As a tribute to the recently departed former President Fidel Valdez Ramos, here are 10 things about his genealogy.
Elected as the 12th president of the Philippines and the 2nd of the 5th republic in 1992, FVR was the first and only Protestant to be elected president and so far the only Filipino in history to hold every position in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from second lieutenant to commander-in-chief. He headed the Philippine Constabulary from 1972 until 1986, Chief of Staff of the AFP from 1986 to 1988, and Secretary of National Defense from 1988 to 1991. He served as President from June 30, 1992 to June 30, 1998, succeeding President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. Here are some information about his genealogy:
Number 1: The Ramos surname used to be Apelido
Although the surname Ramos can be found in Asingan from as early as the late 1700s and there is enough evidence that FVR’s family had used Ramos prior to the 1849 Claveria surname decree, they opted to adopt the surname Apelido when the decree was enforced and so for several years they were known as Apelido or Ramos Apelido. But, just like the Marcoses who also adopted another last name (Tabuebue) to comply with the decree but eventually returned to using Marcos, the family eventually dropped Apelido and resumed using Ramos.
Number 2: FVR’s grandfather, Placido Ramos, was a Katipunero
FVR’s grandfather, Placido Ramos, though a cabeza de barangay, joined the Katipunan and fought in the historic battle of Dagupan from July 18 to 22, 1898 that brought an end to Spanish rule in the province of Pangasinan. He had two families; when his first wife died, he had a relationship with Ramona Rueca. For some reason, all their children, while acknowledged by Placido, were described as hijos/hijas natural, which meant Placido and Ramona lived together outside of wedlock.
Number 3: FVR and President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos were Second Cousins
While history books have discussed it in the past, people still forget that President Ramos was the second cousin of President Marcos Sr. FVR’s maternal grandmother, Crispina Marcos, was the sister of Fabian Marcos, who was Marcos’s paternal grandfather, both the children of Don Damaso Marcos and Dona Leona Galimba. This means that current President Bongbong Marcos and the daughters of FVR are third cousins.
Number 4: He was the fifth President of almost pure Ilokano ancestry
Aside from his cousin, Ferdinand Marcos, who was of pure Ilokano stock, three other presidents were also from families in the Ilocos Region. These were President Elpidio Quirino, who was Ilocos Sur; President Ramon Magsaysay, who was from Zambales; and President Carlos P. Garcia, though born in Bohol, was the son of parents with deep roots to Abra.
Number 5: His father, Narciso Ramos, was a Founding Signatory of ASEAN
He served as the Fifth District representative for Pangasinan in the Philippine Assembly from 1934 to 1946. President Roxas asked Ramos to establish the Philippines' diplomatic service and establish the country's first embassy in Washington, D.C. after our independence. He was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1966 to 1968 and later held positions as head of various missions. Being one of the founding signatories of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in 1967 and his signature on the Ramos-Rusk Agreement, which reduced the 1947 agreement between the RP and the US about military sites from 99 to only 25 years, are two of his most enduring legacies.
Number 6: FVR’s mother, Angela Marcos Valdez, was as accomplished as his father
Angela Valdez grew up in a family of educators. Both her parents were teachers and she and her 7 siblings were sent to and graduated from the University of the Philippines. She was also an educator as well as a civic leader. She was one of the leading figures fighting for women’s right to suffrage in the Philippines in the 1930s.
Number 7: FVR’s father, Narciso Ramos, married twice
Like his father before him, Narciso Ramos also had two women in his life. He first married Angela Marcos Valdez in 1927 in Batac, Ilocos Norte and they had three children: Leticia, Fidel, and Gloria.
Number 8: Narciso Ramos’s second wife was from Cebu
After the death of his wife Angela in 1977, he married Alfonsita Galeos Lucero in 1979. Alfonsita’s parents were both from Argao, Cebu and her father was a military dentist.
Number 9: FVR’ sisters were both accomplished in their own fields
The older sister, Leticia, was known as a a pioneer in the international women’s movement. In the 1970s, she led the drafting of a convention on the elimination of discrimination against women, also known as the international women’s bill of rights, and defied Cold War tensions by enlisting the Soviet Union as a co-sponsor to get it off the ground. She was Senator of the Philippines from June 30, 1987 to June 30, 1998.
The younger sister, Gloria, was married to Lieutenant Aldo Jacinto Da Rodda, a jet pilot in the United States Navy. Gloria served as the Philippine Vice Consul then as Consul in Los Angeles and San Diego, California, USA.
Number 10: Both FVR and his wife, Amelita “Ming” Martinez, were Protestants
Although he was the first Protestant to be elected President in a predominantly Catholic nation, his cousin Ferdinand Marcos was also a non-Catholic, being a member of Aglipayan church, before converting to Catholicism right before his marriage to Imelda Romualdez. FVR and his wife Ming were married on Oct. 21, 1953 at the Central Church, now known as Central United Methodist Church in Manila. In a 1997 interview with the Chicago Tribune, First Lady Ming Ramos described how difficult it was growing up Protestant and how the Catholic Church continued to meddle during FVR’s presidency, accusing Cardinal Sin and former president Aquino of conducting a "hate campaign" against her husband "because he's a Protestant."
FVR, who came from a family of educators, leaders, and nationalists, would forever be known as one of the major players of the People Power of 1986. However history will judge him, it cannot be denied that he was instrumental in breathing life into the Philippine economy, earning us the moniker ‘Tiger Cub Economy in Asia.’
Vaya con Dios, President Ramos!