Benigno Aquino, the Philippines president, is set to meet Barack Obama, his US counterpart, in an attempt to garner more support from Washington as Manila's relationship with China becomes increasingly strained.
Tensions have escalated recently between the Philippines and its neighbour over territorial disputes in the south China sea.
Some left-wing groups have accused the Philippine government of over-blowing the conflict as a means to justify more US involvement in its domestic and regional affairs in a bid to contain China's growing influence.
The meeting comes as the Philippines military looks to the US for assistance in its modernisation plans, and Washington redeploys warships to the Asia Pacific region.
Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Manila.