“Mama? I’m awake,” Ayay stated. I looked at the clock: 12:30AM, as in half an hour past midnight.
“Sweetie, it’s still nighttime. Look out the window. It’s dark outside,” I told her.
“But sometimes it’s still dark when we wake up, remember? Then the sun comes out while we are eating breakfast,” she explained to me. It’s true. That’s how it is in Santa Barbara. But we’re not in Santa Barbara anymore, Ayay.
“But Sweetie. It REALLY is the middle of the night right now. The sun won’t come up for another 6 hours,” I tried telling her.
The Philippines is 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles time, so I anticipated some serious jet lag for all the Bahnsons. We left LA at 9pm on a Friday night and arrived in Manila at 6am Sunday morning. Since that was 2pm LA time, we were well awake and managed to keep ourselves active and enthusiastic for most of the day. By 5:30pm (Manila time) Ayay was falling asleep over her rice and tofu. By 6pm, both girls were out for the night. Or so we thought.
On that first night, Ayay woke up at 12:30am and Tingting followed close behind. I managed to keep Ayay wiggling in bed for another hour or so, but by 2am, she was up and dressed for the day.
The next night, Tingting woke up first at 2am and Ayay emerged an hour later at 3am.
On the third night, Tingting managed to sleep until 3am with Ayay ready for the day by 4am.
For the remainder of the week, Tingting woke up every three hours starting from about 10pm until 4am, and 4am seemed to be the time both girls were ready to start their day. This made for extra long days that we filled with swimming, counting the thousands of jeepneys and armored cars, playing real-life Frogger in the traffic-jammed streets, eating fresh mangoes and rambutan, buying super cheap dresses, meandering Greenbelts 1-5, and savoring ube ice cream, bibingka and other treats we can only find in the Philippines.
I must say, there was one benefit of waking up in the dark, both so late at night and early in the morning — the view of Makati City from our condo on the 32nd floor. The nighttime skyline was an awesome distraction.