Lualhati Bautista, novelist and activist, passes away

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2023 02:31 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2023 03:46 PM

Novelist and activist Lualhati Bautista. Facebook: Lualhati Bautista
Novelist and activist Lualhati Bautista. Facebook: Lualhati Bautista

MANILA — (UPDATED) Eminent Filipino writer and women’s advocate Lualhati Bautista passed on Sunday at age 77, leaving behind a rich legacy of literary works and screenplays including “Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa,” “Dekada 70,” and “Bulaklak ng City Jail,” among others.

Her grandson Xyril Salazar told ABS-CBN News Bautista died at her residence in Quezon City at around 6 a.m. He declined to disclose details about the cause of her death.

The family has yet to finalize funeral arrangements for Bautista.

“Gusto namin siyang maalala ng lahat bilang inspirasyon sa paggawa ng mga sining na malaya at mapagpalaya,“ said Salazar, further describing her as “a fierce writer and critic, with a pen as mighty as her and with convictions and wits that made fascists tremble in fear to most; and a loving mother and grandmother.“ 

Bautista was a force to reckon with in the literary and screenplay fields, churning out memorable ‘70s and ‘80s films such as “Sakada,” “Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap,” and “The Maricris Sioson Story.” 

She also wrote the prize-winning short stories “Tatlong Kwento ng Buhay ni Juan Candelabra,” and “Buwan, Buwan, Hulugan mo Ako ng Sundang: Dalawang Dekada ng Maiikling Kuwento.”

Two of her last published books were “Sixty in the City” and “In Sisterhood.” Notably, a producer was negotiating with Bautista for the film adaptation of “Sixty in the City” before she passed on.

In 2020, Bautista was among the awardees of the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, the highest award given by the CCP to individuals or groups in recognition of their “outstanding achievements and contributions to Philippine arts and culture.”
In his Facebook post, Salazar paid homage to his grandmother as “beyond reproach, always with the intent of advancing the social consciousness especially about women‘s rights and toppling the macho-feudal society we collectively live in.”

”A woman that has braved the regime of Marcos Sr. himself, never wavering and never backing down even when the dictator himself had the gun directly at her throat.”