Ramon Magsaysay awardees exemplify ‘greatness of spirit’

Ramon Magsaysay awardees exemplify ‘greatness of spirit’

This year’s recipients of the 64th Ramon Magsaysay Awards, who “personify the best of Asia and the best of humanity” will be announced on Aug. 31, the birth anniversary of the late Philippine president after which Asia’s premier prize and highest honor is named.

“Since 1958, the … [A]ward has been conferred on great men and women working in Asia who have exemplified what we celebrate as ‘greatness of spirit’—the same spirit that President Ramon Magsaysay embodied throughout his life,” the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF) chair, Aurelio R. Montinola III, said in a statement.

“[It] remains one of Asia’s strongest heritage brands because we have always addressed some of the region’s most challenging problems through the Magsaysay laureates we select,” Montinola said.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award has been given to outstanding Asian leaders, including the Dalai Lama, Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, and Indian cooperative organizer Ela Bhatt.

Filipino fisherman and community environmentalist Roberto “Ka Dodoy” Ballon is among the 2021 awardees.

Per tradition, the RMAF board of trustees has selected four individuals from across the region who, Montinola said, “we believe personify the best of Asia and the best of humanity.”

Ensuring relevance

In the past few years, the foundation has been merging tradition with modernity to ensure the award’s relevance, especially in an increasingly digital world.

Last year, amid the pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns, it held a virtual awarding ceremony that garnered the Ramon Magsaysay Awards its largest global audience to date.

“The foundation is very proud of our nature as an Asian organization and we have been continuously introducing innovations that strengthen our identity as such,” Montinola said, adding:

“This year is no different, and what we promise our audience is an awarding ceremony that will have a stronger regional and inclusive Asian tone.”


“Greatness of Spirit, Beyond Borders” is the theme of this year’s awards. RMAF president Susanna B. Afan described it as “a perfect reflection of the transformative work and inspiring lives of our 2022 awardees.”

“This year’s Magsaysay laureates prove that goodness knows no nationality, age, or gender—truly, greatness of spirit is borderless,” she said.

The design of the RMAF’s main poster for the 64th Ramon Magsaysay Awards was inspired by the limitlessness of the universe and rendered in a simple and contemporary geometric look.

The announcement of the awardees will be livestreamed by the RMAF on its official social media channels starting at 11 a.m. (Manila time). The season will conclude with the formal presentation ceremony to be held on Nov. 30 in Manila.

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