HomeInternational Journal on Social Innovation & Researchvol. 6 no. 1 (2013)

The Foreign Policy of President Ferdinand Marcos: From Traditionalism to Realism

Archie B. Resos

Discipline: Political Science



Since its attainment of independence in 1946, the Philippines has conducted its foreign policy in close alliance with the United States of America. This reflects the neocolonial status of the country whose foreign policy, according to Senator Claro M. Recto, has assumed a “mendicant” posture characterized by a patron-client relationship. He exposed the bankruptcy of such a relationship and espoused the independence of the country’s foreign policy anchored on the realistic pursuit of national interest. Claro M. Recto said the closeness of the country’s foreign policy to that of the United States was evident from President Manuel Roxas’ term of office in 1946 to President Diosdado Macapagal’s. Among the presidents of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos had the longest term of office – 21years, from 1965 until his eventual downfall through the EDSA People Power I Revolution in 1986. He played a decisive role in shaping Philippine diplomatic history to assume an independent posture, veering away from traditionalism to realism. As president, he commanded immense powers as he was in charge of the courses of action that foreign policy should undertake in pursuant of the national interest. He thus directed the country’s foreign policy to enhance economic and socio-cultural aspects of national life with great independence. Marcos went beyond traditional diplomacy that was solely characterized by diplomatic dependence on the United States as he vigorously pursued Asian regionalism and diplomatic relations with Third World countries, Middle Eastern countries and Socialist nations–all in pursuit of the country’s national interest.