The newspaper's name was derived from the Filipino word that means "freedom". In 1981, Malaya was founded by Jose Burgos, Jr. as a daily written in Tagalog language. It eventually published its content into English in 1983 when President Ferdinand Marcos closed down "We Forum", a sister publication of Malaya. It continued to fight the administration of Marcos during its last years in power. During the events that lead to Marcos' ouster, Malaya published one million copies daily, a feat never been done before in the history of newspaper publishing in the Philippines. After the EDSA Revolution, Amado P. Macasaet, veteran journalist and then Business Editor of Malaya, became the new owner of Malaya.