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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board. My name is Farah and I am your captain on board today. I’m going to bring you sailing in our newly built ship that is ShipHaus.

ShipHaus was never in my pre-trip itinerary for its existence was never made known to yours truly. So when the autorickshaw driver, Richard, brought me to a house that resembles a ship, I thought it was a scam. But wait, it’s a new attraction in Bohol. ShipHaus is the name given for a house owned by Capt. Gaundencio Dumapias, a native of Bohol who was once a poor boy and later become a successful sailor.

Initially, the ShipHaus was not intended to be a tourist attraction. Local people fondly call the place, “Bay Barko”, a Visayan word than means a ship house. Capt. Dumapias wanted a different and used the Haus instead of House. So it was finally called ShipHaus located at Poblacion Norte, Batuan, Bohol, Philippines.

The ShipHaus is well-equipped for a sailing ship with captain’s cabin, chiefmate’s cabin, kitchen, etc. The workers are all dressed in navy uniform. There is a roof deck that resembles a front ship from which you can horizontally look into the endless ocean.

Well of course, it is not just a ship house. It stands as a symbol of courage, determination and hard work that pays. It is as if I could imagine how an act of building a ship house in the middle of a fishing and farming village gives so much hope and promises for the children to be a top notch seamen. I can’t help but to be reminded of the illegal fishing system once used in the Philippines where children were belaboured in the worst conditions. They slept in rat-infested bunks, fed only twice a day and were thrown in the open sea to pound and crush coral reefs so as to scare the fishes and draw them into the nets. Such was life for a Filipino kid back then in a fishing village. Instead of being the child who is thrown into the open sea for an illegal fishing system, it is a hope that the child becomes a navy sailor, to the least. Capt Dumapias’s act is definitely an applaudable effort!