Remembering My Tent Diary

Episode 120 – Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 (7315)

Dear Diary

It has been few days passed after we changed our calendars into 2017, and most of you have already written their own planners for their daily activities in life. Some people had already bought planners for 2017 last year, and sometimes they made these into diaries – recording the events and happenings over the course of a day. Diary may be recorded secretly which includes the person’s experiences and thoughts throughout of his/her life using handwritten notes. When I was in high school or college, I was interested to buy a planner to make my own personal diary. But because I was just a student and couldn’t afford to buy it which was quite expensive, I made some of my old notebooks into my diaries. I saved my money and created a new notebook from the old one resourcefully, at least.

At one time, I have a friend who was using her diary to write her experiences in life. She shared to me thru Facebook chat about writing her diary where she wrote down her brokenness after break-up from her love relationship which was something similar to my past situation after my break-up in June 2015 where I expressed my brokenness thru this blog, My Tent Journal, in most episodes. And because of this, I also used my diary to write down the events happened in my life. In this episode, I just want to share you about using my personal diary in the past.


I started to write my personal happenings as early as 2000 when I was sixth grade at Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD). When I was in high school, I had no idea why I was interested to make my own personal diary. But I might get inspired this from my idol, our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who used his diary to write down his experiences throughout of his life. Thus, I began to record the incidents – good or bad while I was at PSD (or so-called “Deaf World” or “Deaf School” era).

This was my earliest diary which consisted 24 episodes about my school life during first and second year high school.

When I was in first year (freshmen) high school, I wrote down some short notes on my old notebooks about the incidents that I had seen. But it was until during my summer vacation of 2002 when I began to make my story about my experiences during my first year high school. This may be considered my first diary even though there were no exact dates recorded at the time when they happened, and I wrote my commentaries and reactions mostly with some funny reactions that I made. This was also the start of using “episodes” where I told my story timeline in different situations or scenarios. That’s why, until now, I’ve used “episode” on my blog where I’ve published the topic of my personal story or issue about my present life. Having a personal diary had not been existed during my first two years in high school until early days of 2003.

My First and Earliest Diaries

This small pocket notebook was converted into my first ever diary in 2003.

When the year 2003 entered, my classmate gave me a small pocket notebook. And I didn’t know what I should do this. Until, I realized I needed this small notebook to record the incidents around my life. I first wrote “2003 Tent Diary” as my first words on a newly purchased notebook. This was considered as my first-ever personal diary (coined as version 1.0). I recorded the events occurred mostly during my final three months of second year (sophomore) until the early two months of third year (junior) high school where I wrote down some controversial incidents happened in my life such as the real personality of my long-time crush who was discovered that she’s lesbian which ruined my feelings on her (my gosh!), and an incident where an evil “pest” enemy hit his favorite teacher while she’s protecting and saving me from a possible danger after we planned to escape from him. When the pocket notebook was run out of pages, I continued to write my personal diary to one of my old school notebooks (coined as ver. 1.1). But because of my priority in studies (I was consistent honor student back then), I discontinued to write my personal diary although I made some summary notes about my happenings during that time.

My Tent Diary 2004 was created for my second time; however, I only wrote within one month.

Entering 2004, I began to make my new personal diary again. I got one of my unused notebooks to make it into My Tent Diary 2004 (ver. 2.0) where I wrote down my personal stories during most of January 2004. It was my first time to use pen (rather than pencil) to write and to record the events around my life although there were lots of erasures due of inserting errors. However, it only lasted for mere one month because of laziness (but I had a digital copy which was consisted three episodes that I recorded until February 2004). Although I continued to make some summary notes (coined as ver. 2.1) about my happenings during most first half of 2004 (that time worsened my life because of bad incidents both school and at home), I didn’t make any stories at all during that period.

Writing Diary in U.S. and Post-Deaf School Era

This ASD Student Handbook was converted into my diary where I wrote most events happened during my wonderful life in the U.S.

When I was in the United States studying as a foreign exchange student, I brought few of my old notebooks to write down some of the events that I had encountered. At one time when I studied at Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD), I had a student handbook made from the school where there was a diary (with calendar and dates) to put my school agenda such as assignments and homework that I should make. I supposed to write down this, but most of the times, I didn’t write anything. However, few months later, instead writing down my school assignments or homework, I started to record the happenings around my life in the U.S. The school student handbook became my personal diary which was referred as My Tent Diary in the U.S. (ver. 3.0). This contained my most memorable moments during my one-year stay in the U.S. including my participation in Academic Bowl, bonding with my host family (the Woolmakers), my high school graduation, and many good incidents that I ever wrote on my diary.

This planner, given after my high school graduation from ASD, was my diary for its fourth time during my first years in Post-Deaf School Era.

Right after my stay in the U.S. in mid-2005, I came back home with another diary. This planner was given for my graduation at ASD, and it was so useful for me when I wrote down the happenings in my life. This diary (coined as ver. 4.0) was the time where my school life was adjusted from being a “deaf” student studying in a deaf school into a “new” world where I belonged with my new classmates who were not deaf and now studying in a non-deaf school. That’s pretty interesting because my life was shifted from the “deaf” world to a “non-deaf” (or normal) world. However, I didn’t write so much on that planner probably because of laziness, my priority in studies, and the bad incidents occurred in my new school life (e.g. bullying). However, when I started to study first year (freshmen) college in June 2006, I rebooted the planner to write down again my happenings around my college life (becoming My Tent Diary ver. 4.1). Some notable incidents written on my diary were occurred such as meeting with my new classmates, getting my first high grade, the cityhood parade, and good happenings with my first college crush (who became my long-time enemy few years later).

