07/01 Direct Link
I'm not sure if it's against the rules to put an entry in this late, but I think I should. I've waited long enough for that radio button to come out. I wonder if it's just me, or was everyone else unable to submit an entry for the first four days of July?

Oh well, my first four days would amount to four illegal entries. I could count that as three, though, using my one "save" for one of those dates. Gah, this is frustrating.

Moving on, July 1 marks my first day as a Manila person. It's not easy.
07/02 Direct Link
This should be the last set. Two third molars, upper. Two supernumerary teeth. I didn't close my eyes as the dentist pulled them out. Fortunately, this time, the molars weren't impacted. It was easy as pie for Doc to take them out. But the supernumeraries - those are a totally different story.

She probed the socket, seeking out those tiny, extra teeth. Searching for movement, for the distinct whiteness in contrast to bone, for the slick feel of the enamel on the surface. I could feel some pain, but I blocked it.

As patient as she is, so shall I be.
07/03 Direct Link
Two days ago was my first time, and it was stressful. So this time, I added a couple more minutes to the time frame. I got up early and made breakfast. I had to - I was on meds from yesterday's OP. Then I slept a little more, woke up again, did the morning ritual, and headed out at 10:30 AM, more or less an hour and a half earlier than last time.

Elapsed time was more or less the same - about 50 minutes. I met up with A and K for lunch. We had sisig, which tasted quite good.
07/04 Direct Link
I think this should be independence day for us, too. On June 12, 1898, we were freed for a while, but then we lost it eventually. It's symbolic, I know, to use that date - a date wherein the declaration was made by a Filipino. But wouldn't it be nice to be realistic? We weren't free from the American or Japanese occupation by June 12, 1898. We've counted more than a century of independence, when in reality, we should be counting less than two handfuls of decades.

Maybe we'd better appreciate freedom when we know how short-lived it has been.
07/05 Direct Link
The poison would give you a temporary death, said the witch doctor. Take it, and I will be able to do the ritual, he said.

My brother took the pouch. In it were two vials filled with liquid - one a sickly green, the other a crystal violet. He laid down on the earth and popped the contents into his mouth. His eyes shot up, and after fourteen seconds, he lay there, mouth open, completely motionless.

The witch doctor stepped forward and took out his bone knife. I couldn't make out the words he said as he made the first cut.
07/06 Direct Link
The memories, captured as photos, were scattered all over the place. I looked through each one of those pictures on the floor, not finding a single piece that had me in it. I tried harder, searching those photos under the bed, stuck onto the ceiling, hidden in the walls. It had to be here, somewhere...

There I was, blurred in the background. I took one last look at the photo before I slashed it into pieces with a thought. Just like that, the last vestige of my soul was torn to shreds. Whatever the camera had captured was now gone.
07/07 Direct Link
It was throbbing, like crazy. When I close my eyes, it just seems to get worse.

You know that feeling, right before you wake up, when all of your senses are heightened? The bark of the dog sounds extra painful to the ears. The pressure on your bladder feels a lot worse. The heaviness all around, so dense, wears you down. Everything suspends you in between wakefulness and sleep.

You want to get up and relieve yourself, but the world seems too thick, like a mouth freshly anaesthetized.

That's the type of irritation I'm feeling toward this damned pulsing socket.
07/08 Direct Link
There are many paths before you. Many take those that lead to destruction. Almost the same number take those leading to restoration...

But only few are called to tread the path not taken. And even fewer are chosen in the end.

The united unconscious of mankind selects a handful souls each century to become Pathfinders. It is a curse passed down from the ages, carved deep in the far reaches of the mind of each individual. Hunger for change. Dire need to be in motion. The insatiable thirst for trekking new grounds.

The all-consuming need to dominate the earth.
07/09 Direct Link
I was in a compromised position, standing right by the train doors in this rush hour. Would I have to get off for a few seconds just so those inside could get out? But then, I'd risk losing my ride home. Most of those passengers outside, standing by the tracks, were ferocious predators, ready to pounce on any vacancy perceived. We were just like them minutes ago before we got on this rumbling monster.

I decided against it. I'll just let myself get buoyed by the crowd's current, inside the train. Then I'll slip in deeper like a slimy eel.
07/10 Direct Link
I've never been through enough in my life to say I struggled so hard I could die. Despite knowing this, whenever I do "struggle," it just feels so difficult. Desperation knocks behind my mindshield, pushing its way through. Without exertion, it will definitely overwhelm me, driving me deeper into depression.

So I just have to give up. But it's so hard to give something up, when, as much as it could bring you icy sorrow, it could bring you an equal amount of warm happiness.

It's a drug. An addiction. A paradox.

It's life. It's love.

It's meaningful.

And meaningless.
07/11 Direct Link
Today was an unproductive day. I should be studying. I just know that there's so much to know in the knowable universe. But my other self is just too tired and wants to play. He's got motivation at level 0 for studying, and at level 21 for playing.

