Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Highlights of 2008

So here goes. I don't want to rank them at all. I just want to highlight the significant moments of the year that was.

The Worst Day of My Life - It was March and the news I got was THE worst I ever heard. My Lola wasn't feeling all to well and the doctors decided that maybe she should have herself checked at the hospital. She went through several tests. One day in March, she had undergone a colonoscopy. I was waiting for my Mom's call on what the news could be. I couldn't take it any longer, I called my Lola's security and asked for my Mom... "Sad news B9..." It was official, my Lola had cancer. I broke down that night. Literally. I broke down in tears. My eyes were so beat that night. We all prayed. 3 months left according to the doctors. One of the people I love so much was facing the greatest battle of her life...

Hope springs eternal - The next day, I was still crying and I decided to take a leave from work. I went to visit my Lola at her office. There were several things that happened. Tita Kris kept researching that night. She wasn't giving up. After that, Tito Alex called and there was some hopeful news. One of the people from the hospital checked the colonoscopy results and the doctors overlooked some parts. Tito Alex told me, "Jiggy, nabigyan tayo ng overtime." What faith can do. It was a total turnaround. That day, we also met Dr. Romy Diaz, he was probably the most optimistic person I met that day. He could treat my Lola. It was a miracle...

Stepping up for my Lola - My Lola couldn't go anymore to the Jun Lozada masses and it was the time for me to help out my Lola. It was my responsibility to represent the family in the masses. I became the official spokesperson of the Aquinos on TV. I don't like to be in front of the camera, I'd rather be in the sidelines. But sacrifices must be made... It was my initiation to the world of media. I am now known as Jiggy Aquino Cruz.

Ninoy: Art and Essays - I guess that this was probably my biggest accomplishment of my life. I became a publisher!!! I couldn't have done this project without the blessing of my Lola and the kind help of all the artists and writers. I met a lot of awesome people because of this book. Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Yu, Harvey Tolibao, Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Stephen Segovia, etc... The artists are just so friggin cool to hang around with!!! I was able to get my heroes to contribute artwork for my Lolo. I saw the need to educate the youth of today. I needed them to know who my Lolo was and what he fought for, what he lived for, what he died for.

One Moment, One Nescafé - I finally got my Marketing assignment at work and I was assigned to the Coffee Business Unit. My four months with the team was so learning-filled. I met amazing people who were driven at what they do and I gained some new friends in life. I enjoyed this assignment so much! I even launched a new product! I will forever love Nescafé 2in1!!!

KLIK 2008 - It was the first time I got invited to talk in school. It was my chance to talk to High School Students!!! I always dreamed of being a guest speaker at the Ateneo. Didn't think it would happen but it did! I talked about comics, the book I launched, and leadership. :) Big time!!! Hahahaha. Joke. But seriously, I enjoyed to talking to a bunch of kids in high school. I felt like a grown-up.

Ateneo wins the UAAP Crown - I had work that day in Cabanatuan. Had no chance of watching it live. But since I came from Pulilan the day before. I was so damn tired and I ate something terrible... I was vomiting early in the morning. Couldn't even stand up because of a 39 fever. I ended up staying at home and catching the game on TV. Finally, Ateneo gets another championship. And of all the teams, they beat none other than our arch-rivals, the De La Salle Green Archers. They are our distinguished competition in everything and I have respect for that school especially to the Christian Brothers who run the place. It was a well fought battle. Chris Tiu and Norman Black finally get a ring!

Banner 17 - It was a sweet year for my Sports Teams. My favorite NBA Team finally won after 22 long years. I've always rooted for them even during the dark ages. The Boston Celtics get Banner 17 thanks to the new Big Three!!! Paul Pierce gets his much needed help from Ray Allen and the Big Ticket, Kevin Garnett. It was a happy day for the Aquinos!!! Celtics beat LA!!! Hahahaha.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Probably the best gift in the history of courtship!!!

Nowadays, what do guys give girls when they court them? A Starbucks Planner? A season dvd of Gossip Girl? The set of the Twilight Saga?

If I can say, we guys suck in giving gifts. I have to admit that the uniqueness of a gift has died down over the years. Why? I don't know. Technology? A change in generation? Easy access to information?

