(August 31, 1907- March 17, 1957)The third President of the Third Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until hisdeath. He was a Nacionalista.
President of the Philippines(3
President of the 3
Republic)Term of Office: December 30, 1953- March 17, 1957 Vice President: Carlos P. Garcia Predecessor: Elpidio QuirinoSuccessor: Carlos P. Garcia Born: August 31, 1907 at Iba, Zambales First lady: Luz Banzon-Magsaysay (1915-2004) with 3 children: Teresita & Milagros Magsaysay and former congressman and now senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. (1938)
Early Life and Career
Ramon Magsaysay was born in Iba, Zambales. His parents were Ezequil Magsaysay, a blacksmith, and Perfectadel Fierro, a school teacher. Of Visayan descent, he was nonetheless ethnicallyaffiliated with the Ilocanos of Iba and considered himself as one of them.Magsaysay studied at Zambales Academy during his high school. In 1927, he enrolled at the Universityof the Philippines. He took up pre-law course and later shifted to engineering, all the while working as achauffeur to support himself. However, he did not finish his course due to illness. Eventually he studiedcommerce at Jose Rizal College, graduating in 1933.When World War II broke out in the country, Magsaysay joined the motor pool of the 31
InfantryDivision of the Philippine army. Following the fall of Bataan in 1942, he organized the Western LuzonGuerilla Forces that fought against Japanese.In 1946, Magsaysay was elected on the Liberal party ticket to the Philippine House of Representative. He was appointed Secretary of National Defense in the administration of PresidentElpidio Quirino in 1950. He intensified the campaign against the HUKBALAHAP guerillas, waging oneof the most successful anti-guerilla campaigns in modern history. This success was due in part to theunconventional methods he employed, namely utilizing soldiers to distribute relief goods and other formsof aid outlying, provincial communities. Where before Mafsaysay the rural folk looked on the PhilippineArmy if not in distrust, at least with general apathy. During this term as Defense Secretary, Filipinos began to respect and admire their soldiers. In 1953, he resigned from his post as defense secretary,criticizing the Liberal government and becoming the presidential candidate of the Nacionalist party.
In the Philippine election of 1953, Magsaysay won president over the incumbent Elpidio Quirinowith a convincing fashion. He was sworn into the office wearing the Barong Tagalog, a first by aPhilippine president.As president, he was a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal spokesmanagainst communism during the Cold War. He led the foundation of the Southeast Asia TreatyOrganization also known as the Manila Pact of 1954, that aimed to defeat communist-Marxist movementsin South East Asia, South Asia and the Southwestern Pacific. During his term, he made MalacañángPalace literally a "house of the people", opening its gates to the public. One example of his integrityfollowed a demonstration flight aboard a new plane belonging to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).President Magsaysay asked what the operating costs per hour were for that type of aircraft, then wrote a personal check to the PAF, covering the cost of his flight.