The Greatest President of the Philippines: Fidel Valdez Ramos

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A Legacy of Leadership and Unity


In a nation with a rich history of leaders, it is essential to acknowledge those who have made a lasting impact. Out of the 17 Philippine presidents, one name stands out as the epitome of leadership and unity—Fidel Valdez Ramos. Throughout his illustrious career, Ramos steered the country towards progress and hailed as the best president the Philippines has seen. Join me as we delve into the legacy of this remarkable statesman.

A Visionary Leader

Trained as a soldier at the prestigious West Point Academy, Ramos possessed the discipline and determination necessary to bring his vision to fruition. Armed with civil engineering expertise, he was determined to transform the Philippines into a newly industrialized country, an accomplishment he referred to as “NIC-hood.” Taking office during a period of acute power supply shortage, Ramos implemented liberalization, deregulation, and privatization, propelling the Philippines towards NIC-hood.

A Journey to the Top

Rising through the ranks from a young Army 2nd Lieutenant to become the 12th President of the Republic, Ramos’s ascent was nothing short of extraordinary. He played a pivotal role in the EDSA People Power Revolution, joining the military ouster plot that propelled President Corazon Aquino to power. Named as Aquino’s Defense Secretary, Ramos effectively dealt with nine military uprisings during her administration.

A Leader for All

When the time came for the presidential elections in May 1992, Aquino anointed Ramos as her successor, recognizing his commitment to uniting the nation. Despite the slim margin of victory over six other rivals, Ramos wasted no time in reaching out to opposition groups, armed rebels, and Muslim separatists. With his “Team Philippines” campaign, Ramos fostered unity, solidarity, and teamwork, laying the foundation for a harmonious and prosperous nation.

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A Leader of Faith

Acknowledged as the country’s “first Protestant President,” Ramos epitomized inter-faith dialogue without proselytizing. Through ecumenical gatherings, he showcased his leadership, even to his political allies in the Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats (CMD) party. Revered for his steady demeanor, loyal fans fondly dubbed him “steady Eddie.” Meanwhile, his close aides affectionately called him “Tabako,” alluding to his love for tobacco.

A Memorable Connection

As a senior reporter, I had the privilege of covering several presidential events, and one particular experience with Ramos stands out. As we traveled through Pangasinan, his home province, I accompanied him on his white and blue presidential Bell helicopter. Together, we supported his anointed candidate, Speaker Jose de Venecia, even when the odds seemed stacked against them. With his characteristic thumbs up gesture and a reassuring “Don’t panic,” Ramos exemplified unwavering determination.

A Life Well Lived

Ramos’s dedication to public service extended far beyond his presidency. He continued to travel the country and the world, delivering speeches that promoted peace and development. Establishing the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation, he published volumes of his speeches, affectionately known as the “FVR Sermons.” His commitment to his country and its people was truly unparalleled.

A Final Farewell

As we bid farewell to this illustrious leader, it is essential to honor his exceptional service. On the final day of national mourning, Fidel Valdez Ramos will be laid to rest in a state funeral at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. With a 21-gun salute and military taps, the nation pays tribute to a true hero, not just because he was a former president, but because he lived a life dedicated to the betterment of the Philippines.

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In conclusion, Fidel Valdez Ramos will forever be remembered as the greatest president the Philippines has ever seen. His visionary leadership, unwavering dedication, and commitment to unity have left an indelible mark on the nation. As we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate his incomparable legacy that continues to inspire future generations.

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