it was for eternity,
would you rather kill time drawing the dummies?
I mean the bustle. Whenever water or coke tips
from my glass or yours, we never say
“Hoy!” Did one of those yolks break on crispy loaves
several breakfasts before school time? And did she ever?
I mean the whistle, the whistle of wistful.
When something went up in flames back in the day,
with her right arm locked to her waist (to boot, reboot!)
to link up head and foot , she came up with a password to herself;
and then all chosen creatures were no longer what they were.
Hold on, who was Dolor?
Mater Dolorosa, the queen of grief changes costume on Holy Week's parade,
from white on Holy Wednesday
to black on Good Friday. “It was all good.” Pointing at all her time(s)
with the movement
as if it were some souvenir from a place big enough for wild mountains and then some love.
So as chill turns to sweat and vice versa, in the sala, in the bedroom, on the la mesa,
by the door when it closes— it’s a bit of beyond this dice that preys on fire and ice—
fold it! Fold the sun and sky back into the sea! And then count the years, maybe?
One, two, three: “Walang sayang, hoy!”*
Puzzling how the poet captures her precise syntax.
Now let it be known, syntax is a weapon of war.





By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

Maita Gomez (1947-2012): Beauty transfigured

“The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant…She is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a woman fully engaged in the making of history…” - Ma. Lorena Barros, “Liberated Women II”

I only met Maita Gomez, one of two fabled beauty queens turned revolutionaries (the other one is Nelia Sancho), after she had already surfaced from the underground in the early ‘80s and became one of the leading lights of the resurgent women’s liberation movement in the Philippines. She helped found the nationalist and democratic women’s alliance GABRIELA, the anti-dictatorship women’s alliance WOMB (Women for the Ouster of Marcos and Boycott) and, after the Marcos Dictatorship had been overthrown, the first all-women political party, KAIBA (Kababaihan para sa Inangbayan), under whose banner she ran but lost for a seat in Congress representing the Malate district in Manila.

Still, she and I were only peripherally acquainted with one another. She was then studying for her masters degree in Development Economics, was involved with several non-government organizations that were politically more liberal than Left and, except for the annual March 8 International Women’s Day rally and some other GABRIELA activities, seemed busy with concerns other than mainstream Leftist projects or activities.

It was only as recent as 2008, when a long-time common friend asked us out to lunch, that Maita and I warmed up to each other. I had till then no idea that she had been holding some kind of grudge against me because she had been told I was spreading nasty rumors about her. She casually brought it up and when I denied it as completely false, she immediately took my word for it, setting the matter aside.

Thereupon we plunged into an animated discussion on how to broaden the movement to oust Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from power. That was the beginning of our friendship and more fruitful cooperation in projects with that objective.

In time, she grew more and more active again in the national democratic movement in varied ways. She agreed to be a co-convenor of the broad formation, Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change in 2009, together with such personalities as activist nun Sr. Mary John Mananzan, writer Bibeth Orteza, whistleblower Jun Lozada, UP professor Judy Taguiwalo and myself as BAYAN chairperson.

She was also active in the human rights movement; she agreed to be in the National Council of SELDA (Samahan ng mga Ex-detainee Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya), the martial law-era human rights organization that has consistently worked for freedom and general amnesty of all political prisoners. She worked for a time with the progressive think tank, IBON Foundation.

But what really excited her was the founding of the Leftist political party Makabayan that launched the senatorial bids of GABRIELA Women’s Party representative Liza Maza and Bayan Muna congressman Satur Ocampo. Maita was elected Makabayan Co-Chairperson. She was in the thick of brainstorming, tacticizing and working to build up Makabayan organizationally in time for the 2013 elections when she died unexpectedly last July 12 due to a heart attack.

Maita's sudden demise and the consequent revelation of many of the lesser-known details of her extraordinary life, has only further deepened what to many is an enigma.

Why did someone like Maita Gomez - scion to landed clans, toasted as tallest and prettiest in the exclusive circle of debutante-models of high society, with a sharp intellect and an uncommon wilfulness to boot - turn into a revolutionary, a guerrilla fighter of the New People’s Army in her youth, then a champion of women’s liberation, an advocate for the voice of the Left in the electoral arena, and a defender of the national patrimony (against wanton exploitation by mining companies) among many of her specific causes in later years.

On the one hand, those who knew her well would say, it was vintage Maita. As she had emphatically taught her children, the important thing in life is to choose to do the right thing when the time comes, and to do it the best way you can, quietly and without fanfare.

