In the fields of culture and tourism, President Ramos began and ended his presidency with a sharpened sense of the historically momentous centennial of the proclamation of Philippine independence in 1998. The work of the Philippine Centennial Commission in museum and cultural program design and roll-out was to be the Ramos’ Administration’s unusual contribution to governance: a profound appreciation of history in nation-building. In the same vein, the President deployed the diplomatic form of the state visit as a core instrument for economic recovery. “Team Philippines,” his cohort of experts in cabinet and allies in the private sector, reversed the Philippines’ global reputation as an economic backwater. Together they achieved President Ramos’ ambition to become an Asian “Tiger Cub” before the end of his term. This team’s effort at the diplomatic front contributed to a robust ASEAN market; the creation of the East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) among other cross-national market zones to pump-prime previously neglected Philippine regions; and pivotal interventions in APEC and the Asia-Europe Meeting Agendas. The accounts in this section also cover President Ramos’ life after his presidency and at the end of a sterling career as a soldier and engineer. He remained, in his own words, “the best salesman for the Philippines.” In the contemporary and hindsight view of observers of Philippine and ASEAN politics, President Ramos built a legacy of good governance, indeed defining the term for his time: people empowerment and global competitiveness. His loyalty to Constitutional order gave him a clear moral compass.
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