By Rome Jorge
The Ramon Magsaysay Award has long been esteemed as Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) launches the Asian Leaders Talk—Asia’s humanitarian-centered equivalent of the TED Talks.
At a press conference held on July 27, 2016, the RMAF announced this year’s recipients of the award. These were:
Conchita Carpio-Morales, the incorruptible and dauntless ombudsman, from the Philippines.
Dompet Dhuafa, the zakat (islamic alms giving)-based philanthropist from Indonesia.
The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, immersive global aid workers, from Japan.
The Vientiane Rescue, volunteer urban first responders, from Laos.
Bezwada Wilson, the human rights campaigner for the dalit (untouchable) caste, from India.
Thobur Madabusi Krishna, for emergent leadership through inclusive, caste-defying music, from India.
At the same event, the RMAF launched the Asian Leaders Talk (ALT)—well-produced online video content freely available to the public that sources insights and learnings from the Ramon Magsaysay Awardees. These talks with acclaimed humanitarians take their inspiration from the highly successful TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Talks—conferences where luminaries share their insights on various topics that intersect technology, entertainment, and design.
Presented at the event was one such video featuring industrialist, SyCip Gorres Velayo & Company founder, philanthropist, and 1992 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Washington SyCip being interviewed by acclaimed investigative television journalist, Rappler editor-at-large, and former RMAF trustee Cheche Lazaro. SyCip shared his views and anecdotes on a range of topics, from education and poverty to traffic and Philippine democracy—some of it controversial, all of it insightful. In the video, SyCip opined that the Philippines lacked great leaders “because we are a Christian nation and we have democracy,” adding, “Every leader wanted a reduction in the population, but the Church completely opposes.” Both Lazaro and SyCip were on hand at the event.
The RMAF, conceived in 1957, the year Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay died tragically, has since been Asia’s highest honor.
For more information, visit http://www.rmaward.asia.