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SOUTHERN COMFORT

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going on a whirlwind trip to Palawan that swept me away. Thanks to the generosity of a Vietnamese priest who's staying with us, I got to go to the Island paradise for the first time in my entire life. Those who know me well know that I am not one for travel. On road trips, I'm not good company because I always fall asleep and when I usually get to a place, I'm so tired from the trip that I sleep as well.

Fortunately, this was different.

We stayed in Viet Ville, a community run by the CBCP for Vietnamese refugees who have fled their homeland. They have succeeded in making a true cooperative community that is clean, homey and successful. A lot of their income comes from the Viet Ville restaurant that serves authentic Vietnamese food.

Side note, Pho Hoa doesn't hold a candle to this place. I know food and I know that this food was excellent and priced really cheap (59 bucks for a sweet and sour spareribs viand that was soooo good). Apparently, Pho is Vietnamese is pronounced "Fir" and is supposed to mean noodles. So Pho Hoa (which we've all been pronouncing like foe) actually means noodles of Hoa (the owner's name).

We stayed in the guest house of the community which was a modest little home but it was big enough to house an entire barkada (hint hint). Airconditioned rooms and the friendliest bunch of neighbors.

Ever been standing in two places at the same time? I was in palawan but I was also in Vietnam! I learned a lot about their culture and appreciated the small bits of history that I know about their country. They let me into their houses and plied me with their food (I hate crabs...but these crabs were worth all the work I put into opening them).

Due to the shortness of time, I got to visit just one Island...Happiness Island nearest Honda Bay. It got in a good 2 hours of beach fun in the clearest water I've ever seen.

I'm going back there...who's with me?

Signing off.