The young man, Fidel Valdez Ramos, born and raised in the province of Pangasinan and the capital, Manila, enjoyed a childhood enriched by the example of several generations of early nationalists in his immediate family. This section on the early years of the future President Ramos describes an upbringing that encouraged voracious reading, interest in the world, academic excellence, athleticism, proclivity to public service in a nation being constructed as a democracy, the Protestant ethos, and raw examples of courage. His grandfather fought in the Philippine Revolution against Spain, and his father actively supported the guerilla movement against the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War. As a teenager, the young Fidel contributed to the guerilla cause by taking on data-gathering duties, work which initiated him to the field of military intelligence. The war and its nearly total destruction of Manila sharpened the high school graduate’s recognition that reconstruction will need engineers and professionally trained soldiers. Accepted at the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was to graduate and immediately move on to a masteral civil engineering degree at the University of Illinois. Back home, he married Amelita Jara Martinez, who was as athletic and professional as he, and the child of a family of educated achievers such as his own. He began raising a family of five daughters, with a wife who was to maintain her course as an academic throughout her life, and who took on a co-breadwinner role with a husband whose soldier’s income would not provide for a comfortable existence. It was a family life that involved long periods when the soldier and engineer would locate to various battle fronts, starting with his assignment to the Korean War of the 1950s.
L-R back row: Alfonso DaRodda, Josephine Ramos (+), Carolina Ramos, Angelita Ramos, Fidel V. Ramos, Amelita M. Ramos, Cristina Ramos, Aldo DaRodda,
Donna DaRodda, Danila DaRodda, Dante DaRodda
L-R front row: Chanda Shahani, Leticia R. Shahani, Angela V. Ramos, Narciso R. Ramos, Gloria R. DaRodda with infant Margie Ramos, Ranjit Shahani
Front: Lila Shahani.
The children-in-law, and grandchildren of Narciso and Angela Ramos pose for posterity.
Ramos family archives