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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VIET VILLE Puerto Princesa

Another thing unheard of in my case. I never thought there is a Vietnamese community in Puerto Princesa. Or maybe somebody did mention it before but I was not paying attention. And it's really fascinating to know that during the Vietnam war, many Vietnamese refugees or boat people as the were popularly referred to traveled across South China Sea to the Philippines and eventually settled in Zambales and Palawan. They sure know how to pick a good spots. The temporary refuge given to them in Puerto Princesa Palawan is known as VIET VILLE. 

Vietnamese Village of Puerto Princesa palawan (Viet Ville)
During that time, the city government of Puerto Princesa was generous enough to accept them and even allotted an area for them a few kilometers away from the city center. But when we visited there last month, we didn't see any of the Vietnamese people of  VietVille. We heard that most of them already migrated to the US as the American government offered them free entry into the country and thereby American citizenship. Who wouldn't bite into that anyway?

Some have also relocated to downtown Puerto Princessa and have started businesses there.


Our guide was a joker. On top of that, our blogger friends during the tour were also a bunch of funny people. When the guide said most of them already are in the US, somebody exclaimed that actually there are 2 of them left in the village but it was Saturday when we came and according to the other bloggers, the 2 are on a shopping spree so only the Filipino maids are in the village.hahaha.

I didn't know what to believe anymore. For sure, I didn't notice any inhabitants there that time. The village seemed like a ghost towm. A well maintained ghost town. Creepy ayt? A little.

I heard that at it’s peak there were as many as 1500 people living in this camp which was set up as a temporary center while they were seeking permanent resettlement elsewhere.


Well, it's comforting to know though that the village looks like a typical Filipino neigborhood. Or that something to celebrate about? This place is not really part of any of the tour itineraries during the tour but having  seasoned travel bloggers in the group like Enrico Dee of http://www.byahilo.com/#axzz1SVLd3QNA and Winston Almendras of http://www.batangyagit.com/ means not missing any significant landmark in the area.

So we dropped by VIET VILLE before heading to Sabang where the Underground river is.

The first thing you will notice when you enter Viet Ville is the Church on the right side. I was surprised that while the church has a little touch of Vietnamese architecture, it's interestingly more Christian. SO these Vietnamese immigrants were Christians to start with or were just converted during their stay? I just hope they were not forcefully converted you know.

VIET ville
On the right side of the church is an arc and under it is the statue of Virgin Mary. As I said a while ago, the village doesn't have much of a Vietnamese feel to it so I was a little disappointed. It would have been better if these refugees were given a temporary place to stay and still got to keep their culture and architecture in tact. Or maybe this is how they are in the first place? I am not sure.

Our very short side trip on VietVille definitely left so many questions in my mind unanswered so I tried to google more information about it. There is this interesting story that I found online which brought back feeling I had during our short stay there. While this Vietnamese village in Puerto Princesa seemingly looks like a ghost town now, it is a testament of the sacrifices, sufferings and resilience of the Vietnamese people for survival and fight for a decent and free life. That earns them a very big respect from my heart.
syempre wala ako sa pic kasi ako photog--huhuhu

Read an interesting story about a Vietnamese refugee named Than Minh Dong by clicking the link below.http://www.palawan.com/articles.php?article_id=53

This was part of our city tour of Puerto Prinsesa sponsored by AirPhil Express.

Full tour summary here : http://www.pusangkalye.net/2011/06/airphil-express-puerto-prinsesa-happy.html
AirPhil Express flies twice daily to Puerto Prinsesa Palawan.


  1. unang basa ko kala ko Pet Ville. Hehehehe. i-hot seat kita :D

  2. Very nice to know this place.

  3. Akala ko may bagong app sa FB,, totoong lugar pala ... Sana may korean ville din dito sa Pinas! LOLOLOLOLOL. :D

  4. ok yung place ang ganda. natawa ako sa comment ng iba about pet ville hahaha

  5. akala me Vet Ville... lugar ng veterans/ vets :p

    sana may tripod keo para kasama ka. ahahaha. :p

  6. ito pala yung napanood ko before sa isang doku sa isang channel... maganda nga talaga siya :D

  7. I've heard about this place, but I hadn't never seen a photo. Until I chanced upon your post. :) Interesting!

  8. alam mo na Vietnamese live a simple life. 2009 lang sila nagkaron ng cellphone dun. very limited din ang FB access. but they dont complain. they'll be in trouble daw kasi.

    o diba, andami kong natutunan sa Vietnam =))

  9. gusto ko din talaga to mapuntanhan kaya lang nung nalaman ko na wala na sila diyan hindi na rin at tumikim na lang ng mga pho sa mga naiwang viet resto sa puerto princesa.

    but being there is for sure still worth.

  10. bakit kami nina Robbie walang special mention? Friendship over! :))

  11. it's kinda touching to see that people actually visit the place where i use to live :) I was googling to see how Vietville look like now and I came across this.

  12. alo Anonymous---so you are a Vietnamese and lived in Vietville Puerto princesa?where do you live now? you got me curious there :)

    1. Haha yes! I live in Houston Texas now :) I'm planning to visit this place again soon, hopefully.

  13. i was a volunteer worker there 1991-92. Apart from the Church you identify there were also a Protestant Church, a Buddhist Temple, and a Cao Dai Temple.Whereas maybe 10% of the Vietnamese population was Chrisdtian, 25% of the Vietnamese population were. And no, they weren't converted there, most had Christian ancestoprs dating back for centuries.I hope its noit true there are no more vietanmese therel i plan to visit next year to look for them!

  14. i lived there before I migrate to US. It wasn't creepy before, and full of people actually.

  15. i lived there before I migrate to US. It wasn't creepy before, and full of people actually.


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