Sit tight, drink, and remember

G Hotel Manila, circa fall 2007

It’s August, summer is over here in the Philippines, but in this country you never know. We have the rains all right, rather hard and big, but once the rain has passed the sun comes out bright and warm and in the morning it feels clean and it’s beautiful here in Manila with the fog lifting and the early morning feels like the ones I had in the Philippine countryside.

The Philippines now have the Habagat season, or southwest monsoon, which passes northward from the south and covers the entire Philippines with rain-filled clouds and attracting other low pressure areas to make landfall. But, beyond the clouds, so they say, is the sun still shining. Clearly not reason to daunt anybody.

Anyway, summer is over, as I said, and there’s not much opportunity for travel anymore. I said not much. Beaches and other tourism hubs across the Philippines are unwelcoming, on account of the big waves that the Habagat brings. But I have my cross-country bike with me and that is enough, so that I can still enjoy the countryside although in a limited time only. I can deal with that.


Manila skyline taken from G Hotel Manila rooftop

That’s the difference between a bike and a motorized vehicle. One can go on a bike ride for, say, 60 km to Tagaytay City, take a rest and have lunch at a roadside restaurant that looked out to the Taal Lake, and go back to Manila tired and all used up. It isn’t the same on board a motorized vehicle. You come back not as tired as when you have ridden a bike, and so in the night it isn’t the same tiredness and, perhaps, contentment, that you feel.

Probably it’s just me. If you want to know I have this rotten habit of wondering how the night is like for my friends and other people I know. It’s a struggle, I believe. It is for me. So I rather enjoy the day and the out-of-the-doors. It’s that I had a difficult night that I enjoy them, I think. But, what do I know?

If you haven’t noticed it, I’m talking rot. I’m drunk. Not drunk in a bad sense, but drunk enough to be careless and tell how my nights are like. That’s what I like about the rainy season in the Philippines. Others may find enjoyment bathing in the rain, or whatever. But enjoying rounds of beer are what I like best about it. You can sit idly, be with your friends, and remember.

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