Tuesday, February 20, 2007

MV Doulos

I saw the MV Doulos just as it was leaving Pier 1 this afternoon. I saw it as I entered the SRP from the Plaza Independencia entrance. Seen from a distance, it's not a very big ship at all. Pare-pareho lang kadak-a siguro sa Superferry or Cebu Ferries. But it's amazing, to think that it's one of the oldest, if not the oldest, ship in the world, being younger than the Titanic by only two years. It is indeed a historic ship. Or put another way, it indeed belongs to the pages of history.

And I was very fortunate to visit it at the very last minute last night. I forced myself to go, despite the sheer fatigue that I felt from lack of sleep, because it was to be the ship's last day here in Cebu (At last I finally found the time to come!). I heard that the ship's present tour is actually its last. Its owners have determined that it has served enough (it has indeed lived up to its name, which means "servant"). Its time has come.

The ship was still packed with people last night. My eyes delighted at the sight of the books! My brother and friends warned me days ago that the books are not really that good, or interesting. Most of them are "religious" books, the rest are children's books. But I wasn't disappointed, really. I like to read "religious" books. I was hoping to find books by C. S. Lewis, his Christian apologetics. But I only found one of his Narnia series. There were also books by Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. But I ended up buying a compilation of all of Oscar Wilde's works. Lipay na kaayo ko ana. For Php 300, I think that's already a bargain! My brother bought a hardbound book on painting and a Special Air Service (SAS) pocket guidebook on surviving life-threatening situations or something. I didn't know what he wanted it for. I told him that such a guide will only be useful in doomsday scenarios, like if we were attacked by terrorists or if we were struck by some sort of catastrophe, but he went ahead and bought it anyway. He didn't find books on architecture. My mother bought a cookbook.

We shelled out about Php 1500 at the counter. It's nice because we've never spent that much money for books before. At least once in a while we spend money on things that matter.

Siguro nindut kaayo ang mga books the first few days the fair opened. Sayang kaayo last minute nami naka-adto.

What explains MV Doulos' popularity? Is it because it is such a historic ship? Or is it simply because we Filipinos are actually book lovers and it's just not that obvious? Hmmm... I think the latter is true... :)

On our way out the ship a black woman, one of the ship's crew, asked me if I was studying to be a doctor, because I was dressed in all white. I said I was studying to become a nurse, and she was surprised. "No kidding!" "But in Africa," she added, "we also have male nurses." I just smiled.

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