By Alex P. Vidal
“You can’t be against bullying without actually doing something about it.”—Randi Weingarten
THE Philippine Navy boats have been hosed, chased, and was recently “bumped” by aggressive China Coast Guard (CCG) ships in the disputed sea and all the Philippine Government could do was to “file diplomatic protests” aside from condemning the harassments at sea these past months.
Even if we file hundreds or even thousands of diplomatic protests, China will not give a damn. Chine fears no condemnation and even probably “pledges of support” to the tiny Philippines from foreign countries.
Bullies are bullies and will continue to show their supremacy and force to send a curt message whoever gets sideswiped.
As long as Chinese ships guarding the disputed sea spot our vessels—or vessels from other countries—they will continue to do what they think should be the right thing to do, according to their own law or interpretation of law.
They are heavier, more sophisticated and numerically superior, so why not use their brute force to neutralize all they consider as threat to their sovereignty and security?
They have thrown everything to our ships but the kitchen sink except to shoot the ships. Are they going to fire live bullets next to show who’s the boss in the middle of the sea?
According to the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS), our boats went for rotation and resupply (Rore) missions to Filipino troops stationed on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.
NTF-WPS has condemned the incidents, which were the latest in a series of maritime tensions between China and the Philippines, calling the acts of the CCG and the Chines maritime militias as “dangerous, irresponsible and illegal actions.”
In a statement, the NTF-WPS said: “(These are) in violation of Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction and in utter blatant disregard of the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and relevant international maritime conventions, and the 2016 Arbitral Award.”
LITTLE WAY TO SAVE THE PLANET: Get a collection. If we live in an area where recycling is not picked up and our reluctant to make frequent trips to the bottle bank or recycling center ourselves, let’s find out if there’s a local recycling program we can join. They may be able to collect all our recycling once a week.
LITTLE WAY TO SAVE THE PLANET : Recycling for wildlife will help slow down the rate at which wild places are cut down, burned, and mined. The result is more habitat and food for wildlife and endangered species.
SAVING THE PLANET — BREAST IS BEST! If we have young babies, the most environmentally friendly to feed them is to breastfeed because it’s energetically sound and doesn’t require any external processes. There’s no heating or sterilizing, and it’s always available when needed!
SAVING THE PLANET. Let’s speak out! Let’s take a standby letting brands and manufacturers who consistently over-package their goods know that’s the reason we’ve stopped supporting them. There’s nothing like purchasing power to force changes.
SAVING OUR PLANET: Panel in warmth. We must choose wood paneling for our bathroom to help keep in heat and reduce air pollution. But we have to make sure we wax rather than varnish it–varnish releases fumes when it gets warm. Wooden floors are a good choice, too. (1001 little ways to save the planet)
LOLLYPOP. Some of our greatest words go back to the mother country, and lollypop is one such example. Even in some parts of England today, lolly is the word used for tongue. Take a piece of candy that pops in and out of your mouth (as in the case with Americanized sucker) and you’ve got lollypop! (It just sounds more proper than our word, don’t you think?)
WHITE AND BLACKMAIL. If there’s such a thing as blackmail, is there a whitemail? Yes! Scottish farmers in the mid-16th century paid their landlords by either silver (known as whitemail) or produce (blackmail). The latter was the least preferred, so it was often abused. When greedy landlords forced cashless tenants to pay far more in goods than they would’ve paid in silver, blackmail took on its negative connotation.
GOD BLESS YOU. Why would we have “God bless you” after a sneeze? In much the same way that it was believed man could part body and spirit and be beside himself, the ancients believed a good sneeze could literally blast your soul right out of your body! To ensure that no bad spirits moved into the vacancy, “God bless you” was said to clear the way so soul and body could reunite.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)