Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Five AM


The world looks a bit different at 5 AM.

In a bid to get back into the daily walking groove, I’m trying to shift back my daily walks to early in the morning, before breakfast. Recently I’ve been doing it in the afternoons or early evenings, but walking in the mornings has the distinct advantage that if for some reason I am unable to do it (maybe because I was super tired from the previous day, or the weather doesn’t cooperate, or just plain laziness), I have the rest of the day to catch up on it.

This of course assuming I am able to wake up early enough. I don’t use an alarm anymore nowadays, I find that that I don’t need to. I’m not one of those people who don’t understand how morning people can exist; I don’t have a problem naturally waking up early in the morning, unless I’m in one of my extended “out of sync with the world” phases (in which case I have a bigger problem). Lately my sleep cycle has been pretty good. I’m able to naturally wake up early even though I usually go to sleep past 12. (I simply catch up with a couple more hours sleep after breakfast.)

The Philippines isn’t one of those countries where sunrise time varies greatly depending on the season. Dawn usually breaks sometime between 5-6 am, even this late in the year. So walking outside at this time gives you the chance to see the sky transition from a drab night gray to whatever color it wants to be that day.

The streets aren’t very busy at 5 AM, though some of the usually busy intersections already have a short queue, a hint of things to come for the days ahead. And even at this early hour, school buses are up and about picking up kids. At 5AM! What time are those kids waking up, 4:30? That’s insane. When I was in grade school, I think the earliest I got up was around 5:30, and even then I was basically a zombie that my mom had to drag to the sink so she could splash some water on my face. I understand that these days in Metro Manila, early pickups are necessary due to the traffic situation, but I really feel for those kids.

A number of establishments are already open at 5AM, including the neighborhood bakery, the nearby Jollibee (24 hrs) and Starbucks (I think also 24 hrs)? On the streets there are already jeeps queued up and filling with passengers, again waking up early to face the menace of Metro Manila traffic.

My walk usually takes around 45 minutes. It’s not quite the “recommended” 10k daily steps that I used to be able to do, but we’ll get there someday. For now, I turn down the road leading back to our subdivision and look forward to breakfast.

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roytang.net is a personal site, an E/N site, and kind of a commonplace book; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.