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Stories from the Road I: Why You Should Love Mondays (aka What Really Happens When I Ride My Bike)

Little children  pulling their trolley bags behind them and the older ones wearing their bright blue Unicef knapsacks by the side of the road trying to hitch a ride from the passing tricycles.  This was the scene that changed my whole mood this morning.  I left the site a quarter before six to ride my 26.5er mountain bike, Amidala, crossing the lengthy San Juanico Bridge to the town of Santa Rita in Samar, some thirty kilometers round trip in total.  

I figured I might have been toxic from all the stresses, the dirt from the neverending road rehabilitation, the pollution from big trucks that make you wonder how they passed emission test, news on increasing crime rate and bad politics, and probably including Duterte’s declaration last night at GGV that he is not interested in running for president next election – which by the way doesn’t represent my political view but only trying to draw the picture of my very seldom engagement with mass media through the small screen of a cheap MyPhone with TV, which I initially bought for emergency purposes.  So there I was, racing with the raging trucks and vans and braving the narrow one-ways, exhausting my every breath, literally, up the incline of the two-kilometer bridge and then enjoying the brush of the air as I go downhill to Samar.


There was chill in the air when I started cycling but on my way back, the sun was already up and so were the children by the side walk.  Two young boys carried a tall bamboo stalk thrice their height for what seemed to me as a school project, while their friends and schoolmates followed them from behind.  They were wearing the typical Filipino school uniform, white tituron polo, and navy blue pants, hoisting cute backpacks over their shoulders. I smiled at the sight.

I miss being a kid.  Most of all, I miss being a student.  I was always excited to go to school and I think the best days of learning where those from elementary school.  Teachers were heroes and lunch breaks were our chance to sweat ourselves over cops and robbers, chinese garters, and jackstones.  I liked reading textbooks in advance, including those of my older brothers’.  I find it magical how textbooks can put very complex ideas into easy to comprehend paragraphs, not to mention there were more illustrations in children’s books!

Now at quarterlife, I feel compelled to change the title of this write up into “Three Things to do in School” and give you my take on my student life, assuming that I have a good share of student readers.  I will not do the former but the latter is as follows:

1) Have the passion for learning: Elementary and high school happen too quickly but never underestimate its power to shape your life.  Don’t let going to school be a burden to you. Instead feel excited to wake up every morning and look forward to going to school and learning new things.

2) Do not cheat: When you cheat in school, you do not cheat on others. You cheat on yourself.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but make the effort to study, that way you lessen the risk of making mistakes.  Besides, getting used to cheating gives you negative tendencies in your early life.

3) Read, read, and read some more:  I might have read a few Sweet Valleys, Goosebumps, and Nancy Drews since they were the easiest to find in the school library but I was usually more interested in books by the likes of Verne and Baum, and I swear I must’ve read the Grolier’s Science Encyclopedia a dozen times too, and back then Pluto was a planet! This post however is leaning towards Fulghum’s All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten.


So there’s me speaking my mind on this early Monday morning and just so to answer why you should love Mondays;

In the Filipino context of Sunday being sabbath, Monday begins the week, therefore begins the chance to learn and do new things.

Don’t carry the past week’s burden.

Start it great – with a short run or ride in my case and use the after burn to be super active in the day’s engagements.

Always strive to become better and every Monday, in fact every day, is a chance to do so.

This here my friends is what happens when I do long rides – deep thoughts that preoccupy me while on the road.  Thankfully I got back to our solar facility in one piece and writing about those thoughts.

Now why don’t we all go back to work?

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