Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Ellen
Daylight is coming. Is the warship still there? We will soon know.
Roosters were silent when I made coffee. Now the cocks crow all at once – the morning song of the rural. And, in these pandemic days, increasingly, the morning song of all.
I’ll fill you in while we wait to see what the sun reveals and as I have my first cup of coffee on Feb. 7, 2021.
All day yesterday, a warship sat parked near the southern part of White Beach, which we can clearly see from the mainland, where we rent an apartment.
In the photo above, the warship on the left, and Boracay Island on the right. Our apartment rental is further west, and from there, we have a clear, distant view of White Beach. The ship sat near Station 3.
A fellow local expat has a telescope, and he reports the ship flies a Filipino flag.
Hopefully, the Philippine navy simply wants to take its crew to a simple getaway on Boracay. A treat for their service. Or maybe, it’s a test sail.
So what is up? I have no idea. There is no official news source: nothing from the Philippine government that I see, nothing from any news organization.
While there is no information this single warship near us, there is general news from between the U.S. and China.
I’d bet most Americans know nothing about the situation on this side of the world. They have enough of their own problems.
The Biden administration sent a U.S. warship through a zone near Taiwan that pissed off China. The Red Dragon claims Taiwan as its own. Taiwan claims independence, and the U.S. supports Taiwan’s freedom.
China “warned” the U.S. to back off. The American ship is still somewhere around these parts… so the standoff notched up a bit.
Coincidence? The Philippine warship parked off Boracay in approximately the same time period as the face off between the super powers.
Ongoing dispute on Nine Dash Line
In addition to Taiwan, there is the ongoing issue of the Nine Dash Line.
There’s a splotch of sea to the west of the Philippines that China has put a ‘line’ around, like a lasso, and claimed as its own. But… it’s pretty far from mainland China.
For several years, China built up sandbars into military islands. No one said anything. Sometimes, China chases away Filipino fishermen whose ancestors have hunted these waters for generations.
This area in the ‘line’ is resource rich. Oil and gas reserves, and also fish food. China has a billion-plus people to feed, to keep complacent and happy.
The Philippine government is in a tight spot. Of course, Filipinos want China to do the right thing, and honor The Hague ruling* that China does not have sovereignty over the Nine Dash Line. (China ignores that ruling.)
And, of course, the Philippine government also whats Chinese coronavirus vaccinations, investment money, and tourists.
From warships to puppies
I’m now on my second cup of coffee, and prefer to think about puppies while waiting for the sun reveal if that warship is still there.
Since March 16, 2020, we have rented an apartment at the Hangout Beach Resort in Motag, Malay, across the water from Boracay. In that time, the owner and our friend Yolly took in a puppy named Snow.
Now Snow is grown, and has puppies of her own.
My favorite might be the one with one black ear. Then again, maybe it’s a tie with the spotted one, whose errant crawling for discovery I understand. And a special shout out to our nephew Tim — he’s helping to feed the puppies!
We’ve seen puppies grow, babies born, children age, people die. We’ve seen several harvests of rice, we’ve experienced every season in part of the Philippines.
We have been in Motag, Malay longer than we would have guessed way back at the beginning.
This is the first time I’ve seen a Philippine warship parked at Boracay.
And now the big reveal from the sun’s rise: the warship is still there.
*Correction: the original post said the international court ruling was by the United Nations. More accurately, it was by The Hague, the international court for the UN.