I urge my fellow Filipino North American friends to take a few moments from your busy day and take a look at what is happening in the Philippines.
Recent developments have shown that China has set up garrisons on 6 Philippine islands. As stated in a recent article “Documents show that of the seven Chinese-occupied islands, six of these are located well inside the Kalayaan Island Group.” While these are some of the recent developments, I would like to give a little background on this situation. This is about oil. I quote: “The South China Sea, dubbed the “second Persian Gulf,” is rich in natural resources of oil and gas. It is estimated that the area contains over 50 billion tons of crude oil and more than 20 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.”
It is clear that the preparations are for this:
“The country’s (China’s) biggest deep-water oil rig was unveiled yesterday in Shanghai, and it’s a doozy. The CNOOC981, which cost $922 million to develop, can reportedly operate in depths of up to 3,000 meters and extract oil from 12,000 meters,according to Chinese website Global Times….The state-run China National Offshore Oil company will operate the rig, which will leave Shanghai on Thursday for a “trial cruise” before drilling in the South China Sea in July, the People’s Daily reports” (This article posted May 24th)
I know, as Filipinos in North America, this situation seems far. For some, it may not even seem relevant. I, for one, feel this is very close to home and indisputably relevant.
I watch as the Philippine President, the supreme leader of our motherland, must resort to meek words as he makes clear to the Chinese defense minister that diplomacy is the only path the Filipino has as it cannot defend its own territory against China.
I enjoy (sarcastically) reading the Chinese news talk about the Philippine Oil Exploration boats that we’re harassed (aka shot at) in our own waters being spun into Philippine’s violating China’s territory. And of course……now the Philippines is directly threatened with force if we now choose to explore our own waters. (article sent out today http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=105427)
The Filipino around the world is known for their ability to assimilate into different cultures. It has, apparently, been our survival skill as a people. The Philippines has been the playground…I mean war-ground for other countries to express their international might against one another at the expense of Filipino land and lives. And the Filipino abroad – especially the second gens like myself – have grown up with little regard for our roots as they seemed to have been planted on a country mired with poverty, corruption and hopelessness.
I am proud to say that I am no longer a person that sees the Philippines, my homeland, in such a dismal light. I have been blessed to work with some of the most exceptional people the country has to offer and have gained pride in our people and in the country. Through these leaders and visionaries I came to understand the strength and beauty of the land my parents came from. My heritage. And through this pride for being filipino I became a leader. I REPEAT – I AM A LEADER. And I learned that when great challenges come, WE NEED MANY LEADERS.
And I am saddened – because I know that we are from a people that have been colonized by the Spanish for hundreds of years, faced a war with the Americans that called MILLIONS of filipinos in a period of just 3 year (Philippine American War 1901), were subdued by the Japanese with hundreds of thousands killed at a time and when we tried to rebuild – bombs came from the sky to smash them right back down.
And they took from us lives…and progress…
And I am saddened because I know how the global perception of the Filipino has become in the various countries. I am saddened by the house workers abused in the middle-east, the girls that are exported and raped and the countless atrocities that take place as “more developed” countries assert their sickness on poor people that will bear such indignation just to feed their children.
So we let them take, and take, and take – until we have become a people that has surrendered our women, surrendered our poor, surrendered our future and for us second-gen’s surrendered our identity.
But I have become a leader as I have stood with leaders. And there are those waiting and ready to become leaders right now.
And as a leader, I cannot watch another country impose their will upon the Philippines by force without getting disturbed. I am shaken as I not only see our territory forcefully occupied by China’s military – I am beside myself as they threaten our very right to earn revenue from the natural resources we possess that, as a third world country, we most desperately need to help ensure a future of prosperity for the country. And I am amazed how China has maneuvered to this point with such blatant indifference towards the concern and rights of the Philippines.
I am already watching the “mass-control” style communications being put out designed to confuse and dumb down the situation. While TV helicopters have already confirmed images that they have been streaming to the public, Malacanang still needs to “confirm officially.” I have yet to see this make front page (digitally) on some of the top US Sites. Perhaps no one cares.
BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT- while we sit and wait:
(1) China has ALREADY built their bases on Philippine territory…6 to be exact.
(2) They have ALREADY issued warnings against the Philippines against any oil exploration “even in the adjacent seas” unless authorized by them.
(3) They have ALREADY scheduled for a drill to be set up (the LARGEST ever)
(4) They have ALREADY TAKEN.
…AND They have ALREADY DEPLOYED MISSLES prepared to take out CARRIERS…..what?…. yes Dec 2010 Article
Leaders, please follow the developments. Someone on this side of the planet has to care.
P.S. To my Chinese friends, please do not take personal offense as these are not racially driven concerns. I am and always will be the biggest chinese food fan ever. 😉