Manila By Night

A friend texted me, saying she wants to sell me a booklet of tickets for her child’s school activity. I live in Bulacan. She lives near the University Belt. I said, ‘OK, I’ll go there myself.’

After lengthy talks of what happened to whom and the how are you doings, I left, but not for home. The traffic was sufficiently bad that time, as I remember it, and I decided to walk. I started from Morayta, saw the students coming out, and smiled to myself. Once, I was one of them, full of hope, worried about small things, things like my teacher will kill me for the homework I didn’t do.

Walking on until the railroad, I hear the horn. It sounded like a stern father whale berating his kids to grow up. “Grow up, grow up, you’re too big for the Mediterranean. Grow up, grow up.” I stop to watch time and traffic stop. I could have made a lesser mistake. A PNR train dropping off passengers in that non-station takes longer than waiting for a stoplight to go green while in the throes of diarrhea. People get off the rain and scatter in a beeline toward their destination, their comings and goings unhampered by vehicles who would like nothing else but to get to their homes. The train finally lurches on and I walk again.

I grow hungry, and I finally notice the lights around me. There’s a convenience store every two blocks, and an “Original Pares” if you look hard enough. I eat at one and relive three years of my life. I remember Tayuman, SM San Lazaro, Retiro. Previous loves, and previous lives. I started this blog with a post on pares. I then remember now that those are not previous lives. These memories are still a part of me.


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