‘Mechanic’s son’ engineers return to public service


MANILA, Philippines — If former President Ramon Magsaysay Sr. were alive today, he would have been proud of his son and namesake who, he once said, would never be a good mechanic.

For not only did Ramon Magsaysay Jr. graduate a mechanical engineer in La Salle, he would go on to become at 27 one of the youngest congressmen to be elected, a “young turk” from the Liberal Party, and eventually a senator and a successful businessman.

Ramon Magsaysay Jr.

In the fifth installment of INQUIRER.net’s INQuest: Vote 2013, Magsaysay, 74, recalls how his father and mother impressed on him and his two siblings a simple lifestyle.

He says his father wasn’t influenced by the trappings of someone who held positions in government, including the presidency, and chose to live in the same house with his family in Singalong in Manila until his death in a plane crash (not helicopter as posted earlier) before his term as president could finish.

Magsaysay says as a result of his father’s untimely death, he was given a scholarship by La Salle.

But Magsaysay says his life was actually shaped by a simple story in his childhood. His father, a known mechanic, had asked him to help in fixing their car.

Then the young Magsaysay (he was nine years old) says that when his father asked him to hand over a socket wrench, he gave an open wrench.

His father shook his head and said that he would never be a good mechanic, Magsaysay recalls.

Magsaysay says that that simple statement from his father stuck in his head and challenged him to take up mechanical engineering, one of two engineering courses offered in La Salle at that time. The other was chemical engineering.

And not only did Magsaysay surpass his father’s expectations, but exceeded his own as well.

Magsaysaysay was the original “cable guy”, having introduced cable television in the Philippines. He is a certified “techie” who downloads books from amazon.com and maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Then presidential candidate Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s invitation to Magsaysay to be her runningmate in 1992 was first met with reluctance because he learned to value his privacy after his early stint in politics.

He says it was actually his wife who encouraged him to return to the political arena and although he would eventually lose in the vice presidential race, that experience made him reconsider going back to public service.

He says his father is his role model and that he would not have won as congressman and senator without his example and his name, which is now his to protect.

He says given a chance to return to the Senate, he would want to help “navigate the strategic. development of the country — where are we headed for, what are our strong points, weak points, what have we done wrong in the past. . .”

He clarifies, however, that he will no longer seek higher office and would rather do the “hat pass”.

He says the presidency is good for someone “up to 55″.

Politics, he says, isn’t for “personal interest” but rather for “public service”, “for the people”.

More of the interview with Magsaysay on INQUest: Vote 2013.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • SMEjhong

    politics —-> pro populo..Magsaysay is my guy!

  • Normussestudillo

    He says “Politic isn’t for personal interest, but rather for public service, for the people” But do we have at present someone to really qualify? Or are we voters know the difference nor really care? Do we vote for self interest or for the country? I have a list of senators here on my hand but do not know who to vote for. Everyone I have read, just read not known for a fact, on one time or another have a negative connotation on their name.

  • Normussestudillo

    I remember Ramon Magsaysay Sr.. He was the best Secretary of National defense we ever had. He became the greatest President of the Philippines. Just so sad he was taken so soon. I did not know that it was a helicopter he was on. I though as I remember it was a plane piloted by Major Ebuen and crush in Cebu. But then it was so long, long ago one forgets.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nes.baricante Nes Baricante

      It was the presidential plane that crashed, not helicopter.



      • Pio Gante

        pg ang erpat ko nung panahon na yun under nap valeriano but shipped out during the second term of macoy nagdagsaan na kasi ang mga ilocano sa battalion and i’m sure he’d seen and heard a lot of good and bad things at the palace.


        magsaysay’s life as president was cut-off short by the DC3’s crash. so wala kaming alam about the good, the bad andthe ugly in malacanyang.

      • Normussestudillo

        Yes I remember the lone survivor Nestor Mata. Did he married Salud Herrera?

      • Normussestudillo

        That’s why I was surprise when the writer said it was a helicopter. Think it was the Presidential plane Mount Pinatubo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alfa.saclao Alfa Saclao

      he was given tribute by karen davila.


