The towering skyscrapers came into view as I rode the cab to DBP tower. The hotel where I staying was a mere 2.2 kilometers away, exactly one academic oval in UP diliman, yet it took me 20 minutes and 100 pesos in hopes of making it to the 7:30 am call time.
I arrived 7:35.
Traffic from Quezon city to Makati during the Monday morning rush is inevitable. Thus, I chose to stay the night in a hotel near DBP tower, the venue of our meeting. My view from the 14th floor gave no obstruction to stars that twinkle in the night sky, and no, I am not referring to the literal stars in the sky. The lights of the cityscape twinkled in contrast to the pitch black landscape. Headlights of cars zoomed past my sight.
I slept with the stars peeking through my curtains.
The magic of Makati at night slowly turned grey as day began to break. Approaching the tower, women in high heeled stillettoes, and ill-fitting skirts rushed along the sidewalk. Men with half-done ties followed, much like ants in a colony, only without a path to follow.
I wore my bright pink blouse coupled with black slacks, and 1-inch heeled shoes. I looked at my reflection against the building window, and thought, it looked good, mature and “business”-like.
Imagine a cartoon where color is literally drained from the scene, and a single character on the screen remains to have color. That was me.
I was that speck of color against the monochromatic shades of grey.
Suddenly, a dash of color enters my peripheral vision. My kids (students) huddled in one corner, and I approached them with pride. They came on time, dressed the part, and adorned with excitement on their faces.
We greeted each person who asked us questions with smiles that matched our enthusiasm, only to be replied with a stern nod.
By the time we reached the 12th floor, the color from my kids faces vanished, confidence gone. They were assigned cubicles and computers to work on, and I left to explore the city.
I came by to pick them up at 5 in the afternoon. By then, they were dead tired. Their faces pale, just another face in the sea of colorless faces.
With my bright pink blouse and smile on my face, I say goodbye to the stars that hold much promise because of the the monochromatic life the city offers.