Night driving in Marbel
I grappled in the dark, until I found the light switch, hidden to the left of the steering wheel. To my right, Hannah, Sean's girlfriend, my designated teacher; Sean and Alyza, a second cousin, were in the backseat--all spectators and participants on my first experience of Driving at Night. Car stereo played my Spotify playlist, a collection of Christian hymns (Getty, Sovereign Grace, but not Hillsong), Broadway musicals, and some pop songs I could tolerate. I drove, steadily, slowly, making sense of tail lights, signal lights, fog lights, hidden canals by the narrow roads, breaks in cement, dim motorycles that seeped through little spaces between lanes and vehicles. As we edged out of the city center, the highway became progressively darker, the lamp post getting farther in between. I turned to my right, circled the Regional Office Complex, and drove back home. Nanay asked Sean how my driving was. "Puwede na. Hindi na kita mahuy-an (Not bad; we won't be embarrassed)," he said, the highest compliment.