Honesty Coffee Shop in Batanes

Owned by Elena Gabilo, the Honesty Coffee Shop in the municipality of Ivana off the Batan Island of Batanes has formed a niche in the curious minds of Filipinos and some foreigners. It has become one of the reasons why people go to Batanes.
To us who live in other parts of the country, this is a testament to the true nature of Filipinos – trustworthy! Can this be possibly franchised for the metro? Nobody can tell if it will “thrive” among the corrupted metropolitan minds. Well, some could readily say that it is going to be the worst concept ever – how could you start something that relies on trust if everybody in the city or metro is full of doubts?
There is nothing much that you can find inside. There are tables and chairs made up of plastic (honestly, I did expect to find something made up of indigenous materials), vakul (headdress of Ivatan women), junk foods and some souvenir shirts. In the counter area, there is a notebook, where you can list down all the items that you bought, and a container for money. And as the name implies, the centrepiece is a thermos bottle of hot water and mugs for coffee sessions.

Vakul for sale!
The owner is pictured in a poster campaign with Coca-Cola.

Before, I thought the shop was like an old Ivatan house made up of stones, lots of dangling junk foods and what not in the walls, and relatively dark. Well, I was wrong. And I was a bit disappointed. But the concept won my heart (I can hear some giggles and laughter, hahaha).

The Honesty Coffee Shop is always open to the public. Come and experience the Ivatan culture!

Sumdep kamo is the Ivatan equivalent for Welcome! Dios machivan is Ithink equivalent to God bless you.

 

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