Creativity may be dying down. But then again, maybe it's a challenge. Maybe nice guys have to step up and raise their game into a whole new level.

Anyway, I thought of reflecting about this because as I was taking pictures during the Aquino Noche Buena, I was going around the house and I saw one of the greatest paintings. It's a painting so rich of history.

It was my Lola Cory's 18th birthday. My Lolo Ninoy was still courting her during that time. I'm sure that he wanted to give the best gift. He wanted my Lola and my great grandparents to be impressed. Plus, I guess, my Lolo being himself, he didn't want to lose to the competition.

The painting was done by none other than Fernando Amorsolo himself!!! My Lolo had to pay him 2 months worth of his salary!!! Talk about hardwork. It was 500 pesos during that time. But still!!! It was 2 months worth of his salary!!!

My Lola was truly impressed when she received a portrait of herself done by a premier artist in the Philippines. Did my Lolo win my Lola's heart that time? Maybe. Maybe not. But in my opinion, my Lolo did such an amazing job by giving such a creative gift. I mean, who gives a painting these days? Honestly! Who does?

Hats off to my Lolo. That was one hell of a gift!!!

Oh, here's the awesome painting by the way :)

Hope you liked my story :)

Monday, December 29, 2008


Sunday, December 28, 2008

A sad entry...

I haven't posted an emo entry here in blogspot. I guess it was about time.

I will have to admit that I do have flaws and faults. But it can't always be me every single time.

I may be boring at times but I was never an asshole. I was always the nice and patient guy who wouldn't let tantrums or mood swings get in the way.

What am I saying? I'm just really really depressed. I'm friggin sad.

I do my part don' t I? How the heck am I supposed to know if I don't feel or see it? Am I supposed to be a genius who knows what to do?

I made sacrifices that were unseen.

I made efforts that up to now remain invisible.

I may be patient but I have a boiling point.

But one thing I realized. Nice guys will always finish last.

Nice guys are stepping blocks. Welcome mats. Persian rugs.

We go out of our ways to please people. But even if you think you've finished, it ain't over. Nice guys will always be nice guys unless they turn to assholes. Nice guys will not get the justice they deserve. It will still be not enough. People will always expect, expect, and expect.

You think you've done it? Think again. That's still not enough.

Too bad. Nice guys will finish last and will be taken for granted.

But hey, that's just my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Folks!!!

A Marvelous Christmas to all!!! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Iron Man: World's Most Wanted

My 2 cents on Invincible Iron Man #8, The first part of World's Most Wanted.

I've underestimated Matt Fraction. I have to give it to him. Casanova wasn't my cup of tea but he got me in Immortal Iron Fist. For the start of Dark Reign, I love how Marvel put Tony Stark as the "blame him" guy.

Stark Technology has failed. All microwaves, computers, washing machines, military tech, etc. Failures!!! The Skrulls killed Stark Tech which leaves Tony ruined.

At first I thought that Tony would be some sort of a fugitive running away from the law but this story somehow went a different route.

I apologize for those not reading comics but the fallout of Civil War is paying off still. The Superhero Registration Act Database is now under Norman Osborn. Or is it?

Tony sent a going away present to Osborn. The database is gone. It's not in computers. It's in Tony's brain. Extremis made it possible. Because of the nanotechnology living inside Stark's body, the Skrull Virus somehow changed Stark's composition inside. The database is now IN Tony.

Osborn has yet to find out... That makes Iron Man, the World's Most Wanted!

Awesome twist Mr. Fraction!!! I love it!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

iPod Nano (PRODUCT) Red

I got a 16GB iPod Nano. Red!!! It's awesome!!! Love it love it love it! I got it last week and I can't stop using it. The last iPod I got was the 2nd gen. The one with the 4 buttons on top. This one takes the cake. 1st, it's friggin RED! How can you go wrong with that? 2nd, it shuffles when you shake it! 3rd, if you tilt it, the cover flow appears. It plays videos as well!!!

I still have a gift card. Got it 2 years ago and 8 bucks still left. I went to iTunes and I got a .99 cent episode of Fringe! Been wanting to start that series. So I'll watch it in the Product Red within the day.

