But Mang Ramon is different; he says “Morning good!” And there's something in the way he says it that makes you feel it's today's headline news and a special time of grace.
On days when I walk at dawn (I have reduced my daily walk to three times a week), “Morning good!” is the first sound I hear.
It comes from the man on a bike who delivers the dailies in our neighborhood. I can't really tell how old he is, but neighbors who get to see him in broad daylight describe Mang Ramon as “the old, old man.”
I wouldn't know.
Aside from the very brief encounters we have when he dashes by saying “Morning good!” I don't see him at all. But I suspect he only looks old because of the hard life he leads to earn a living. Waking up so early in the morning with a heavy bundle of newspapers (replenished many times, I heard) to about 1,000 homes is not a walk in the park.
He goes a second round once a week to collect.
Mang Ramon is dark as night and thin as reed, with an almost toothless smile (his remaining teeth gleam in the dark), but God may have ordered that my good mornings begin with him.
There was a time last year when he disappeared for maybe about three months. During these times, we bought our newspapers from the newsstand. He had met an accident that forced him to stay in bed. A neighbor started passing the hat for his medical expenses, and collectively, we prayed that he would be back on his bike soon. A toughie, Mang Ramon got back on his pedals and to his dawn route.
“Morning good!” I greet back, but he's already a block away. If he were a cyclist, he'd win the Tour of Luzon (a popular event in my time) hands down. He doesn't bike, he flies.
I wish I could describe him more for you, but it is only under the shadows of the village trees and street lamps that I catch sight of him.
These are quick meetings, but enough to make me declare that indeed every morning is good!