    Ramon Magsaysay Jr is much better compared with all the candidates of United Nakaw Alliance. He is trustworthy, hardworking, and has an excellent track record.

    • JuanTamadachi

      well said

    • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

      ibalik si jun magsaysay sa senado

      naunang daang matuwid

      sabihin sa kamag anak sa probinsya
      iboto ang numero 24 para senador

      • sanjuan683

        hehehehe Ikaw na lang mag-isa pero ako gusto ko yung bago ang iboboto ko. Matanda na siya kailangan natin bata at bagong mukha sa senado. Ayoko dun sa bumabalik pa daming naman independent senatorial candidates na magagaling at higit sa lahat hindi hawak ni Abnoy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kyra.leads Kyra Leads

        aanhin mo ang bata kung bata palang corrupt na epal pa. in voting, we must consider the capabilities, advocacies, records of a candidate. that’s the problem with our country, binabase nalang ng mga tao sa muka, advertisements, popularity, and age. it’s not about age, ang kelangan na maging basehan natin sa pagboto ay yung integridad ng isang kandidato, their knowledge on position they are running to, their experiences.

      • kumilos_tayo

        Tama.. Kaya lalo tayong hindi umaangat dahil sa katulad niya na sumusuporta sa corrupt..

    • sanjuan683

      Ayoko sa kanya gusto ko yun mga bago, ayoko ko yun bumabalik pa gusto ko bagong mukha sa senado. at higit sa lahat kailangan mga bata mayroon bago idealismo. Hindi komo anak siya ay magaling na, tignan mo si Abnoy anak din pero siya ang pinakatanga presidente the Philippines ever had.

      • markotres

        Grabe ka naman ,ikaw na siguro rin ang isa sa pinakatangang nilalang kung saan ka man naroroon,kung nasa Pinas ka man o nasa bilangguan ka ,wala kang nalalaman sa nangyayari sa Pilipinas,ikumpara mo nga kay Marcos,kay Gloria, kay Estrada na 2 years lang naka upo sa Malacanang.Siguro ,hindi ka na makadugas mula ng si Aquino ay naging pangulo ano????Noynoy ,our president may not be a perfect president but he´s far better than those previous pres.above.Kung wala kang nakikita ,nababasa tungkol sa kanyang administrasyon at sa mga nagiging resulta ng hindi niya pagiging corrupt di tulad ng kung sino mang iniidolo mo ,Ungas ka , dahil hindi mo lang naging kakampi,naging pikit na rin ang mga mata mo sa katotohanan,Wala kang prinsipyo or you´re simply an idiot…

      • kumilos_tayo

        Hindi sya tanga gusto lang niya lalong silang maghirap.. Nakakainis lang mga ganyang tao sila ang nagpapabagsak ng bansa natin kasi sumusuporta sila sa mga corrupt na tao..

    • Concur_Dissent

      As an electorate, we have been known to elect the wrong government officials. We tend to vote certain candidates simply on the basis of their box office hits, but the people suffer because not only do these personalities not deliver the service that were expected from them…some are outright thieves (read estrada)…

      It was a record low for us by voting into office the likes of erap, bong revilla, Lapid, etc… It will be another record low for us to vote into office Nancy Binay but leave out Jun Magsaysay…. If Nancy wins, it will be the first time that the Philippines elected someone who did not even have the credentials to be a town Mayor…

  • FILIPINOpatriot4ever

    I hope Jun Magsaysay makes it. The senate needs an icon of integrity and respect to uplift its image tarnished by enrile, estrada, and revilla’s corruption scandals.

  • simondj

    bihira na sa mga kumakandidato ang mayroong katangian katulad ni Ramon Magsaysay Jr. Honest, hardworking and action man.

  • martial_law_baby

    You are number one on my list.

  • 12JEM

    Jun MAGSAYSAY….Number ONE…Vote for the GUY!

  • BoyBakal

    Mechanic’s son’ engineers return to public service….

