To his sister Mila, Jun Magsaysay is the guy to ‘mambo’


PROUD OF BROTHER JUN Mila Magsaysay-Valenzuela immodestly proud of brother Jun as “worthy son” of their father. EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines—In a country where politics is, more than anything, a family affair, it is not unusual for a spouse, parent, child or sibling to stand in for the candidate at campaign rallies.

Milagros Magsaysay-Valenzuela, the daughter of the late President Ramon Magsaysay, says she is more than happy to proxy for her younger brother, Jun Magsaysay, who is seeking a Senate seat under the administration’s Team PNoy.

The charming and unruffled former public relations executive relishes her surrogate role because it is a chance for her to impart to the people the lessons and ideals of their father, the populist politician who remains the most popular Philippine President in history.

Not having any political ambitions herself, Valenzuela says she can present to the voters not just her brother’s political profile but also his human side, sometimes to the point of revealing stuff that he is much too modest to offer.

He is going to be endorsed in his TV commercials by someone laid back like himself, the unexpected star Richard (“Sir Chief”) Yap for free.


‘Mambo Magsaysay’

She also has no qualms about breaking into song during campaign rallies, particularly their late father’s catchy campaign jingle, “Mambo Magsaysay,” composed by the late Sen. Raul Manglapus, another distinguished Filipino politician who was one of President Magsaysay’s bright boys.

According to the song’s still quite relevant lyrics, “everywhere you look [there] was a bandit or a crook” and that “peace and order was a joke” until Magsaysay came along. It also complains about “too much people’s money being spent but no honest government,” and promises that there will be “no more built-in 10 percent if Magsaysay is President.”

“We still have the very same, if not worse, problems now,” Valenzuela said in a recent interview with Inquirer editors and reporters.

“Magsaysay is my guy” was also the historic campaign’s battle cry.

Magsaysay’s three children grew up becoming “public curiosities” as the offsprings of a hugely popular President, the original “man of the masses” who met an untimely end in a plane crash in 1957.

Valenzuela dismissed suggestions that her brother was using the family name to win over voters. On the contrary, she said, it was their father’s legacy that has made Jun Magsaysay seek public office.

‘Our only treasure’

“Jun’s purpose in running is he wants to serve the people. Jun is very passionate about the legacy of our father. That’s our only treasure. That’s our most precious gift from him—the name. He (Jun) will fight tooth and nail for the name. Our family wants to keep it as it used to be, respected and, hopefully, loved,” she said.

Like the late President Magsaysay, her brother is content with being appreciated by constituents for his public service, said Valenzuela.

“What is the nicest feeling of being a public servant? To know that the people appreciate what you do for them. When my father died, we were so shocked at how the people felt toward him,” she said.

The younger Magsaysay first entered politics in 1965, winning a congressional seat in the Magsaysays’ home province of Zambales. He became a senator for two terms, from 1995 to 2007.

Asked if she finds it harder nowadays to “sell” her brother to the voters, Valenzuela tends to agree as she says he is already 74 and has been out of politics for some time.

“When he told me he was running, I asked if he had forgotten the logistics problems and the physical strain (of previous campaigns). I said, ‘You’ll be 80 when your term ends.’ But he said, ‘Should I just wait around until I’m 80 when I can still do something for the people?’ It’s nothing ventured, nothing gained for him,” Valenzuela said.

‘A worthy son’

While Jun Magsaysay does not aspire to become exactly like his late father, Valenzuela said she can say with a straight face that her brother is a “worthy son.”

“My father made mistakes, he was not the perfect President. But his intentions were good, to serve the people. To a certain degree, my father achieved many things for the common good of the people. His power came from the masses, but he was not conscious of it,” she said.

All the Magsaysays are expected to live up to the revered late President’s legacy of “integrity, honesty, hard work and compassion for others, especially those who have less in life,” Valenzuela said.

“In our family, what we believe is that helping others is an everyday thing. But if you have the chance to help more with a position in government, you should not say that you don’t want to. Jun is like that, he will not refuse a chance to help. Maybe he will hem and haw, because it’s not easy [being a public servant], but when he gets started, he’ll go straight ahead to the finish,” she said.

However, her brother is also strong enough to face the prospect of losing, said Valenzuela. He is not the type to mope and sulk but will just move on and keep himself busy in another enterprise, she said.

No other agenda

“He is not afraid to lose. But he will  always do his best to win,” she said, recalling how Jun Magsaysay lost his bid for reelection to the House of Representatives in 1969 and again failed to win the vice presidency in 1992.

“If you’re rejected, it’s OK to feel bad, but at least you tried. He’s not afraid to lose because he has no other agenda,” she said.

Valenzuela said she could not forget the courage shown by her then 18-year-old brother when their father died, leaving him with the responsibility of becoming the head of their family.

He went into business to secure a better life for the family, “to save our family from going hungry,” she said.

Father of cable television

Unknown to many, according to Valenzuela, Jun Magsaysay is the acknowledged “Father of Cable Television” in the Philippines, being the founding president of Colorview CATV Inc., the country’s first cable company, which initially serviced his native Zambales.

Her brother also became a “techie” even before the term became popular and hence can relate to youth issues, she said.

“He immerses himself in the latest technology. In fact, during his first term as senator, when the E-Commerce Law was passed, I remember one senator saying, ‘Oh, Jun’s bill has passed, the one only he understands,’” she said.

The younger Magsaysay’s candidacy is also an expression of support for President Aquino’s administration, Valenzuela said.

“(Aquino) has no other agenda but to do good as President, that’s why my brother is running again. He saw in the President the political will, so he wanted to be there helping, if given the chance by the voters,” she said.

