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FINALLY! Say hello to Bombastarr.com!

Yes, folks, after nine years and five months -- I finally have my own domain! Welcome to www.bombastarr.com!

A moment of complete screaming and hysteria in honor of this momentous occasion: AHHHHHH!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!

That's for my 13-year-old self, who started a blog in 2005 and had a simple wish of having her own space in the Internet. She didn't know much about HTML, CSS, and CNAME redirects back then, but it was already clear to her that she wanted a dot-com one day.

First, a little history:

Let me bring you back to the days of Internet yore, the golden age of blogging: the early 2000s. In my case, 2003 to be exact. I remember spending my lazy summer days on my dad's old silver laptop sitting ever so gloriously atop the wooden table by our dining room, and the newly installed wireless internet that I so spiritedly abused. Blogging was such a new, hip concept for me - I only came across the term in one of the magazines lying around at home, and out of curiosity I decided it was something I wanted to try. It was equivalent to having your own address in the Cloud for your thoughts, feelings, and ideas - a place that isn't constricted by the form of a social media profile (aka, Friendster). It sounded so cool.

My first blog was in Blogger, under a different username. It wasn't very creative - after all, what is there for a 12-year-old to write about? But it was a great start. I found friends online, in different parts of Manila, who had the same motivation I did: we just wanted to write about our (actually uneventful) lives. No matter that we didn't have the coherence or the focus a proper writer should have. And it didn't mean much that we knew very little about actually designing a good layout. We were writing! About our lives! In our own blog! We had an audience! It was enough to keep us all entertained in our happy little bubbles. I was definitely ecstatic to have a place where I can write about periodic exams and lyrics to (the early, tattoo-less-and-still-single Adam Levine-fronted) Maroon 5, and have people say they like it.

Eventually I moved to Geocities (because it was cool to "move out" and have a place where you can have a splash page), where I grew to learn more about HTML and coding. Not that I got any good at it; my layouts were really, really terrible (hello, neon colors and blinkies!). But it was there that I started thinking about writing for an audience. And it was there that I realized how much I actually enjoyed just laying down my thoughts on paper-- or rather, on screen.

It was in 2005 when I created Bombastarr - this very blog. By then, my Geocities was the more "official" site I "advertised" for people to visit. I realized I could no longer blog there about certain feelings about certain people without stirring a bit of trouble. (At this point, let's zoom out for a bit: again, this is a high school freshman you're looking at. Consider the "Oh look at me, I'm interesting and super relevant!" mindset I was in, and be a little more kind or less judge-y to the teenager, haha. Okay, zoom back in.) So I contemplated on creating another online journal, this time back in Blogger again, for all my dramatic thoughts and rants.

Now here's the answer to the nine-year-old question, "Why Bombastarr?"

It began as a joke between me and a couple of friends during our freshman year. We were practicing for a field demonstration dance which involved the use of shawls, and being the crazy-always-trying-to-be-funny person that I was (or I always attempted to be) I started doing poses with the garment. Someone started taking my picture using my phone, and one shot looked like I was posing for those B-list movies (or should it be R-list, as in R-rated?) of the vegetable-nomenclature variety. #IKYWIM. Hence, the word, "Bombastarr." Yes, very cheeky, I know, but for a 13-year-old, it was quirky enough to figure as a username.

That, plus I was going through a phase where I wanted to be "emotional" and "dramatic" and everything a hormonal teenager is entitled to be. I claimed I wanted to be "honest with my emotions" and be "explosive." And so, Bombastarr was born. "Exploding" was what I called my online rants back then. How completely schmaltzy, I know, I know.

And yet, ridiculous at it sounded, it stuck. When I decided to permanently move to Bombastarr, I seriously considered blogging as a part of my identity. For the remainder of my high school life, I enjoyed having this separate outlet where I could not only tell something about my life but also know how other people wrote about theirs. Looking back, I really believe it was the affinity I had with blogging that launched my dreams of being a writer.

I wouldn't have seriously considered Creative Writing as a course if it wasn't for my blogging background. I had no legitimate experience in writing prior to that. I did join (and win) several essay-writing contests, and got good grades in English class, but that was about it. No school paper experience, no journalistic training. Save for my immense love for reading, I felt that I wasn't qualified enough to take CW as a major. But because of how much I've grown to love writing - albeit informally, and online - I realized it was something I was willing to dip my toes into. I was willing to learn more, and earnestly take it as a craft.

And here we are, many years later. A college graduate, a struggling law student - and still, someone who writes.

So why the need for the domain, and why now?

Like I said, this is something I've always wanted to do. But back then, the original plan was to buy my own domain and leave behind this blog. That is, move out again and have a proper website, where I can put not only my blog, but I guess a portfolio of sorts as well. However, I never got the motivation to do so - primarily because of laziness, but also because of sentimentality. Moving out meant leaving behind years' worth of anecdotes and stories - not that they're such treasures in any way. But before this blog, I've never been able to successfully maintain any kind of journal, and to leave this all behind was something I couldn't bring myself to do. I wanted to lug around all the memories with me, but it was going to take a while to learn how to export from one host to another - nakakatamad. So out of convenience, I just kept on blogging here, and eventually found no need for moving out.

But, I don't know, you know how sometimes, you just want a change, even though everything is actually alright? Like a haircut, even without the broken heart?

Bombastarr has become many things for me in the last nine years - journal, portfolio, profile. What started out as just a diary ended up becoming a part of my growth, as a writer, and as a person. And while I hardly consider myself a "creative," I'm happy to say that it has become one significant outlet for different sides of me: the side that writes, reads, listens to music, explores art, and enjoys a variety of fields.

Despite the many other chances I've gotten to permanently move (to Multiply, Livejournal, Tumblr, Wordpress; to a bigger platform where I can earn or use the blog as a venue for commerce), I've come to realize that Bombastarr is something I can never truly leave behind. It is a place I've grown to appreciate and love because it is a place I can call my own. It's a venue for my rants, my views, my writing. It is home, and it is who I am.

Bombastarr is a glimpse of my life: the thoughts, ideas, and stories that shape it into what it is, and what it will still become. This journal has been with me for all my crazy, often embarrassing adventures -- which is why I found it fitting to finally give it the proper address that it deserves. It's been with me through so many ups and downs, I felt like it warranted something new for a change, after sticking out with me for nine years.

So I went ahead and used part of my first sweldo from my internship to pay for this domain. Granted, it's only a redirect, but I still got the best of both worlds: my own domain, without having to leave behind the blog. I guess this is me making my 13-year-old self very, very happy. There you go, teenage Karla, your adult self has finally done something right!

I'm glad and thankful for everything I've learned, gained, and become because of this blog. Call me corny and excessively sentimental, but I really am glad to have this thing for myself. It is something to be proud of, right? Right? (Sige na, pagbigyan niyo na!)

www.Bombastarr.com - finally. It feels so, so good.

Here's to more tales, explosive and otherwise!