Didn't have engraving on it. Just thought it'd look cleaner without it. I highly recommend this new iPod. :) It gets Ado(red) by many :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Recommendations for the person who wants to start reading Comics

OK, I'm in the mood to give out my 2 cents to people who want to start reading comics.

First, you gotta ask yourself. Are you going in this to collect? to have a good read? or both?

I fall on the both. I like reading a good story and collecting just followed after.

If you want to start, I suggest you buy a Trade Paperback or a "Graphic Novel". Why did I put that in quotations? Because I believe that a Graphic Novel is a stand alone, THICK comic book. While a Trade Paperback is a collected book of a story arc from a particular title.

Ok, without prolonging, here are my recommendations.

For a person who wants to get into the Superhero Genre.

1. Ultimate Spider-Man vol.1 Hardcover by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley. (Marvel)

Folks, this is the revamped continuity free version of the greatest superhero of all time. Before the Superman and Batman fans start throwing tomatoes at me, you gotta check this book out. Spidey is the best character in comics you can relate to. Bendis executes the mythos for the new generation perfectly with his witty dialogue and twists. Bagley's art is just stunning! 13 issues in the Hardcover format, absolutely worth it!

2. Invincible by Robert Kirkman. (Image)

Robert Kirkman put Superman and Spidey together. But the story is insanely amazing!!! It's totally different!!!

3. The Immortal Iron Fist by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)

Bru and Fraction brought KUNG-FU back!!! Didn't think that I would like this book. It turned out to be my best book of 2007. Had no clue who Danny Rand was except for the fact that I knew that he was Iron Fist. This book blew me away. The way they developed the new characters and their names was sheer f'n genius. MUST READ!!! Vol.1 - The Last Iron Fist Story and Vol. 2 - The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven.

For great reading...

1. Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. (DC/Vertigo)

BKV's masterpiece!!! I lent vol. 1 to friends and even my bosses. All asked for vol. 2 and the rest... This book is just f'n AWESOME!!! Yorick Brown is probably the greatest character created in recent year... YOU. MUST. READ. THIS. BOOK.

2. Blankets by Craig Thompson (Independent)

Thompson's award-winning autobiography in graphic novel form. This is probably the thickest book in my collection. It's the best love story in comics history. Made me cry...

3. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (Image)

Zombies? Really? Yeap! But not the stereotypical Zombie flick. The Walking Dead provides so much excitement and deeeeeeeep and I mean deep character development. Isn't that what we all want in a great story? Believe me on this. The Walking Dead will knock you down and eat your brains! It's THAT GOOD!

For Fantasy reading.

1. Bone by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)

Think of Lord of The Rings but in cute format. Bone is one of the most amazing fantasy books I've ever read. Be sure to get the colored versions recently printed by Scholastic. 8 out of 9 books have been released already. This is Smith's award winning creation and over a million Bone books have been sold!!! Fone Bone. Phoney Bone. Smiley Bone. 3 cousins caught up in a hullabaloo of epic proportions.

2. The Sword by The Luna Brothers (Image)

Filipinos REPRESENT! Jonathan and Joshua Luna gives us Dara Brighton, a crippled teenage girl who cannot walk. One night, 3 mystical beings invade her house and kills her family. Dara's dad hold's a secret. He has been protecting an ancient weapon... The Sword. As Dara escapes the murder, she falls into her basement and discovers The Sword. She can now walk and holds a lot of power. She's out to find the 3 people responsible for ruining her life... Totally awesome reading! Vol. 1 already out!!!

That's all for now...

Happy Holidays!!!

The Holiday Wishlist and other thoughts...

I've been going home early this week. I can't wait for next week. 2 friggin weeks of no work. Never had a vacation THAT long since graduation... It's been quite a while.

Edsa has been a pain in the ass. The bottleneck at the Shaw Underpass is just horrible. Today was ok. After the Shaw Underpass, Megamall was all clear!!! Can you imagine that? Took me 20 minutes! So I was able to have dinner with my family tonight.

