OTTAWA, Canada, May 10 — President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the ceremonial tree planting at the grounds of Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor general of Canada, when he arrived here on Thursday. Governor General David Johnston and spouse Sharon, accompanied the president in planting a red spruce (Picea rubens) next to the red maple planted by his mother, former president Corazon Aquino in 1989. Aquino used the same spade used by his mother to heap soil on the base of his tree.
Witnesses of the ceremonial tree planting were members of President Aquino’s entourage including Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Arsenio Balisacan, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, and head of the Presidential Management Staff Julia Abad.
Former president Fidel Ramos planted an Ohio buckeye when he made his state visit to Canada in 1997.
Planting a tree on the grounds of Rideau Hall is a tradition carried out by heads of state, members of the Royal Family, and other dignitaries who visit the Canadian governor general’s official residence. The tradition began in 1906 and prominent guests who have planted their own trees include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II, and Japan’s Imperial Majesties Akihito and Michiko.
From Ottawa, President Aquino continued his visit to the cities of Toronto, then Vancouver during his three-day tour of Canada.