When I was young, I usually use the Drawing Straw game to decide randomly on who the lucky winner is going to be. For those who don’t know what the game is, it’s very simple. A bunch of sticks (or straws) with different lengths are held together. The visible parts are all aligned on the same height while the other ends are hidden from the players. Visually, it looks like all straws are of the same length, so it’s really tough to know which straw is the shortest. The guy who gets the shortest straw or stick will win the prize.
Yesterday, I was checking the Philippine map in Google. I was looking for something, I think I was looking for Tuguegarao after reading Eriiiic’s tweet. I wasn’t sure whether it’s part of northern or southern Philippines so I checked Mr. Google. Upon zooming out I saw the Spratly islands. These islands probably got the most number of media exposures last year. If you don’t know it yet, it’s about the overlapping claims of some ASEAN countries as well as China and Taiwan. I was drawn by these islands and their distance to the claimants. So what I did is I took a screenshot of the map, draw some straight lines from Spratlys to the nearby countries. Refer to the photo below.
Everything looked like a Drawing Straw game to me. If we were to follow the logic of the game, the islands should be awarded to the nation who gets the shortest stick, which in this case seems to be the Philippines. But then I guess the rules have changed and the country with the longest stick gets to decide who’s taking the prize.