There are things I want to get this Christmas but can't... I would like to have a graded copy of Amazing Fantasy 15, I don't care what copy. But that's asking for the moon.

There's only one thing I want this Christmas and that's for my Lola Cory to get well. She's fighting everyday against the Big C. There are days that she wins and there are days that she's totally exhausted. It sucks seeing her tired.

That's my Christmas wish... I just want her to get better. She means the world to me.

I got home early and I went straight to her room. She was lying down watching Kapamilya Deal or No Deal. She had a big smile on her face when I went in. :) It was a pleasant sight.


Last night, we had our CMT Christmas party. I took care of the games just like last year. They had fun naman. (I hope)

During the Kris Kringle, I asked for a Fully Booked GC. Limit was 500 bucks but damn. Nahiya ako. I didn't know that the minimum amount Fully Booked carried was 1000!!! :o

Oh well. I'll make it up to him. :)

It was so relaxing just having fun and chilling. No work involved. Just great company.

Tomorrow will be the NKA Christmas Party. I'm pretty psyched about that!

Anyway, I'm off!!! Gotta start losing pounds.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

KLIK 2008

Last Friday, I filed for Half Day because it was the first time I got invited to be a speaker at the Ateneo High School. It was their Alternative Class Program called KLIK. KLaseng Ibang Klase. So what did I talk about? I talked about my passion of reading and collecting comic books which I connected to the book I launched back in August.

I was surprised that my class was full!!! Kids actually signed up for it!!! I was honored.

There were some kids who stood out when I asked them what their favorite titles were. I was surprised that no one mentioned Bendis! Some were more into Manga which I apologized for since I had nothing in my presentation on Manga. Some have actually read WATCHMEN which I haven't read completely!!! My hats off to those guys. Some just signed up for it to know more about comic books. They don't really read but they were interested. Also, there were these 2 guys in front of me who were talking during my presentation. I had to tell them that they were distracting me.

Sorry if I embarrassed them but I can't stand disrespect. I went there to give my 2 cents. I had to take time off from work. It was no joke. I just found it unatenean. Can't please them all... But I hope they picked up 1 thing at least.

I can't believe I talked about so much in an hour. I was talking about the history of comics for crying out loud!

Sadly, no one has heard about Ninoy: Art and Essays... :(

But I did talk about how to move forward. You don't have to launch a book to help out. You can basically help out through different means. I chose my passion as a means of communicating to the youth.

After that, I told them about the iamninoy 100 initiative. There was a pair who went up to me and asked how they can help.

I didn't come there to woo a class of 43. If my talk inspired just one guy, then it was mission accomplished!

It was a great feeling to come back home to Ateneo High. Saw some wonderful people who I haven't seen in such a long time. My teachers still remember me at least :)

Anyway... That's about it I guess.

Excelsior? :) Hehehe.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Nestlé Christmas Party

Nestlé gives out great parties to the employees. After all, we have been good soldiers. What stood out was our CEO's speech. He said his thanks but he also extended his gratitude to the families of the employees since we gave more time for the betterment of the company.

Played with my new G10 last night. One of my superiors also has one. There's this Nestlé photography club but they all use SLRs. So Sir Roger told me to start a G10 club. We're the non-conformists! Hahahaha. Down with the SLRs!!! Jokingly of course.

Food was pretty good but it was the company of my friends and colleagues that made the night :)

Good times!

The Tech Team also started the "Go Sales" shoot. So it goes... "GO Sales! GO Nestlé! WIN FULL FORCE!"

That's OUR theme. My batch's theme for the 2009 Sales Kick-Off. Winning Is Nestlé (WIN) Full Force!!!

But sadly, I also ended my 4 stints of 4 months each yesterday. It was an amazing ride full of growth and learning. It was also the last Christmas Party my batchmates and I were spending as Management Trainees.

Come January, we'll give everyone an amazing kick-off!!!

We all get our permanent assignments pretty soon. Praying to God that I get the right assignment.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Discovering Awesome!!!

