Thursday, December 28, 2006

Adventure! --

While waiting for the mass to start last Christmas eve, I suddenly remembered the MV Doulos. I don't know why I remembered it, but I did.

The MV Doulos is a passenger ship that travels from port to port all over the world. One of their goals is to promote literacy by selling books at affordable prices.

I had hazy memories about going up the ship as a child and being overwhelmed by the number of books on board. I remember having about 100 pesos (a large sum during that time) and being able to purchase some comic books (Muppets) and other books. I told Johann about it and he was intrigued by it so I decided to read up on it online, hoping to find out when it would next visit the Philippines.

Wonder of wonders, MV Doulos was in the Philippines (Bacolod, more specifically)!

So Johann and I made plans to go to Bacolod to visit the ship. We planned the trip for the 26th because it was a non-working holiday. We took the 930am boat to Bacolod but it was delayed so we arrived in Bacolod at 11am. We immediately made our way to Doulos, which was docked in the same port. We paid the PhP10 entrance and then had to engage the precarious climb up the gangplank.

The bookfair is a lot smaller and the selection is limited to Christian books, recipe books and a shedload of books for children. I had to restrain myself from purchasing books for Seth. I ended up buying 4 board books that would help a child learn Chinese and one really cool board book of patterns and very nice graphics.

While walking around, I was suddenly transported back to my first visit to Doulos -- lost among the crowds, sweating from the stuffiness, overwhelmed by the number of shelves and books and excited to be part of something so... international!

Johann was able to find an excellent book -- Cinema Year by Year 1894-2003 -- a big-ass book (and steal for PhP600!).

Other noteworthy items there were Dr Seuss tape and book sets for PhP150 (Johann didn't want me to get it because we don't have a cassette player =P) and lots of really cool activity books for older children.

MV Doulos will be in Bacolod until January 2 and then it will be in Manila, then Cebu, then Batangas before heading to Taiwan. See the schedule here.

* * *

Amazing Race moment --

We finished touring MV Doulos at 1230. The boat we wanted to take had a 1pm trip back to Iloilo. There was another boat leaving at 1245pm but we were worried that we wouldn't be able to make it and waste precious time lining up for tickets to a boat we wouldn't be able to get on.

When we arrived at the other ticket office, it turns out they had run out of tickets for the 1pm trip and their next trip was at 230 in the afternoon. Johann quickly decided to run to the other office. We asked the guard and he told us that they were no longer selling tickets for the 1245 trip. Their next trip was at 215. We lined up for the tickets -- when we finally got to the counter, the ticket lady told us that they no longer have tickets for the 215 trip. I asked if they had tickets for the first class seats (PhP100 more expensive) and she said no. They did, however, still have first class seats for the 1245 trip. So we coughed up the extra cash to take that trip.

Lesson: Always make reservations.

* * *

Post-Christmas report --

It was an interesting Christmas. I was still on antibiotics, which was an annoying reminder of my recent visit to the hospital.

To be honest, it felt very un-Christmas-y this year. It was warm, and there weren't that many Christmas lights.

I was determined to find the magic of Christmas --

I saw a glimmer of it in Seth when he was looking at the Christmas tree with such fascination.

I saw it in my godson's younger brother as he excitedly opened the Christmas present we got for him.

I felt it when we had lunch with my aunt, my cousins, nephews and niece and grandma the day after Christmas.

I did get really cool stuff this year -- a Canon Powershot A640, which I'm still getting acquainted with and a really pretty pair of Crocs, which haven't left my feet since the 24th. ^_^


jymdrn said...

thanks for your entry!

my high school english teacher mentioned Doulos to me before, and wow, it's here! i'll surely go :)

and thanks for the reminder about Christmas, it has been a different one for me this year.

Tin (ni Johann) said...

Hi, Jayme!

If you do go, check out the table nearest the checkout counters -- they have really beautiful journals for PhP200 --

Have a great new year!

jymdrn said...

Yay! Journals! :)

Happy New Year! :)