In the ensuing debates on the overlapping claims over the islets, islands, cays, atolls and sandbars in the South China Sea, as a scholar of Foreign Policy, I have revisited my readings and supplement them with my own analysis as to whose claiming which and to whose legitimacy all these rest in the event of a clash in the future. As we all agreed, the contested islands is a flashpoint for potential conflicts in this side of the world. Experts, from the wide spectrum of national security, foreign policy, security and others are in agreement that should these claims not manoeuvred very well, can result into a full-scale war between the claimants and the “late claimants” to these group of islands. I am re-reading the book of UST Prof. Robert Hsiao Shi-Ching for this analysis and cites mostly in my arguments for this analysis. Read more
One of the greatest dreams I have is to set foot in China and most of it is focused on how I can walk through the historic and grandest landmarks of human civilization outside the famous Gaza pyramids in Egypt and I am referring to the Great Wall of China built many centuries ago.
When the opportunity opened for me when I joined the 20-man Official Philippine delegation to China, the moment was seized for me to finally make my dreams come true in God’s approving will and guidance.
From our training base in Nanning in Guangxi Province in southern China, we went to up north in Beijing. No trip to Beijing is complete without the visit to the Great Wall of China and I am greatly impressed. It was already cold for the winter months so the jacket has to be worn throughout the day. I am blessed because my dreams come true finally.
Our guides told us that we are going to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, famous for all tourists going to the Great Wall. There are, however, other sections that are more serene and peaceful with no tourists walking around but for us, we are here in the section where almost all tourists come to see the Great Wall.
After the historic walk through in Badaling I have learned that sheer determination and vision will forever alter the prospects of the world and through it I learned that China is one great destination that awaits every traveller in us.
One day in August 8, 2008, when watching the LIVE coverage of the Opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics, I told myself that I will, one day, get to step on that grand and illustrious National Stadium of China and will be absorbing the awe-provoking landmark that has shaped modern China nowadays and to augur it, I prayed and the harder I prayed. Two years after, I was asked to be a part of the 20-man Philippine Delegation to China which I am excited to participate. I mustered all and everything to get to China where I have the greatest chance of a lifetime and of course, I will get to fulfil my promise in 2008, to be able to get my feet on the Bird’s Nest.
The Chinese Government has reportedly spent US $15 Billion for the structures and this included the Bird’s Nest. True to its aesthetic built, the stadium is one breakthrough of modernism in architectural design and landscaping. The Bird’s Nest cost a whopping US $423 Million and was designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.
My historic visit the Bird’s Nest in Beijing is one greater opportunity for me to understand the modernity of Chinese architecture and which one promotes an enhanced capability of the Chinese to host an Olympics and to showcase to the world China’s refined image as a world’s superpower.
The interiors of the Bird’s Nest is installed from the outside as if the image is juxtaposed into details similar to a lego toys easily pieced in by any child. The impressive interiors are one uniformly designed by the majestic red and the Olympic shops are filled with products associated to the historic Olympics two-years earlier.
I am rather impressed at how huge and colossal the Bird’s Nest is. It is a landmark that I have visited in Beijing that will remind me of my own dream and aspirations that was made into fruition by the very opportunity given unto me. My landing at the Bird’s Nest of China reminds me that a dream steadily prayed can and will always be an opportunity for a lifetime learning.