The afternoon siesta was something that never made sense to me. I come from a western culture where time is money; every minute of the day needs to be filled with something of material value. I couldn’t fathom just shutting down for an hour or two and laying under a tree or a bench. My background consisted of waking up in early the morning, taking care of your responsibilities during the day, then return home to have dinner and sleep at night.
Before I visited the Philippines, I was not aware of the prevalence of the afternoon nap. The first time I arrived in the country was during the rainy season. This was when the country is a little cooler than average although generally, it’s always hot in The Philippines.
Where I come from, the climate is a whole different animal compared to The Philippines. I remember leaving the airport for the first time and feeling the warm, thick air surround me. My body almost instantly broke out in perspiration. Although, I quickly got used to that feeling of leaving the comfort of an air conditioned Condo or Mall and walking out into the humidity – which I have now grown to love.
During my first visit, we always had a lot of plans as the city was still so new to me. We would wake up early each morning, go out and find somewhere for breakfast. Then we would spend hours travelling around the city looking at all the sites Manila has to offer.
We would then get back to the Condo in the afternoon. My Filipino friends and family would just disappear into their rooms for an hour or two. It would just be complete silence inside the condo; I would just lay down and play on my phone or walk down to the mall and get some food while everybody else had stayed in their rooms.
But it was not long until I came around to indulging in the practice myself. So often everybody would wake up and be ready to start a whole new adventure with the second half of the day. Everyone seemed so happy and recharged, whereas I was always still feeling drained from the morning’s activities out in the humid streets of Manila.
After my first week in the country I without actually realising it. I would almost immediately go to my room on returning to the condo and sleep. It was the ideal time to recharge before we would set off for our evening’s activities. It would give me plenty of energy and a positive state of mind for the second half of our day.
Now at this point, I can’t say I have maintained the habit. Although I still do have a soft spot for the afternoon nap. Although I don’t always sleep, I will go off to my room for an hour or so and just lay on my bed doing some work on my laptop or just play some soft music.