WHENEVER the mood hits me, the lyrics of Joey Ayala ring in my mind like a broken record "... Maglakad sa lansangan... kay raming makikita..."

Anyway, walking is my new regimen now. The evidence of the holiday binge must be swept under something, if only so I don't wince whenever I look at myself in the mirror.

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My distended stomach is so that it keeps me from viewing the family jewels (or is it my short comings?) without the aid of the "uglifying" mirror. Besides I miss the distraction afforded me by walking the five or so kilometers I used to do when I was younger.

I remember with gusto today how much I loved walking up Bokawkan Road on my way home. At the top I would light up a cig and continue the hike for home.

This was about a decade ago. And the years seem to have caught up with me. Now, walking a steep incline for about 200 meters is a chore. At the top I would be panting like a dehydrated dog.

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I have nothing against cars and the like. I like the wind on my face riding shotgun at the back of a truck or even at the passenger side of a private vehicle or taxi. I like, too, the convenience riding brings whenever the distances are too great or simply the speed it provides for a meeting.

Walking comes with its own rewards.

Aside from the physical benefits walking bring, there are also the sights which suddenly spring into consciousness which can never be witnessed riding inside a vehicle.

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Monday afternoon, the regimen started. Thanks to the gift of a backpack, I can enjoy the walk without having to think of the mandatory jacket I carry every day.

Monday, I chose a simple hike so as not to overly tax my body.

Starting from Luisa's Café in Session Road, I started the new routine with good buddy, Nick Calinao. He was headed for Bonifacio Street, where he jockeys for radio station dzWR - the original country station.

Anyway in between small talk, I catch glimpses of how Sun*Star Baguio is displayed by newsstands along the way. More can be desired, but then, it was a lot better than last year's standing.

When we parted ways at Center Mall, I started noticing other things along the way. There was for example this wanted sign posted on a window: "Wanted Xerox operator at least second year college".

Just what kind of educational attainment does one need to operate a xerox machine? It's just a series of buttons you need to push in order to get the desired output. Heck, a 12 year old kid can do that and he doesn't even have to be tech savvy.

I noticed too the stench just below eateries along Magsaysay Avenue. The flies were in the thousands at this area, munching on the refuse of uneaten food. And quite surprisingly, the flies ended where a machine shop's boundary began.

May be the flies are just as disgusted as people by the odor of machine oil and the like.

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A dog was peeing right where I intended to put my next step. Avoiding the near accident, I nearly got entangled by his poo. A little quick maneuvering and that accident was avoided as well. (Not to mention the bite I was expecting from the unleashed dog.)

A brown and white cat was sunning itself on top of a tin roof. Purring to itself, I thought. Contented with what its owners fed it for lunch, I wish people could be just as contented and not chase after "important" things, which evaporate like early morning mist by midmorning.

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I was sweating like a whore in church by the time I got to the backdoor of the office. It was a good hike, the start of something renewed in me.