Video from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News
MANILA – It was a jubilant arrival for top Philippine officials and journalists on Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea Friday morning.
After receiving a routine warning as two Philippine planes flew near China-occupied Subi Reef, top Defense and Armed Forces officials led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana landed safely on Pag-asa Island.
Currently, only military aircraft can land on the island's unpaved 1.2-km airstrip.
During his visit, Lorenzana inspected facilities on the island, the largest occupied by the Philippines in the disputed Spratlys, ahead of planned improvements.
Government plans to upgrade the island's airstrip as it hopes to make Pag-Asa more appealing to tourists. The island, located some 528 kms off Palawan, boasts of a white-sand shoreline.
The island is home to a military contingent and civilians.