Palace says PNoy-Lee 'romance' may help boost tourism

Posted at 02/10/12 2:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang believes that the blossoming romance between President Benigno Aquino III and Korean television and radio personality Grace Lee would attract more Korean tourists to the country.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the "development" between Aquino and Lee would "add interest" among Koreans.

"Certainly, we would hope so," Lacierda said.

"But remember, Korea and the Philippines have enjoyed a warm friendship and during the past few years, they have been sending their students here to study English. This new matter, development between the President [and Lee] would certainly add interest from the Korean visitors," he added.

Lee, 29, has said that her family is not bothered by the attention they are getting after Aquino admitted that he is seeing her. The President turned 52 on Wednesday.

"I don't feel the pressure but I'm learning my lesson as I go along," she said in an interview.

South Korean products, from food and makeup to K-pop acts and television shows, are fast gaining popularity in the Philippines -- With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News