Filipinos in US launch essay contest on disputed sea


MANILA, Philippines—What do Filipino students have to say about the West Philippine Sea row?

Amid the growing tension in the region over China’s insistence that it has sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, including parts known as West Philippine Sea, a group of US-based Filipinos is encouraging Filipino high school and college students to speak their minds on the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China in the sea.

The New York-based US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) headed by entrepreneur Loida Nicolas-Lewis is sponsoring an essay-writing contest on the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute.

Philippine and Chinese ships faced off with each other at Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a resource-rich reef 220 kilometers west of Zambales, from early April to mid-June.

The horseshoe-shaped reef lies well within the Philippine 370-km exclusive economic zone recognized under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but China insists it is part of its territory.

To end the standoff, Manila and Beijing agreed on June 4 to withdraw their vessels. President Aquino ordered home a Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessel and a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources research ship. China withdrew its fishing boats, but not its three maritime vessels.

President Aquino said in June that he would order the redeployment of the Philippine ships to the shoal unless China withdrew its patrol vessels.

China has not withdrawn its vessels.

Lewis, national chairperson of the USPGG, said her group wanted to encourage “greater awareness” among young Filipinos of the “huge implications on their future” of who exploited the resources in the West Philippine Sea.

According to Celia Lamkin, chairperson of the contest committee, the essay-writing contest is open to all high school and college students, here or abroad, who are Filipino or of Filipino descent, and aged 10 to 25.

The theme of the essay is “West Philippine Sea and its impact on the future of the Philippines.”

The essay should focus on how the youth can help defend Philippine sovereignty over territories in the West Philippine Sea and protect the marine and energy resources in the disputed waters.

Entries must be unpublished, written in English, and not more than 1,500 typed words.

The contest rules are posted on the USPGG website,

The group will start accepting entries on Dec. 1. Entries can be sent until Feb. 1.

The winners will be announced on Feb. 15.

In the college category the prizes are P50,000 for first place; P25,000, second place; and P12,000, third place.

For the high school category, the prizes are P30,000 for first place; P15,000, second place; and P7,000, third place.

There will be 10 consolation prizes of P2,000 each. The school of the student who tops the contest will get a certificate and P20,000.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • andresa igbac

    this is a good way to make our youth aware of the issues, and how these affect life now and in the future, too.

  • PurpleDaisy13

    re: “West Philippine Sea and its impact on the future of the Philippines.”

    The West Philippine Sea is not a term the United Nations (UN) or the World International Community recognizes.  How are students supposed to interpret a term that has not been defined and approved by the United Nations, or recognized by the world?  Make it up using their own wild imaginations?

    The first step in defending the rightful territories of the Philippines is by not using fabricated terms that are not legal and alien to the United Nations (UN) and the World International Community. Get it legally approved first through the appropriate channels and the UN before continuing to pursue an endeavor driven by incompetent and reckless leadership.

    re: “The essay should focus on how the youth can help defend Philippine
    sovereignty over territories in the West Philippine Sea and protect the
    marine and energy resources in the disputed waters.”

    Oh..that’s an easy one. 

    The youth should focus on voting on future leaders that are dedicated to improving the job market and the economy of the Philippines so that the millions of poor jobless Filipino citizens throughout the nation can have an opportunity to sustain their livelihoods and their families which in turn shall help increase tax revenues.  Then the youth should focus on generously rewarding whistle-blowers that assist in identifying, investigating, and reporting any and all public officials and politicians that are suspects in the involvement of corruption and/or stealing government funds so that they can be removed from office immediately, stripped of all stolen assets, and perhaps imprisoned.  And by doing so encourages more revenue for the country which can then be used to focus on the expenditures for military defense, more jobs, technology, and education related to the protection of marine and energy resources within Philippines 200 nautical mile EEZ.

    Also, the youth should work with politicians, law-makers, lobbyists, and leaders to modify the national policy within the section of the Constitution below so that Philippines can reserve the capability to wage war against foreign threats if necessary:

    “Article II, Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations”

    The Philippines should rely on itself and NEVER on any foreign military to ensure the highest guarantee of contingency and protection for the benefit of the nation and it’s future.

