Monday, February 5

Hanging out in Calauan

Justice Pronove invited us to his house in Calauan, Laguna and we gladly accepted. So early morning last Saturday, with a full moon still high in the sky, Alex and Tere and Adri and I headed south towards Makiling. From the highway at kilometer post 69.5 (!!!), we turned into a dirt road towards Justice's house.
What a pretty place Justice has! On the right were green rice fields with the mountains of Nagcarlan in the distance and on the left were fish ponds with hundreds of egrets and terns and Makiling in the background. I didn't expect too many birds but we also counted SEVENTEEN common kingfishers (yes, they were common here!) patrolling the ponds, several grey wagtails, brown shrikes, grassbirds, cisticolas, snipes, etc. etc.

When we reached Justice's place, sure enough Mrs. Pronove welcomed us with breakfast, in true motherly fashion.  We spent the rest of the morning boating (yes on the meter-deep tilapia pond), fishing (I actually only fed the fish) and just lounging around.  We had a sumptuous lunch of inihaw na tilapia wrapped in banana leaf, sinigang na baboy, grilled  inadobong beef, itlog na maalat  with kamatis and burong hipon.   Yum!  The weather was perfect, although my cheeks suffered a bit of windburn.

There was a little terrace behind the house which faced seemingly endless rice fields, interrupted by the town of Bai. 

On the horizon stood Makiling, all her peaks clear and unclouded against the hot mid-afternoon sky.  That was where we stayed for most of the afternoon.  From there we could count the egrets and terns flying by and the bitterns popping out of the green, and snipes frightened from the rows of palay  and the pilapil by passing farmers and a brown shrike patrolling the irrigation canal and grassbirds singing loudly from branches, and yellow-vented bulbuls, and zebra doves on the grass and pacific swallows hawking for insects and even a lone white-throated kingfisher flying back and forth.  Later Alex brought out some cold beer, which we took with pretzels and chips (and later red wine).  It was certainly the epitome of dude-birding.

We stayed to watch the sun set behind Makiling, dressing the the mountains in cold grey and lining the clouds in gold.

Thanks to Justice and his wife for their kindness and generosity, Alex and Tere for their usual wonderful company, and of course Mang Boy for driving.


  1. kagandahan ang sagot sa lahat ng drama sa buhay!

  2. nakakatuwa naman trinket! sana dumami pa ang mga mapuntahan nating ganitong may kagandahan!!!