Philippine Star

24 October 2012 - Philippine Star

Auckland, New Zealand – Whatever his critics may say, Benigno Simeon Aquino III has become a “brand name” as far as the international community is concerned. In fact, the President’s nickname of “Noynoy” elicits instant recall with foreigners who are eager to meet the young Filipino president. Obviously, PNoy has established his own identity after being initially known as “the son” of his famous parents Ninoy and Cory Aquino – something which obviously gives him a distinct advantage wherever and whenever he travels.

The five-day state visit of President Noy to New Zealand and Australia is packed with activities, and one of the first things on his schedule was the meeting with the Filipino community at the Grand Convention Center yesterday. An estimated 40,000 Filipinos are now based in New Zealand, with many of them traveling to Auckland over the weekend just to attend the meeting with the President. From where we sat, PNoy’s communications skills have become better, delivering his speech extemporaneously without any notes or a teleprompter. The President cracked a number of “classic” jokes which the Filipino-New Zealander audience loved. “Ang problema sa atin, ang mga nang-aabuso sa gobyerno – ang baka ginagatasan na, gusto pa gawin bulalo,” the President joked, to which the audience laughed heartily.

Auckland, considered the economic capital of New Zealand, has been named as one of the world’s 10 Most Livable Cities both by the Economist and the London-based Monocle Magazine. Nicknamed the “City of Sails” on account of the yachts dotting its harbor, Auckland was also heralded as Australasia’s top tourism destination by the World Travel Awards – and will have the chance to compete for the global title during the World Travel Award finals (described as the “Oscars” of the global travel and tourism industry by the Wall Street Journal) scheduled in New Delhi this December.

Source: Philippine Star

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