Filipina forgot to eat her balut, so it hatched

Balut, or developing duck embryo, is one of those unique Filipino delicacies that people either love or hate. But either way, it’s undeniably a popular dish. Even world-famous chefs such as the late Anthony Bourdain and Hollywood celebrities like Zac Efron have tried it.

Alex Lapa’s Tita Yna is someone who loves the unusual dish, which is why she buys them regularly. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that surfaced recently, she forgot to cook and eat her balut, as she was caught up in cleaning the house to stay safe from the virus. To their pleasant surprise, the duck egg eventually hatched, and a cute duckling emerged.

They named the duckling Cobibe

What was supposed to be just another balut consumed by Alex’s balutloving tita has now become the family pet. Tita Yna bought the balut from the usual place she goes to, and because she was in a hurry to get home, she failed to heed her suki’s warning that the egg she bought was near maturity. 

After taking it home, she set the balut aside to attend to important matters such as disinfecting the house. Next thing she knew, the egg had hatched into a cute a duckling that they named Cobibe, a play between COVID-19 and bibe, or duck.

Caring for Cobibe

Tita Yna’s household turned into Cobibe’s home overnight, and despite being unprepared for the new pet, they made do with what they had, finding a bright spot in the lockdown restrictions, as Alex tweeted.

screenshot of @AlexVLapa's tweet
Image credit: @AlexVLapa

Without a mother duck to tend to her needs, the little duckling had looked to Tita Yna for maternal affection, imprinting on her almost immediately. Alex says she even lets out sad little cries whenever tita isn’t around.

And with the ongoing pandemic making it hard to go on the search for proper duck feed, the family has been feeding her duckling-friendly foods, such as lettuce and dried shrimps.

A bright spot in this pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic we’re experiencing right now makes this a difficult period for a lot of people, but Alex reminds us to let these small, happy occurrences surprise. Just like how Cobibe surprised them by entering their lives and giving them a cute little thing to care for.

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Cover image adapted from: @AlexVLapa

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