Vitug Vlogs: Look outward, man!
MANILA, Philippines - Rappler’s Editor at large, Marites Vitug tackles the Philippines’ relations with China and the upcoming meeting between President Aquino and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of APEC.
Let’s watch her video blog.
I’m not as tuned in to foreign policy as I am to domestic political wrangling.
Why is this so? Many of us Filipinos tend to look inward.
Some say it’s because of our geography. We are a group of disparate islands and unlike our neighbors Thailand and Cambodia, we don’t share borders with anyone.
Vast bodies of water surround us, seemingly isolating us from the rest of Southeast Asia. But our history shows that we were very much connected, through commerce and faith, to other countries.
Today, our media hardly play up foreign news unless Filipinos figure in world competitions or disasters.
Now that President Aquino is on a foreign trip to meet with world leaders, our brief attention will be on Vladivostok and Mr. Aquino’s chat with China’s Hu Jintao.
Will they discuss the simmering dispute over the West Philippine Sea? It’s the hottest issue between us and China as well as between ASEAN and China.
When the president returns, he should talk to us about how we got to this dangerous stage in our relations with China and explain government’s strategy and response.
As Bill Clinton said, “When people are afraid, explanation beats eloquence any day.”
Mr. President, make us look outward, pull us away from our landlocked mindsets.
Make us look to the West Philippine Sea and beyond.