Vietnam Notes (Part II)

War Museum. It posts a collection of memorabilia from the Vietnam War. The journalists’ photos were deeply affecting. It told of the travesty of war and the hapless victims that were the Vietnamese and Americans alike. I was amazed to find out that the Philippines sent a battalion as part of the allied forces although they were not armed with guns but with T-squares and scales (it was an engineering battalion). Thus the risk of dying from dengue was higher for them as compared to perishing from an enemy bullet.

Having watched such films as Platoon, Band Of Brothers, and Saving Private Ryan, I was gawking at the site of vintage tanks, 150mm howitzers, grenade launchers, an F5 fighter, and a Huey chopper at the museum grounds. Not to mention a real guillotine used during the French occupancy, I posed for a pic at each weapon of destruction, of course.

Cu Chi Tunnels. Mukhang nawaha na ako sa missus. She used to have a problem saying the word Wednesday (she pronounces it as Weh-nes-day para Tagalized daw). My Weh-nes-day is Cu chi Tunnels.

Galeng ng pagkakagawa ng CHU CHI Tunnels ano?


Onga, CHU CHI Tunnels.


It just happened. I dunno why. I must’ve confused it with an old sitcom character with the same name, a.k.a. Lola Chu Chi of Chicks2Chicks.

Anyway this was the highlight of our trip. We were made to crawl a 20-meter section of the complicated web of tunnels so that we can get a feel of the VC experience. As you can see, the picture is quite dark such that only my phone can be seen. It was held by the missus as I tried my flash-less digicam on her. It was pitch black, I tell you. You can’t see a damn thing. Add to that the assortment of traps, no wonder the Yanks weren’t able to penetrate these tunnels.

You should see my video on it. It was also pitch black, except for the phone light illuminating the missus’ chin lagatak-ing with pawis. Yep we were laughing all the way from start to finish, only disturbed by comments such as:

Teka teka! Picture muna! Ay potek ang dilim!

OMG ang dilim!

Wow pawis na ako. Hmmm….ang alat pala ng lasa ng pawis ko.

Asan na? Ang layo pa ba ng dulo? OMG!


I guess that last one was too much. Good thing there were no US-veterans with us. They would’ve grabbed a bayonet and stabbed the alleged VC.

Notre Dame Cathedral. Located in a picturesque European-like square aptly named Little Paris, we were fortunate enough to attend the 6.30am Sunday Mass. Yes 6.30am. The last time I woke up THAT EARLY for Mass was for Simbang Gabi. I was able to complete the 9-day Novena only once so far. That was when I was still a teenager with raging hormones, and pimples.

You have to admire the Catholic Vietnamese there. I observed during the Mass that ALL MEN hearing Mass (save for one Pinoy tourist) were wearing shirts with collar and were politely dressed, much like going to work. Taimtim talaga silang nagdarasal. Admirable, really. Too bad the Mass was ENTIRELY in Vietnamese. But as Sam, our atheist tourguide said, “Praying is not with the mouth, but with the heart.” Or something like that.

Well the rest of the tour was spent on shopping at Central Market (damn cheap but not as cheap as Divi), Saigon River Boat Cruise (most of the damn tourists were singing and dancing (asses flying) like your Dad and mine, noisily with the band; good thing I got it all on video…hehehe), Picture-taking in front of a 100+ year old post office, city hall, and Ho Chi Minh’s statue.

All in all it was great trip. Bagong tatak pa sa passport, as the missus would say.

Hmmm…dunno yet where we’re going this December break. The missus wants to go somewhere with snow. I aptly told her we just go up to Genting Highlands. I heard they have a “winter-wonderland” snow room there. Hehehe.

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