Rise and Shine

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A big group of morning walkers spotted Ah Kong jogging by his lonesome last Sunday along Bokawkan Road, Baguio City, hailed him and joined the poor guy.

Apparently, the group-walkers exuded exhilaration for being up and about while the sun has yet to flex its arthritic knees and crawl up the horizon.

There’s no sunrise so magnificent that’s worth waking up early to glimpse it before it rises.

How too often are those rising from bed early before the sun is up are inclined to be grand and intolerant on the strength of their virtue to look around and blurt, “Why isn’t everybody up and about? How can people lie in bed at an hour like this?”

They could be right, they who adhere to the adage, “Early to bed, early to rise…”

Nothing renders a man or a woman so completely master/mistress of the day by waking up early and attentive to the anticipation of completing, good-naturedly, host of activities for the day that will open possibilities for the next day until the cycle of the week is complete or incomplete.

Ah, curious about the early risers, asked them. One was eater of meat. Another feasted on vegetable only. Others ate vegetables and meat.  There were those who drank liquor as if they were “maibibusan.”; there were those who profess never touched wine but drink when somebody isn’t looking. Some smoked cigarettes like chimneys, smelling like ashtrays. Some exposed themselves to inclement weather.

But every one of them was an early riser. On the matter of early rising, there was no variation. Every one left their beds just as roosters stretched their necks to crow.

All made their appearance at Mother Nature’s early wake up call. She was pleased they valued her fresh air, balmy quiet and her skies.

She was appreciative early risers took the first step in life regularly, if to make them hale and hearty. So Mother Nature lays her hands upon their heads, blesses them and pronounce them good ol’ folks for scampering at their wonderful ages and woe to those still abed and refusing to rise may stumble down in gout, arthritis, obesity or high blood pressure.

But late risers defend their position, howling whenever they feel the need to exercise, they sleep until it goes away, their idea of exercise is never to wake up early but to sleep late.

A most pleasant hour it is certainly, when you are once up. At a distance, a dog occasionally barks, while the air comes sweepingly cool and whispering. Yep, those prodigious moments when one is able to drink in at one’s ears these innocent sounds   and the very sense of silence.

As a good friend, Dr. Andrew Martin of the Department of Health – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) and assigned in Kalinga, would happily want it aptly written: “What excuse shall we mortals offer by lying in bed all day long, apparently the worst of habits; while on the other hand, amidst all habits that people have attained, it is said that in one respect, all agree that no-very long-lived person has been a late riser.”

Or take it from Eugene Banasan, a young man from Poblacion Sabangan, who resides in Baguio and manages a news stand along  the City’s Plaza Square.

Eugene is never late being at Maharlika Building, waiting for the  vans from Manila and   bringing daily the national newspapers and tabloids to Baguio.

He’s always in the company of Lakay Kiko or Mang Kiko, popularly known among the news hawkers. With laughter, Lakay Kiko would wag his tongue, wonders why the news vans coming from Manila are usually first to arrive at Maharlika Building. Vehicles delivering the local newspapers printed in Baguio are late.

They get so regularly late that Eugene and Mang Kiko prodded Ah to mention about it.

Last Sunday’s early morning, Ah sidled up to Joe Manzano, general manager of Herald Express and where Ah works as main columnist, intoning, “Gonna mention about local papers hitting late their drop-off location.”

Joe, ever cheerful even when the blues are chewing at his ears, laughed in unison with Ah.

Even Ah’s bayaw, (brother-in-law) Roland Sanchez, from Bontoc, Mountain Province and married to Ah’s first cousin, Carmen Changat Sanchez, both know well the virtue of being an early riser. Roland and Carmen run a bakery shop in Central Bontoc. To manage a bakery shop, one rises before the sun rises.

As a saying goes, “Early bird catches the worm,” however, disputed by those who love to “agkukut” (sleep late). “Before, we used to wake up early, but there were no worms. So now we sleep late,” they say.

Late risers contend it’s bad for the health rising early, pointing to the worm as example. As the early bird gets the worm, definitely the worm doesn’t like waking up early. If it does, it’s eaten.

Others imply they don’t like mornings because it begins when they are still asleep.

Still, others hold that, “God created sleep while the devil created the alarm clock.”

Many whispered, “Pardon us, Ah, if we sleep until we wake up, as we are allergic to mornings.”

Do late risers tend to sleep during portions of the day when at work? No scientific basis for Ah to lean on, but he’d seen occasions of colleagues attending seminars or workshops drop off to sleep. They attend, sleep and forget what’s discussed.

They say seminar or workshop lecturers make them sleep.  And when they sleep, they yak in their sleep.

Aah, the positions of sleeping and not rising early. One went as far to say a sleeping hoodlum can be trusted, whether an early or late riser.

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