Three Days in Benham Rise

May 5, 2017—It was a dry and humid day in Infanta, Quezon. I wandered around the fish port, quietly observing the locals. I would occasionally glance on my phone, snap a shot, and try to post it on Facebook. But the entire town is practically a dead spot, making it extremely hard for us to…

Duterte’s Balancing Act of Two Superpowers: US and China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is treading a dangerous path trying to balance two superpowers in his hands: China and the United States. In a recent turn of events, Duterte has decided to retain the military alliance between the US and the Philippines after rashly announcing a “separation from the US” on independent foreign policy during…

Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China

Technically, the place is merely a collection of rocks and reefs. But its numerous names mirror the tension that has engulfed its waters. China believes it is Huangyan Dao based on their historical claims. Filipino fishermen from Zambales refer to it as Kalburo or Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal — a safe haven against storms. But…