Filipino statesman Manuel L. Quezon, or MLQ, was the president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944, thus becoming the first Filipino to lead a government of the whole of the Philippines. He formed a government-in-exile in the U.S. after the Japanese invasion during World War II.
Born to an artisan father, Ramon Magsaysay was initially a schoolteacher. He served as the president of the Philippines and successfully subdued the Huk movement of the local communist guerrillas. The Ramon Magsaysay Award, named after him, celebrates excellence of Asians in various fields such as journalism and government service.
Known for her legal expertise and her resolve to fight corruption, Miriam Defensor Santiago also became the first Filipina and the first from an Asian developing country to serve as a judge of the International Criminal Court. The senator was also a Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient and died of lung cancer.
The 1st prime minister of the Philippines, Apolinario Mabini led the Philippine Revolution and helped in drafting the Malolos Constitution. Born into a family of illiterate peasants, he became a lawyer, before joining the forces of revolutionary Emilio Aguinaldo. He spent most of his later years in exile, targeted by the US.
Benigno Aquino, Jr., also known as Ninoy Aquino, was the son of Filipino politician Benigno Aquino Sr. and grew up to be a senator and the chief opposition leader during President Ferdinand E. Marcos’s rule. A supporter of democracy, he was assassinated at the Manila airport after returning from exile.
Manuel Roxas was a Filipino politician who served as the president of the Philippines from 1946 to 1948. He also served as the first president of the Third Philippine Republic after the USA relinquished its supremacy over the Philippines. Regarded as an important politician in the history of the Philippines, Roxas is depicted on the 100 Peso banknote.
Diosdado Macapagal was a Filipino politician who served as the president of the Philippines from 1961 to 1965. Prior to his presidency, Macapagal served as the sixth vice-president from 1957 to 1961. Diosdado Macapagal is credited with inspiring his daughter Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who later became the president of the Philippines.
The 4th president of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeña had also been the country’s 1st vice-president. Initially a military commander of the Philippine army, he had been part of World War II. He had begun his political career as the governor of Cebu. He also founded the Nationalist Party.
Elpidio Quirino was a Filipino politician and lawyer. From 1948 to 1953, Quirino served as the president of the Philippines. He was serving as the vice-president when he succeeded the presidency after the sudden death of incumbent President Manuel Roxas. In 2016, a memorial was established in Tokyo, Japan, in his honor.
Before assuming office as a senator of the Phillippines, Manny Pacquiao was already known as a globally renowned boxer. Known to his fans as PacMan, he is the only boxer to have won world championships from the 1990s to the 2020s. BoxRec named him the world’s seventh-active boxer in 2020.
Ferdinand Marcos served as the tenth president of the Philippines. Marcos' rule was marked by brutality, extravagance, and corruption, making him the most controversial leader of his generation. Deemed a kleptocrat, Marcos' dictatorship caused an economic collapse during which the country suffered greatly. He was removed from power in 1986 after a series of protests called the People Power Revolution.
Carlos P. Garcia was a Filipino teacher, lawyer, orator, poet, political economist, public official, and Commonwealth military leader. He is best remembered for his service as the President of the Philippines from 18 March 1957 to 30 December 1961. An important political leader, Carlos P. Garcia also served as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1953 to 1957.
Jesse Robredo was a Filipino politician best remembered for his service as the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government from 2010 until his death in 2012. He is also remembered for his service as the Mayor of Naga on two occasions. In 2000, Jesse Robredo became the first Filipino mayor to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service.
Risa Hontiveros is a Filipino politician, journalist, and community leader. After starting her career as a journalist, Hontiveros went on to establish herself as a prominent political leader and is currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. Over the course of her career, Risa Hontiveros has received several honors, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
Before being adopted by iconic Filipino actors Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, Grace Poe was found as an infant in front of a cathedral in Iloilo city. She grew up to be a politician and senator of the Philippines. She has previously also chaired the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
Francis Pangilinan is a Filipino politician, lawyer, and farm owner. He is best known for his service as a Senator of the Philippines on two occasions between 2001 and 2022. Francis Pangilinan is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Liberal Party.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is a Filipino politician and academic. From 2001 to 2010, Arroyo served as the president of the Philippines. Before serving as the president, Arroyo served as a senator and as the vice president of the Philippines. She later served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2018 to 2019.
Philippine environmental activist and philanthropist Gina Lopez is remembered for her relentless fight against hazardous and destructive mining practices. She had led the ABS-CBN Foundation and had chaired the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. She had also served as the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines.
The 3rd president of the Philippines, José P. Laurel had also led the country as its Commissioner of Justice and Minister of the Interior. His rule as a president, though, was largely nominal, as the Philippines was occupied by Japan back then. Charged with treason multiple times, he managed to escape trials.
Francis Escudero is a Filipino politician and lawyer. He is best known for his service as the Governor of Sorsogon from 2019 to 2022. He is currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. Francis Escudero has also worked as a lecturer at the University of the Philippines.
Imelda Marcos is a retired Filipino politician with a controversial history. She became the First Lady of the Philippines in 1965 when her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, became President of the nation. Her family stole billions of dollars from the country’s citizens and lived lavishly. The Marcoses were unseated during the People Power Revolution in February 1986.
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is a Filipino politician and the current president of the Philippines. A prominent political figure, Marcos also served as a senator of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is also currently serving as the Secretary of Agriculture.
