DOWNTOWN — Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III is scheduled to visit Chicago Wednesday.
Still nursing bruised hopes from the loss by boxer Manny Pacquiao to Floyd Mayweather on Saturday, Chicago Filipinos are getting ready to welcome Aquino, who will address the community at the J.W. Marriott hotel, 151 W. Adams St., at 7 p.m.
“We are all ecstatic and grateful that he is finally going to come to Chicago as president of the Philippines before his tenure ends,” said Dr. Ramon Lopez, president of the Philippine Medical Association in Chicago.
Business owners held a conference April 30 at Northeastern Illinois University featuring not-for-profit small businesses, inviting businesses to invest in the Philippines' growing economy.
Accountant Edilberto Ortiz said he is eager to learn the president's future economic plans.
“We feel like we have a good government now, but is that going to be continued after his term expires in 2016? That’s the biggest question we want to him to answer,” he said.
Aquino, known by his nickname Noynoy, is the son of the late Corazon Aquino — the Philippines' first female president and wife of former Sen. Ninoy Aquino Jr., the popular opponent of President Ferdinand Marcos.
Noynoy followed his parents' lead in politics to become president in 2010. This is his first visit to Chicago before his term ends in 2016.
Aquino hosted President Barack Obama when he visited the Philippines on a two-day state visit April 28 and 29, 2014.
Chicago is a main destination for past Philippine presidents. The Filipino community here has met with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, herself a daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal, Marcos' predecessor; and President Joseph Estrada, Macapagal-Arroyo's predecessor.
After Chicago, Aquino will travel to Canada for a visit there from May 7-9.
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