Malaya was born in Salinas, California in the evening of October 18, 2000 and was called Home on May 18, 2021. She graduated from Monterey High School in 2018 with honors; a proud member of her high school’s Art Academy, Basketball Team and Marching Band. While there, she excelled at playing the flute and tenor saxophone. Malaya expressed a true love for the arts and was further motivated during her 2018 post-graduation trip to Germany, Belgium, England and France. She loved to sketch, draw, and paint in her free time. Her work, much of which are customized pieces, is proudly displayed in the homes of many of her family and friends. Her latest position as a dental assistant combined with her love of helping people inspired her to explore the possibility of someday becoming a first responder; she most recently expressed the aspiration of becoming a Paramedic. Malaya was a fun-loving, free-spirited young lady. She absolutely loved spending time with her closest friends, going out to eat, attending concerts, road-tripping, blasting her music for car-karaoke, and laughing contagiously. She had a very special place in her heart for animals since she was a little girl; especially her dogs, affectionately known as her fur-babies: Chili, Kora, and Giant. Malaya was especially proud of her Peruvian, Cuban, and Filipino heritage as expressed in her art and music. She lovingly leaves behind her mother, Ana Katz and sister, Charisma Penamante of Salinas, CA. Her Father, Leo (Jessica) Penamante and siblings: Damian, Celio, Victory, and Levi Penamante of Redding, CA. Grandparents: Sal (Tawona) Katz Jr of Pueblo, CO, Hilda (Phillip) Stevens of Seaside, CA, Midori (Joe) Penamante-Albinger of Tacoma, WA,the late Rudy (Irma) Penamante of Salinas, CA, and her step-grandmother Kathy Gamez of Redding, CA. Her Godmothers: Stephanie (Anthony) Tagalog of Seaside, CA, Sonia Katz of Charlotte, NC, and Athena (Vince) Suich of Marina, CA. Malaya is adored, loved, and missed tremendously by several aunts, uncles, and cousins. We are comforted in knowing she is resting in our Father’s arms now and that we can look forward to reuniting with her someday at The Place being prepared for us all.
Malaya’s Celebration of Life will be held at Lighthouse Full Gospel Church of Seaside, 1153 Hamilton Avenue, Seaside, California 93955. Her Viewing begins at 10 am on Friday, May 28, 2021 and her Home-going Celebration Service begins at 11am on Saturday, May 29, 2021.