I am deeply gratified by the honor that the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation has bestowed upon me. This award is known to me because it bears the name of the illustrious late president of the Philippines, who was concerned about the well-being of his countrymen and worked with courage all his life toward his goal of bettering their condition. Since 1958 the award has been given to people and organi-zations in Asia that render service to mankind in many ways.
It is the duty, and also the highest aspiration, of a Thai to take part in any work aiming at the development and prosperity of our beloved country, Thailand, and to help our less fortunate compatriots have a better life. As Thailand progresses toward the twenty-first century, the role of the monarchy still retains many traditional aspects. The one that I find very important is that the king and queen are considered as parents of the people: Their Majesties must take good care of all their children. My siblings and I have been brought up on this principle as part of our dual role of Thai citizen and member of the royal family.
My parents paid a state visit here in 1963. Since that time I have learned much about your beautiful and interesting country, and about the close ties and cooperation between the Philippines and Thailand in the political, economic, technical, and cultural fields. The kind invita-tion of your government enables me to come to see and learn more. My visit to various places and meeting distinguished people during this trip are, for me, valuable experiences that help widen my worldview. The Award of the RMAF assures me that I am on the right track. This generous gesture gives me willpower to improve the efficiency of my work. Please accept my heartfelt thanks.
As for the cash component of the Magsaysay Award I have just received, I would like to offer it as a token of admiration to the Philip-pine government for its efforts to help its people recover from the devastating effects of the recent volcanic eruption as well as other natural calamities. It is a good chance for me to associate myself, my relatives, and my friends from Thailand with the monumental responsi-bilities you are now shouldering.
Again I would like to express my sincere thanks to Her Excellency the President, the Philippine government, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation for the hospitality you have extended me during my first visit to this friendly country—which is also a close partner of ours in ASEAN. Mabuhay and Maraming Salamat!