    It is a rare find. Mechanic’s son running for senator.
    As we all know, candidates for senators are either children of lawyers, VP, Cabinet, former President, secretaries, politicians but not a mechanic.
    Just good luck.

    • Nimrod Suaez

      Have you heard about the obgyne doctor who took up automotive mechanics…and got a 150% grade from his professor for grinding an engine valve thru the exhaust pipe?

  • Billy Reyes

    The best Republic of the Philippines the world had ever known. Clean government, beloved by the people, ang sarap sigurong maging Filipino in the 50’s.

  • dxdaistar

    Magsaysay has my vote too!

  • Spidekick

    Magsaysay is NO 1 on my list! He is the best senatorial candidate today.
    He ought to have been president.
    Far better than Binay as VP.
    But of course, majority of voters are blind fools!

  • Sarkasmos

    Please campaign and vote for Jun Magsaysay. He is trailing merely by a few percentage points to be in the Top 12. And as additional icing to the cake, if we make Jun win, he will dislodge from the senate either Gringo Honosan or Jack Enrile.

  • regie

    ibalik si sir jun sa senado. kita naman ang track record niya during his stint. sir me and my family will vote for you…

  • edleon

    No. 1 on my list!

  • commentator

    He would have been good as president because he is not a lawyer but as an engineer.

  • riccisan

    if i could vote, my vote’s for him..good luck sir..

  • Patrick R

    Could he be the one for 2016… instead of you-know-who?

    • JunPyo123

      He could but he doesn’t want to. Alam mo naman sa Pinas, yung mga qualified ay ayaw maupo doon or ayaw iupo.

    • Pio Gante

      pwede rin, kung aabot pa:))

  • GustoKoHappyKa

    Ingat sa pag shade ng balota ha…baka yung Mitos Magsaysay ang ma vote nyo masayang lang hahaha…

    • sanjuan683

      Tama ka diyan si Mitos Magsaysay ang iboboto ko magaling siya at bata pa, yun Jun mo matanda na iyan wala na paupo-upo na lang ang gagawin niya. Ayoko sa mga bumabalik pa puro independent ang iboboto ko may bagong idialismo sila.

      • kumilos_tayo

        Lang hiya MITOS maawa ka nman sa bansa..



  • JunPyo123

    Ingat sa pag-shade mga kababayan! Dalawa silang Magsaysay.

    • david

      tumpak. yung isa impostor

  • Hellomr

    Kaya naman mataas integrety niya ay sa hindi siya corrupt at hindi magnanakaw ng tax payers money… He is the only one na puede pagkatiwalaan ng tax payers money. Hindi katulad ng iba na hindi alam kung ano ang nangyayari sa pork barrel nila … Kasi hindi naman nila pinaghihirapan ito… At ang iba ipinamimigay sa mga may kayang politician.

  • isidro c. valencia

    We need a mechanic, The Great Guy, who will fix our country’s problems. His father is the Champion of the Poor, Jun Magsaysay will pursue The Guy’s good deeds. Let us support him to work again in the Senate.

  • bangkoker

    I wish to vote for you during your vice president candidacy(but am under-age) and was finally able to vote for you during your senate candidacy and I didn’t regret co’z you did a great job then. I think you are the only candidate worthy of the trust of the Filipino people. Hopefully all the Filipino voters will choose you as one of the 12 senators this election instead of the “TRAPOS”. Team P-noy or UNA doesn’t matter as long as the candidate is honest and have clear vision for the development of country.

  • DC


  • tra6Gpeche

    Incredible! A truly, like father, like son! I hope Filipino voters give the son of the greatest Philippine President, Ramon Magsaysay, Sr., the chance to be a Philippine Senator for the third time!

    • Lord_patawad

      basta wag na lang yung mitos

      • tra6Gpeche

        Is she the one who used to defend Mrs. Arroyo and her administration?

      • Lord_patawad

        yes tra6G

      • tra6Gpeche

        Thanks, kabayan!

      • Lord_patawad

        no problem kabayan.

  • farmerson

    Simple Guy! It runs in blood.Silent operator.

