After our Microsoft event at the University of San Carlos , the TechTalks team and I went wild at the thought of an after-event road trip, despite being as haggard as we were from the event. We talked about our options during dinner and decided on visiting the MV Logos Hope while it was docked by the pier.
The MV Logos Hope is the fourth ship operated by the German Christian charity organization, GBA Ships. The ship itself has served under many names, being a car ferry when it was first built. Now, it serves as the world's largest floating book fair housing 400 volunteers as its crew and 5,000 different titles in its collection. The Logos Story, one of the books for sale there, talks about how the idea and service ship came to be. You should totally check it out.
The boat is designed to carry 800 visitors at a time in their large library sections, followed by multiple smaller sections that educates guests on the value of life, music, religion, diesel engines, and much more.
Books on board range from Classics to Business and Marketing, and Health to Teen Novels. Many of the books are at a discounted price, costing at about 100 to 250 pesos with 500 pesos being the largest amount I've seen. A lot of these books are rare and usually expensive when bought in regular bookstores so grab them while you can!
A large segment of the MV Logos Hope adventure will be the "Journey of Life". A visual display of a story loosely based off the Prodigal Son depicting the difficult choices in life and our desire to repent for the wrongdoings we commit. Volunteers hand out a pamphlet that immerses you into the story so I highly encourage everyone to read through it as you walk along the display instead of obnoxiously taking selfies without even understanding the display.
What's great about the MV Logos Hope is that even with the already lowered prices, they still prepare promos that make your experience even richer. I really appreciated their "Buy 5 books for only 250" section where you can just dig up whatever you can find, keeping you on the lookout for good books in the discount section.
I just wished the International Cafe had less people when we visited so I could check their menu out.
Other than being a big, floating library, the MV Logos Hope also has exhibits and interactive stations that encourage learning and life awareness to kids and adults alike. They even have programs that tap children's musical and social skills facilitated by some of the organizers on board.
Then there's this guy! I never found out what his name was but look out for him as he moves from section to section to take pictures or give a friendly wave and smile to visitors.
This last pictures sums up my takeaway from my MV Logos Hope experience pretty well so I'll end with this. If you look behind the mascot, you'll see a diesel engine cut in half and painted according to function to explain the mechanics of such a diesel engine. It used to be a part of the ship's main engine, too! And on the right is one of the volunteers and some kids they entertained on board. There were at least 6 of them that were surrounded just like this one in different parts of the vessel and that really struck me.
What I loved about the experience was that everywhere you looked, there was something new, engaging, and generally pleasant to look at and learn from. The crew was diverse. But despite that, each and every one of them had the same outlook and interactions. They all tried to engage, make a connection, and left no one out of it. They would talk to whomever listened and listened to whomever wanted to talk. Such an open acceptance to people in general is something I looked to be something we all forget as we go along the complexity that is our life.
Overall, I highly encourage everyone who happen to have the vessel docked in their local port to check it out. It's definitely worth a look!