Former president Fidel Valdez Ramos was laid to rest on Tuesday, Aug. 9, following a state funeral that was accorded a leader of the country for the first time in 25 years.
The vicinity of The Heritage Memorial Park and the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City was filled by families, friends, loved ones and supporters of Ramos who bid their farewell to the country’s 12th president.
The hearse carrying Ramos’ cremated remains left The Heritage Memorial Park at around 10:15 a.m. after a private mass. It passed through Bayani Road, where white-clad supporters waved small Philippine flags and flaglets bearing the late leader’s image, before it arrived at the Libingan ng mga Bayani at exactly 10:31 a.m.
A slow-moving funeral march was accorded by battalion-sized honor guards.
They were joined by the Ramos family, led by former first lady Amelita “Ming” Ramos.
Upon his family’s request, Ramos’ urn was placed inside a casket by his grandson CJ Sembrano. This was draped by the Philippine flag. Before Ramos’ inurnment, the trifold flag was presented to the former first lady Amelita “Ming” Ramos by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
From the arrival at the Libingan, the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) occasionally played the “Nearer My God To Thee” until Ramos was laid to rest at a 100-meter plot located beside that of the country’s sixth president Elpidio Quirino.
The band also played “Maalalaala Mo Kaya”, Ramos’ favorite song, which was also sang by Filipino-Spanish operatic Soprano Andion Fernandez on the last night of his wake.
After a brief offering of flowers by Ramos’ relatives, former associates, friends, and supporters, the tomb was sealed at exactly 11:43 a.m., a white slab and a simple cross marking the grave of one of the country’s most beloved leaders.
“Mahirap ang buhay sa military. Pero kinaya namin… Maraming salamat sa tulong ninyo. At sabi nya (Ramos): ‘Kaya natin ito’… Kaya ba natin? (Life in the military was hard. But we were able to handle it. Thank you so much. He also said: ‘We could do this.’ Can we do this?),” Mrs Ramos told mourners and supporters in her parting remark.
Ramos was given a state funeral with full military honors. According to the Presidential Museum and Library, the last state funeral for a Philippine president was held for Diosdado Macapagal in 1997.
Former presidents Corazon Aquino and her son Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino were the two other leaders who recently died. But their family declined Malacañang’s offer to give them a state funeral in 2009 and 2021, respectively.
Ramos, also called “FVR,” was the Philippines’ 12th president. He was a former military who formed a breakaway group from and against then President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. during his dictatorship.
Ramos died on July 31 at the age of 94 due to complications from Covid-19.