Life as a Refugee
The documentary section of Van Son in Philippines brings back so much memories, especially the reminiscing part of Bataan where I had lived for six and a half months. Fifteen years has passed, but that special place, which was filled with sorrow, joy and anxiety, has not once departed from my heart. Coincidentally, Van Son and I were in the same 136’s cycle, which means we arrived in Bataan about the same time; therefore, most of the things he said hit my recollecting chord: the bunk camp (two families jammed in one little crib), the stringed bridge (cau treo), the food-distributing arguments (mom was responsible for dividing up the foods), the “monkey house” (for misbehaviors), the monastery and the entertainment park. One thing Van Son didn’t mention that holds a personal memory for me was the ping-pong recreation. I used to make my own paddles from either a piece of flat wood or blackboard. They weren’t the best, not to mention that they were square shaped instead of round, but they gave me an opportunity to learn how to play. The net was made up of a stick placed on two bricks. It was the coolest game ever. Even though those days were not heaven, they were not so bad comparing to the unfortunate ones who still stuck there. It’s heartbreaking to see our people being alienated in a foreign country, and still struggling after fifteen years trying to find a better place to live. Let’s hope and pray for those who are still left behind to reach their final destination.