The Ramon Magsaysay awards are regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize.
The awards are named after a popular Philippine president, Ramon Magsaysay, who died in a 1957 plane crash and honour “greatness of spirit in selfless service to the peoples of Asia.
Ramon Magsaysay was the third president of the Republic of the Philippines after World War II.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation awards Asian individuals achieving excellence in their respective fields and have been known to help others generously without anticipating public recognition.
The awards were traditionally given in five categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature, and creative communication arts; and peace and international understanding. 5 of these, however, were discontinued post 2009.
The more than 330 awardees so far had included leaders like the late President Corazon Aquino, an icon of nonviolent democratic struggle across the world, and Mother Teresa, who has been honored in the Catholic church as Saint Teresa and known globally for her missionary work for the poorest of the poor.