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  • farmerpo

    And so, isa isa lang. Di kaya ng utak ng Pinoy ang dalawang Magsaysay. Magkaiba pa mandin pananaw. Split kaagad ang Magsaysay clan itself. how much more the nation?

    • Concur_Dissent

      easy identification…. yung babaeng magsaysay candidate is not really the magsaysay…her husband VIC II is the Magsaysay….Strictly speaking, walang magsaysay genes o dugo si Mitos…

      • sanjuan683

        hehehehehehehe Wala yan sa SURNAME, sa performace ni Mitos daig na daig niya si Jun Magsaysay. Ginagamit lang ni Jun pangalang ng erpat niya para manalo hindi na uso ang Mambo, Gangnam na ang uso ngayon. hehehehe Hindi na tanggap ng tao siya nangamatay na yun mga tao kapanahunan ng erpat niya. Mga bagong henerasyon na ngayon ano ka?

    • kumilos_tayo

      Yung tumatakbong Magsaysay sa UNA ticket ay hindi tunay na Magsaysay nakapag asawa siya ng Magsaysay sinira lang nya ung magandang pangalan ng Magsaysay.

      • tulfotumbong

        walang qualifikasyon yong mag say(2) ng UNA. tuta ni gloria.

      • sanjuan683

        Hindi na uso ang Mambo, Gangnam na ang uso ngayon kaya mananlo si Mitos. hehehehehe

      • SMEjhong

        pak u!..isa kang bayaran..troll

  • merrillgirl

    This family has been blessed by God with all of the most important things in life: loyalty, honesty, integrity, compassion, and a sense of public service that is second to none. Long live the Magsaysay legacy.

  • Noel Santos

    nangurakot ba ang mga Magsaysay nung nasa pwesto pa sila?.tanong lang po..

    • kumilos_tayo

      Ang tunay na Magsaysay hindi po pero yung gumagamit ng surname nila na si Mitas n under UNA kurakot yun sinisira nya ung magandang pangalan ng Magsaysay.

      • sanjuan683

        hehehe Magaling si Mitos kung kay Jun lang, nakikimambo lang iyan si Jun para manalo pero hindi na lalabas iyan. Sawa na ang mga tao sa trapo. hehehehe

    • tcbernardo


  • bongscorner

    Never was a crook and never will be. That’s the Magsaysay legacy @pathfinder093. If you go to Zambales, you will see the small house RM built all those time he was a politician. When RMJ or Jun Magsaysay was senator, never was he dragged into any anomaly, but exposed a lot, including the fertilizer scam at DA. So let us choose June Magsaysay, the real one.

  • Rolly257

    Mas mainam si junior Magsaysay kesa Escudero or Loren.

  • kelly

    Jun Magsaysay totoo yan……..
    yong isang candidato ng uNA [MITOS] mahilig makikisawsaw, alagad ni arroyo.

    she is very far for magsaysay family… take note voters

    • sanjuan683

      hehehe Mas magaling yan si Mitos Magsaysa kaysa sa original na Magsaysay. hehehehe

      • patrickinca

        Magaling eh suporter ng mga illegal lumber ang pamilya na iyan. Di mo ba alam na ang anak niya ay isa iyan sa isang main business nila? Bobo ka kung di mo alam iyan.

    • sanjuan683

      Wala yan Jun Magsaysay hindi mananalo dahil alagad ni Pnoy yan. hehehehe
      At saka wala sa pangalan yan nasa tao yan performance.

    • Lizzie Alvarez

      hindi naman kc ata kadugo ni magsaysay yang c mitos. yung asawa nya ang may dugong magsaysay.. di po ba?

  • nano

    I will support Jun Magsaysay ,not because of his name ,but of what he had done and his honesty and integrity.

  • Maning Buhay

    Our votes (family) will go to Jun Magsaysay, Risa H. & E. Hagedorn!

    • sanjuan683

      Ako naman puro independent senatorial candidates ang iboboto ko nakakasawa na yan mga trapo mga luma na yan wala na bright ideas ang mga trapo iyan.

  • tulfotumbong

    Let’s vote for qualified and decent guys like Jun Magsaysay.

  • sanjuan683

    Wala na epek yan Jun Magsaysay ninyo, nasubukan na siya nuong nakaraan pero hindi niya nagaya yun erpat niya. Kaya tigilan na ninyo yan comparison. hehehehehe

  • tcbernardo

    Let’s all do our bit in helping Magsaysay win, especially those who’re adept at spreading the word through social media.

  • Eddie AAA Calderon

    I was in High School, when Ramon Magsaysay was campaigning for President in the mid-50s and I still remember the song attributed to his campaign. At that time, the mambo was the most famous dance craze in the RP. I remember Manolo de La Fuente and his mambo campaign song when he was running for Manila mayoralty re-election and the challenger was Arsenio Lacson who won that election by landslide. The campaign song of Lacson was Arsenic the Terrific. Now here is that mambo campaign song for Ramon Magsaysay. Mambo, mambo Magsaysay. Mambo, mambo mabuhay. Our democracy will die, kung wala si Magsaysay.

    • sanjuan683

      Wala na epek yan mambo mo, nangamatay na yun kapanahunan ni Monching. Bagong henerasyon na ngayon. Gangnam uso ngayon, tigilan na ninyo paggamit ng Magsaysay para lang kayo manalo hindi na click yan. hehehehehe Hanggang ngayon ginagamit ninyo panloko ng botante yan mambo magsaysay ninyo. hehehehehe

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