Coffee shop in Batanes shows honesty can be good business
- Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/190761/coffee-shop-in-batanes-shows-honesty-can-be-good-business
- By: Yolanda Sotelo
- Wednesday, May 09, 2012
IVANA, Batanes—Honesty has been operating a rustic coffee shop here for 17 years now.
When customers enter the Honesty Coffee Shop, they will never encounter anyone manning the place. They help themselves to a cup of coffee or a bottle of cola, or can munch on biscuits, fried bananas and sweet potatoes that have been prepared and laid out for them at the counter.
After a nice meal, they are expected to pay for the service by dropping cash or coins into a wooden “payment box” at the counter and scribble down what they bought on a notebook.
Elena Gabilo, 77, a retired schoolteacher who owns the shop, says the system has worked well for residents of this coastal village as well as visitors.
It was on a cold morning in 1995 when then newly retired Gabilo observed fishermen boarding boats in a pier just a few meters from her house.
“[I realized] there was not a place for them to get drinking water, much less coffee, and my heart went out to them, especially the young children. In a corner, I put a thermos bottle and some coffee and sugar, for anyone to drink. I thought maybe they would leave me money, but in the afternoon when I returned there was no money at all,” she recalls.
“I told myself that was okay because I at least helped out,” she adds.
She kept leaving the fishermen coffee and food for a month. One day she discovered a few coins tucked in a box, apparently payment for her service.
It encouraged Gabilo to add biscuits and candies at the counter, and even a kilo of rice near pots and a kettle so fishermen can cook this. She also left tins of sardines.
This time, her efforts were repaid with small bills.
In 1998, a government radio station learned of Gabilo’s unique venture, and suggested that her shop be named The Honesty Store.
The store has evolved into The Honesty Coffee Shop, which also displays souvenir items for tourists.
“I don’t know if the customers drop the right amount. I don’t want to know if some people are cheating. But as far as I know, 98 percent of the customers pay the right amount,” Gabilo says.
She says two of her regular customers tried a similar venture in Manila, but they failed.
Conspicuous enough for customers to see is a sign on a wall that says: “Get what you need. Please pay (for) whatever you get. If you have no change, knock at the door. If no one answers, sorry, so you give more than the price. May your tribe increase. Remember, Honesty is the best policy.”
Better services seen in Basco port
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R02&article=451336439782
- By: Necitas G. Alconis
- Tuesday, May 08, 2012
BASCO, Batanes- Officers and members of cooperatives and residents of this island province are expecting for better services once the extension of the Basco port here will be realized.
Charles Ibaňes, chairman of the Batanes Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BMPC) disclosed that some officials of the Philippine Port Authority (PPA) from Manila were in the province recently to assess the situation in the area, and after seeing the urgent need for port extension, the PPA officials proposed for a second extension of 70 meters (m) more to ensure that three to four cargo vessels could dock at the pier at a time.
The project was started in October 2011, and the completion of the first 50 m extension is targeted this June. The second extension might not be started in July-August due to west winds that usually bring towering waves, which will bring risks to the workers.
As per interview with some Ivatan laborers hired by PPA, the second extension may likely start on October to November when the sea at Basco port is calmer and safer for workers and the materials to be used.
According to Ibaňes, the extension aims to bring better services for the shipping operators who maintain cargo vessels in the area, such as BMPC, with two cargo vessels; the TRANSCEND with one vessel; the MISUBI, with one passenger boat; PULZAR construction, with one cargo vessel; and two inter-island motorized bancas for passengers and cargoes to and from Itbayat Island.
“The existing Basco port could only serve one cargo vessel at a time. If another cargo vessel comes to Basco before the previous vessel pulls out, it has to keep distance at least 100 meters from the pier,” he said.
5th Uyugan’s Kamanidungan festival slated on May 10
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R02&article=451336096334
- By: Necitas G. Alconis
- Friday, May 04, 2012
BASCO, Batanes- The municipality of Uyugan is set to celebrate town fiesta on May 10, featuring its 5th Kamanidungan festival.
Kamanidungan, from the root word "manidung" which means to help, is a local term for cooperativism, concentrated on house making, a genuine traditional cooperativism that is still strong in Uyugan.
The peculiarity of the traditional cooperativism begins with the provision of housing materials for a traditional house such as posts, lumber, cogon, reeds, nails, tying materials and stones by neighbors, town folks and friends, aside from the free labor.
This year,the Uyugan festival will feature the pitching in of construction materials, the categorized subworkers, and the main laborers in erecting a traditional Ivatan house.
Less abled men helped in the preparation of food for lunch, snacks and drinks. The animal to be butchered will be provided by the house owner, but rice, yam, camote, firewood and bread fruit leaves, wine, and other drinks are provided through donations from neighbors and the workers themselves.
To be featured along with the Kamanidungan will be the agro-fair of their farm and home products for the public.
Kamanidungan festival, along with Mahatao’s Rakanen festival, (vegetables as main product) last March 17 to 19, Basco’s Kulay Festival on April 16-19, Sabtang Mayes Festival (corn) on April 25 to 27, were being held as the prelude to Batanes Day on June 26.
Batanes, Santiago City bid national Nutrition Honor Award
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R02&article=461335773453
- By: Oliver T. Baccay
- Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Two of the local nutrition councils in region 2 are now contenders of the prestigious Nutrition Honor Award, the highest recognition given to Local Government Units (LGUs) that have consistently shown outstanding performance for nutrition improvement.
For this year, Batanes province and Santiago City are the entries of Cagayan Valley in the said award system, after three consecutive years of garnering the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN).
Nutrition Program Coordinator Rhodora Maestre said the two LGUs are now on their 3rd year of maintaining their CROWN award which qualifies them to be elevated into the NHA.
She said Batanes province was already evaluated last week while Santiago City is scheduled for May 7-11, 2012. NNC chief Assistant Secretary Bernardita Flores led the team in Batanes together with the evaluators from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Agriculture (DA).
Maestre believed that the two entries will make it as she sees the strong foundation of the programs, projects and innovations made for the eradication of malnutrition rate in the said areas.
Region 2 had consistently produced national champions in the different categories of the nutrition award system to include the NHA awards received by Solana, Cagayan; Echague, Isabela; Tuguegarao City; Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya; Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan province and Isabela province.
These LGUs have innovative programs and projects that contributed to the eradication of malnutrition rate in their areas, a strong advocacy to promote good nutrition, support to the maternal and health care program, and the political will in implementing related laws and policies toward the development of nutrition and health of the people.