Ramon Magsaysay Award

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 10, 2022, 7:25

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was initiated to recognize people of all races, genders, and religions who have displayed the wonder of the spirit of serving Asian people. This award is named after former President of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay, who unfortunately passed away in 1957.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in 1957. It has been presented to the winners every year since 1958. This award is popularly known as the "Nobel Prize in Asia."

History of the Ramon Magsaysay Award

Filipino President, Ramon Magsaysay was recognized as an example of intellect, integrity, and idealism in a democracy in 1957. Councillors of the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation worked with the Philippine government to support them. After the conflict, Ramon Magsaysay became the 3rd Philippines president. This award came into being to recognize the immense contributions made by Asians who excel in their respective fields.

It is divided into 6 sections, 5 of which were removed in 2009 -

  • Civil servant (until 2008)
  • Public services (until 2008)
  • Community leadership (until 2008)
  • Journalism, creative communication art, and literature (until 2008)
  • Peace and international understanding (until 2008)
  • New Leadership (2001)
  • Uncategorized (2009)

About Ramon Magsaysay

Ramon Magsaysay - Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay who was born on 31 August 1907 and passed away on 17 March 1957, was the 7th President of the Philippines. His tenure as the president was from 30th December 1953 - to 17th March 1957. In recognition of his outstanding service as a guerrilla leader during the Pacific War, Magsaysay was appointed Governor of Zambales.

After spending two terms as a member of the Liberal Party in the House of Representatives representing the Zambales district, he was appointed Secretary of Defense. He was elected President of the Nacionalista Party he founded. He was the 1st president of the Philippines, born after the Spanish colonial rule, and the first president of the Philippines, born in the 20th century.

Details of the Ramon Magsaysay Award

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is selected and awarded annually. Irrespective of race, colour, creed, gender, or citizenship, this award awards and recognizes people and organizations throughout Asia. Over the last 50 years, medals have been awarded to more than 300 people and brands.

Each year, the Foundation's Board of Trustees selects winners, who will be presented with a medal, a certificate, and a picture of Ramon Magsaysay.

Significance of Ramon Magsaysay Award

This award recognizes individuals and organizations in Asia, and to date, it has been awarded to over 300 individuals and organizations over the last 50 years. The Foundation's Board of Trustees elects winners each year, who will be presented with a certificate and medal with a photo of Ramon Magsaysay. This award is presented annually on August 31st at a ceremony held in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The first Ramon Magsaysay Award was presented to five individuals working in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, China (Taiwan), and Sri Lanka, as well as a Philippines-based organization.

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List of Winners of Ramon Magsaysay Award

Here is a list of winners for 2019 and 2021 (the award was cancelled in the year 2020 owing to the pandemic)

Emergent Leadership -

  • 2019 - Ko Swe Win from Myanmar
  • 2021 - WatchDoc from Indonesia

Uncategorised awards -

  • 2019 - Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from Philippines
  • 2019 - Kim Jong-Ki from South Korea
  • 2019 - Ravish Kumar from India
  • 2019 - Angkhana Neelaphaijit from Thailand
  • 2021 - Muhammad Amjad Saqib from Pakistan
  • 2021 - Firdausi Qadri from Bangladesh
  • 2021 - Steven Muncy from Southeast Asia
  • 2021 - Roberto Ballon from the Philippines

☛ Also Read: Weekly Current Affairs

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is given out every year on 31st August. A formal ceremony takes place in the capital city of the Philippines. The first Ramon Magsaysay Award was presented to 5 people and a Philippines-based organization from Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and China (Taiwan). The award consists of plaques and medallions with embossed images of Ramon Magsaysay facing the front, and cash prizes.

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FAQs on Ramon Magsaysay Award

Q.1. Who all are eligible for the Ramon Magsaysay Award?

Asians who stand out in their profession and have a reputation for voluntarily serving others without seeking public awareness are eligible for the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Q.2. Why is the Ramon Magsaysay Award awarded?

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is considered one of the highest honours in Asia, that revers the spirit demonstrated by people and organizations through altruistic and selfless dedication to the people of Asia.

Q.3 Who officially manages the Ramon Magsaysay Award?

The RMAF - Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation is responsible for managing the Ramon Magsaysay Award (RMA). The winners are elected each year by the RMAF Board of Directors.

Q.4 Has any Indian ever received the Ramon Magsaysay Award?

Ramon Magsaysay Award in India was given to Ravish Kumar, an Indian journalist, in 2019 for using journalism to give voice to the voiceless.

Q.5. What is the Emergent Leadership category under the Ramon Magsaysay Award?

The Emergent Leadership category under the Ramon Magsaysay Award was introduced in 2000 and was supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Emergent Leadership Award recognizes individuals under the age of 40 for their outstanding achievements in social change issues within the community, but their leadership skills have not been widely recognized outside the community.

Q.6. What is the common name for Ramon Magsaysay Award?

The common name used for the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's Nobel Prize' around the world.