Pres. Ramon Magsaysay Museum in Castillejos, Zambales

April 7, 2013

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is annually given to “persons – regardless of race, nationality, creed or gender – who address issues of human development in Asia with courage and creativity, and in doing so have made contributions which have transformed their societies for the better… It was established to honor the 7th President of the Philippines’ memory and perpetuate his example of integrity in public service and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.” But who Ramon F. Magsaysay was and where he came from is something not everyone, even in the Philippines knows about.


Pres. Ramon Magsaysay’s Sculpture by Abdulmari Imao, National Artist

I for one, only knew that he was born in Iba, Zambales, and died in a plane crash on March 17, 1957 in Mt. Manunggal, Cebu while serving then as President of the Philippines. Only when I worked on a short film for Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez of Castillejos, Zambales last month [March 2013] had I come to know that Magsaysay grew up in that town, and that his ancestral house has become a museum currently being managed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Below are photos that I took, the first time I set foot on his ancestral house a few weeks ago. To see how the town of Castillejos looked like before and during the first term of re-elected Mayor Angelo, here’s the link to you tube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIz90jaltmA

The historical marker installed beside the main door of the ancestral house says: “In this house, Ramon Magsaysay, 7th President of the Republic of the Philippines and known as “The Guy” spent the fruitful years of his life. He left the legacy and values of being hard working, civic duty for ordinary people and patriotic work for the country and its people. The house had renovated by his descendants in 1990 but was heavily damaged when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in June 1991. The National Historical Commission have it renovated again in 1999.


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