The awardees came from different parts of Asia, each recognized for their contributions to the advancement of their respective communities. Antonio Oposa Jr., the sole Filipino awardee this year, was given the award for his work to protect the country's environmental resources. [See: Magsaysay Award goes green: 4 Earth activists get awards]
The recognition is conferred annually on the 31st of August, the day when the former Philippine president was born.
The other recipients were Thailand's Krisana Kraisintu, China's Yu Xiaogang and Ma Jun, India's Deep Joshi and Burma's Ka Hsaw Wa.
All of this year's awardees emphasized that true reform in a country can only be achieved through the active participation of its citizens. Civil society, as they would all agree, is an essential for the change everyone wants to see.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, in his congratulatory speech, credited the six awardees for having the six 'secrets of leadership,' which he identified as conviction, selflessness, science, commitment, sustainability and faith. "Many recognize a wrong," he said, "but only a few resolve to correct it," referring to this year's Magsaysay award recipients.
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation Chair, shared a similar view. He commended the awardees for their "actions both daring and altruistic," affirming that the "world can be fixed, wrongs can be righted, one hero at a time."
The awardees received a certificate and medal bearing the likeness of President Ramon Magsaysay, with a cash award which amounts to around US $ 50,000.
Tribute to Cory
Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, given the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1998, was offered a tribute during the ceremonies. Fellow Magsaysay awardee Gilopez Kabayao personally offered to present his... [continues]
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