" PRPC, located in the mountains of Bataan, was about a 3-hour bus ride from Manila. The PRPC opened in 1980 and closed around 1995. I worked there from 1984 to 1988. More than 400,000 Indochinese refugees (Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, ethnic Chinese, and some other minority groups) passed through its gates. Almost all of them had already been accepted for resettlement in the U.S., and almost all of them had already spent months and years in first asylum camps in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. During their stay in the PRPC, the refugees underwent final processing, health screenings, and studied English and U.S. culture. Most of the photos in this album were taken on one day...the day before I left. They're not the most beautiful, and they don't include ceremonies or friends' faces. I took the photos to remember the look of the camp. What the photos can't express is what the PRPC felt like...the amazing mix of languages, backgrounds, and cultures, the old hatreds and loyalties, the night sounds from the forest, the steam rising from the earth after a sudden downpour, the sound of students repeating an English phrase, the sound of prayers from a temple at sunset..."
~Gaylord Barr~

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (8)

36. The Market at the center of PRPC. Operated by Filipinos from Morong, it sold drinks, cigarettes, canned goods, rice, vegetables, coffee, fruit, and ballut - 
Khu chợ gần trung tâm trại. Đa số người bán hàng là người Phi. Dân tị nạn có thể mua đồ cần dùng tại đây. Người Phi thích ăn hột vịt lộn nên thứ này rất dễ tìm mua ở đây

37. Walking between Neighborhoods
Quang cảnh một vùng PRPC

38. A food vendor
Không biết bán thứ gì trong thùng

39. Buddhist Youth camping next to the camp
Sinh hoạt Hướng Đạo tại PRPC. 
Đây là quang cảnh khu rừng núi của cuộc cắm trại.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (7)

That Luang Monument built by Laos refugees
Đài That Luang do người tị nạn lào xây dưng trong trại

Selling homemade pastries
Bán bánh nướng nhà làm

Laotian women bargaining for a pig being sold by a local woman (in blue).
Buôn bán trong khu người Khơ Me. Người đàn bà Phi đang chào hàng cho dân tị nạn Khơ Me

Protecting themselves from the sun
Xài dù chủ yếu để che nắng

Posing at the Vietnamese Memorial
Một em trai trước đài tưởng niệm miền Nam Việt Nam

 Women selling household goods before departure 
Họp chợ ven đường

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (6)

Knitting in front of billet 430-J, meaning the billet was located in Neighborhood 4, building 30, unit J

Behind one of the billets.
A papaya plant takes at least 9 months to yield fruit - longer than the typical 6-month stay of most refugees. These might have been planted by people who had to stay longer than usual, or just planted for the next arrivals

The main administrative offices at the center of PRPC, Freedom Plaza

A typical billet. 
It could house up to 10 people. There was an "attic" upstairs that could sleep 4 to 6 people. The bed (a wooden platform) downstairs could sleep 4, and there was room inside for 2 hammocks.
People decorated their walls with old newspapers, calendars, and pages from magazines.

Another temple at PRPC.
This one was devoted to Phat Giao Hoa Hao, a Vietnamese branch of Buddhism

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (5)

At PRPC, the adult ESL program was operated by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and was funded by the U.S. Department of State. Classes for children were operated by World Relief.  At the time, they formed the largest ESL program in the world.

The Assistant Teacher (AT) Program
'AT World' was located near the Market. The ATs were English-speaking refugee volunteers who served as classroom translators. One of the ATs, a young artist named Luu Kien Dung, adorned some of the exterior walls with traditional Chinese-style paintings.  They quickly became the backdrop for many photos.

'Tricycles' and mango trees - the road connecting Phase I with Phase II


A building water tank was filled once each day - sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. People hurried to bathe before it emptied.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (4)

Young Laotians

The weekly food distribution

A statue, Neighborhood 1 - commemorating the escape of the Khmer from their homeland.

The Cao Dai Temple

 Cooking fires behind the billets

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (3)

In front of the Cambodian temple. 
Refugees buying or selling wood.  Sometimes the charcoal distribution wasn't enough.

As part of the weekly food distribution, each barrack's 'food leader' would ration fish, rice, fruit, meat, vegetables, etc. according to the number of people in a household

"Neighborhood 11", the camp's cemetery

In Vietnam's Cao Dai religion, devotees honor Jesus, Buddha, and even Victor Hugo. The divine, all-seeing eye symbolizes God.

The Vietnamese Memorial - memorializing the fall of South Vietnam to the armies of the North.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pictures of Bataan PRPC by Gaylord Barr (2)


The water tank for each barrack was filled and turned on at a specific time each day. People went here to wash or carry water to the shower/toilet room. Men and children would bathe right next to the tank. Since a tank could empty quickly, some people would buy their own containers of water for use during the day

Two Filipino men in camp to trade with the refugees.
The refugees would trade extra rice, metal, plastic, clothing...

Just out of class

One of several temples built by the refugees