Fidel V. Ramos was a Filipino politician and general. He is best remembered for his service as the President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. His presidency was marked by technological development, economic boom, and political stability in the Philippines. Fidel V. Ramos also served as the Secretary of National Defense from 22 January 1988 to 18 July 1991.
Juan Ponce Enrile is a Filipino lawyer and politician. He is best known for his service as a Senator of the Philippines on three occasions between 1987 and 2016. He also served as the President of the Senate from 2008 to 2013. Enrile was also the Minister of National Defense from 1970 to 1971 and again from 1972 to 1986.
Filipino politician Bam Aquino was born into the famous Aquino family that has dominated the political, entertainment, and business sectors of the Philippines. Starting his career as a host and actor, he later became a senator and introduced laws for the development of education, employment, and entrepreneurship.
Former Filipino senate president Vicente Castelo Sotto III, also known as Tito Sotto or Tito Sen, was also a well-known musician and songwriter who had co-founded the band VST & Co. He had also co-hosted Eat Bulaga! And had represented the Philippine national bowling team in international tournaments.
Panfilo Lacson had a successful stint as the Philippine National Police chief before he stepped into politics and became a senator. His life has inspired the 2000 film Ping Lacson: Super Cop. Announcing his retirement plans in 2022, he said he would launch an agri-aqua venture.
The 8th vice-president of the Philippines, Salvador Laurel had also served as the country’s 5th prime minister. Initially part of the New Society Movement, he later joined the multi-party UNIDO alliance. A Yale alumnus, he also had a successful career as a lawyer, before he stepped into politics.
Former Philippine senator and Senate Minority Leader Claro Mayo Recto is remembered as a nationalist. He was a major figure of the Filipino-first movement and was against American neo-colonialism. A jurist, he had also been the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
The 3rd and 7th vice-president of the Philippines, Fernando López had also chaired the Filipino media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation. Though educated in law, he didn’t practice and stepped into politics instead, as the mayor of Iloilo. He also co-founded universities and co-owned several big companies.
Filipino actor, model, and dancer Cristine Reyes is also known as the Ultimate Star in the Philippines. She soared to fame with the reality show StarStruck and later starred in hit films such as Seven Sundays and No Other Woman. She has also been part of series such as Mulawin.
Jejomar Binay is a Filipino politician and lawyer. He is known for his service as the Vice President of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. He also served as the Mayor of Makati on three occasions between 1986 and 2010. A human rights lawyer, Binay helped establish the Movement for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. alongside other human rights lawyers.
Richard Gomez is a Filipino actor, director, television presenter, épée fencer, and politician. He is best known for his service as the Mayor of Ormoc from 2016 to 2022. He achieved popularity as a fencer in 2005, when he won a gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games. Gomez has also won many acting honors, including several Gawad Urian Awards.
Aurora Quezon was a Filipino political figure best remembered for her role as the First Lady of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. Quezon is also remembered for her humanitarian activities; from 1947 to 1949, she served as the chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross. In the 2018 biographical drama film Quezon's Game, Aurora Quezon was played by Rachel Alejandro.
Filipino lawyer and politician Franklin Drilon has been the 18th President of the Senate of the Philippines. After joining politics with the UNIDO alliance, he switched several parties till he joined the Liberal party. He has previously also been the Secretary of Labor and Employment and of Justice.
Isabelo de los Reyes, also known as Don Belong, was a prominent Filipino politician and activist who co-founded the independent Philippine church Iglesia Filipina Independiente. A labor leader and author, too, he served as the senator of the Philippines. He also wrote extensively on folklore, religion, and history.
Filipino politician Benigno Aquino, Sr., or Igno, led the fascist KALIBAPI party, which was the only Filipino political party during the Japanese occupation. He had held several significant political positions, including that of the vice-president of the Philippines. He was also the 6th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.
A former broadcast journalist, Loren Legarda was known for anchoring shows such as The World Tonight, before she stepped into politics and rose to be the President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines. The former senator is also a prominent environmental activist.
The nephew of Filipino action instructor Jess Lapid, Lito Lapid stepped into Philippine films as a stuntman and rose to be an actor. He then joined politics as a member of Lakas-CMD and then became an independent candidate. After serving as the governor of Pampanga, he became a senator of the Philippines.
Jovito Salonga was a Filipino lawyer and politician. He is best remembered for his service as the President of the Senate of the Philippines from 1987 to 1992. He also served as a Senator of the Philippines on two occasions between 1965 and 1992. In 2007, Jovito Salonga was honored with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service.
Philippine communist leader Luis Taruc was a major figure of the guerrilla movement named Hukbalahap and led its fight against the Japanese occupiers of the Philippines. Tried for terrorism, he was sentenced to a 12-year prison term but was later pardoned by President Ferdinand Marcos.
Filipino politician Alfredo Lim served as the 19th mayor of Manila and as a senator of the Philippines. An orphan who grew up in the slums of Manila, he grew up to join the police force and eventually headed the National Bureau of Investigation as its director.
Filipino politician Ralph Recto is the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and represents the 6th district of Batangas. The Nacionalista member has also been a senator of the Philippines and a Senate Minority Leader. He has also represented Lakas-CMD and LDP. He is married to actor-politician Vilma Santos-Recto.