Ani/ Malayaworks engages in decolonial resistance work by using multidisciplinary performance and writing modalities to dismantle colonial practices and narratives

In 1978, I was named Annielille, a combination of Annie and Lille. Annie is a name popular in the US and Lilia is a Spanish name. I realized that my first name remains as evidence of the colonial influences remaining amongst my people. 


My name is a combination of Annie from my paternal grandmother's name, Leandra, and Lille from my maternal grandmother's name, Lilia. I am honored to carry my grandmothers' names. However, I also feel weakened by it. To pursue my work on decolonialism, I changed my name. Ani. It is the root word of Anihan, meaning Harvest and Anitos, meaning Spirit.

Names carry power and my consciousness on the power of names began when I heard stories of African American activists Malcolm Little renaming himself Malcolm X and Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali. In the film based on Alex Haley's book, Root, the character, Kunta Kinte states, "Your name is power. Your name is your shield." When I gave birth to a Filipinx girl, I fought to name her a name from my ancestors. I gifted her the name, Malaya which in the Tagalog language means freedom. 


Throughout Malaya's childhood, we used art to express and unpack who we are as Filipinx in America. Ani/ Malayaworks is a project-based performing arts company dedicated to resistance work. By using our own lived experiences and vulnerability, we hope to share our stories of resilience as a method to unpack and unlearn through art-making. 


Throughout Malaya's childhood, we used art to express and unpack who we are as Filipinx in America. Ani/ Malayaworks is our project based multimedia company created to do collaborative resistance work. By sharing our own lived experiences, we aim to find spaces of freedom ( Malaya or Kalayaan ) by curating spaces for expression, community and spiritual connection.

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Email:  malayaworks@gmail.com


March 16, 2020
Movement Research at Judson


January 18

Lunar New Year Celebration


December 6,7 2019

De(scribing) Maharlika @ Swarthmore University   4:30 pm Friday; 8 PM Saturday


November 14, 2019

Patawili Films: Parang Drunk History (a retelling of the historical narrative that Magellan circumnavigated the world and discovered the Philippines; honoring the chief that led the battle against Magellan, Lapu-Lapu ). De(scribing) Maharlika film, a film honoring and naming the indigenous tribes of the Philippines -- Philadelphia Asian American Festival @ Flesher Art Memorial, 8 PM




October 21,23 2019 @ Asian Arts Initiative, 7 PM

Patawili: a Sunday dinner and multi-disciplinary immersive dance theater experience on Filipino-American stories culminating an Asian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Residency project. This worked involved visual and conceptual installations and a story of an ancient Filipinx mythological character, Bighari, the goddess of the rainbow.  



Oct.5, 2019

Taga-ilog: a site specific work designed to go with Isaac Witkin’s  sculptural piece “The Bathers”, commemorating Outlet Dance Project’s 15th Annual Festival for Grounds for Sculpture


September 21, 2019

Sunset CypHER for Bartams’ Garden: part of Philadelphia Fringe, a site specific performance centered on ancient mythological stories ending with a dance and drum cypher for the community 



August 18, 2019

Oval + Summer season: Solo Site Specific work performed at the Philadelphia Oval as part of the Fairmont Parks and Conservancy’s Oval + Summer season