In California, he played video games at HP headquarters, ate In-and-Out burgers, and stayed in the Hotel Sofitel,slightly less regal accommodations than the Waldorf Astoria while in New York.
But nothing says you’re a regular Filipino guy like what you do on Sunday and on Sunday, Benigno Aquino III, AKA “NoyNoy,” which has morphed into “P-Noy,” was at mass in San Francisco with hundreds of American Filipino community members.
“Please pray for me and our nation, “ Aquino asked the mass goers at the Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco’s Mission district. “If united, nothing is impossible for us to achieve.”
It was the final touch to a U.S. trip that included key meetings at the UN, another with ASEAN leaders meeting co-chaired by President Barack Obama, and talks with U.S. business interests including Citibank.
Aquino said despite the costs of the trip, it had been worth it, returning to Manila with $2.7 billion in investment and aid commitments to the Philippines.
Still, that’s relatively small compared to the nearly $20 billion overseas Filipinos working in the U.S. and around the world send back to the Philippines each year, roughly 10 percent of the Philippines gross domestic product.
Aquino’s trip had had come under criticism as being a distraction from the more pressing domestic reforms he faces in the Philippines. But he stressed that the trip had reaped benefits for the country, as well as reassure American Filipinos the country was moving in the right direction.
COMING: Why American Filipinos care what happens in the Philippines.