The Peace-Time Era (1957-1965)
President Ramon Magsaysay died on March 17, 1957 when his presidential
plane "Mount Pinatubo"crashed in Mount Manunggal, Cebu. Of the 26 passengers
and crew on board, only the popular newspaperman Nestor Mata survived. Due to
his immense popularity, his untimely death grieved the entire nation, about two
million people attended his burial. He was succeeded by Carlos P. Garcia, then
his vice-president, as the 8th president of the country.
Garcia won the presidential election, with Diosdado Macapagal as vice-president,
later that year. Garcia's administration popularized its Filipino First policy where
the interests of the Filipinos were put ahead of the foreign interests.
President Dwight Eisenhower visited the Philippines on June 12, 1960 and met
with President Garcia. Eisenhower became the first incumbent U.S. president to
make a state visit to the country.
Diosdado Macapagal was elected president, defeating Carlos Garcia's bid for
re-election. Macapagal was the country's 9th president. Under his administration,
the country sought closer relations with the neighboring countries of Malaysia and
Macapagal issued presidential Proclamation No. 28 on May 17, 1962 directing
Congress to enact a law declaring June 12 as Independence Day. General Emilio
Aguinaldo, who first proclaimed the Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898,
was the guest of honor during the June 12, 1962 Independence Day celebration.
Macapagal signed Republic Act No. 4166 on August 4, 1964 declaring June 12 as
Independence Day, and July 4th the Philippine Republic Day (now know as the
Philippine-American friendship Day.) The Act switching the Independence Day
from July 4th to June 12 was authored by Senator Ramon Mitra, Sr.
Diosdado Macapagal run for re-election, and was defeated by Ferdinand Marcos,
his former party-mate at the Liberal Party. Marcos switched party affiliation to the
Nacionalista Party so that he can be its standard bearer in the presidential