Manila – Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala began an official two-day visit Wednesday to the Philippines, where she will meet with President Benigno Aquino and other officials in Manila.
Zavala, the wife of President Felipe Calderon, began her visit by placing a wreath on the tomb of the Philippine head of state's parents, former President Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino, a pro-democracy leader killed in 1983 during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, the Foreign Ministry said.
The Mexican first lady then went to the Malacañang presidential palace, where she was welcomed by President Aquino at an official reception.
Zavala will attend a dinner in her honor hosted by Foreign Minister Albert de Rosario, other high-level government officials and lawmakers.
Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Tomas Calvillo is also hosting a reception for the first lady.
Zavala is scheduled to visit the Nayong Kabataan children's center and to meet with Social Welfare Minister Corazon Soliman, Health Minister Enrique Ona and Education Minister Armin Luistro on Thursday.
The first lady plans to discuss the plans developed by the Mexican government to improve the protection of needy children and prevent drug abuse, Mexican diplomats said.
Soliman and Luistro are scheduled to visit Mexico on May 30 and June 3, respectively, of next year.
Zavala's visit will end with a gala dinner organized by Sen. Edgardo Angara at which the commemorative "Day of the Galleon" stamps will be officially issued.
Day of the Galleon, which is celebrated on Oct. 8, marks the voyages made from Acapulco to Manila by the Spanish vessels that plied the trade routes with the Philippines.