President Ramon Magsaysay & Mt Manunggal, Cebu


This time, I am posting a story on the life and death of President Ramon Magsaysay who is unknown to most of the runners, seniors and younger ones. I was barely five years old when he died. My recent visit to Cebu City and Mt Manunggal gave me the idea to share what I’ve seen in this historic place.

President Ramon Magsaysay was the 7th President of the Philippines and the 3rd President of the Third Republic. He was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives in 1946 in the lone district of Zambales and later re-elected for a second term in 1949. He became the Chairman of the National Defense Committee in the House of the Representaives and on August 31, 1950, he became the Secretary of National Defences during the administration of President Elpidio Quirino in 1950 at the height of the Hukbalahap and insurgency problem in Central Luzon. Due to intrigues and “power play”, he resigned as Secretary of National Defense on February 28, 1953. He was urged by the different sectors of the society and the masses for him to run for the Presidency. According to public opinion, the only way to solve the problem of communism/insurgency was to have a good governance and a government that serves the people. And that governance lies on the presidency and leadership of President Ramon Magsaysay. According to President Magsaysay’s opinion, a corrupt government and  a bad administration are the causes on the rise of communism & insurgency. He later became the presidential candidate of the Nacionalista Party and won the presidency with a lanslide victory over the incumbent President Elpidio Quirino.

He was the first President who used the Barong Tagalog during his Oath-Taking Ceremony. He was the staunch supporter of the United States in its fight against communism. He made Malacanang Palace open to the public and literally making it a “house of the people” and created a machinery/system of the government to hear and solve the complaints of the ordinary people and masses. He personally showed acts of integrity by paying services done/given to him. In one instance, he was invited by the Philippine Air Force to ride in a demonstration flight of a new plane and he asked for the operating cost of the flight per hour and immediately signed a check for the payment. He encouraged the people to have their own business through open access to loans and government subsidies. During his administration, the military was able to arrest most of the leaders of the Communist Movement in Metro Manila and its top leaders surrendered to him, practically ending the insurgency problem of the country. Continue reading “President Ramon Magsaysay & Mt Manunggal, Cebu”

3-Day Stay in Cebu


02-04 April 2008

I attended a one-day Command Conference on Legal Matters and a two-day seminar on Media Relations at the Central Command Headquarters in Cebu City from Wednesday up to Friday with our Unit Commanders. I was the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Opening Ceremony of the Media Relations Seminar last Thursday morning. I also visited my troops deployed in Balamban, Cebu on Friday morning as part of my regular visits and assessment of our troops in the area. On my way back to Cebu, I visited the crash site of the plane of former President Ramon Magsaysay in Mount Manunggal.

I stayed at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel during the duration of my stay in Cebu. I was able to use their gym on a daily basis.

 

The lobby of the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel in Cebu City.

A picture during my speech as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Opening Ceremony of the Media Relations Seminar with all the Philippine Army Brigade and Battalion Commanders in Central Visayas.

A regular visit and talk with to men in the field is one of the basic duties of a Commander and a Leader in the Philippine Army. 

There are so many things you have to explain and inform to the men about the policies of Higher Headquarters and the overall Campaign Plan of the Command for Central Visayas in solving the problem of insurgency and serving as a “partner” of development in the area.

 

The National Historic Institute’s Marker in Mt Manunggal, Cebu where the plane, Mt Pinatubo, the President Ramon Magsaysay boarded with 26 other people on the fateful early morning of 17 March 1957, crashed. I will be writing a separate post on my visit to this very important and historic place.