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Monday, September 24, 2007

Basic courtesy guides for an “Ipula”

“Ipula” is a term used by Ivatans for someone who is not a native of Batanes. They would know if you are an Ipula or not, simply because you are a new face, and you do not speak their dialect.

Ivatans are naturally courteous people. It is very heartwarming to know that the basic virtues taught by our grandparents and our parents still thrive in Batanes. Why not? Perhaps we can attribute it to the fact that they are an island and rarely do we, Ipulas, have the chance to intrude in their culture and tradition. It is because we feared Batanes because of its strong typhoons. Add to it the fact that transportation then was not that reliable.

Because of the extreme weather that Batanes is known for, it is only in the past two decades that Batanes has been fully explored as an alternative tourist destination. For those who fear Batanes’ extreme weather, it is good to note that you no longer have to fear being stranded—at least for now, because the strong typhoons has not passed through Batanes for the past 20 years. If you want to have an idea what a strong typhoon in Batanes is, it is very much much like typhoon Milenyo in 2006—only a little stronger, according to Mang Nards who drove us around.

So here are some reminders for Batanes wannabe explorers:

  1. Everyone calls the elders “uncle” or “auntie” which is a form of endearment and a sign of respect—very much like “tito” and “tita”.
  2. When you are invited into a household, or introduced to an elderly, do not forget to “kiss the hands” of he elders, by doing the traditional “Mano po”
  3. Whenever you meet someone along the street, make sure you have that ready smile and say “Magandang umaga/ hapon po!” (Good morning/ afternoon!), or just simply say “Hello!” (and do not misinterpret it that the stranger who said "hi" or "hello" has the hots for you!)
  4. When taking photos of people, just ask for their permission, and they will oblige. Thank them afterwards.
Let us help them preserve their culture. It does not hurt much if we say a simple “Hello!” One thing that makes me feel good is their courtesy.

I can never forget that.

4 people have commented. Leave your comments too!:

I'm so envious hehe. Batanes is a place I really want to visit someday. I think I'm attracted by its isolation apart from the beauty of course.

Tanong lang: You mean, even adults like us have to do the mano po? That's cool, I think :-)

Yes, Bill! Of course dapat sa elderly tayo magmano, and not necessarily to someone older than us. Thanks for dropping by...Been out of circulation for the past week because I have been out of town.


pupunta rin ako ng batanes sa sabado.. kakaexcite.

Thanks, dam-dam! Enjoy then! be careful when you go to Sabtang. The waves are high because of the southwest monsoon.

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