President Corazon Aquino flies to North America this week in a bid to revive her flagging popularity at home, a crucial move if the United States wants to keep its military bases in the Philippines.

Ostensibly focusing on trade and debt relief, Aquino's trip to the United States and Canada beginning Saturday also is aimed at upgrading her image as a successful leader and at fueling the Philippines' economic recovery.Diplomats and political analysts said Aquino's popularity is the key to the United States keeping its strategic military bases in the Philippines - an issue she plans to take directly to Filipinos.

The lease on six military installations, including the sprawling Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval complex, expires in 1991.