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Trudeau: I’ve absolutely adored my stay in PH

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Trudeau: I’ve absolutely adored my stay in PH

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a plenary session at the APEC Summit in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a plenary session at the APEC Summit in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Described in some polls as the “sexiest man in the free world” and on social media as an Apec hottie, Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived for his press briefing at the World Trade Center in Manila like a rock star.

Trudeau was met by shrieking fans, staff and journalists at the International Media Center when he arrived early Thursday evening, easily upstaging President Aquino who had earlier wrapped up the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit of world leaders in Manila.

“This is something,” a bewildered Canadian television reporter said of the frenzy surrounding Trudeau’s arrival.

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“What happened here tonight is (a) first,” said Luigi Della Penta, a cameraman for Canada’s Global Television, adding that things were different back in Canada, and that it was only in the Philippines where Trudeau was received with such adulation.

For the 43-year-old official, the feeling was mutual.

“I have absolutely adored my stay in the Philippines,” Trudeau said. “Everyone has been tremendously friendly and, for me, it was an opportunity to engage with a culture that I’ve gotten to know very well in Canada.”

In his press briefing, the prime minister cited his interaction with the Filipino community in Canada,  more than 700,000 of them tracing their roots to the Philippines.

“The ties that bind our countries together are very strong,” Trudeau said.

“So for me to be able to be here and see (the) beautiful and welcoming country so many of my fellow Canadian citizens call home or original home, is a real pleasure,” he added.

While the Canadian leader deftly answered questions on terrorism, climate change and trade, among other serious issues, he could not escape queries on his reaction to the Filipinos’ seeming fixation over his good looks, which led netizens to describe him as an Apec hottie along with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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“I’m pleased that Canada’s getting a little more attention right now, because it gives us an opportunity to highlight issues that affect us,” Trudeau said.

At the same time, he added, he was able to separate himself from people’s perceptions of him, having grown up in the public eye as the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

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TAGS: Apec 2015, Canada, Features, Global Nation, Justin Trudeau
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