Honesty Coffee Shop
Honesty Coffee Shop is a unique and charming attraction in Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines. It is a self-service coffee shop and store that operates on the principle of honesty. It is owned by an Ivatan couple, Jose and Elena Gabilo, who opened it in 1995 after Elena's retirement as a public school teacher.
The coffee shop is located near the port of Ivana, one of the towns in Batan Island, the main island of Batanes. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and welcomes anyone who wants to have a snack, a drink, or a souvenir. The coffee shop sells mostly local products, such as coffee, tea, biscuits, chips, vinegar, and shirts. There are also some books and magazines that visitors can read while relaxing in the cozy space.
The coffee shop is unmanned, which means there is no staff or cashier to attend to the customers. Instead, there is a log book and a locked box where customers can write down their purchases and drop their payments. The prices of the items are marked on the packages or on the walls. The customers are expected to be honest and pay the exact amount for what they get. There is also a sign on the wall that says "This store is too small for dishonest people.
The coffee shop is not only a place to enjoy a cup of coffee, but also a symbol of the culture and history of Batanes. It showcases the honesty, trust, and hospitality of the Ivatans, the indigenous people of Batanes, who have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. It also reflects the resilience and creativity of the Ivatans, who have survived natural disasters and foreign invasions. The coffee shop has been featured in many local and international media outlets, such as CNN, BBC, and National Geographic.