After they have decommissioned its predecessor MV Doulos, the German Charitable Organization, GBA Ship e.V, had replaced it with a much bigger ship making it the largest floating bookstore in the world. The MV Logos Hope.
In line with their thrust to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people, the MV Logos Hope ship has been sailing from port to port not only to sell books but open awareness of people as well in some things such as their HIV campaign.
Yesterday, while it was still in its Cebu leg, I was lucky enough to have a first hand experience of what a floating bookstore really is. Together with my classmate Abby, we fed our curiosity by going to the ship a taking a little tour inside of it.
Before one can enter to the ship, and entrance fee must be paid amounting to Php20.00 but if you are 12 years old and below, entrance fee would be free of charge.
Upon passing the main entrance to the ship, you will be welcomed and ushered by their staffers who hails from different countries around the world, and, I couldn’t help but notice how welcoming they all are.
Next to the main entrance, you will see a mini “theater” with seats shaped like that of a lifeboat. Stories and videos about the ship itself and its different activities are being flashed on the big screen and within the walls of that room will you see different pictures depicting the history of the MV Logos Hope ship including its predecessor ships.
Next to the mini theater is the main bookstore, I was astonished to see that truly, it was really a big one. The size can be comparable to the bookstores we have in the mall, or even larger.
Different genre of books can be seen there, from fiction to autobiographies, self-help to children books, even High School Musical series can be found too! But mostly, you will see Christian books being sold.
You can also find a music bar within the book store that sells albums of Christian songs/singers.
Each item you can find is sold per unit. As for the Philippines, 1 unit is equivalent to Php1.00. The unit system conversion depends on the currency where the ship is docked.
Right after that large bookstore will you see a museum-like gallery of pictures that tells the story of the modernized “Prodigal Son”. We met Josh, from India, who walked us through, picture by picture, and relayed the story to us. Indeed it was a modern Prodigal Son.
The room next to that is their so-called International Cafe, it sells different snack items that you would enjoy from ice cream, to popcorn, to cookies, cake and juice. There are also seats available for the customers of the cafe.
Along the corners of the cafe, there’s a small area, an activity area most probably, intended for kids. Here you can find a staffer of MV Logos Hope trying to entertain the kiddos by different figures out of a balloon, sometimes letting the kids participate into small activities such as drawing and coloring.
We ended the tour by listening to a small talk about HIV, Mark’s Story. At first it was just the usual lecturer-listener interaction, but to my surprise, it was more than that. Before the proper talk, you will be subjected into an interactive story telling. Interactive why? Because you will be given an mp3 player, there you will pretend that you are the main character, Mark. And you will need to cross from one room to another depending on the setting of the story, inside that area. At one time I went inside a room like a bar, then a room set like a park, then a room just like a bedroom. Finally, in the simulated clinic room, the talk on HIV was given. Although I admit that I already have knowledge about it compared to the high school students who were with us yesterday on that tour, it still good to be refreshed and relearn the basic things about HIV.
Indeed, I enjoyed touring around the MV Logos Hope, and if ever I would have the chance and time, I would go back again.
MV Logos Hope is open Tuesdays-Saturdays at 10:00 am-9:30 pm, while Sundays at 12:00 pm-9:30 pm. They will be in Cebu until February 13, 2012, and their next destinations in the Philippines would be Manila and Subic. For more details, visit the MV Logos Hope site.