Mara Llanot, a close friend, wrote: “At UP (University of the Philippines), the bedrock of student activism, Maita befriended poor students, went to her first demo against the Vietnam War, got her first exposure in the rural areas on a medical mission, where she collected medicines, donations, etc... From AB Pre-med, she shifted to Philosophy. ‘The movement appealed to all my deepest beliefs. My involvement translated ideals into action.’”

According to Jose Maria Sison, founding chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines: “Maita Gomez was inspired and energized by the First Quarter Storm of 1970, the Diliman Commune of 1971and the further mass protest actions until 1972. She wanted to be a revolutionary. And she availed of the opportunities in sight for learning about the revolution.”

When martial law was declared, Maita, like so many youth and student activists at the time, decided to go underground, initially in Manila and then Baguio City. She was arrested, escaped detention and was deployed, upon her request, to the countryside and the NPA, first to the Bicol-Quezon border, and then Central Luzon, where she endured the rigors and hardships of a guerrilla’s life.

Llanot describes matter-of-factly how Maita sundered her relationship with her first husband when he asked her to choose between their marriage and her deeply-felt beliefs and commitments. And how she turned her back to her father’s entreaties that she abandon her plans to go underground. It gives us an idea about her decisiveness to indeed translate her ideals into action but not half of the pain that accompanies such decisions.

For Maita was not impervious to emotions. As Llanot avers, “Maita recalls, teary-eyed, how the people sheltered her in times of danger, how they shared with her what little they had.”

Llanot’s quote from Maita reveals a profound insight that transcended class prejudices, and could explain why Maita would thereafter consistently take the side of the downtrodden even against her own class : “Decent poor people have incredible courage because they face the same vicissitudes in life we face with nothing, without a bank account, without connections, no electricity, no back-up system. They’re so incredibly brave just to face their day-to-day life. I have come to appreciate their intelligence and their scientific knowledge. They live with nature. They know the laws of nature so intimately. I find this fascinating and admirable. I find that the poor are such generous people. Really, they are the children of God.”

Maita resumed her political activism in the legal arena after she got sick and came down from the hills. Not immediately but eventually. She could have gone back to her former carefree and privileged life or quietly earned a living, taking care of her children and safely pursuing her non-political interests that she had neglected while she was a full-time revolutionary. But she chose not to.

"Hindi importante yan, pero bahala sila sa gusto nila," she would tell her children and friends whenever her current passions and lifestyle were juxtaposed to her having once been rich and famous. She especially hated it and was visibly annoyed when even in “movement” affairs she was introduced as a former beauty queen, as if it matters all that much to what she believed in and dedicated herself to doing.

Once she told me, in between puffs of cigarette smoke, that she had come to a point in her life when she decided she would not spend the time, money and effort to try to keep her youthful looks. She had far more important things to do.

But she was not beyond using - or enduring - her celebrityhood as a means to gain adherents to causes and projects she considered worthwhile. What was important was the purpose it served; that ultimately, lending her famous name and face would help advance the people’s national and democratic aspirations and women’s emancipation.

Maita, however, had already proven that she had much, much more to contribute other than the public persona urban lore had constructed around her. Apart from being an assiduous student of political economy, she did research and wrote on the causes she espoused, helped run progressive NGOs and taught young people what she knew as a teacher in the University of the Philippines and De la Salle University.

She also took pride and pleasure in raising her children into the caring, socially aware adults that they have become including two who have followed in her footsteps as activists.

Maita Gomez’s journey in life is indeed the stuff of urban legend. In the end her story shows us how one can transcend one’s social class and upbringing and go on to live a fulfilling, productive life serving the people as part of a historic, revolutionary mass undertaking. #

Published in Business World
20-21 July 2012




QnA Portion

Emmanuel Halabaso


Marahil noon,
habang nakataas pa ang noo
nang hinihintay mo ang tanong:
"What's the essence of being a woman?"-

di ka magdadalawang-isip
ang isasagot mo ay ganito:
ang esensiya ng pagiging babae
ay hindi tulad ng madalas isagot
na nasa pagkakaroon ng supling
sa matris ang kapakinabangan ng kababaihan,
sapagkat ang babae ay hindi sanggol lamang ang iniluluwal
kundi mga supling,
mga anak ng bayan.

