These days in the city, strolling around the neighborhood isn’t as charming as it used to be (hello, climate change) (summertime is on). Sometimes I would reminisce a good ten years past when my cousin and I walked up and down the residential streets of Malate, sat by the sidewalk and ate lots of street food while she finished her cigarette. Or the time when I was dashing around on errands with my bare head exposed, unmindful of the noontime sun (now it feels like being broiled in an open giant oven).
It is Lent season. The holy week calls to mind the blazing heat and dusty breezes, the chanting of loud prayers and still afternoons. I am constantly nostalgic of the Lenten days at the same time it has given me twinges of exhilaration.
In a matter of five days or so, the city itself shuts down almost like a ghost town as half the crowd takes the first ride out on this holiday. Its empty spaces put a spring to my steps and I find myself breathing easily. There’s a sense of belonging as if the abandoned streets and lone buildings, the sleepy trees and the drones of remaining voices are mine to keep. Instead of the feeling of intrusion, these sounds become a drowsy background, a drowsy company. These are the few moments I’ve come to savor.