And so he plays. And loses. And gets frustrated. And wants to sleep. Study down the loo, no more time for you.

And the cycle repeats.

Sort of. I broke it a bit today by busying myself with chores. It comes with being alone - not just in a room, but a house.
07/12 Direct Link
Happiness. It's something the Archon could give lots of, though he personally had none. He carried it around in bills, sharing any amount to anyone walking by. The bill would become anything the holder needed to be happy. More often than not, people simply needed to feel relevant in what they did, in where they lived, with who they loved.

No one could really blame the Archon for not being happy. Just like how a man born into riches six feet deep can barely know true wealth, the Archon was born into a world of artificial joy he couldn't understand.
07/13 Direct Link
One can walk life with heavy steps, calling the attention of all passersby. He or she would be famous (or infamous), watched by all, loved by all, or hated by all.

One could also tread lightly, seeking the eyes of none, leaving no trace. He or she would be unknown, felt by none, cared for by none. They lurk in the cover of shadows, pulling strings (and cutting them, if necessary) like a master manipulator.

I find the second kind more powerful, and much more dangerous. They are the people behind the Heavywalkers, and I know no more than two.
07/14 Direct Link
It's always a pleasure seeing you in my dreams.

We sat on a very long tree branch, one that couldn't exist in reality. I was seated toward the far end, while you were on my right. You wore that black and blue top I remember you in, as you asked me to go to the ocean park. You wanted to have fun, but as soon as you said I'd need about 610 pesos, I wasn't so sure I wanted to. But then, you convinced me with that smile, voice, and sincerity.

Your soft, black hair in my hands, forever lost.
07/15 Direct Link
Fifteen. The date today is

Fifteen. And two months ago,

Fifteen was her birthday. And seven years ago,

Fifteen was how old I was when she owned that number.

And as much as she owned that number, she owned me.

And as much as she owned me, I owned none of her at all.

And while I owned nothing of her at all, it felt great to lose it all.

But with all the loss, was I reborn?

I broke my heart and put it back.

I felt its cracks and listened to its beat.

A weary thump of deep defeat.
07/16 Direct Link
She lived alone in the winter wasteland, as she had done for decades. Her family, the only people she had known for more than forty years, had passed away.

Days would pass, and she would tend to the crops. She would do everything else her siblings and parents did. And when everything was done, she would sit down and think about them, not a single tear falling from her eye.

This is all God's will, she reminded herself.

As the minutes pass by, she would think of her dreams, and would thank God for how vivid she always remembered them.
07/17 Direct Link
His eyes came out different when I inspected the picture. They were mostly white instead of dark brown, and I felt there was something wrong about him.

I guess it's the angel blood in him starting to manifest through pictures. Since angels had no souls, the angel blood was slowly draining off his. That's why his irises and pupils showed white in the film. The camera can't capture much of his soul.

Sooner or later, he'll be growing wings. And his aura would turn colorless. And he'll be changing - a lot.

I better get out of his life.

Probably not.
07/18 Direct Link
A dark corridor. Halcyon kept running past doors lined below with eerie red lights. The crimson glow was the only illumination in the hall, and having a long wavelength, it barely pierced the encompassing darkness.

The pursuers footsteps had faded almost an hour earlier, but Hal couldn't stop running. Distance was his friend, and it would be the only thing keeping him safe. Would the Ivory Guardians come to help? Did they pick up the distress signal?

Out of the black, an hand shot out, palm closed, facing up. It slowly opened, as a fountain of blood burst from it.
07/19 Direct Link
This is life, child. You grow up and shed all innocence. You line up and follow the pattern. Deviate from it, and you will suffer the consequences. You must follow the ideal dictated by the majority. There is no room for non-conformity. Be a good this, be a good that, stay away from the naivete of childish thinking. Find a partner, have kids, be a good parent, make sure mankind propagates and dominates this rock. Find an advocacy and blindly follow it. Live until you die fighting for one thing that won't matter when the sun eats us up.
07/20 Direct Link
You can't help but be kind, and I guess I can sometimes say the same about myself.

Years have passed since we last met, and even then, we never really talked about anything. Recognition came to me, forcing out an obligatory greeting. You graciously responded, but you unexpectedly made a follow-up - initiating a conversation that was probably our first real one.

Whatever awkwardness present, for I definitely felt tiny bursts of it, seemed to be non-existent - because we stuck to the kindness we grew up with.

And for that, I thank you. Today's walk was a walk of contemplation.
07/21 Direct Link
Zoom out. Take a look at the world from the moon.

Slowly, take a deep breath and marvel at the sight.

Realize that your power on earth can't be seen up here.

Accept that domination over your fellows barely matters this far out.

Glance at the sun (keep those protective visors up), and contemplate on its expansion into a red giant, sometime in the far future.

