It would be quick given that the Philippine naval and airborne forces have severely limited capabilities. It would be a naval and aerial encounter. I personally don't see China invading mainland Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao, not unless they plan on completely annexing the entire Philippines which is really a futile exercise both economically and militarily.
At best, they would most probably cripple critical infrastructure such as ports and airports, military installations and utilities. This is of course, assuming that our distant Uncle Sam would not be willing to honor his MDT with us.
Purely Speculative Thinking Below
If China bombs Manila, here are probably some of the things that might happen. Again, assuming that the Americans will not come to our aid.
- Attack on major utilities, such as electric, water and communication.
- No Water
- No Internet
- Limited land based communication systems
- Communication would probably be by radio
- Bank Rush
- People would need hard cash to buy emergency supplies.
- Anti Filipino-Chinese Sentiments
- Our Filipino-Chinese compatriots consider themselves to be genuine Filipinos, however, ultra-nationalist movements may spring up. After all, most major businesses are controlled by Filipino-Chinese who hire a vast majority of Filipinos on a contractual basis.
- To remedy this, they may have to express their solidarity in one way or another.
- After sinking what our Navy and Airforce would bravely put forward, the next step for the Chinese would be to establish its presence in the area. Hauling construction material from China all the way to the Spratlys is going to be an extreme challenge in logistics. It would be easier instead to capture maritime and aerial installations which are nearby.
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- Martial law would be declared.
- It's also possible that Manila will be declared as an open city again to prevent its destruction.
- Rise of paramilitary groups. The state of war, would give the erstwhile dormant paramilitary organizations which exist mainly in the provinces an excuse to form up and arm themselves.
- Private armies would become prevalent again - they will most likely stoke nationalist sentiments for their own gain and may even acquire by force "friendly" Chinese businesses. This is purely conjecture, but of course - the possibility exists.
- Along with the rise of paramilitary organizations, criminal elements would also take advantage. With the armed forces and the police forces engaged in warfare - and the crippling of basic utility services, there could be a breakdown in law and order at most - or simply a rise in banditry, while war happens.
- The problem with the United States coming to our aid, is that it will most likely cause a very troubling chain reaction.
- The players involved would most likely include North Korea, China and Russia. On the other hand, America, some of the SEA nations, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
- Makati would be a ghost town.
- Residents from Metro Manila will flock to the provinces.
- There would be an insufficient supply of gasoline, rationing at first and then - nothing at all.
- The best places to live would be in the Eastern part of the archipelago, far from the coastal areas.
- It would be preferred to live near clean waterways or places which do not have a high population density.
- Access to manual pumps (poso) would be essential.
- Remember that annoying thing that we had to go through college called ROTC? Yeah, I forget that I am a reservist. So anyone who has the misfortune of being the right age at the wrong time, will most likely be activated.