Do I look like a “Manginginom?”
I really don’t know why I’m always invited for some shots whenever I visit a place. It happened when I was on board a banca from Valladolid, Negros Occidental to Guimaras; along the board walk at Borongan, Samar; when I was just walking at the white beach after a run in Boracay; in Capul Island lighthouse; at Pagadian Fish Port when I was interviewing a local fisherman (will talk about this next series) and of course the “Gin Kampay thingy in Batanes.”
Because we want to cover as much “tourist spots” as possible, having some talks with the locals is quite impossible so I always take every opportunity to sneak out (during the tour) and make contacts with the Ivatans. I want to just be with them and learn from them even though this means getting “a little bit” drunk.
An Opportunity to Make Friends with the Ivatans
While the bloggers enjoy the scenic view of Mahatao on top of the Lighthouse I sat down and said “hello, kamusta po?” to the local farmers who gathered at under the lighthouse. They were drinking some gin, with water as chaser and “kinilaw na baka” as pulutan, I was welcomed to the group. Take a shot of gin, chase with water sabay kampay! This is it- an opportunity to make friends and know more about their culture.
Although the bonding time was quite short, it was filled with smiles and laughter as I don’t really understand what they were telling me. They were speaking in other tongues (their dialect Ivatan) and I was speaking in Tagalog. We communicate with sign languages and it was indeed FUN!
A ‘Lil Bit Tipsy
I told them that I really don’t drink and all I can handle was 2 shots. After 2 shots, I was tipsy, then they gave me another one, followed by another one, followed by another shot. After 5 shots, I was sleepy…ZZZzzzz…. Good thing, co-bloggers are already finished with their snapshots and we’re to go to the next stop. I just slept in the van.
Oh btw, the pulutan was perfect. It was my first time to eat kinilaw na baka, may dugo-dugo pa. But it was sweet and juicy. Nung una, na-turn-off ako sa hitsura ng pulutan, pero nung tinikman ko na, ang sarap pala (kahit mkay dugo pa). Kinilaw na baka is the best pulutan I ever tasted!
Special Note: This is one of my travel secrets, asking a local is very common for travelers, drinking with the locals will stay forever in their memories. It is a powerful statement that you are indeed serious in making friends with them.
___ ___ ___
Visit Batanes is a 9-part series that paints the unfading beauty of Batanes, her citizens, churches, culture and cuisine. Posts are filled with photos that will surely convince readers to be thrilled in islands ata northernmost part of the Philippines. Come! Explore Batanes!
Visit Batanes Series: Colorful Churches / Sabong at Diura Fishing Village / Lola Ida and the House of Dakay / Surviving the Faluwa Ride / Quotes & Reflections at the Honesty Café / Chill Time with the Ivatans / Snapshots from Sabtang Island / 10 Must-Try Foods / Accommodations in Batanes