" 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~
WE ARE HAPPY TO SHARE ALL OF THE PHOTOS PRESENTED HERE. HOWEVER, IF YOU DO RE-POST ANY OF THEM, PLEASE GIVE US CREDIT.

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



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