Bingeing at Ivana (Batanes, Part 4)

Day 4 – Tuesday

I could already hear Gemma moving around when I finally opened my eyes. Ooh, the day we say our goodbye to fellow travelers and hello to longtime, seldom or never before seen relatives. And the day we will be stuffing ourselves from food at every house we visit. Goodbye, diet!

The mass at Ivana was 8am so we prepared early. Dick came by to get Gemma’s luggage and checked these in at the airport. We later found out that she had to pay 500 pesos for excess baggage. Must be all those stones and shells.

We had breakfast and had some picture taking at the front of the house. Boying arrived and took Gemma and Jon to the airport. We chatted while waiting for him to come back.

He came back almost 8am. The plane has not arrived yet that time. Lilia accompanied Gemma and Jon for meantime. We all boarded the jeep, including Linda and Mark. We sped off to Ivana.

The church was dressed up with colorful stringed banners outside. We arrived before the homily so it was still alright. When the mass ended, the only relation we saw that time was Uncle Ronnie Aguto. He was surprised to see us there and told us to pass by their house later.

San Jose Church, Ivana

Our first stop was the patriarchal home of the Barcelona clan. Lolo Vicente died two years ago but Lola Roring still lives there. We were met with open arms by Lola. Auntie Josie was there so we had a short chat. It was around 10am when they served food. Hmm, early lunch.

After the early lunch, I whipped out the list Dad gave and we set off to visit more relatives. We passed by Uncles Jonathan and Dick’s houses and had a short chat with them. These are brothers of Aunties Josie and Susan, children of Lola Roring. Are you still with me? We told them we’d pass them by again before we returned to Lola.

Next was Uncle Jun and Auntie Roring Valientes. These were relatives we have not even met. Linda introduced us and Auntie immediately said that I looked exactly like Dad. True- I have heard that countless times. She ushered us in and we had another go at lunch.

After some picture-taking and a quick chat, we were off. We visited Uncle Ronnie Aguto’s house and were met by Auntie and Mabel. As usual, we had something to eat. I only took small portions of everything. Of the three houses I have already eaten, the following food is always on the table: beef steak, lumpiang shanghai, fried chicken, uvud and yellow rice.

After all the eating, we passed by the Honesty Coffee Shop. There was no proprietor in sight, just a bunch of kids singing along the videoke. There was a list posted on the wall on how much the items were and a box where you drop the payment. As the name of the establishment states, honesty is the name of the game. Unfortunately, there were no cups for the coffee so we had no choice but to call the proprietor. After having our fill, we went to the plaza to watch the program.

Honesty Coffee Shop, Ivana

During the program, Nessie and I visited Uncle Bading Barona and had some fruit salad. When we got back to the others, presentations were still ongoing. We all left and made one more relative stop: Uncle Bading and Auntie Loling Agito. My uncle was already drunk and being half blind, mistook Jun for a relative. He could not stop talking to him, hehehe.

We went back to Lola Roring’s house and had an early dinner. We left really full and tired, mostly from the heat. We went straight to the house, passing up the invitation to go to Disvayangan. We had our showers then prepared for bed. Ho-hum, better sleep early- we go to Sabtang tomorrow.

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