End of the road at Pierce Point, Singapore, taken during an early morning walk.
There’s no virtue in it for me—I wake up early. It was never a struggle.
I’m a morning person. I’m usually awake by 5 AM—6 AM if it’s a holiday or if I had stayed up late in the night, which rarely happens. My brothers seem to follow the same circadian rhythm. As children, our parents woke up before us. They’d have coffee in the porch or in the garden at 5:45 AM, then we’d be up by 6 AM, at which point my mother would dish out her instructions for home work—literally, chores to be done at home. My father wanted us out of the house to enjoy the early rays of sunshine. He’d take us walking or jogging to as far as Rizal Park near the SMRAA complex, occasionally with Rocky, our spitz, by the side. We’d be done by 10 AM. We’d take our morning showers after having tended to mother’s plants or having made sure the windows were sparkling, only to be drowned to sleep by ABS-CBN Tagalized cartoons. I still get my best sleep at 10 in the morning—I attribute that to how I’d been brought up.
During summer vacations which we spent with our relatives in Polomolok, what to do with the early mornings was a problem. Our cousins slept until 8 AM, so I had nothing else to do, nobody else to talk to, from 6 AM until then. I’ve developed the ability to sneak out of the bed, rummage through the encyclopedias and dictionaries and atlases in the house, and this was how, as a child, I had learned about Chile, among other things. This explains why the best time for reading is around this time, when the sun has just risen.
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