When the Philippines welcomed Vietnamese refugees to the shores of the archipelago, something tastier than friendship started to brew.

The very persons looking for a safe place to stay left the country with an additional menu on table- Vietnamese cuisine, which is now the lifeblood of a humble restaurant in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Viet Ville is now known to tourists as a restaurant serving authentic Vietnamese food. But its story, which is I'm more interested in, recalls the hardships and victories of the people that once lived there.

Upon reaching the gate of Viet Ville in Km 13, Sta. Lourdes, the scent of nature and the sight of abandoned houses greeted us.

According to Ms. May Armada, occupants of Viet Ville have transferred to countries like  the United States and Canada under international adoption programs. Due to war, these people traveled on boat to countries across the ocean and were accepted by Filipinos. One by one, these people were matched to foster families that would help them start a new life.

Now, the houses in Viet Ville is being utilized for families displaced by natural disasters. The restaurant, which is a living legacy of the village, is being managed by the Catholic Church and has been bringing life to the once home to Vietnamese refugees. 

During our visit, we were served with classic Vietnam dishes like chicken fondue, chicken spring roll, pork pho, and chao long.

Since it was my first time to hear about the Vietnam cuisine, I sat in front of Ms. May to listen to every tale of the food they serve.

Viet Ville also offers freshly-baked French bread, which signifies the fact that Vietnam was once a colony of France.

In the middle of the briefing, we were presented with two Vietnamese women who work for the restaurant. They must be the QA staff to make sure that every plate of food coming form the kitchen tastes like the food in their home country.

Before we gathered for the food, we toured the community. Only five households are residing in the village making it very solemn.

A Catholic and Budhhist zones are also fully operational, with rites regularly being conducted for people around the area.

The trip to eat lunch at Viet Ville gave me a quick glimpse of historical account that proves that the Filipinos are a hospitable people in the world.

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Let me give you a tour of Viet Ville. Here are the greens of the village:





Viet Ville signages that are less visible from the main road. I recommend asking your tour guide about directions on how to get there.






Viet Ville's gate of the Catholic chapel. At first, I ignored this place.



This is one of the houses inside the village. As what I have mentioned, we first toured the place before hitting the dining table.



Viet Ville has a Buddhist temple. When we got there, the area was really very alive. Thanks to speaker that plays some native music that sets the mood. 









This may have been placed during the village's inauguration in 1997.


This is inside the Catholic chapel. We thought at first that it was forbidden to get inside. But we were wrong.





Now, we're getting nearer to the restaurant. Smell the food!






These are the Vietnamese women I was talking about above. They came to say hello to us and left for the kitchen.







After eating, we had some fun. These two co-bloggers wore the Vietnamese attire for an on-the-spot photoshoot inside the restaurant.





If you are fond of history, I recommend you visiting this place. You will be amazed to hear about the efforts of fellow Filipinos to help refugees.