PNoy rubs elbows with world’s powerful men

FILIPINOS here and abroad must have been brimming with pride to see President Aquino rubbing elbows with world leaders at the recently-concluded APEC and ASEAN summit meetings in Hawaii, USA and in Bali, Indonesia, respectively.

No less than US President Barack Obama and his spouse, First Lady Michelle Obama, were photographed with President Aquino at the sideline of the APEC Summit.

Aquino was caught on camera conversing with Obama at a dinner table during the summit.  According to the 2011 Forbes List of Most Powerful Men and Women, Barack is No. 1 most powerful man in the world, while his wife, the 8th most powerful woman.

Then, back in Malacañang, Aquino met with the second most powerful woman in the world today, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton whom the Filipino nation has conferred the prestigious Order of Lakandula with a rank of Bayani.

In Bali, Indonesia, although he missed the chance at the traditional group photo during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit, Aquino was received by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono upon the former’s belated arrival.

Yudhoyono is one of the world’s most influential people in 2009 and head of world’s most Muslim population.

Tomorrow, he will receive South Korean President Lee Myungbak on the latter’s three-day state visit in the country.  Lee is head of the one of the most dynamic economies in the world today.

Although he has yet to make a dent in world affairs, Aquino has a share of world fame too.

Among Facebook users, Aquino was voted the 3rd most popular politician in the world with 1.5 million fans who “liked” his Facebook page, next only to President Obama and former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Locally, Aquino is considered to be one of the most popular, if not the most popular, Philippine presidents we ever had.

Beyond all these photo opportunities with world leaders, however, Aquino has more to show in world affairs.

The Filipino people yearn to see how Aquino can engage the world in healthy democratic discussion of issues relevant to regional and global affairs, not only in easing tensions in the disputed islands in the South China Sea but also, most importantly, in improving the lives of millions of Filipinos mired in poverty.

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