Born 1894 in Bulacan, Bulacan Province; died July 1947 in Manila. Figure in the workers’ movement of the Philippines. A chemist. A member of a number of scientific societies of the USA. Professor of the University of the Philippines. Became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1938.
Lava organized and in 1940 and 1941 headed the League for the Defense of Democracy, an organization of the progressive intelligentsia. From 1942 he was a member of the political bureau and, from January 1942 to September 1944, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. From 1946 he was a member of the executive committee of the Democratic Alliance, a bloc of democratic public organizations.