CLOSE-UP PHOTOS: China's artificial islands in West PH Sea

Focus on Panganiban

The focus has been on Kagitingan Reef because of concerns that China is building an airstrip that will change the security dynamics in the region – it will allow China's air assets to be present in a disputed area already dominated by its ships.

"The pictures show it is a runway. It is an airstrip," Lopez said. (READ: 'China to finish construction of airstrip in West PH Sea this year')

KAGITINGAN REEF: Status of reclamation activities in Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef as of December 12, 2014

Outside the artificial islands, China has also been busy in other areas in the West Philippine Sea.

The DFA confirmed more Chinese development activities in Mischief (Panganiban) Reef, which was "taken" by China from the Philippines in 1996. 

Chinese vessels also rammed Philippine fishing vessels near Scarborough Shoal in late January, prompting more protest notes from the Philippines.

There has been no recent cases of harassment in Ayungin Shoal, said Lopez, but at least two Chinese Coast Guard ships are circling the area at any given time. 

There are at least 10 fishing vessels all over the West Philippine Sea, with Chinese and Vietnamese ships dwarfing Philippine vessels. – Rappler.com