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“If you read someone else’s diary, you get what you deserve.” —David Sedaris

This all started off in written form back when I was a kid. As an introverted only child with both parents at work most of the time, I had a lot of time to myself. So when I learned to write and that writing down my thoughts for posterity was a thing people did, I went at it myself.

I still have some of those papers which are basically just short recollections of the current day at kindergarten or elementary. Sometimes funny, oftentimes doodles of robots, I don’t think they’re particularly publishable to the internet at large, much less have an appreciative audience.

The bulk of these entries start off from high school and were largely typed on a then-modern 80386SX in plain text files (anyone remember Wordstar?) saved on 3½″ floppies. They were eventually transferred to Microsoft Word (receiving italics, boldface, tables, and proper typography in the process) and then to XHTML 1.1. They currently exist as XML-typed records in a MySQL database served through a custom PHP-based CMS. How far the times have come!

You’re welcome to comment and message me on these. However, please remember the historical context in which some posts were written. While some posts are mundane (I’ve always been my worst critic), if you read enough, you’ll notice the change in the topics, entry length, grammar and vocabulary, and tone of my writing.

If you see any typos or lapses in grammar, no need to call me out on them. I’ve probably seen them already as I was digitizing the physical copies of these entries and during their conversion from plain text to Word to XML. I’m keeping these as close as possible to their original form.

P.S. Some entries require further explanation or clarification and any editorial additions will be indicated in a box that looks like this.
P.P.S. It’s not readily apparent but there are a number of unpublished entries to this blog and large gaps of time between entries. Let me explain this briefly.

For the unpublished posts, those cover my life as a teenager full of angst and hormonal confusion from 1995 to 2000. While I initially balked at adding these, the thought of losing them won out. For purposes of posterity, these entries have been included in the database. After careful review, however, I’ve considered some of these entries to be too private for general public consumption. Maybe someday I’ll decide to eventually make them public.

As for the long hiatus between entries, I have only life to blame. While life certainly went on during the intervening periods, I just either didn’t see fit to make those entries public (for my own, as well as others’ privacy), events weren’t that important to write about, or I was just too busy at the time to write anything.

If you’re terribly curious about the more private entries, drop me a line and I’ll consider giving you access.

Stress and X-Files

on Wednesday, 01 July 1998. Posted in 1998

This week has been one of the most stressful in my life. I’m only beginning to cope but it’s been a really big effort. I’ve got class from Monday to Saturday and I’ve got tons of homework. Right now, I’ve got four, yes, count ’em, four homeworks in different subjects. Damn, I hate this. I hope that someday, all this will pay off and I’ll have a better, low-stress, normal life.

100 Years of Independence, Chicago Bulls, Review Classes and Colds

on Friday, 12 June 1998. Posted in 1998

Today is the Philippines’ 100th year of Independence. Man, it sounds corny but I really do feel good about this day. This is a milestone of achievements for the Filipino people. It was on this day that Emilio Aguinaldo first waved the Philippine flag (well, probably not him personally but you get it) and declared our independence from any other country. Sure, we were conquered by the Americans then the Japanese after that but that nationalistic attitude was set ablaze by that event. It’s good to be free. It’s good to be a Filipino.

First Day and Lotus 1-2-3

on Friday, 05 June 1998. Posted in 1998

School. The very thought of it races through one’s deep primal thoughts and those memories returns an answer called fear. One of the most dreaded words to be heard by a teenager during summer. It spells one thing: fear. Personally, it gives me thoughts of Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, Exorcist and Scream movies. But just like any fear, you have to face it. You have to do what is right and what must be done: go through with it, hope for the best and be ready for the worst. This school year won’t be like all those others. I have to be extra good and smart this year since I’m going to graduate high school and I’m off to that great final frontier of school which is called college. Man, how time flies by… I can’t believe that summer is almost over! Three days left till Monday, the first day of school year 1998-1999.


Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Tuesday, 13 January 1998. Posted in 1998

It seems that I am at a crossroads in life. I’m really not sure what to do these days. Just this morning, we had this program on what career we might take up. It seems that I really have no idea. As a kid I have those little dreams like being a doctor, a policeman, an astronaut or even the president. But now… well, I’ve been woken up by reality. I wish I could go back to being a kid again. Without the worries and so many problems. Ah, the good old days…

Caught in the Act!!!

