05/07/2015 06:25 EDT | Updated 05/07/2016 05:59 EDT

Aquino takes part in ceremonial tree planting with a family connection

OTTAWA - Philippine President Benigno Aquino is literally following in his mother's footsteps during his first state visit to Canada.

He planted a tree today on the grounds of the Governor General's official estate — just a few metres away from a tree planted by his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, during her state visit in 1989.

He even used the same silver spade his mother wielded 26 years ago.

Aquino's tree, a red spruce that grows to more than 120 metres tall, will eventually tower over his mother's sugar maple.

Aquino is on a three-day visit to Canada, which will take him to Toronto and Vancouver as well as Ottawa.

He and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are expected to discuss expanding trade and investment opportunities, as well as co-operation on a range of issues including threats to global security.

The two leaders are also slated to meet with member's of Canada's 800,000-strong Filipino community.