"Lulubog, lilitaw ..."
One of the questions posed at the Scarborough Shoal Information Session held in Liverpool, Sydney last Saturday was "Why the fuss over a group of rocks somewhere in the West Philippine Sea that appears in low tide but disappears in high tide?"
The question provided some comic relief in the otherwise serious and history-packed discussion on why the Philippines should fight for its sovereignty claims over Scarborough Shoal, also called Panatag Shoal, against China's claims.
While the question was posed light-heartedly, it did strike at the heart of the matter: the issue of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We cannot just throw in the towel: it is ours. Even with our own personal property, whatever is ours, is ours. We are not claiming anything that is beyond evidence or beyond proof," said the Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, who gave the keynote presentation at the forum.
"This is a very complex problem. There is no short and simple solution but we are, nevertheless, committed to arriving at a peaceful solution."
The forum was organised by APCO, Inc and hosted by Charles Chan. Other panelists were Cen Amores, People of Australia Ambassador; Lolita Farmer, OAM; APSL Supreme Commander Col Chris Pilao; Major Tom Baena and guest, Datuk Joseph.