Jeez. Don't know where to begin. We had this meeting about a month ago and this was the snack for that time. I'm really not the guy who likes spicy food. But this product from Frito-Lay... So friggin AWESOME!!! I absolutely love it!!! Got it today during the trade check in Robinsons Metro East. If you haven't tried this, you better!!! Because the Cheese + Jalapeno flavor is amazing!!! Perfect with a coooooooollllllllllllllldddddddddddd can of Coke Zero :D

Monday, December 8, 2008

Watching the fight on a Sunday Reunion

So the Aquinos had a reunion at Tita Kris' place yesterday. Well, we do every Sunday. Recently, Tita Kris volunteered to have the Sunday lunch at her place. Weekdays, dinner at our house, Saturday's at Ninang's place.

Yesterday was extra special since we watched the Pacquiao - De la Hoya fight.

No one could really eat during lunch since everyone was glued to the TV. I couldn't take pictures since my eyes were also glued to the screen.

We were all pretty happy that Manny won with flying colors!!! Nagtagumpay ang Pambansang Kamao!!! I felt sorry for The Golden Boy at the end because a future Hall of Famer shouldn't have gotten a beating during his possible last fight. But Manny was just doing his job and he really did train very well for it.

Mark Hatton might be the next guy Manny will face... That's a different story. Don't wanna talk about it now.

Took several pictures yesterday. Will post this one cute pic of Baby James though. I was lucky to have caught this on cam! :D Such a cute baby!!!

He was actually in a very pleasant mood yesterday. :) This kid's gonna go the distance! Probably are superstar guard for the Blue Eagles? Hahaha. We'll see in 17 years.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Marvels: Eye of the Camera signing

Went to Robinsons Galleria today to meet and greet Jay Anacleto. I also got his works from the Avalon Studios days, Aria. I haven't met any artist who was rude or unapproachable. Jay Anacleto is a fun, cheerful, humble, and friendly guy. Not to mention that he's like over 6 feet tall plus he has excellent teeth! (He's a dentist full time and superstar artist on the side...)

I'm such a nerd. I went there before 2pm. Not that many people at that time. I was first in line. Hahaha. Sandy Sansolis, the owner of Comic Odyssey comes up with cool ideas for the Fanboys to some. There's even a raffle. You get to have a piece of art done by Jay Anacleto with the MARVEL Character of your choice. That's right, MARVEL! (Hope I won!)

After I had my books signed, there were already a lot of people! So I hung out for a while to talk to fellow Fanboys and even a quick chat with Gerry "Elmer" Alanguilan and Tony "Jonah Hex" De Zuniga. Edgar Tadeo was also there supporting the event!

Thought that the raffle was at 4pm. I had to leave already... But on the way to the parking lot, I was texting and someone suddenly patted me on the shoulder. It was none other than Leinil "Mr. Artist of the Year" Yu himself!!! So friggin cool!!!

So this Saturday was pretty cool! Perfect day for a Fanboy!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Secret Invasion #8

The Big Summer Event of Marvel Comics ended Wednesday as Secret Invasion #8 went to the comic shops.

This was 5 years in the making starting with Avengers: Disassembled which then lead to the creation of the controversial roster of The New Avengers. Putting Spider-Man and Wolverine on the same team was HUGE!!! After that came House of M and the life-changing Civil War.

But the stories all went around The New Avengers. A conspiracy started and it was because of an alien race known as the Skrulls. They believed that the earth was theirs.

No one in the Marvel Universe could trust one another because of the Shape-Shifting Skrulls. They successfully infiltrated and got through S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers Tower, Stark Tech, and even The Baxter Building. They could go undetected.

After reading the last issue. I thought that there would be more fights but it ended quickly. Skrulls lost but the Heroes didn't "win". It had such a huge change in power!

Reading Brian Michael Bendis' interview, the pitch was that he wanted the other heroes to feel what Peter Parker felt all the time, He'd win but still lose. It was sheer genius!!!

So spoiler alert, Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin and the director of The Thunderbolts was named the head of the earth's defense
(Still no name but I'm guessing it's H.A.M.M.E.R.). S.H.I.E.L.D. was shut down and Stark Tech was closed by the President, Tony Stark is now the world's most wanted, and the 50 State Initiative was a failure.

The last few pages showed Osborn smiling inside Avengers Tower. He goes down an elevator and into a dark room. And guess who shows in the last 2 pages...

