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May 19, 2014

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To Miko Ancheta who swam in the ocean. May 4, 2014.
To Brian Go who chose to be free. April 14, 2014.
To the people who dreamed.
To the people who listened.
To the kids who needed listening.











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Introduction
The concept of the book started out as a small scale coffee table compilation of the
things children wished to say to their parents that would otherwise remain unsaid. By the end
of the execution period the concept had evolved greatly. The book ended up as a compilation
of the words of the youth, that is to say the most recent generation known as the Millennial
Generation. It encompassed the musings and sentiments of various members of this
generation under the safety blanket of anonymity, translated into visual word art with the use
of different fonts, pictures, textures and such. The soul of the project was self-expression with
the intention of tapping into the inner workings of a Millennial not commonly expressed
outside of a personal clique or peer group. Because the purpose of the project was to act as a
vehicle of expression, I tried to impose as few restrictions as possible on the respondents, my
aim being to collect entries that were genuine, natural and truly-felt. In the early stages of the
book, I found myself wrestling with my persona as an author since I was working with real,
living, breathing people who had minds and feelings of their own therefore I had to take them
as they were, unable to mold them to my preference as I would have been able to in a fictional
work. Eventually, my taste for control was overpowered by the bigger picture and I resolved
to place authenticity over artistry. The biggest challenge became taking what would otherwise
have been a clamor of voices and making sense out of them, hence the four portions the book
is broken into.
A second purpose of the book developed later as I continued to attend the Youth
Leadership for Engaged Citizenship class. As the classes continued, there became visible a
distinction between the ideas of the generation today and the ideas of the previous generations,
resulting in a difficulty to connect. Our generation has been described by the previous
generations as “lazy”, “apathetic” and “self-centered” among other things. While, as a member
of this generation, I cannot prove these assumptions as completely false, I found myself struck
by an unyielding desire to shed the shells of the newest generation which is more complex,
more vulnerable and more secretive than it seems.
Finally, the purpose of this book is simply to record words and thoughts in their purest
forms. Our generation was born in a time where things move and morph at a rapid pace- in
with the new, out with the old. Our thoughts and feelings and overall way of life are like a
sand castle, there one day then washed away the next. With this knowledge that the world
grows and changes- perhaps faster than we can keep up with- it is a small reprieve to feel that
pieces of us will remain intact and that we, small and insignificant as we are in this world of
passing fancy, have been taken notice of if only for a brief moment.
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From my experiences in the class room, conviction is not a word that entices a
passionate response. In fact, of the people my age I have encountered, I find many of them to
be very open-minded, accepting of all kinds of ideas, but at the same time they harbor little
attachment to any one idea. While no doubt this varies in other communities, the Ateneans in
particular are exposed to an array of different ideologies and while they remain flexible, it is
uncommon to encounter one who has rooted his or herself in a solid set of ideals.
While a clear cut ideology may be a bit too much to demand from us at this point in
time, many of us have established codes by which to live life or have churned out our own
ideas, tailored to fit our individual situations.
The first portion of the book, entitled Pearls of Wisdom from the Youth is composed of
entries referring to useful bits of life lessons that the respondent has come across while living
life. In some cases, it is an existing quote by which they choose to live their lives. In others it is
simply a fresh observation about the complex aspects of the world we inherited. It allows the
reader a glimpse of the abstract values that construct our lives as well as the wise-beyond-
their-years knowledge the youth sometimes come to possess.
The second portion entitled Blistering Burning Blue Blood is comprised solely of entries
from Ateneans and is the most “natural” section of the entire project. Why do I say this? It is
because all of the entries in here were what I consider “heat-of-the-moment-word-vomit”. The
process of the project included two methods of data-gathering; one was me going person to
person and asking them if they would like to partake in my school project and another
included me exhausting all my networks online and squeezing out participants from my
friends and acquaintances online of various nationalities but collectively under the banner of
Internet Denizens.
In the original concept of the project, participants were supposed to churn out new
strings of expressionism, aided by a peg or a question, however I soon saw an immediate
problem. One cannot ask another out of the blue to feel outrage or dejection and conveniently
record it on paper. As I observed the entries I received using the original method of question
and deadline, I noticed an unmistakable lukewarm quality. Several answers seemed to lack a
certain element of personalization that made the words feel dead and scripted. I was left with
two options. The first was to take the reserved answers as they were and the second was to
guide the answers and draw out the answers I hoped to receive; answers that were more livid
and more alive with emotion. A minute hardly passed before I abandoned the latter idea. First,
to interfere anymore with the answering process would coat their words in bias, in what I
wanted to hear- totally and utterly undermining the concept of self-expression. A third
method became open to me.
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This Part of the Project includes in its pages some of the recent more striking posts of
the Facebook page Ateneo de Manila University Secret Files along with pre- existing entries lifted
from private blogs or journals of several Ateneans. Also included, are words sprouted in
spontaneous online conversation. In gist, this portion includes the words of the average
Atenean in their “natural habitat”, without prodding and without the presentation of a
question. Without compromising the authenticity of the entries, it became possible to coax the
dynamic, living words of the youth and stamp them on the pages of the project.
It oozes irony that this generation is by far the best connected what with the existence of
internet, cellphones, various social networking sites and so on yet is still cut-off from person to
person. There are increasingly more instances of people being enveloped in their personal
bubbles, precisely by their gadgets meant to connect. Families don’t take meals together and
even if they sit at the same table, they are immersed in one device or another. Parents dismiss
the woes of their children or remain ignorant with children who don’t have enough faith in
their rearing figures to even inform them of their troubles. The youth stick to themselves,
turning to their peers and when that fails, turning inwards. Despite the online space where
people are free to display their troubles while some receive encouragement, some receive
criticism. Others don’t receive responses at all. Suicide is still very much a threat.
That being said, the third portion entitled If I Said it Would You Hear Me? includes
entries with a target reader in mind. They include the words respondents wish to say to a
particular person but due to various circumstances are unable to say so. The following entries
are directed to various parties including parents, Exes, teachers and even a community itself.
Finally the fourth portion entitled “Step Into Our Worn-Out Sneakers” is a miscellaneous
slot for entries that are more personalized but are not directed at anyone. This section provides
more specific excerpts from the lives of several Millennials.



