The Daily Inquirer (Philippines) – as quoted by Huanqiu Shibao – itself quoted Philippine military officials as saying that compared with China’s aircraft carrier which is currently tested for research purposes (针对用于科研试验和训练的中国首艘航母), a warship the Philippines recently bought from the U.S. “just looked like a boat”. After having bought the vessel, a Hamiltion class warship, it had been renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar*). The vessel would reportedly be based in the Palawan waters, southwestern Philippines, where the Philippine navy had previously hoisted the country’s national flag, “to emphasize its ‘sovereignty'”, writes Huanqiu.
The Philippine Inquirer itself refers to the vessel in question as a World War II-vintage Coast Guard cutter. It is, however, scheduled to become the Philippine navy’s flagship. The Chinese aircraft carrier’s first tour was taking place just as the Aquino government was facing a number of domestic challenges, writes the paper.
But when it comes to the Philippines’ foreign relations, there is no lack of advice on the internet.
The Philippines can sell their country and buy a big ship in its stead (菲律宾可以把国家卖了去换大船呀),
suggests a commenter on the Huanqiu article’s thread. Or, somewhat less encouraging:
When you compare the Philippines and China, the Philippines just look like a Chinese county (菲律宾和中国比，菲律宾就好像是中国的一个县).
If you shut up now, it will still be in time (现在闭嘴还来得及).
*) BRP: Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas