IN THE KNOW: The Ramon Magsaysay Awards

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Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award celebrates the memory and leadership example of the most popular Philippine president by honoring “greatness of spirit in selfless service to the peoples of Asia.”

The award is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia and is considered the continent’s highest honor.

Every year, the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF), which manages the program, solicits nominations from a pool of international nominators and evaluates them rigorously.

The award is given in six categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature and creative communication arts; peace and international understanding; and emergent leadership.

Awarding ceremonies are held annually in Manila on August 31, the birth anniversary of the late president. Awardees each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of President Ramon Magsaysay, and a cash prize.

Last year, Filipino couple Christopher Bernido and Ma.Victoria Carpio-Bernido were cited by RMAF for their commitment to “both science and nation, ensuring innovative, low-cost, and effective basic education even under Philippine conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty.”

Among other Filipino laureates are Haydee Yorac (government service, 2004), Jovito Salonga (government service, 2007), Grace Padaca (government service, 2008), Hilario Davide (government service, 2002) and Corazon Aquino (international understanding, 1998). Inquirer Research

Sources: RMAF; Inquirer Archives

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