"For breakfast, instead of cereal with milk, why don't you try coconut milk and pinipig (pounded and toasted glutinous rice flakes). It is healthier and more beneficial to your digestive system."
That was the advice my wife and I got from a respected albulario (folk medicine man). I had been feeling physically down in the dumps lately and my enthusiasm for birding was at a dismal low. The meeting with the albulario lifted up my spirits and I felt a little better after undergoing a hilot (massage) treatment.
That evening as Cynthia and I mulled on the suggested breakfast for the following morning. We looked at each other in an intense mental communication trying to merge our brain waves into one.
"Guinumis!" we both shouted simultaneously.
"Cafe Via Mare!" we chorused.
The plan was set: Go birding at U.P. (University of the Philippines) in the morning then head to our favorite breakfast place in that area afterwards.
Early Saturday morning we were there. We were greeted by fellow bird photographer Steve Albano who had been hoping for the migrant Blue Rock Thrush to show up. Soon we were joined by "local" (he teaches at the University) birder, Bert Madrigal. So far nothing but Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Brown Shrikes were present. After a while, we were joined by another fellow bird photographer, Crisnick Lorenzo who imformed us that the Philippine Nightjar was at its usual roost. Inasmuch as this would be a lifer for Steve, we hurried over. It didn't take long for Bert to locate the nocturnal bird peacefully sleeping on a branch.
"We last saw the Blue Rock Thrush near the Miranda Hall not too far from here," Bert informed us. "But it hadn't been seen lately, though."
Nevertheless we wanted to try our luck. The tree where the thrush was last seen was indeed teeming with birds - the usual Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Brown Shrikes. Then I saw something whitish.
"Pied Triller!" I told my companions.
While we were taking pictures of the Triller, a noisy Coppersmith Barbet called attention to itself.
Then a chunky reddish bird flew from that tree and landed on the roof of the Miranda Hall.
"Blue Rock Thrush!" I yelled.
Bert couldn't believe our luck in so easily finding this uncommon migrant as Steve and I kept on clicking our shutters excitedly. The Thrush eventually flew off. My wife and I bade goodbye to our friends.
Time to have that coconut milk with pinipig breakfast to nourish me back to health.