Come to terms with the fact that everything, eventually, will be consumed by fire . Nothing will remain.

Cling to the hope that whatever ashes you become may be the essences of the Next Children.
07/22 Direct Link
I listened intently to their voice, and tried memorizing their faces as they introduced themselves. I took note of the school they graduated from, and the overall distribution of schools inside the classroom. I managed to figure out the clustering scheme in the seating arrangement. Unfortunately, of the 30+ faces I initially didn't recognize, I managed to stick a name to less than ten.

I don't know what happened to my memory. It used to be quite sharp. Now that I hate forgetting things, I often do. I can't remember much. I've got a theory about why. Tell you later.
07/23 Direct Link
I made myself dinner. It was delicious by my standards. Meat and vegetable sandwiches, caesar salad, and iced tea, and some yoghurt and jelly for dessert. The clean-up, of course, was more difficult than the usual load. Chopping boards and pots and pans and plates and cups and all.

I'm living a life of solitude, more or less, for five sevenths of the week. Other than the time I'm in class, I'm here, deciding what to do, but still being unproductive. I'm far from being independent, even though I loved being told that word when I was a kid.
07/24 Direct Link
It isn't easy for me living in a concrete jungle, among many concrete-hearted individuals.

People seem to have a knack for avoiding interaction, which in itself isn't bad - some boundaries just have to be respected. But for simple things, like asking your fellow passengers to pass your fare to the driver, interaction is a norm that seems to have been forgotten. Your hand could be in their face without them noticing.

Yesterday, I was sitting with just a couple of inches of my butt on the jeepney seat, but nobody budged their asses to make even a little room.
07/25 Direct Link
You know, I never really noticed my reflection on surfaces for most of my life - until I came to Japan. I don't know why, but it was like a switch inside me flipped, making me notice my reflection on glass windows, doors, car tints, and mirrors, even through my peripheral vision.

I guess there's narcissistic tendencies mixed up with that, with Japan doing its work on me, making me fatter and transforming my hair into a pop star's. I was reborn into an anime character.

Which I liked, and also hated. Too physical.

It wasn't me.

But now it is...?
07/26 Direct Link
The freedom park was desolate, but I knew she was coming. She never came early nor late. She was exact to the second. She was the Time Wizard for a reason.

I'm glad she loved to spar. She never revealed her aces, but even then, I hadn't defeated her, not once. It was fine though. She matched her power level to mine accordingly, and we always had close fights.

The landscape rapidly changed, rising to form an elevated platform. This must be her, then, accelerating the geological changes in this area. I summoned my blood sword and felt the drain.
07/27 Direct Link
I was freezing underneath my two layers of clothes. I had my Acacia shirt on, the white one with a green apple and worm print. Over it, I wore a thin university jacket - my sister's. I was shivering quite bad, but I fought it. I was an officer. I must be heartless and unfazed.

My host brother, I guess, was more perceptive than he let on. We went to a ramen store, and I had a huge bowl of hot noodles. Well, he gave me a choice, but I left it to him to decide.

We also bought a jacket.
07/28 Direct Link
We were there. I actually wanted the others to be with me (at the time), because I knew them better. But what choice did I have. We were practically alone, with nobody else but one another. I would learn to love them if it was the last thing I would do.

He had called me his best friend and verbally expressed his gratitude. I was quite surprised, but I was glad I had shown him kindness.

She was someone I hadn't really talked to before, but I knew some things about her.

They saved me, and for that I'm thankful.
07/29 Direct Link

You could say I chose this. You take the path of glory, you also take the road of heavy responsibility. I carry my name, I know. But I also carry the names of people, institutions, and honors that brought me to this position.

I see it all as a burden, simply because I want something else entirely. I donít see far into the future; I only see tomorrow.† And at that distance, all I see is pleasure and entertainment, which I know will never last long enough.

How long does it take for a man to grow up?

07/30 Direct Link
The potency of elemental magic is highly dependent on two factors: the imaginative limits of its user, and his understanding of the elements.

Among the elements, I have the most affinity for air. Basically, I can adjust its speed to generate powerful gusts of wind and tornadoes. Of course, that's just the obvious uses. I could also use it for household chores, like gently sweeping the floor, or using it as a vacuum cleaner on the carpets.†With repeated use, it struck me that it really isn't the air I could control; rather, it's the differential pressure of the fluid.
07/31 Direct Link
She sent an erupting cascade of ice swords at me - an attack I'd seen at least twice before. I applied vacuum pressure along a thin line beginning at its leading edge, and zapped it with lightning. The current propagated along the layer of water, breaking the cascade.

The airborne shards stopped spinning, then oriented their sharp edges toward me. A sensatsu suishou spell, one I'd seen Haku cast years ago. Coating myself with immunity, I created a localized vacuum around myself, turning all the shards into vapor. Wrong move, I realized. The vacuum collapsed, and the explosion sent me reeling.