[Above, via LIFE, President Ramon Magsaysay with the First Lady Luz Banzon.] From Magsaysay’s first State of the Nation Address, delivered on January 25, 1954:
I must remind you of an all-important fact: that what we have set out to do can be realized only through concerted action and unity. More than ever, we must think, plan, and work as one, with only one supreme goal in mind—the promotion of the welfare and happiness of our people.
Perhaps you will say that the people are asking for a miracle. But they too performed no less than a miracle when in one great irresistible movement they dared every peril to preserve the right to have a government of their choice. Thus, they proved to the whole world, to our friends and enemies, that democracy has come of age in our land, that it has become truly and actively a part of the Filipino way of life.
We have pledged to enrich that life. We can do it. We must do it. With the aid of Divine Providence, we shall begin and continue the work until we shall have fulfilled the great promise that gave our people strength to prove themselves worthy of their heritage of freedom.