Philippine military detachments in Kalayaan Island Group battle loneliness and boredom

Philippine military teams guarding disputed islands in the Spratlys have to do so under Spartan conditions, with one seven-man detachment keeping watch on Philippine-claimed territory from a broken, rusted ship.

Philippine military teams guarding disputed islands in the Spratlys have to do so under Spartan conditions, with one seven-man detachment keeping watch on Philippine-claimed territory from a broken, rusted ship.

 

Abigail Kwok of InterAksyon.com reports soldiers guarding Ayungin Reef in the Kalayaan Island Group do so on a transport ship that the Philippine Navy ran aground in the 1990s. "Medyo mahirap ang buhay dito dahil walang puno, walang lupa, pero nakakapag-adjust naman kami [Life's quite hard here because here are no trees, no ground, but we are adjusting somehow," the report quotes Petty Officer 3rd Class Benedicto de Castro as saying.

 

Small military detachments on Lawak, Patag, and Parola islands also have to deal with the weather, loneliness, and boredom. "Masayang masaya kami na nakakita kami ng ice cream, high morale ito sa amin [We are so happy to see ice cream. Our morale is high right now.]," the report quotes says 2nd Lt. Christopher Maguensay as saying after Lt. General Juancho Sabban visited the outposts to distribute tubs of ice cream.

 

For more on this story, log on to InterAksyon.com.

 

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