June 27, 2010
Ten hours ago, I just arrived in the Philippines from Vietnam, my first ever out of the country trip! I may skip details so I would be writing now while the memories are still fresh! With my entire passport and DOST dilemma, I should be excited, right? Plus, all my arrangements process at work!
On our first day, we went walking around the city under the heat of the sun– Notre Dame Cathedral (catholic church), Municipal Post Office (old style post office), Independence Palace (palace of the king before the war), and War Remnants Museum.
Notre Dame Cathedral is a Catholic church located at the downtown of HCMC. It looks like a French-twin bell. 🙂
I am so tired when we arrived at The Municipal Post Office of HCMC because I’ve been walking since that morning. Municipal office has lots of telephone booth, has a large map, souvenir stalls, and etc.
The Independece Palace is like a Malacanang Palace of Vietnam. We don’t have a tour guide so we just randomly visit rooms and we read its description to know its purpose. I particularly like the room of the office of the president because it gives me that distinct feeling that I am in the place of the highest official of the country.
This place gives you heartbreak and hatred. Torture. Prison cells. Bombs. War. This is all about wars and its damage to Vietnamese people. Did you hear about the agent orange? Agent orange is the codename used by the US Military as part of their herbicidal warfare program. During the war, they spread this to places affecting large number of people (including the innocent people). The infected people had deformed faces and body parts. Sad to say, its effect is up to the 3rd or 4th generation.
At the end of the day, I guess the things I learned about the history and culture of Vietnam is worth the pain in my feet from a long-day tiring walk.