NEWTON, Massachusetts-He had a pretty neighbour but someone else in a flashy car picked her up one day. And that ended Noynoy Aquino's plans of asking her out on a date.
This was among the fond memories that President Aquino shared with friends who accompanied him to his family's former home in Newton on Monday morning (late Monday night in Manila).
Aquino brought a gift for Ione Malloy, the retired American schoolteacher who had bought the house more than a decade ago.
Mah-jongg, informal dinners
Dr. Mario Bucal, a good friend of the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. in Boston, also joined the President in his nostalgic return to the house that saw a lot of mah-jongg games and informal dinners.
The President spent some 30 minutes inside the house with his friends, Doctor Bucal and Malloy. It was a private meeting, which members of the media were not allowed to cover. Coverage of the visit was limited to a photo and video opportunity outside the house.
Aquino was overheard by Inquirer photographer Edwin Bacasmas sharing his stories with friends as they ambled on the sidewalk after emerging from the house.
The President said he shoveled the heavy snow on the sidewalk and their driveway, not an easy task considering the bitter winters in Massachusetts.
An elderly American couple, John Paul and Rebecca Valette, patiently waited for Aquino outside the house. And when he got near them, Rebecca introduced herself as the Aquinos' neighbours and pointed to him where they lived.
The anecdote on the "cute neighbour," as Bacasmas heard from one of the President's friends, was the closest one got in satisfying the curiosity about whether Aquino dated anyone while in Boston.
At 54, the President remains a bachelor.
Going to No. 175 Commonwealth Avenue on Chestnut Hill, an affluent neighborhood in this town, was perhaps the highlight of the President's homecoming to Boston since returning to the Philippines in 1983 to bury his slain father.