Namor, Doctor Doom, The Hood, Loki, and Emma Frost. THERE IS A FRIGGIN EVIL VERSION OF THE ILLUMINATI DAMN IT!!!


This was a crossover event I enjoyed from start to finish! Kudos to Bendis and Leinil Yu!!!

Check out the cool Variant Cover of Secret Invasion #8. Steph gave it as a gift :)

Leinil Yu did a monster job with the 8 issues!!! Filipinos represent!!!

Best Artist of 2008!!! Congrats to him!!!

Anyway, I'll probably geek out when I've read the Avengers books. More excited on New Avengers than Dark Avengers though... I have a feeling that the Dark Avengers are gonna be bad guys.

And who the hell is the Iron Patriot?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some thoughts on work

So I'll be ending my last stint on December 12.

Pretty soon. After the kick-off, I would have, by then, graduated from the Corporate Management Trainee Program of Nestle.

Life's fast. You gotta make the most out of everyday.

I ended my 14 day Nestle Fitnesse diet. For 2 weeks, I just ate Fitnesse for Breakfast and Dinner. Discipline and Determination. Whew! Lost 8 pounds. The real challenge is to maintain it. Earlier today, the team went to Cabalen. Buffet for lunch. Avoided the prichon, sisig, and the other stuff. I stuck to the crabs, sushi, and dimsum. I did have a taste of the dinuguan though. But still, I don't take the elevator going up. Stairs baby!!! 10 floors up!!!

I decided to lose weight because hearing people say that you're getting chubby/heavy is totally a downer. Nobody wants to hear those words... I've had it! Don't wanna hear that again.

The 14 days have paid off somehow. People have been telling me that I got thinner. Still big though but nonetheless, they still complemented me for losing weight. I gotta keep this up!

Christmas will DEFINITELY be a challenge. Glorious food on the 24th, 25th and 31st!!! DAMN!!!

What I'm doing now is lotsa cardio!!! I have to look better by next year!!! I promise!!!

So we'll see... Time will tell!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Reading List

Over the past month, I got two Graphic Novels to read. Both praise worthy and award-winning but different in their own way.

1. Heavy Liquid by Paul Pope.

It's about a guy named "S" in a futuristic New York City. People fight for this drug known as Heavy Liquid".

2. Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman

This is a Pulitzer Prize winner and it recounts the struggle of Spiegelman's father to survive the Holocaust as a Polish Jew and draws largely on his father's recollections of his experiences.

I'll give my reviews as soon as I finish reading them :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Collecting Comics

I went to Druid's Keep in Magallanes last Saturday for the store's 4th year anniversary. Felix Cua built the shop 4 years back and there's still a loyal fan base.

My brother and I remain loyal to the Keep. Though I try to go there weekly, it's pretty tough. The place is a bit far from the house. But nonetheless, Druid's Keep will always be the comic shop of the Cruz Bros.

Had chats with all sorts of Fanboys there. But it was real nice to see the 2 coolest Pinoy artists, Carlo and Harvey. It's a real pleasure to see the 2 guys who helped me get my project going. Carlo's working on Agents of Atlas while Harvey's doing Avengers: The Initiative #19. Harvey said he put another Ninoy cameo. Hahaha.

Comic Collecting has been my passion for the longest time. My collection is growing weekly!!! What can I say? I love the hobby. Unlike toys, you get to read comics plus you get to learn some new things as well. And hey, it's still reading!

I remain to be a Marvelite/ Marvel Zombie. I get to read the Image and Vertigo here and there. But The House of Ideas just takes the cake! Marvel will always be THE premiere publisher in my opinion. The character base is the best!!!

Collecting Comics is an expensive hobby but to those who wish to start, you gotta choose. It's either you read for the sake of reading or you read + invest.

For the sake of reading, you can read the collected graphic novels. Value won't appreciate though. TPB's or Trade Paperbacks are for catching up.

If you wanna read + invest, get singles!!! I love the feeling you get in the last page of the comic book. To be continued!!! Arrrgh! What a feeling!!!

Anyway, I'm just rambling...

