Today is the 107th birth anniversary of the late President Ramon Magsaysay. He was born in Zambales in August 31, 1907 and went on to assume the presidency by November 1953.
However, his term was cut short when in March 19, 1957, Magsaysay died in a plane crash in Cebu province’s Mount Manunggal, aboard Mt. Pinatubo.
Time magazine reported that Magsaysay’s party was already on their way to Manila’s Nichols Field when the midnight tragedy happened. The article was titled “Death of a Friend” and can be accessed in this link.
Evidently, Magsaysay was immensely popular both inside and outside of the Philippines.
Five months after Magsaysay’s death, the United States Postal Service issued a special postage stamp declaring him as a “Champion of Liberty.” This was released in Washington D.C. on August 31, 1957, the late leader’s 50th birth anniversary.
The Philadelphia Reading Eagle carried an article titled “Two 1958 Issues Planned on ‘Champions of Liberties” regarding these commemorative stamps. Read the article through Google News archives (visit the link here).
I obviously wasn’t alive yet during his presidency. However, I still feel a deep connection to him because I completed my secondary education in a high school named after him, the Ramon Magsaysay High School, Manila.
I’ve been also privileged to write an updated version of the school’s history for a graduate research paper. And also, President Magsaysay will be part of my Master’s thesis.
Needless to say, RMHS will always be a part of what I am today and what I will be in the future. 🙂