Marahil ipagdidiinan mo sa hurado
ang babae ay hindi pambahay
at lalong hindi pang-kama lang
na parang pinagpipiliang kamiseta na nasa tukador
nararapat kumawala sa aparador
pumanig sa dapat panigan,
pumaling sa kaliwang bahagi ng lipunan;

Sa mga kalahok, ito ang iparirinig mo:
ang kagandahan ng isang babae
ay wala sa mga hikaw, make-up at magagarang gown;
may propaganda sa pagpapaganda
walang kuwenta kung parampa-rampa ka lang sa lona;

At ibubulas mo sa mga nanunuod ng patimpalak
na hindi nararapat nagpapataasan ng kilay
ang mga sagot, talento at ganda ng kababaihan-
baguhin ang pagkakakilanlan
sa mga kabaro;

Ngunit hindi naitadhana ang tanong na iyon sa iyo,
kaya pagkatapos ng beauty pageant
hinubad mo ang magarbong gown
at lumabas sa dressing room na walang make-up

isinabuhay mo na lamang
ang isasagot mo sana
sa QnA portion na iyon.

kay Margarita Gomez


In aid of remembrance.....

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño


Maita Gomez: fashion model and beauty queen



Launching the MAKABAYAN

(Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan)


UP  Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman campus


April 16, 2009

Visit website below for more photos and news articles:




ni Aris Remollino


Kay Maita Gomez



I. Alamat



Ka Dolor,



Pawang mga pangalang

nakaukit sa panandang-batong

kampuhan ng mga alaala.


Ang una'y reyna ng gandang

itinakwil mo--



Ikalawa'y reyna ng kabundukang

tumupok sa mga peste

sa kanayunan.


Ikatlo'y reyna ng lungsod,

ang iyong huling bastyon--

ang rikit at pusok na nanahan


sa dagat ng puso't isip

naming mga mamamayan.



II. Banyuhay



Ka Dolor,



Pawang mga pangalang

inukit sa panandang-batong

kampuhan ng mga alaala.


Ngunit may buhay ang mga alaala.

May pusong tumitibok

at patuloy na humihinga.

May dilang laging handa sa pagpuna.

May diwang laging handang magbangon at magbanyuhay.


At maraming Margarita:

Singrikit at singdami

ng mga bituin sa langit.


At mula sa sanlaksang bituing Margarita,

sila'y humihimbing:

Kambal na uniberso ng digma

sa mga kalsada't kanayunan.


Mula sa mga labi ng lahat ng Margarita,










bumabangon         mga Maitang Ka Dolor.








2012, Hulyo 24

Maita Gomez was elected co-chairperson of Makabayan

Launching of  PAGBABAGO! People’s Movement for Change

 University of Makati Auditorium

May 26, 2009

Visit website below for more photos and news articles:

Maita Gomez on Mining ▼  

Prof. Maita Gomez on Mining
Maita Gomez discusses revenue discrepancy in the mining industry at the assembly of members of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) Conference on Mining in Southern Luzon Bethlehem Pastoral Center, Bacacay, Albay October 4-6, 2011

Click here for the PDF file of the mining paper:
Click link below for more photos and news articles:

Maita's paper on mining:
Transparency Issues in the Philippine Mining Industry
Dec. 1, 2010
Download the PDF file here:


Click here for Tinig Kalikasan's tribute to Maita Gomez

Maita Gomez recites "Ang Babae sa Ilog Pasig" by Joi Barrios 
Celebrating the International Women's Day: 
"Kababaihan, Magkaisa!
Labanan ang Pambubusabos, Pangungurakot
at Panunupil ng Gobyernong Arroyo!"
Welcome Rotonda, Plaza Miranda, Mendiola
March 8, 2008
Click link below for more photos and news articles:



Celebrating the International Women's Day:

"Kababaihan, Magkaisa!

Labanan ang Pambubusabos, Pangungurakot
at Panunupil ng Gobyernong Arroyo!"

March 8, 2008


Visit website below for more photos and news articles:


 Lordie is the UP student who ws robbed and seriously injured at the UP Vinzons Hall Student Council office 5 months ago. She survived, but had to undergo an expensive series of operations and now months of rehab costing P22,000 per week.

Here is an appeal from the UPD Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Prof. Marion Tan of the Task Force Lordei re fund raising whole day event at the College of Home Economics.

Lordei n' Night
20 July 2012 FRIDAY
CHE Atrium and Tearoom

Bazaar and food sale starts at 8:00 am
Cake raffle starts at 6:00 pm
Performances start at 7:00 pm
(with Bibeth Orteza, John Lesaca, UP Streetdance Club, UP Music Circle, KARATULA, and more!)