My Tent Diary 2007 and 2008

I was still studying first year college, but my planner turned diary was already run out of pages (technically started from July 2005), so I needed to look for another planner to be used as my personal diary. Because I was just a student during that time, I couldn’t afford to buy new one. But instead to buy, I found out that I had an unused notebook that was given from an exchange program back in 2004. I already used that notebook early 2005 while I was in the U.S., and it was supposed to be my personal diary back then, but actually I already had a student handbook that I made it into my diary. Back in my college life, I converted this unused notebook into my personal diary few weeks before the end of 2006, and this was now called as My Tent Diary 2007 (ver. 5.0).

My Tent Diary 2007 was the best and most successful diary that I ever had where I wrote most memorable events during my college life. It was the only diary that I wrote completely for one whole year.

This 2007 diary was considered as the best and most successful diary that I ever had because I recorded several memorable events happened during my second year (sophomore) college. I wrote all dates from Day 1 up to the final day of 2007. Thus, I completed writing all 365 days of 2007, and in most dates, I attached some little pieces of paper to expand my long story because it won’t fit all on one single page/date. That’s pretty interesting, wasn’t it?

On the following year, I made some unused pages of old notebooks into my personal diary which was coined as My Tent Diary 2008 (ver. 6.0). I continued to write memorable happenings in my college life on my 2008 diary; however, it didn’t duplicate the success of 2007. In mid-June 2008, when I was in third year (junior) college, I discontinued writing my diary due of somewhat laziness, and I made some delays or skipped to write within one week late. So, within the second half of 2008, I didn’t write on my diary so much.

My Tent Diary 2008 was almost successful as 2007 where I wrote some events occurred during second semester of second year college.

Hiatus and the Return

While I stopped writing on my diary, I had other ways to write the events around my life. It may probably be considered as a diary, but it was a commentary article called All About Tent (the predecessor of present-day My Tent Journal). I had started this periodical (consisted of an episode that I wrote every 1-2 weeks) when I was in second year college, and I wrote this up to fourth year college. I will tell more about this in the future episodes. Even though I was so busy at school because of major I.T. projects, I continued to write my articles during my free time.

However, in 2009, despite that I hadn’t written this for so long, there was a time that my parents wanted to seize my diary because of controversy that involved my former college classmate and crush. I knew my parents didn’t understand about my situation after they criticized me writing my personal diary. I felt some grief on my parents’ comments on my diary and had some fear that my parents might grab these from my bedroom (My Tent Office) after the worst incident in my college life on that year. So, I decided to give my two diaries (2007 and 2008) secretly to my close friend (former classmate) who kept these for a year (returned back in 2010 months after our college graduation).

But in early 2010, after 1 and a half year of hiatus, I started to write on my personal diary once again. But this time, instead writing using sharp pencil and old notebook, I recorded the happenings around my life digitally thru my personal computer. I created My Tent Diary 2010 (ver. 7.0) on Microsoft Word format to insert the events during my college life without any erasures or attaching some little pieces of paper on my computer. Although it was not my first time to do my personal diary digitally on the computer (I had already done in 2004 and 2005), it was really worthy. However, like my other previous diaries, I discontinued inserting the happenings (recorded until March 6) due of busy school projects and activities before the graduation. Thus, this 2010 version didn’t last long probably due of high cost of electricity when I used the PC and having delays (I didn’t record the events one or two weeks late).

My Tent Diary 2010 was made in a digital format (screenshot from my computer).

Since then, I never created another personal diary again. Although I had written some events about my life after college graduation on one of my old notebooks, it might be my “diary” but not the same as my previous versions of My Tent Diary. On that notebook, I wrote long details about my displeasures, statistics, and comparisons around my life especially during my working career life at Alabang (2010-2012) and having a long distance relationship (2012-2015). But someday, these would be my important details to create my blog (journal) years later.

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While I was getting my old diaries from my archives in My Tent Office, I just opened them up and read some memorable events that I really remember especially when I was in high school and college. There were lots of stories, either good or bad, about my school life, living with my family, friendship, and of course, my love life which was so complicated in the past. And these were also contained the history of my life. My story already became a history!

But do you notice why my diary had several versions? It’s like software where it upgrades time by time, so my diary had been several “upgrades” throughout the years from using pencils and old notebooks up to the digital age where I simply inserted the events thru the computer even my handwriting was so awful back then until I upgraded it into nice and clean in later years. However, even I have never written my personal diary anymore, I have my personal blog (like this one) to share my feelings, experiences and stories about the happenings around my current life.

And oh, by the way, My Tent Journal is almost similar to my diaries in the past, but it is published publicly thru my blog and consisted of episodes where I can share and express my feelings. It also contains some interesting facts and trivia such as throwbacks (The Best and The Worst, 5-10-15-20, etc.), alternate scenarios (what ifs), and statistical data (text messaging counter) about my personal life.


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