The sun has not gone up yet but my alarm clock shouted at me to move it. Time for my regular morning exercise. So after a quick change into sweats, I began warming up for an early morning jog. I was staying at Ledesma Street at Modern, Aurora Hill district.

The place, one of the densest neighborhoods in Baguio is a mountain away from the central business district, which is accessed by taking Rimando Road, a road that branches out of Bonifacio Street's hub. From my place I took a downward route towards Brookside turning to the left towards Teachers' Camp. I reminded myself to take an easy pace so I wouldn't be winded up. As I felt a little warmer in the face my pace turned from baby strides to a regular lope as I hit the incline leading to Leonard Wood Road.

Feeling challenged, I turned right at Leonard Wood up past Botanical Garden and Polo Field and down South Drive passing through the Golf Course at Baguio Country Club. By this time I already feel winded and a slight cramp had settled at my side. My brother who had coached me in long distance running says that when you feel this way slow down a bit until the cramp goes away or else run sideways with your arms extended up until you feel the cramp going away.

I was doing just that when I passed through the ruins of Hyatt Terraces. The quiet and the darkness and the memory of what has happened to that place radiates a scariness that would make the hair at the back of your neck stand on end. I haven't noticed my pace getting faster but before I knew it I have reached Loakan Road. By this time I felt great! I have reached my second wind so feeling strong I decided to cut across Loakan Road to take a more circular route through Military Cut- Off road.

Along the way can be heard early morning joggers just like me gasping that fresh pine-scented morning air. By this time the sun has started to rise in the East as I reached the hospital circle, which leads to Kisad Road. Knowing that this is the final stretch that will lead to Burnham Park, I began to increase the pace to an easy lope. Then finally the park is there, turning right passing the park's children's playground and the Pelota Courts. A final round takes me circling the skating rink and the public library and then around the Lake.

Finally gasping for breath and slowing down I realized I was done. A quick look at the watch says the morning workout took just an hour and a half. As I went through the cooling down stretches I felt a sense of triumph. Then a leisurely walk around the lake amidst a variety of colors from flowers in bloom helped to relax those strained muscles. I was ready to face the rest of the day. I have started another fine day at the City.

P.Q.B. March 1, 1999

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