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This photograph of a black cat was taken in Istanbul where cats roam the grounds of the Mosques and are very friendly with
strangers, becoming part of the tourist attraction themselves.
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*Omegle is an anonymous online chat room which links strangers under common interests.
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This Photograph was taken in Germany, near the small town of Rottweil. It was a custom to put grave markers
along the roads between towns where fatal car accidents had occurred as a reminder to succeeding travellers.
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Envisioned by Kevin Abigan
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Envisioned by Carlo Villarin
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Envisioned by Liezel “Zei” Medrano
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Envisioned by Bernadine Belgrado
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Envisioned by Ralph Christian Siong Sapi
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List of Entry Writers
KrazyKez
The Hephaestian
Kamenriderkuma
DawnTheCreator
Roland Lee
Pandora
Yohn Port
Stop Calling Me Burgis
TheSixPercentTuitionFeeIncreaseCanGoF*ckIt
The Appearing Act
TXX
Estranghero
Akito Tatsu
AngelWarriorQueen
RidermanJ
Pandamonium
CloudStrife
Shiki
AizenMyou
Ashar Luc
White Tiger
Tsuchinoko
Losing Hope
Son
Red Fire
Sturmabteilung
DJ4N
Ave Imperator
domdoms
Stay Awake
Tengu Oni
Nassy Naan
Doobs
Missed Call
older
Eris Azaryl
Rising Angel
Diyos ko po
Hummingbird Heartbeats
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Special Thanks To:

Nikki Briones Carsi-Cruz for supporting me and infecting me with the Magis bug.
Mama for giving me the idea in the first place.
Papa for opening up so many possibilities for me, especially a priceless education.
Ateneo de Manila University Secret Files for some of the entries and a lot of entertainment.
Audrey Burayag for donating some pictures and giving her output while sitting down with me
and letting me feel productive.
Bernie Belgrado for boosting my survey online- I got more entries thanks to her.
The Deviant Art community where I got my first batch of respondents, I love you guys.
Jolo Gueverra for all the times we activated hysteria mode figuring out our mini projects.
Font Squirrel because there is no way I would have had enough fonts for this if I didn’t check
out that website.
Aya Tayaban and Izo Lopez for inviting me out to dinner and reminding me I have to eat.
The blackish stub-tail cat in Bellarmine for letting me pet her when I needed cuddles.
God/The Universe for helping me get through this week and providing me the moola to finish
this project in mysterious ways (perfectly legal, I assure you).
Erika Gocuan for helping me practice explaining this project to people.
Chris Lowney and the Jesuits for serving as benchmarks of aspiration.
Jun Maeda and Seiji Kishi for making Angel Beats!