Morning walks at Recto

There is something with the cool air blowing on my window which reminded me of walking along the streets of Recto at 5:30 in the morning. Wide eyed from a cold morning bath, I walked its tiled pathwalk, to meet the early morning call time for our community exposure in Cavite. Without the usual hubbub of students, vendors, and other street wanderers, this street, for a moment, actually feels different, and looks different. Instead of the usual throngs of people, garbage lines the pavement, and instead of the usual buzz, silence rings. For a moment, at five in the morning, Recto does not feel like Recto.

Unlike walking the same street at 5 in the afternoon, in the wee hours of the morning, you could actually see the street from end to end-- the entire stretch of the bathroom tiled pavement. No person to bump into, no need to halt your steps for giggly-walking-under-the-moonlight-kolehiyalas, no nothing. Just a long hollow path. The walk feels longer though, and paranoia could be at its most intense. As an Inquirer columnist has put it, fantasy wrecks havoc on the mind. And imagining a crook hiding behind the shadows, preparing for a movie style goon entrance, is indeed more haunting than being blissfully unaware of sitting next to a holdaper.

Sleeping street dwellers punctuate the monotony of abounding space. It's not a feast for the eyes though, as the only thing to see besides them is the light from the lamp posts, illuminating wide spaces, and casting darker shadows at the corners.

Probably the only thing to hear at 5am is the occasional screeching and speeding cars. No one can blame them for savoring the open streets though--considering how these streets is never empty in the day.

I think it is interesting to walk at Recto when it is not in its usual state. It makes you feel that it is open to possibilities, like an old man ready to learn new things, and a married woman reading Madame Bovary. It makes you realize that even an entity so indelibly stamped with its peculiar characteristics could allow you to see a different side to it. And it only takes the right timing, and opportunity to see it.


Kevin in Manila said...

I know the feeling--I've walked down Recto later at night or on a holiday. It's a weird feeling.