The situation in the recent stand off in Scarborough Shoal between the Chinese and Philippine Navy vessels threatens our national sovereignty, security. I wouldn’t accuse the Philippine government of disregarding what seems to be an issue of national importance now that a neighbor country tried and continues to bully our naval forces.
As ordinary Filipino citizens Why should we care about the situation in Scarborough, locally known as Panatag Shoal? Simple: Our national identity is at stake.
I’m not a champion in International relations nor I’m a lawyer. I’m speaking as a citizen and not as a representative of any organization although I write for Blogwatch.tv occasionally. But I think we have to do our part as citizens to secure our national sovereignty and protect our national patrimony. The land that forms part of the Philippines represents who we are as Filipinos and represet a piece of a big puzzle that unites the entire nation. Remove any of these and we sure know that something isn’t complete.
So that doesn’t mean we have to go out there and protest, shout at the top of or lungs in front of Chinese consulates and embassies, vandalize their offices and stuff. Well, we can do that but it is uncalled for. Besides, it’s not good and is not the doing of a civilized and learned citizen.
How China Thinks
I remember a French classmate/friend who studied in the same Spanish school I went to about what she said about China, its government and its citizens. She studied Mandarin for 5 years, graduated, and have since been part of international projects related to anything Chinese. She commented that the Chinese have a high sense of regard to their heritage and claim to have invented most of the things we use today starting from computers, language, clothing, food, etc. It could be true but I have little knowledge of these to truly verify one by one but at least I know that they really have a great contribution to the progress and modernization of human kind.
All these mind conditioning has an effect on people, especially among the Chinese who feels like they own and invented everything in this planet. This is not bad at all but looking at it in the International scene, it doesn’t look beautiful – agression, intimidation, bullying, all part of the end effects of it.
Bananas and all that jazz
With all due respect to the Chinese authorities, I don’t believe that our Banana stocks are infected with “mini-bugs” as they call it. Japan and other countries don’t seem to see or recognize any considering their high level of standard when it comes to importing fresh goods. It’s not that Chinese products aren’t good but I really think that Japanese ones are superior, And I’m stating the obvious I guess.
It saddens me how one government can divide the relations of people who, although living in different parts of the world and speak different language/s, have long shared history of trade and camaraderie since the ancient China.
How to Show that we Care About Scarborough Shoal
We can’t completely blame this generation because this is something that is ingrained since childhood, something that’s not taught in schools where we take political science seriously or civics (Sibika) or whatever. Our books are filled with errors and glorify some personalities in history that don’t deserve it. Those who are elated as heroes of revolution or something after Ferdinand Marcos. Shame.
Education is key and we can achieve this by changing how and what we learn in schools and how we deal with issues of national interest, of national importance. It’s sad how our countrymen care more about American Idol than serious issues that endangers their heritage, their security, their identity.
Write to your legislators, show your support by tweeting, blogging, and discussing issues in Facebook. Read about Panatag, familiarize yourselves with geography, the list goes on. If in doubt, we could go ask ourselves what have we been doing as citizens of this country to protect it and tell to the world that we are resilient and we just can’t be bullied the way our neighbors are doing right now. But then again, we have learned the lessons of the past and the horrors of war and we should do everything to claim our ownership of Panatag through peaceful means.
Image by adroth.ph