The Honesty Coffee Shop

The Ivatans are well known for their honesty. I have personally experienced it when I visited the beautiful province of Batanes.

"Honesty is the best policy" his statement remains true in the province of Batanes particularly in the municipality of Ivana.

The shop is owned and operated by married couple Jose and Elena Gabilo. The store opened in 1995 after Elena's retirement.  This coffee shop was originally named Honesty Cafe in 1998 while some local residents call it Honesty Store.

The shop is located beside the Port of Ivana.

Honesty Coffee Shop isn’t your ordinary shop. The store remains unmanned the entire day and it is always open. You will not find a cashier or security guard in it.

It is a typical Pinoy Sari-Sari store and Coffee Shop combined where you can sit, relax and have some coffee. Let me mentioned that I love their brewed coffee. Each item has a price tag while some item prices are listed on the wall. Aside from snacks you can also buy souvenirs in the store.

You can get what you need or what you want then just write down the items that you took with its corresponding amount. You can drop the payment on the designated boxes. Because of the way they do business the Coffee Shop became a tourist spot on its own. It is famous not just in the Philippines but worldwide.

You can find an interesting sign on the wall that says “This store is too small for dishonest people.”

Simple rules hung on the wall of the shop.

  • Self-service only
  • Get what you need
  • Pay for whatever you need
  • If you have no change, knock at the next door
  • If no one answers, sorry you give more than the price
  • Always remember, "honesty is the best policy"

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