IN MEMORIAM: Writer, activist Sylvia Mayuga

Frank Cimatu
IN MEMORIAM: Writer, activist Sylvia Mayuga
'She was irreverent and endearing. She extended her funny and incisive rants in Facebook, where she was often blocked by humorless adversaries.'

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – What a way for Sylvia L. Mayuga to leave the world.

Like the morningstar, her nom de Facebook, she left at 8:30 am on the last day of 2019 at the age of 77.

Sylvia studied at St. Scholastica’s College and St. Theresa’s College before taking up a scholarship at Columbia University with Masters in comparative journalism, graduating magna cum laude.

But this was during the Martial Law era – she was, eventually, one of the female columnists of Bulletin Today who got fired. She took her feistiness on the streets and on paper, writing occasionally for Philippine Daily Inquirer while waging battles for environment and against fascism.

It was in the early 1990s when she stayed briefly in Baguio, helping environmental activists in their fight against development aggression at Camp John Hay and the mines.

Photo from Sylvia Mayuga's Facebook

Her literary journalism were compiled in three books, Earth, Fire, and Air, Spy in My Own Country, and Between the Centuries.

She was irreverent and endearing. She extended her funny and incisive rants in Facebook, where she was often blocked by humorless adversaries.

“I am smiling as I recall Sylvia’s words to my prim and proper husband on our 25th wedding anniversary: ‘Hinayaan mo si Babeth isulat yung premarital sex niyo?’ Then that impish glee in her eyes, so typically and frankly Sylvia. Rolly, of course, was caught off guard, and I wonder if he ever forgave her for that public utterance,” recalled Babeth Lolarga, one of her journalist colleagues during the Marcos era.

“One of our last meetings was at the CCP outdoor cafeteria many years back. Lots of laughter as usual. When subject turns to social issues, she stands firm on what is right and what is despicable.A warm human being who is always in touch with what is going on in this country,” said Pablo Tariman, another contemporary.

Sylvia is survived by only son Aya and her four siblings. – Rappler.com

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