  • Pio Gante

    kailan pa ba naging for ‘public service’ ang pangangadindidato?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-De-Guzman-Dumaoal/100000102844324 Jim De Guzman Dumaoal

    vote for Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr. a worthy senator for the Filipino masses.

  • Drillon Recto

    “not helicopter as posted earlier”, C’mon Inquirer tidy up and don’t be lazy. Everybody who has to write on something that has to be researched should have known that Pres Magsaysay (not Magsaysaysay as posted!) died in plane crash. Tamad is not Juan dela Cruz’s middle name.

  • yaonglaan

    One of the Best there is !

  • farmerpo

    MAGSAYSAY IS MY GUY!!!!! Not Binay, Enrile, or Estrada or Mitos!!!!!

  • Drillon Recto

    We have 12 senators to elect. Jun Magsaysay should be 1 of those 12. Gising Pinoy!

  • WoBushi

    this man wants to cash in on the popularity of his late father. climb your own ladder, my man. just present yourself to the people. that’s it.

    • $14334231

      true, but he is cashing in on a name that has integrity, honesty and most of all, incorruptible….now, tell me, can you say the same to the binays, estradas, enriles and others?…..somehow, i think you are one of the reasons why we are a so stagnant country….nothing personal…..

      • WoBushi

        you should know better than that why this country remains stagnant since. we all make up this country, and that’s what we are.

      • kumilos_tayo

        Remain stagnant coz of you or people like you..

  • nano

    I hope Mr. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. will win ,we need like him in the senate . People wake up !!!

  • GintongLahi

    Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. is one of the few remaining politicians who is NOT tainted with graft and corruption and his name alone (Magsaysay) bears genuine public service as trademark for a clean government. In June Magsaysay FOR THE SENATE – Filipinos shall never go WRONG!

  • richard ortega

    lahat ng botante na may tama at hustong isip ay iboboto si jun magsaysay kaya lang mas nakakarami pa rin ang botante na tumitingin sa apelyido lamang ang dala. i will campainge for mr. magsaysay.

  • Simplify1

    It would be such a shame if nancy makes it to the senate while someone with the caliber of Jun M loses…

  • BoyBakal

    As most parents prefer a four year college degree for their children,
    The Magsaysays would have been the symbol of vocational trade course particularly mechanics…
    As they say….there is more life in being a mekanico.

    • Juan Relaciones

      Ramon Magsaysay is a commerce graduate of Jose Rizal University. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. is a graduate of “De La Salle College in Manila where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He pursued post-graduate studies in 1962 at Harvard School of Business Administration in Boston,Massachusetts, and spent another year in New York University Graduate School of Business Administration.” Source: Wikipedia. They did not graduate from vocational courses.

  • Manga Gamud

    Basta tandaan natin RAMON MAGSAYSAY Jr………..hindi Mitos Magsaysay

  • Juan Relaciones

    Ano nga ba ang nagawa niya sa Senado?

    • kumilos_tayo

      Stupid comment

      • Juan Relaciones

        Bakit naman “stupid comment”?

      • kumilos_tayo

        your question is leading to what? Alam mo n kilala mo siya lalo na yung tatay niya compare mo naman sa BINAY, ENRILE and ESTRADA.. Yang 3 kings na yan pamilyang corrupt including mga anak..

      • Juan Relaciones

        Simple lang naman ang tanong: ano nga ba ang nagawa niya sa Senado?

      • kumilos_tayo

        Hindi mo nakuha yung point ko leading ang question mo meron kang gustong parating.. Ito lang masasabi ko sayo he is very honest person like his father at ang background niya makikita mo naman sa internet kaya STUPID COMMENT kasi obvious ka.

      • Juan Relaciones

        Relax. Baka mamatay ka niyan sa atake sa puso. Ang tanong ko ay hindi yung tungkol sa “honesty” at “background” niya, kung hindi sa ginawa niya sa Senado. Napakasimpleng tanong.

        Kung may nagawa siya, kasi wala akong alam na ginawa niya sa Senado na aking matatandaan o makikita sa internet dapat sinagot mo na lang kung meron at kung ano yung ginawa niya sa Senado. Pero kung sasabihin mong stupid “comment” ang “question” ko, mukhang sinagot mo na nga ang tanong ko.

