Aquino tapped into the huge well of public support for his parents, who are considered heroes for their role in ending the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Illustrious parents

His father, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, was shot dead in 1983 as he returned from exile to lead the pro-democracy movement. His mother, Corazon Aquino, took over his role and led a revolution against Marcos three year later, before serving as president.

She died last year, unleashing an outpouring of support for the family that persuaded him to run for the presidency.

Aquino has vowed to boost foreign investment, rein in wasteful government spending, improve the civil service and invest in education.

He admits that it will take more a single term in office to carry out the social transformation he envisages for the Philippines.

"But we are hoping to provide that impetus and momentum to carry over into the next administration," he said after the poll last month.