11/30/2011
Slow motion daybreak

Have you ever experienced driving in the early hours and seeing the day literally start?

I remember when we went to Baguio last month. We left at four in the morning. Pitch dark outside, obviously. I was the one seated on the passenger seat, the guy assigned to see if there are incoming vehicles in alien roads, the guy with the sense of direction, even if I'm not entirely familiar with the roads leading to our destination.

We were on the NLEX at five in the morning. Still pitch dark outside, except for the lights along the straight highway. But slowly the sky turned to dark blue. Lighter and lighter shades of blue, soon enough, and then the stars give way to the clouds, and the next thing you know, it's daytime. The sun isn't that high yet, but the skies already tell you to wake up. Or, in our case, that it's time for breakfast. A stopover beckoned.

Same thing happened yesterday. My dad took an early flight to Singapore - business trip - and I accompanied him, because I'll be driving the car back home. We left just before five. The trip is much shorter, obviously - we were at the airport before six - but apart from the fact that the roads are definitely not straight, the skies were still mesmerizing. Blue slowly creeps in, and the next thing you know, you can turn off your headlights. It's daytime. Time for breakfast. Or, in my case, a stop at the nearest gas station for a toilet break.

Of course it's not the sort of thing you really notice. I did not notice this in all my early mornings when I was a kid, certainly not during the time when I woke up really early - three in the morning, unprovoked by an alarm - and decided to watch morning news shows just for the kick of it. And you definitely don't notice it when you drive. But when you're in the passenger's seat, it all makes sense.

The only exception was yesterday. We arrived at the airport before six (I did say that before, I know) and the skies aren't exactly bright yet. Call it a side effect of the Christmas season. I kissed my dad goodbye and took the driver's seat. Drove out of the departure area, tried to find my way to the Skyway, hoped that our E-Pass still had credit. I found my way, and I had the money to pay for the toll. I went up the on-ramp and I saw the sky slowly get there, and I was amazed for a split-second. Else I would've crashed.

And then the radio station I was listening to ended its automated overnight programming. Those chatty breakfast shows again. I wouldn't mind, but the guy started talking about Florence Welch covering a Drake song.

"I lost all respect for her," the fucking snob said.

I was peeved, but I wasn't surprised, since he's the supposed Filipino who insists on mispronouncing "Quezon City" as "Kwey-zahn City" just to sound American and cool. I switched stations.

The day has begun, indeed.

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