TIME Magazine Covers: Meet the 8 Filipinos Who Made It

TIME Magazine Covers: Meet the 8 Filipinos Who Made It

It is not everyday that a Filipino takes the world's centerstage and attract an international audience. This month, M2.0 shares with you the 8 Filipinos who were cover worthy for Time.

Without further ado, here’s a list of 8 Filipinos who made it to the cover of Time Magazine.

1. Manuel L. Quezon | TIME Weekly | November 25, 1935


Manuel Luis M. Quezon is the First Filipino to grace the cover of TIME Magazine on its November 25, 1935 weekly issue. Ten days prior, Pres. Manuel L. Quezon took the oath as the president of the Commonwealth government. The cover story described him: “..in the past 30 years Manuel Quezon has given his countrymen an exhibition of straddling, transference and political gymnastics which, if performed on horseback, would make him the wonder of the equestrian world.”

The “White Man’s Burden” or the notion that it is the White’s responsibility to propagate civilized society among his “little, brown brother was still evident at this age and time. President Quezon was even called “..small, brown Manuel” by the article.


2. Manuel Roxas | TIME Weekly | July 8, 1946

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by  Philippine Presidential Museum and Library

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by Philippine Presidential Museum and Library


The 2nd Filipino who made it on the cover of Time Magazine is Manuel Roxas. After serving as the 3rd and last president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from  May 28, 1946 to July 4, 1946, he was subsequently sworn into office as the first President of the new Republic. The Time magazine issue with Roxas on the cover and a line that read 'Freedom's Word Was Made Good' was published on July 8, 1946, or 4 days after his inauguration at the Luneta Park, coinciding with the celebration of the newly acquired sovereignty of the Philippine Republic.



3. Ramon Magsaysay | TIME Weekly | Nov. 26, 1951

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by  Unknown

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by Unknown


Only rarely does a cabinet member overshadow the President. But that was the case when Secretary of National Defense, Ramon Magsaysay when he became the featured cover story in November 1951. Dubbed as the  "Cleanup Man", the future President Ramon Magsaysay was among the world leaders in 1951 who landed the cover of Time Magazine. The list included some of the world’s great leaders such as Winston Churchill of UK, King Farouk of Egypt and President Dwight Eisenhower of US.

According to the magazine, "tough-minded, energetic political pinwheel named Ramon Magsaysay," took for himself the responsibility of keeping the election clean and free from rebel's intrusion. His stern and tough mind has gained him popular support both from the masses and from his boss as he was quoted saying: "When I've decided to punish someone who deserves to be punished, nobody can stop me. Nobody! I will send my own father to jail if he breaks the law."


4. Ferdinand Marcos | TIME Weekly Oct. 21 1966

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by  Bluemask

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by Bluemask


President Ferdinand Marcos was featured on the cover of the 1966 issue of TIME magazine with a cover story that celebrates the “Freest Democracy” in Asia which he later on suppressed under a 2-decade dictatorship. The cover story praises then 49-year old Pres. Marcos  as the one who "has taken significant steps toward providing the Philippines with the dynamic, selfless leadership it needs to cope with the Southeast Asian burdens of poverty, lawlessness, Communist insurgency and —most importantly—the quest for national identity after centuries of colonial occupation."

This TIME issue related the many magnificent stories about Marcos' life for the American and European audience: his extraordinary intellect, his guerilla experience in World War II and his successful political life. And it would be safe to say that it put Marcos on the grid of world politics.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by  JO2 ROGER DUTCHER

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by JO2 ROGER DUTCHER


Just a few months after “leading a democratic revolution that captured the world’s imagination,” Corazon Aquino graced the cover of TIME magazine as 1987’s Woman of the Year. Recognizing a woman as the Person of the Year was a rare distinction.  The Queen of England and Wallis Simpson--wife of the former King of England, were the only ladies who previously earned the title. Furthermore, it took 29 years for another woman, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to grace the magazine’s cover again.

Pico Iyer who wrote the cover piece said: “Aquino's revolution with a human face was no less a triumph for women the world over. The person known as the "Mother of the Nation" managed to lead a revolt and rule a republic without ever relinquishing her buoyant calm or her gift for making politics and humanity companionable. In a nation dominated for decades by a militant brand of macho politics, she conquered with tranquillity and grace.”


6. Chin-chin Gutierrez | TIME Magazine Asia  | 2003

Image source:  Chin-Chin Gutierrez

Image source: Chin-Chin Gutierrez


Internationally acclaimed actress and environment advocate, Chin Chin Gutierrez was the face of 2003 TIME Magazine Special issue for Asian Heroes: "Asian Heroes: They Made a Difference As They Made Us Proud." She was named among other Asian icons like John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono, classical cellist Yo-yo Ma, and NBA Star Yao Ming. According to TIME, Chinchin was chosen for "using her fame to spread a message often ignored in the Philippines: there are natural resources aside from beauty and talent..."

When asked about her reaction for being chosen as TIME's cover, she said, "It's a great honor, of course. And beyond feelings of personal accomplishment, I take it as an affirmation that caring for the natural world is important. It is quite apt because in saving the environment for our children, time is of the essence."


7. Manny Pacquiao | TIME Magazine Asia | 2009

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by  inboundpass

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by inboundpass


2009 was the year when pound for pound boxer Manny Pacquiao both graced the cover of TIME Magazine Asia and got listed in TIME 100. He is the 10th boxer to be featured in the Magazine standing along the ranks of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson. The magazine saw in him as the "hope" for the lost grandeur of boxing as a sport, which also explains s why his cover story was entitled The Great Hope.

Manny holds an incomparable influence, charisma and connection to the Filipino masses which TIME compared to that of Nelson Mandela for the South Africans. Such was his popularity that the cover story noted that he has a “myth of origin equal to that of any Greek or Roman hero.”


8. Rodrigo Duterte | 2017 Time's Most Influential Person| TIME Magazine Asia 2016

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by  Ervin1118

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by Ervin1118


In April 2017, President Rodrigo won the worldwide poll for TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the world, beating Pope Francis, President Trump of US, Xi Jin Ping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia. Covering for Duterte’s poll victory, ex-Colombian President, Cesar Gaviria who “discovered that the war was unwinnable and the human costs were devastating,” repines for the campaign which has resulted to thousands of deaths. The Palace responded to this distinction: “With or without the distinction, the president continues to be a hardworking government worker and faithful servant of the Filipino people,”.

Previously, the President was also featured on the May 23, 2016 cover of TIME Magazine Asia and was dubbed as the Punisher--a comical sobriquet for his War on Drugs campaign.


Did you find this list informative? Got other interesting insights to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.