She was born on September 30, 1929 in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Her father, Narciso Ramos (1900–1986), was a lawyer, crusading journalist and five-term legislator at the House of Representatives, who eventually became Secretary of Foreign Affairs. As such, Narciso Ramos was the Philippine signatory to the ASEAN declaration forged in Bangkok in 1967 and was one of the founder of the Liberal Party. He was of the Ramos clan that has roots in Asingan, Pangasinan.
Her mother, Ángela Valdez-Ramos (1905–1977), was an educator, suffragette and daughter of the prominent Valdez clan of Batac, Ilocos Norte, making her a second degree cousin of Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th President of the Philippines.
Ramos-Shahani finished her elementary and secondary level education at the University of the Philippines. She finished her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and her master's degree in Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) after defending her doctoral thesis with highest honors.
She was a former Dean of the Graduate School of Lyceum of the Philippines. She taught English Literature, French, Spanish, Comparative Literature, Humanities, Social Psychology and others. She was former member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines from 1954 to 1957, Queens Borough Community College, New York in 1961, Brooklyn College, New York in 1962 and New School for Social Research, New York from 1962 to 1967.
She was also the former Dean of the College of International, Humanitarian, and Development Studies of Miriam College.
After passing the Philippine Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Examination, she held various high positions such as Ambassador to Australia from 1981 to 1986; Secretary-General of the World Conference on the UN Decade of Women in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985. She became the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs. Ramos-Shahani left her UN post and returned to the Philippines, where in 1987 she was elected a Senator and became the Deputy Minister for Philippine Affairs after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. She rose to the post of Senate President Pro-Tempore under the rule of her brother Fidel.
During her term in Senate, Ramos-Shahani was the Chair of various committees like committee on Foreign Affairs, committee on Education, Culture and Arts, committee on Agriculture and member of the Commission on Appointments.
Family and later life
Ramos-Shahani was married to the late Indian citizen professor and writer Dr. Ranjee Gurdassing Shahani, PhD (b.1904 to d.1968), whose father had roots in Sindh province (currently in Pakistan) of undivided India, and was forced to migrate to India after 1947 Partition of India. Together they had three children, two sons and a daughter, eldest son Ranjit, daughter Lila and youngest son Chanda. Ranjit Ramos Shahani is the former youngest Pangasinan Vice Governor 1990-95, Pangasinan district board member 2010-2016 and Board of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office 2017 onwards (de facto Philippine Embassy to Taiwan) member. Lila Ramos Shahani is the former Assistant Secretary at the National Anti-Poverty Commission 2010-2012, former Head of Communications of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster 2010-2016 and current General Secretary of Philippines National Commission for UNESCO appointed in 2016. Son Chanda Narciso Ramos Shahani is the real estate and organic food businessman.
Ramos-Shahani was rushed to the intensive care unit of St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig for pneumonia after suffering from Stage 4 colorectal cancer. She died there on March 20, 2017 at 02:40 PHT (UTC+8), at the age of 87.
|Ancestors of Leticia Ramos-Shahani|