TOURISM alumna Cyrish Magalang, who was brutally killed by two drug addicts last Oct. 31 in Cavite, will be remembered by her loved ones as someone who was quiet but courageous enough to stand by her principles.

On the night she was killed, Cyrish was on her way home from the SMX Convention Center in Pasay, where she had been working as a guest services assistant for a month and a half.

She had stopped to buy puto bumbong as pasalubong for her family near the tricycle terminal in Camella Subdivision at Molino in Bacoor, Cavite.

When she entered the subdivision around 11:30 p.m., she was picked up by a tricycle driver and his brother, a vegetable vendor, and was brought to an abandoned nipa hut in Barangay Gawaran, where her body was found the morning after.

Cyrish’s hands were bound by a straw thread; she was stabbed 49 times by a screwdriver, and her face was smashed beyond recognition with a hollow block.

Her underwear was pulled down but medical tests later confirmed that she was not raped.

“Talagang ‘di niya binigay ang puri niya, talagang lumaban siya. Alam ko na ‘yun talaga ‘yung pinaglaban niya, na hindi siya ma-rape, ‘di bale na kung siya ay mamatay,” Cyrish’s mother Milagros told the Varsitarian.

The suspects, who were caught after the Cavite government offered P50,000 in reward money, confessed to the crime and admitted that they were under the influence of illegal drugs.

The vegetable vendor, 27-year-old Rolin Gacita, said he was the only one who killed Cyrish and insisted on the innocence of his younger brother, 24-year-old Roel, who, he said, was just waiting outside the hut, looking after the tricycle.

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The suspects were charged with robbery with homicide and attempted rape. They also asked for the family’s forgiveness but failed to get it.

“Pasensiya? Kinuha na niya lahat ng gamit tapos papatayin pa niya, sasabihin niya kasi nanlalaban. Alangan namang ‘di lumaban [si Cyrish], e alam kong matapang ang anak ko,” her mother said.

Silent strength

The 20-year-old Cyrish, affectionately called by family and friends as “Cy,” graduated cum laude last March from the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

According to their class president Jerusa Tan, there was a time when an “anomaly” occurred during an examination and it was only Cyrish who stood up and reported it to their professor, even though she knew that those involved might get mad at her.

“Siya ‘yung tao na ‘pag alam niyang mali ‘yung nangyayari, kailangan talaga niyang sabihin,” Tan told the Varsitarian.

Her classmate Ria Colleen Marquez recalled that one night during her stay in the University, Cyrish was riding a jeepney on España Boulevard along with her classmates when someone declared a hold-up. She refused to surrender her belongings but was fortunate enough as the robbers eventually gave up.

Because of her bravery, she was often teased by her friends as “Cy Maton.”

Cyrish’s father Juancho said: “Hindi pa ako makapagpasya pero ang nararamdaman kong sakit para sa aming pamilya ay napakabigat. Hindi sapat ‘yung kabayaran nilang dalawa dahil ‘yung anak ko ay nagsumikap para makatapos ng pag-aaral.”

The incident, which prompted the Cavite government to implement random drug testing among tricycle drivers, also renewed calls for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

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Cyrish’s remains were buried last Nov. 6 at the Golden Haven Memorial Park in Las Piñas.

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