Former President Fidel V. Ramos was laid to rest on Tuesday, leaving behind a legacy of prolific military and public service that helped the country achieve economic and social stability during his six years in office.
Ramos, more popularly known by his initials FVR, died on July 31 at the age of 94, more than two decades after he left the presidency from 1992 to 1998 that primed the Philippines as one of Southeast Asia's rising economic tigers.
The urn containing Ramos' remains was laid at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, where a state funeral with full military honors was given to him.
The late president's family, friends, and government officials attended the state funeral, led by his widow, former First Lady Amelita Ramos. President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was also at the ceremony.
"Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat sa tulong ninyo. Alam niyo, mahirap ang buhay sa military pero kinaya namin. Tumulong si President Ramos, kayang-kaya niya and he was able to raise five daughters, eight grandsons and five granddaughters," the former first lady said.
"Mahirap mag-adjust. Dalawang taon nasa bahay, dalawang taon nasa probinsya. Tapos nag-volunteer pa siya dalawang taon sa Vietnam. Kaya maraming salamat sa tulong ninyo at sabi niya, kaya natin ito," she added.
Ramos is regarded as a visionary, putting the catchphrase "Philippines 2000" in the national consciousness. However, the Asian financial crisis happened in 1997 and the Philippines would not regain footing until years later.
Starting his career in the military service, he became the chief of the Philippine Constabulary, the precursor of the Philippine National Police, and vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
His defection from the Marcos administration in 1986, however, strengthened the People Power against the late strongman and helped catapult former President Corazon Aquino to power.
Ramos' iconic victory jump upon learning that the Marcos family had fled to Hawaii on Feb. 25, 1986 became one of the defining moments of the EDSA revolution, which he had reenacted for many years since to commemorate the bloodless uprising.
To his family, Ramos was a "very warm and funny" grandfather, one who let his grandchildren pursue their own career paths even outside military and public service.
"One of the things he would repeat often to us is that there are so many ways to serve your country, there are so many ways to serve your community, and ultimately that's more important than any role or title," said Sam Ramos-Jones, the late president's grandson.
Ramos was among the most vocal of the former presidents when it comes to national issues, often offering advice to incumbents. As the years passed, his regular public appearance would be the annual anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolt.
In 2018, during the 32nd anniversary of the 1986 uprising, Ramos rallied Filipinos to keep the values of EDSA alive and burning.
"Don't forget what we learned at EDSA that is still going on is the unity of the Filipinos for a better future," he said during his speech.
"Walang Ilokano, walang Tagalog, walang Dabaweño, walang Cebuano, walang Ilonggo. Lahat tayo Pilipino, yun ang gusto kong sabihin," he added.