The 7th President of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay, was a very much beloved leader. He was considered an honest, true man of the people that often spoke and interacted directly with constituents. Magsaysay and his administration were considered clean, incorruptible, and committed to reform, which ensured his popularity. After his untimely death in a plane crash on March 17, 1957, an estimated 2 to 5 million people attended his burial two weeks later.
Magsaysay is referred to as the “Idol of the Masses”, “Champion of the Masses”, and “Defender of Democracy”. He is also the first president to wear the Barong Tagalog to his inauguration and much of his presidential appearances and functions, establishing the barong as formal wear as we presently know it.
The numerous monuments, tributes, and images in his memory around the Philippines depict Magsaysay wearing a Barong Tagalog.
A man holds a book open to a tribute to President Magsaysay and the famous painting of him in a Barong Tagalog.
Caption reads “Members of Directorate and Post Commanders, Philippine Veterans Legion, Davao Chapter, Legion Year 1960-61, Atty. Bonifacio Tamayo, Chapter Commander”. Taken at Ramon Magsaysay Park in Davao City in front of the Magsaysay Monument. His statue depicts him wearing a barong.
A group photographed in front of a Magsaysay statue circa 1957. Magsaysay is depicted in a Barong Tagalog.
Caption reads “Bislig Town Officials at the foot of the Magsaysay Monument unveiled on the second anniversary of his death March 17, 1959.” The statue is of Magsaysay in a Barong Tagalog.
Townspeople gather around a statue of President Magsaysay in a Barong Tagalog.
Sculptor works on a statue of President Magsaysay in a Barong Tagalog.