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Saturday, 04 October 1997. Posted in 1997

Yesterday was definitely not my day. It started out normal. I went through the day, my normal happy, smiling self. That’s when it stopped. It was lunch time, so I decided to skip lunch and go to the boys’ CR in the covered court. I met with a few of my friends and asked for a stick of cigarettes. I smoked and asked for a second, then a third. That’s when disaster struck. My music teacher came in and caught me. Actually there were three of us. I don’t know what I was thinking. Two was enough. Three was my downfall. I got called by the head teacher. She made a behavior report but didn’t give it to me yet. She told me to go to Mrs. Guillermo, a high-ranking school official. She told me that I should be honest with her and tell her everything. Obviously, I can’t. Too many will go down with us three if I tell her. Then she told me to come back at 2:45, so I did. Then she told me to come back on Monday. I’m still wondering as it is at what will happen and what I will do. I guess I can tell my Mom about it but my Dad’s another story. He’ll be very upset with me and I do mean upset as in flaming, red hot smoke out of the ears and nose kind of upset. I wish I never learned to smoke. I wish I never went there in the first place. If only I could have foreseen it. If only I had been more keen to what was happening around me or if I hadn’t taken that third stick. I’ll be regretting this for a long, long time. But the problem right now is if I should tell my mom already or tell her on Monday. I am faced with a big dilemma. What should I do? I’ve heard somewhere that I should follow what my heart and morals say. Well, I think they say that I should come clean and tell her the whole truth. Then again, I heard that you should follow your instincts too. Well, I believe that my instincts tell me to tell her only what she needs to know.

Best. Sequel. Ever.

on Wednesday, 21 May 1997. Posted in 1997

As the title says, I have just watched the sequel to the best movie ever made! Yeah, it’s The Empire Strikes Back. I also watched this one in Dolby Digital Sound so the movie experience was amazing. This movie continues the story in STAR WARS. The Rebels may have destroyed the Death Star but the Empire is far from defeated. The rebels’ fight has just begun and it first takes place on the ice planet Hoth, where we see Luke and Han riding tauntauns, dinosaur-like animals that can survive the tremendous cold of the planet. Next, a probe droid launched by the Empire lands on the planet and Luke goes to check it out. He is then attacked by a wampa, a native monster kind of like a polar bear, but bigger and walks upright. Anyway, he was brought to the wampa’s cave unconscious, but regains his wits and uses the force for the second time in his life to get his lightsaber on the ground and kill the ugly white beast. He runs far away from the cave and is found by Han Solo. By now, Luke is suffering from hypothermia and needs to be heated quickly. Han splits the belly of his tauntaun, a horse-like lizard creature, and puts freezing Luke inside. The next morning, they are found by rebel scouts and given medical treatment. A few days later,

Best. Movie. Ever.

on Tuesday, 06 May 1997. Posted in 1997

Today, I was a witness to science-fiction history. A milestone in movie history. A futuristic myth of a time long, long ago and a galaxy far, far away… Yes, I watched STAR WARS!!! On the 20th anniversary of it’s premier, creator George Lucas had Industrial Light and Magic recreat scenes and enhance the sound for this truly Special Edition movie. It was amazing! It was breathtaking in all of it’s scenes! Roaring Digital Sounds! Two thumbs up! Absolutely the best!

REDACTED, NBA Finals, Draft, New Game, Periodical Tests and Piano Lessons

on Tuesday, 13 August 1996. Posted in 1996

It’s almost been a month since I last logged in. I’ve got a lot to write about and most of it will be about my seatmate, REDACTED, some of it will be about the result of the NBA Finals, 1st round draft, the periodical tests and a great new game. I really think that REDACTED is great. I’ve been with her the past month and I enjoy talking to her. Even looking at her makes me feel good. I’ve got a plan that will, hopefully, make her mine. This Christmas, I hope to give her a gift. I don’t know what I’ll give her but one of my options is a bottle of perfume. She is really special, so it should only be right that I give her a special gift. I think she is the cutest person I know, and I know quite a lot. I really can’t begin to describe the way I feel about her every time I get to school, she sits beside me, we talk and ask questions. I hope that our relationship gets above being classmate and friend to something like boyfriend and girlfriend kind of relationship. I’ve always wanted someone special and I think that she’s the one I’ve been looking for. I think that I’ve fallen in love with her. I’ll tell you more about her on my next log.

Start of Classes and the NBA Finals

on Wednesday, 15 May 1996. Posted in 1996

It’s the beginning of another school year. It’s been a great two months of summer vacation but unfortunately, like all good things, it has come to an end. Well, I haven’t logged on for quite a while that’s why I am going to make this log extra long. Don’t worry, it’s going to be interesting to read this log.