Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks on Arrival at Manila, the Philippines

December 06, 1975

Mr. President, Mrs. Marcos:

I thank you very kindly for the especially warm welcome that you have extended to me and Mrs. Ford and to the American people. I have long looked forward to visiting this beautiful country, which is renowned throughout the world for its warm hospitality.

After your more than generous remarks, I now see that all these forecasts are accurate and totally true.

I find it very significant that this visit to the Pacific nations should conclude here in the Philippines, among some of my country's best and oldest Asian friends. Our two countries, Mr. President, have shared a unique history--a unique history together both in times of peace and in times of dire adversity.

The years of common history which bind us together provide a unique relationship of deep understanding and of deep trust which survives the test of time. I am confident that that relationship will continue for many, many years to come.

The past decade, Mr. President, has seen remarkable changes in the world around us, yet that relationship between our two countries has deepened and matured.

We meet today as sovereign nations, each with its own pride and with its own independence. We meet as friends who have known what it is to fight shoulder to shoulder for common ideals.

The days ahead, Mr. President, hold great challenges for our two countries and also great promise. Your country is already moving out and exploring new horizons, both in Asia and elsewhere.

Mr. President, I look forward to the opportunity of discussing with you freely and very frankly the many and varied relationships between our two countries, as well as to the future of Asia.

Thank you again, Mr. President, and to the Philippine people for your especially generous and warm welcome. May I add from the American people to the people of the Philippines--Mabuhay [Best wishes].

Note: The President spoke at approximately 4:30 p.m. at Manila International Airport in response to the welcoming remarks of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos. President Marcos spoke as follows:

President and Mrs. Ford, their daughter Susan, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

We are indeed happy and honored that the President of the United States and his lady and their daughter have been able to pay a visit with us. And they come to Manila in the course of a long journey that has brought them to two of the most important capitals of this region of the world--Peking and Djakarta.

Mr. President, that you have come to Asia during this, one of the most eventful periods of our history and of your country, demonstrates the urgency of your concern and the quality of your present undertaking.

The relations between our two countries are old and tested by time and events. Perceptions may change, but these relations have remained. The Philippines considers the United States its strongest ally. It will so remain for a long time to come.

The world may be in a state of flux, and new realities may present new challenges, new opportunities. In Asia today, Asian nations ask questions that require and demand intelligent answers.

We have watched as you, Mr. President, from the assumption of the Presidency of your great country, sought to set the course of American diplomacy in a world of change, disruptive change. And we have cheered from the sidelines as you sought genuinely to expand the domains of peace.

This visit to Asia is in this direction. It therefore occasions many expectations. As we remark these dramatic changes, not only in Asia but throughout the world, we cannot but observe that certainly America's Pacific destiny is inextricably linked with these changes.

As we look around the world, we see that it is the destiny of America that while she alone may be unable to solve all the problems of the world, there is no serious problem of the world that can be solved without America.

This is the burden that is borne by the American people, and this is the weight of responsibility that is on the shoulders of their President.

So, today, Mr. President, you come to a country that is prepared to meet you with affection. In the past, our relations have been marked with candor and with generosity of spirit, as well as of the mind. As we seek to reassess these relations in accordance with the conditions and the temper of the times, we shall need this same candor and this generosity of the spirit and of the mind, for our two countries are partners that have seen the growth of productive, cooperative undertakings, and which has allowed America to maintain a concentration of the greatest naval and aerial power in this part of the world.

This partnership has served the Pacific and Asia well, but there are new realities in the world. And these new realities pose challenges and opportunities not only to all peoples but especially to our two countries.

Our two countries seek new solutions to new problems--yours as a great power, and ours as a small developing country, but an independent and free country nonetheless. And we, too, seek an authentic role in the future.

Mr. President, I have great faith in the future of our relations. On behalf of our people, I say we have great confidence that you shall share with us your wisdom and fill our minds with understanding.

Once again, I say with affection, we extend you warm welcome.


Gerald R. Ford, Remarks on Arrival at Manila, the Philippines Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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