Ramon Magsaysay Award

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Ramon Magsaysay Award
Medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysayl facing right in profile.
Awarded for Outstanding contributions in Government Service, Public Service, Community Leadership, Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts, Peace and International Understanding and Emergent Leadership
Country Philippines
Presented by Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
First awarded 1958
Website http://www.rmaf.org.ph

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award established to perpetuate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay's example of integrity in governance, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.[1][2] The prize was established in April 1957 by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund based in New York City with the concurrence of the Philippine government. The award has been critically acclaimed as the most prestigious continental award in Asia, in par with the West's Nobel Prize.


It is named after Ramon Magsaysay, the seventh President of the Philippines. The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation gives the prize to Asian individuals achieving excellence in their respective fields. The awards were given in six categories, five of which were discontinued in 2009:

  • Government Service (1958–2008)
  • Public Service (1958–2008)
  • Community Leadership (1958–2008)
  • Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts (1958–2008)
  • Peace and International Understanding (1958–2008)
  • Emergent Leadership (2001– )
  • Uncategorized (2009– )


In May 1957, seven prominent Filipinos were named to the founding board of trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, the non-profit corporation tasked with implementing the awards program.

The RMAF recognizes and honors individuals and organizations in Asia regardless of race, creed, sex, or nationality, who have achieved distinction in their respective fields and have helped others generously without anticipating public recognition. The awards have traditionally been given in five categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature, and creative communication arts; and peace and international understanding.


The winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards come from different parts of Asia, although there are some instances where the winners came from countries outside Asia who had served, worked or accomplished something in different Asian countries. As of 2016, recipients have come from twenty-two Asian countries.

The 2017 awardees were Gethsie Shanmugam (Sri Lanka), Yoshiaki Ishizawa (Japan), Lilia de Lima (Philippines), Abdon Nababan (Indonesia), Tony Tai (Singapore), and Philippine Educational Theater Association (Philippines).[3]


  1. ^ Clare Arthurs (2000-07-25). "Activists share 'Asian Nobel Prize'". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  2. ^ Ann Bernadette Corvera (2003-10-08). "'03 RAMON MAGSAYSAY AWARDEES: A LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY MEN & WOMEN". Philippine Star. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Ramon Magsaysay Awardees". Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Retrieved 31 July 2017. 

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