    Students are welcome to plagiarize my comment without consequences or penalties.

  • DakuAkongUtin

    This Loida Lewis is a Malayo Pino  woman based in America  promoting hate amongst Pinos towards Chinese in  the Phils. The  Fil- Chinese Chamber of Commerce in all of Philippine major cities and towns  must condemn this  essay  contest under the guise of West Phil Sea dispute. She will just inject her prejudice and bias opinons towards Chinese people. She is promoting hate and racism under pretext of West Phil dispute . Marunong ito kasi lawyer ito sa tate , she s good at twisting the truth.

    • muddygoose

      Accusations of hate and racism from the bigot himself.

      • Jaz

         AFPako means: Anti Filipino at Pilipinas ako. Kaya huwag nyo nang patulan at pansinin ang pinagsasasabi nyan.

    • Vertical Propulsion

      You are hypocrite AFPako. Your user name should be – INTSIKako

    • Luthmar

      Why are you still in the Phil.?  Go back to your very dear motherland China.  As I have told you before you will be much much happier there.  Leave the Phil. alone.  We really do not need a character like you.  

    • Nhadski

      anu problemo mo sa Contest?? eh di magpasali ka ng estudyante mo para lumabas himomotok mo,, pekeng pinoy!!!! Go to your chinese land!!

  • stev38rs3

    Kudos to US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) for encouraging Filipinos & others in their participation to preserve Philippine sovereignty. Right now PNoy, Secretary of Defense and the AFP must be brave and confrontational to the extent that a Philippine ship will show willingness to collide to preserve Philippine sovereingty.  A well defined rules of engagement such as when to fire, when to return fire. & when to collide PH ship against Chinese ship must be reviewed soonest.

    • Vertical Propulsion

      You arer hypocrite. Your user name should be INTSIKako

      • DakuAkongUtin

        Change your name to Verdugong Kayumangmang. 

  • Vertical Propulsion

    We support this kind of activity. No matter what her intention is and as long as it’s weigh on the advantage for the Philippine government and it will be instrumental in the preservation of our National interest, so it must be supported.

  • Danny Garcia

    Can’t old guys like me join? :(

  • DakuAkongUtin

    Let Loida Lewis sponsor this racist loaded essay contest in this Pinas , and not hide in White Country of America . Let her come to Visayas and Mindanao and we will see how she would be treated.

  • joboni96

    ano pang sasabihin ng mga kolonisadong utak na ito

    e di
    oh uncle sam pretty please
    colonize us again
    better state na

    kumakatok lang intsik switik
    pasok ka na kaagad
    for more abandoned amerisians

    meron din sigurong 1 magsasabing

    astig ang pilipino
    dadaliin namin pagpalakas ng depensa
    kasama mga kapit bayan
    magsasakripisyo kami

  • bugoybanggers

    Pwede sana na ang mananalo ay may FREE TOUR sa Panatag Shoal at Spratly. Huwag naman mag alala, libre ang pagkain at sariwa (seaFOODS) lahat, kesyo ang problema tubig na mainum. Sige basta maintindihan pa lalo ng mga BATANG pinoy na ayaw ng bumalik ng PILIPINAS dahil TAMA ang mga ninono nilang LUMAYAS ng PILIPINAS. Larga!

  • DakuAkongUtin

    Bullshzt  essay contest conducted by overzealous kayus outside of Pinas who think they know better.  This is just another way to further the Malayo inspired kayumanggi race controlling the Manila Govt and Luzon as a whole. You started the fight with our neighbor China, then you deal with it. 

    • John Parks

      China started the fight by encroaching on our territories, and that’s why we have to deal with it. This is a slippery slope. First this for China, then what’s next? Like Hitler in WW II, where he should have been stopped as early as when he annexed Austria, China has to be stopped in its thievery of other people’s lands. And then, somebody has to put you in your proper place. I hope you are not living or making a living in the Philippines. If you are, you have no right to stay in our land. Get to the door really fast. Or, we’ll kick you out with emphatic force into Tiananmen Square.

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