Friday, February 09, 2007

Doulos in Cebu

MV Doulos is in Cebu once again. They were here since January 25. It is said that this is their fifth time to visit the Philippines. The last time was almost six years ago. How time flies so fast! I was excited about the books. My wife is thrilled at the possibility of attending seminars and conferences on board.

I was in high school when I first been to Doulos. At that time, I was also thinking of volunteering for the ship while they dock in Cebu. One from church got in. He was assigned to paint the ship. Another childhood buddy volunteered for six months and was able to travel to Malaysia and Indonesia. I, for some reasons, was only dreaming. I only bought a book which I can afford. It was about praying for all the nations, published by Operation Mobilisation. It contained facts and figures of all the countries in the world, plus some prayer concerns. For me, I treated it like an atlas; really very informative.

I was already working in an audit firm when Doulos came to Cebu the last time. I can’t remember much about it, but the key chain I bought is still alive and hanging in my knapsack. My wife was able to join their week-long drama workshop and got to know some people on board. She even attended many on-board conferences.

I, again, was thinking of volunteering. I calculated the funding needed: P15k per month for 2 years. But my friend from church really stepped forward. His family can afford it. But volunteers are required to have financial and prayer support from local churches and church members. I guess he lacked the numbers. But he was able to join another (not on-board the ship) short-term mission trip.

The other Sunday we were at Doulos. We brought around 50 young people from church. We arrived an hour after opening but there was already a long line at the entrance. I was perspiring. If given my way, I’d choose to visit the boat on a weekday. When on board, I went straight to the book fair. It was very crowded. I had difficulty squeezing in. I wasn’t able to buy anything. So I made my exit and found a few young people playing in one of the decks.

We visited the ship again last Sunday. This time we attended one of their presentations. My wife bought the tickets weeks before the ship arrived in Cebu. At P20 each, it was cheap. She had plenty of connections. We also invited a friend on that night. We were surprised that he did not know anything about the ship.

The presentation was a sort of a tour with Doulos, and showcased some of the nationalities on board the ship. We also saw white Africans (south Africans of Dutch origin). We were also shown videos of their recent trips to Africa and Cambodia. A Doulos staff is assigned in each table. The one assigned to us is a Swiss miss. We asked her questions about life on board the ship. We found out that she’s a carpenter. I was amazed. It was my first time to meet a real female carpenter.

After the show, we went to the book fair. We still have a few minutes left before closing. There was a book that caught my attention. I was also mentally counting the money left in my wallet. Hmmm… We haven’t had our dinner yet. So I decided I'll come back another time before they leave. I heard that this will be the ship’s last visit to the Philippines before she’ll be replaced with a newer one. Maybe I’ll just buy some souvenirs.

Here are a few facts about the ship:

1. Built in 1914, two years younger than the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic
2. World’s oldest ocean-going passenger ship
3. Owned by a German non-profit, charity organization ‘Gute Bücher für Alle’ (Good Books for All).
4. World’s largest floating book fair
5. Carries over 6,000 different titles
6. All crew members serve as volunteers
7. Has sailed under four distinct names: Medina, Roma, Franca C and Doulos.
8. They are not just selling books. They are bringing Knowledge, Help and Hope to the people of the world


sasha said...

Wow! I wish I also have the money to volunteer... Siguro when I grow old and found myself single, I'll be near books talaga. Yan ang life ko :)

Sayang when it was docked here at Pier, Manila I wasn't able to come and take a look.

panyang balani said...

very interesting! wish i could experience the 'delight' inside the historical-knowledgebearer vessel before they leave. :(


Have a hearty and happy weekend ahead! Ü

pam said...

ang huge!:D


ghee said...

Conferences on board,thats very interesting! bat ngayon ko lang yata narinig yan? ang galing nman at mukhnag ang daming participants :)

thanx for the info ^_^

Lazarus said...

Ghee, they're lining up for the book fair. There is a separate entrance for seminar/conference participants. Less than a 100 lang participants per seminar.

Pam, it looks huge in the picture. Some of the superferries are even larger than this one.

Panyang, till Feb 19 pa sila sa Cebu. This would be their last visit in RP.

Sasha, their next stop is Batangas. I am not sure how far that is from your place.

Francesca said...

teka, ano yung 15thousand pesos a month funds for two years?

Saan kukunin?

Interesting kasi.

tin-tin said...

i've read that in the newspaper. gusto ko nga pumunta, pero bket nga ba hindi ako nakapunta? wala na pala sa manila. sayang

carey said...

two years younger than Titanic, that's interesting. :)
i'm looking forward to setting foot on the new ship next time... hope so. i love books.

brVince said...

what captured me? the age of the ship! oh books... :)

Rick Vaughn said...

if you check the website, you will see they are NOT replacing Doulos or Logos II but adding a new ship, Logos Hope...