Maria Lorena Barros founded the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Free Movement of New Women) or MAKIBAKA, a militant women's organization shortly before the Martial Law.
Lorena is seen as a symbol of the women's movement—with her strength and courage inspiring women. Countless poems, songs and plays are written in her honor. Lilia Quindoza Santiago in her book In the Name of the Mother writes, “Barros is now a symbol of poet, warrior, lover, woman. Many young women writers derive inspiration from her writings, principles and struggle; her name is often mentioned in meetings of women members of the movement.”