Pag-asa (the Filipino word for hope) is the largest island in Kalayaan, a group of islands that is part of the disputed Spratly island chain in the West Philippine Sea. The Spratly islands are claimed wholly or partly by China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines. In 1978, the Philippines established the municipality of Kalayaan, formally claiming the island group as its territory; a community, including a small military presence, has since set down roots on Pag-asa.
“INDEED IT feels great to be a Filipino these days,” thus Inquirer reporter TJ Burgonio quotes President Aquino in the news report “Feels great to be Filipino” (Inquirer, 10/27/12).
By Hariette Supe
I was at the regional trial court of Manila recently for my court observation, and I attended a scheduled hearing for criminal cases. My attention was caught by the case of a Chinese man accused of the crime of acts of lasciviousness. The man was thin and appeared old and sickly, coughing intermittently as he waited for his turn for the information against him to be read. His health was obviously deteriorating, maybe because of the poor living conditions at the Manila City Jail.
Last Sept. 19, upon the advice of my brother, I went to the Department of Foreign Affairs office on Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City. It was my last hope. I thought that finally I would be picking up my new Philippine passport. I wanted to restore my Philippine citizenship since I left my beloved Philippines [...]