Claim Spratlys, spare our Kalayaan Group of Islands
Claim Spratlys, spare our Kalayaan Group
Over the past weeks, the tension in the Spratly Islands has been in the limelight. It has long been a source of an international conflict that many people are waiting to happen. Admit it, people love peace but they wanted something to talk about, something indifferent, something freaky. Enough of that.
Spratly Islands are actually a group of remote islets, cays, atolls, shoals, and reefs. There are a total of 750, most of which are uninhabited, formations which lie in the West Philippine Sea – the South China Sea as known internationally. The said chain of islands is claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China is playing the bully brother among these countries. Their claims are mostly historical, but no concrete accounts are given as to whether they own the islands or not.
Recent claims of these free lands were reported from Malaysia and Brunei, accounting that some of these small pieces of lands are within their sea territories, which are appropriately true.
As for the Philippines, the Spratly Islands are known as the geological group where the Kalayaan Group of Islands belongs. Kalayaan is a Filipino term for Freedom – reflecting the political nature of these wonders of nature.
Kalayaan Group of Islands is converted into a municipality (a local political division) in 1978 by the then president of the Philippines. This is to strengthen the claim of these lands which are unoccupied and uninhabited then, and which are closest to the province of Palawan than any other points in other countries.
These islands were uninhabited at the time a Filipino sailor formally claimed it. The Chinese claim these lands as a part of the chain called Spratlys. The whole sea actually are, according to them, their property. Geological finds establish their claims, but these are unclear. They claim to find wrecks and Chinese gold coins in the islands.
Supposed that the shipwrecks were true, what makes it all a difference. The islands are actually hazards to sailors and the ancient traders might have been stuck in these shallow lands. As for the gold coins, geologist might find it anywhere else. Following the logic of the Chinese, then the Philippines might be theirs since 1) It lies well west of ‘their’ sea, 2) shipwrecks are found in Philippine shores, and 3) Chinese gold coins are abundant. Check your country for a possible annexation of China.
‘Stronger’ claims of the countries are their supposedly ancient maps which covers the said sea. According to the claimants, these islands were long been mapped. And so? Antarctica has long been mapped but it does not belong to any country right?
Claim Spratlys but spare the Kalayaan Group which is a territory of the Filipinos. Civilians are occupying the islands.
Here’s a challenge, let the people of Kalayaan vote for what country they would like to be with. For a spirit of fairness, they should not consider that they are Filipinos. Still, China won’t win in a poll. Why? To point out one of the comments I have read somewhere, “Not even the Chinese wanted to be a part of the politics of China.”
Well, let not the people vote. Let the corals and the fishes and the sharks vote! Let the oil vote! Let the islets themselves vote! Well, as for the islets of Kalayaan, they are afraid to vote in the sea claimed by China, so they are creeping closer to the Philippine Archipelago. And for now they rest only hundred miles from our Palawan province.
Claim Spratlys but spare our Kalayaan Chain of Natural Wonders.
Aerial View of Kalayaan Town
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