      • kumilos_tayo

        i know na nakuha mo yung point ko pero you just ignore it that’s why STUPID.. I;m not born yesterday.. Halata ka na ayaw mo sa kanya. STUPID…

      • Juan Relaciones

        Ganyan pala kayong mga supporters ni Magsaysay.

  • amelius23

    Jun Magsaysay back in the senate, he can fiscalize the wrong doing of the present administration if he sees one. How he exposed the fertilizer scam during GMA administration as an opposition senator in the senate shows the meat of the man whose purpose was to put the govt. house in order in step with PNoy’s Daang Matuwid dictum. Given this last opportunity to serve, an honest and lovable, pride and son of Zambales will be back in the senate with a bang.

  • Garibaldi_II

    A humble man who commands respect. My extended family and friends will surely vote for this man … NOT MITOSsshhitt.

  • nakabahag

    dine po sa aming bahay no. 1 po kayu…no. 2 si Riza Hontiveros

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyra.leads Kyra Leads

    I’ll vote for Jun Magsaysay. who cares if he’s 76years old. it’s not about age, it’s about ur willingness to serve ur people, we voters should vote base on the integrity of a candidate, their experiences, and their knowledge on the position they are running for.

  • kumilos_tayo


  • Liaa14

    He has my vote!

  • Hellomr

    This is to let you know that I will certainly be voting for you Ramon jr but not o other fake magsaysay …..hopes u will get to a magic 12 before election time….

  • Spidekick

    get a life

  • regie

    iksaw lang ang nakakaramdam niyan sir….lahat ng nagsusulat sa blog na ito ay voluntary ikaw kaya?

  • riccisan

    dapat lahat ng naka article dito lagyan mo nyan, halatang hater / troll ka eh

  • isidro c. valencia

    padrefaura, it seemed you don’t know history.
    Jun Magsaysay has authored significant bills in the Senate. He was not involved in any controversy. In fact, he was responsible for the prosecution of people involved in fertilizer scam. I met his late father in our hometown, and I met this soft spoken, very humble person.

  • padrefaura

    dapat yung mga paid posters, may nakalagay na kung ano sila, tulad mo, halatang bayaran. sana mahiya naman ang mga bayarang posters, parang vote buying din yan.

  • padrefaura

    speaking of fertilizer scam, may nakulong na ba? maybe because his “case” in the scam is not correct at all. he just blew things out of proportion and talagang wala namang illegal na nangyari, especially on the side jocjoc. at any rate, still, the article is clearly a paid advertisement of magsaysay who has close to nil chances of winning a senate seat again. people must have learned he has done nothing good. its ok, i know where your bias is coming from.

  • isidro c. valencia

    In due time, may makukulong about this fertilizer scam. Mukhang pinsan ka ni Jokejoke at galit ka kay Jun Magsaysay. Jun Magsaysay is already included in the top 12-14. Wait for the next survey at kasama na siya sa top 10.

  • padrefaura

    not related to jokejoke. im just an observer. due time ba yung almost 10 years na since the “expose” at wala pa ring nangyayari? more of an overdue time for me. kung may matibay na kaso, dapat kulong na sila. naunahan pa ni GMA sa kulungan.

  • isidro c. valencia

    I think you are beginning to be aware of judicial process in the Philippines. Civil case sometimes takes more than 10 years to get decision. Criminal case sometimes takes only one year depending on the strength of evidence. In GMA’s case, the Court has prima facie evidence on electoral charge and plunder which are non bailable kaya siya naunang nakulong. But GMA retains her rights to depend in court to prove her innocence. Nabasa ko lang yan sa diario. You should read more, I advise.

  • padrefaura

    Ikawrin nagsasabi may prima facie sa kaso ni gma. So you are saying na wala o hinahanap pa yung kay jocjoc after almost 10 years?

  • kumilos_tayo

    Alam mo yung sinabi mo nagreflect sayo..

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