Morning Routine

I have been negative about the Philippines but there are some things I love: Waking up just as dawn breaks in the massive library assembled by my aunts to the sound of cocks crowing, coming down the stairs as Lola lays a bag of hot—no, warm pan de sal on the table, pouring myself a freshly brewed coffee, sitting beside my dad, watching the butter melt in the torn-open rolls and starting the day before the golden morning sun curdles oppressive and orange and the cacophony of Manila—the roar of motorcycles, the chorus of mangy dogs, the slap of tsinelas against the dirty street—rises to a crescendo.

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