10th President of the Third Republic
“With sincerity in my heart is my desire to realize my long time dream; to uplift from poverty the Filipino people through a government with honest, sincere service and not selfish, and a society with only one goal – the fulfillment of dreams of a man.”
Ferdinand E. Marcos was born in the town of Sarrat in the province of Ilocos Norte on September 11, 1917 and was baptized with the name Emmanuel Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. His father, Mariano Marcos is a lawyer-teacher who became a politician. His father became the representative of Ilocos Norte at the Lower House in 1925. His mother, Josefa Quetulio Edralin, is a teacher at a public school.
Just like any other children, Ferdinand’s first teacher was his mother. His mother taught him the importance of time. Her mother also reminded in the young mind of Ferdinand the love of books and its importance to a man. From his father, Ferdinand learned boxing, swimming, arm wrestling and shooting. Ferdinand and his brother Pacifico was always brought by their father to his political campaign. Even as a child Ferdinand was trained and used to strive hard to be on top on all aspects. He never had been happy to place second only. It became a habit to Ferdinand once the book are given to them at school, he immediately read them and memorize. For that, it never gave a chance to his classmates to outrank him in class. Ferdinand got the highest grade on their graduation from elementary and pursues secondary education at the University of the Philippines. In law, even if he did not obtain the highest grade upon graduation, he, however, topped the civil service examination in 1939.
As a cadet official, Ferdinand always topped the handling of firearms. His first Medal of Excellence in Military Science was given by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Ferdinand always garnered medals as a student. He is good in public speaking and inter-school debate. Ferdinand never failed the hope of his loved ones.
Ferdinand joined the Armed Forces of the Philippines on November 15, 1941. Just like any soldier, Ferdinand played his own role in the Philippine war to be free from the hands of the enemy. At the start of the World War II, Marcos was assigned at the 21st Lightning Division of USAFFE with a rank of Lieutenant. Gen. Mateo Capinpin first noticed the bravery in war of Ferdinand when he fought at the Hacienda Abucay in Bataan on January 15, 1942. Due to valor of Marcos, he obtained the Silver Star Award. One of the medals received by Marcos is Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest and Gold Cross Medal with two bronze leaves for fighting in dangerous battles of Mt. Natib and Mt. Samat, respectively. Many believed he possess amulets the reason why he did not suffer any harm but he denied the rumors. He was also imprisoned at Fort Santiago and was punished by the Japanese.Together with brother Pacifico, Marcos created a guerilla they called Maharlika or Nobleman at a cost of 8,700 pesos. The Maharlika guerilla helped a lot to successfully carry out the secrets of the movement in Luzon.
In 1948, Marcos decided to just continue his profession as a lawyer but he was persuaded by President Roxas to try his luck in politics. He followed the advice of President Roxas and he became successful. In three successive periods, he became the representative of Ilocos Norte in Congress. Marcos became a senator in 1960 until he run for president. In a hotly contested election of 1965, Marcos was unanimously elected by the people to the highest position that can be bestowed by Filipino people. Despite the anguish and psychological torture he and his clan suffer from his political rivals, he just consider it as a “Challenge to Bravery.”
In his speech to the people, Marcos explained his definition of “Challenge to Bravery.” Excerpt from his speech when he sworn into office, he said the following:
"Today, the battle is not intensely poetic and bloody but equally valuable to the challenge of our ancestors. We observed that it seems now that we slowly losing our soul, our honor and bravery….
I call upon you for us to jointly make the law rule us. For those who violate the law, I will implement the due punishment to the best of my capacity. But this duty is not only mine but it is also for you and for all of us….
As I’ve said and I keep on saying that our nation can become great again. This will be my mission and now that this opportunity it is bestowed upon me by the Almighty God, I am hoping that our mission will be successful.
We should awaken the heroism innate in an individual. I am not asking for only one among you that could be a hero. I want that all of you, all of us, will become heroes.
This is my dream. For voting me, it seems like you destined to me my duty. Let’s go and make our dreams come true.”
President Marcos wife, Imelda Marcos has always been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for her timeless and classic beauty and Marie Antoinette of France for her lavish lifestyle. They have three children namely Imee, Irene and Ferdinand who is popularly nicknamed Bongbong, who is at present, a senator.
President Marcos died in 1989.
Major World Events During Marcos’ Administration
Middle East In six-day war, Israel occupies Arab lands in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, 1967
Nigeria. In outbreak of civil war, Eastern region declares its independence as Biafra, 1967
Czechoslovakia. Soviet forces invade Czechoslovakia to suppress liberal government, 1968
Vietnam. Peace talks to end war begin in Paris, France, 1968
Rhodesia declares itself a republic, 1970
India and Pakistan go to war, 1971
China admitted to United Nations, 1971
Northern Ireland Britain imposes direct rule, 1971
South Vietnam. Last United States ground troops leave, 1973
Israel attacked by Egyptian and Syrian troops in Yom Kippur War, 1973
India suspends constitutional rights, 1976
Middle East Palestine Liberation Organization recognized by United Nations, 1974
Ethiopia Haile Selassie deposed as emperor, 1974
Papua New Guinea gains independence, 1975
Spain. Juan Carlos becomes king, 1975
Egypt. Abrogates its 1971 friendship treaty with the Soviet Union, 1976
Panama. Panama Canal treaty ratified by United States, 1978
China and United States restore diplomatic relations, 1979
Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile to declare the country an Islamic republic, 1979
Middle East Peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel, 1979
Iran. United States embassy seized by militants, 53 American hostages taken, 1979
Afghanistan invaded by Soviet troops, 1979
Iran American hostages freed, 1981
Falkland Islands invaded by Argentine troops, 1982
Grenada invaded by United States troops, 1983
Hong Kong China and Britain agree on eventual return of Hong Kong to China, 1984