Philippine President Benigno Aquino signs Mr Lee's condolence book at embassy in Manila

Philippine President Benigno Aquino Jr led Filipinos in paying tribute to Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew as he visited the Singapore Embassy in Manila on Friday night to sign the condolence book and say a final farewell to Mr Lee.

He was accompanied by offficials from the Palace and the Department of Foreign Affairs, including Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario, Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima and members of the diplomatic corp, said a statement from Singapore's Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Mr Aquino paid tribute to Mr Lee's steady and efficient leadership and bold vision that made Singapore what it is today. He also told Singapore Chargé d'Affaires Scott Loh that Mr Lee had inspired the Philippines with his good leadership, and recalled how Mr Lee had met his mother, former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, during her time in power, and had left a deep impression on them with his advice on governance and the economy.

Many Singaporeans and Filipinos, ranging from age three to 93, also came to remember Mr Lee, including Mr Washington Sycip, a Filipino industrialist and an old friend of Mr Lee's.

One couple flew to Manila from Mindanao just to sign the book, coming directly from the airport.

In total, 296 people have signed the condolence book since it was made available on Monday.