But if you do want to collect, check out Druid's Keep located at the 3rd floor of Gateway Center in Paseo de Magallanes.

Or, you can check out Comic Odyssey. Galleria, Ermita, or Cybermall.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Christmas Card Picture

Last year, we had this Christmas Card made. My Lola sent it to her friends and my mom and my other titas used it as the card for the Christmas gifts. A simple digicam was used a year ago.

But this year, my Tita Kris wanted it different. She was doing a photoshoot one day and she asked the photographer if the family can join in. So it was in the studio of Jun de Leon. He's a great photographer by the way. Really good at his job!

The shoot was color coded. Since my Mom let all her siblings choose ahead, all the good colors were picked already so my family ended up with plain old white. My Lola and Tito Noy got yellow. The Abelladas got blue, Dees got green, Yaps got red. I wanted to be either blue or red but that's life... But the picture came out nicely. It's a great shot of the family! Everyone looks happy :)

So this pic will come out in this month's K Mag. Check it out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Top 5 Graded Comics that I want to own.

I don't care what the grades for these comics are but I just want to friggin own them!!!

5. Avengers #4 - Captain America finally returns in the Silver Age of Comics. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!

4. Giant Size X-Men #1 - The First appearance of the new team of Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Warpath and Cyclops. The new era of the X-Men!!! Uncanny X-Men 1 may be nice but Giant Size X-Men 1 changed the way people looked at the X-Men. I find it more meaningful.

3. Fantastic Four #1 - This is where the Marvel U began!!! Who wouldn't want to own this gem??? It's mainly of significance to me. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby practically created the best fiction!

2. Amazing Spider-Man #1 - Nuff Said.

1. Amazing Fantasy #15 - First Appearance of Spider-Man. Need I say more?

Ninoy in a Nutshell

A week ago, there was this article from PDI.

I got a text from my Tita Viel saying, "Good Article on your book, maybe you should start thinking of a 2nd run", I also got a text from my Lola saying "Congratulations!"

So finally, I decided went to the office pantry and check only to find out that the Star was the one available.

Fortunately, one of my friends from the Coffee Business Unit handed me the article.

I'm thankful that the writer put in a good review. It was a big sigh of relief. At least there's one person out there who appreciated the book.

Anyway, here's the article by the kind Mr. Ruel De Vera.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Ninoy in a nutshell
By Ruel S. De Vera
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:24:00 10/13/2008

MANILA, Philippines - Twenty five. It is a number of multiple significance, a figure that pervades much of “Ninoy: Art and Essays,” collected by Jiggy Aquino-Cruz (self-published, Mandaluyong, 2008, 105 pages) in both fighting form and spectacular spirit.

Aquino-Cruz, eldest grandchild to the late Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr., calls himself “a comic-book geek” and cannily harnesses the power of that form to create a tribute which is also the most accessible encapsulation of the late senator yet seen; Ninoy in a 100 pages or less.

“It has been 25 years since Aug. 21, 1983,” Aquino-Cruz writes. “When asked the question: Who is Ninoy Aquino?, can the youth of today still give an answer worth hearing, or has he been reduced to being just some guy on the P500 bill?”

Aquino-Cruz breaks down the considerable life of Ninoy into 25 bite-size highlights, and then illustrates the heck out of them.

He does this by gathering art from a broad range of sources, including some of the Philippines’ most successful comic-book talents, accompanying essays from those who knew Ninoy best, all wrapped in a hardcover package with a gorgeous cover by Leinil Francis Yu of Marvel’s blockbuster “Secret Invasion.”

Following that lead, “Ninoy” assembles black-and-white and color art from Whilce Portacio, Gerry Alanguilan, Carlo Pagulayan, Harvey Tolibao, Stephen Segovia, Philip Tan, Lan Medina, Andrew Drilon.

Providing the insight through essays are former President Corazon C. Aquino, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Kris Aquino-Yap, Paulynn Sicam, Leah Navarro and others.

The art and the prose are uneven but diverse, earnest in their goal of distilling the essence of Ninoy Aquino in as few words and images as possible.

“Ninoy” also dispenses some of the late senator’s choice quotes, including: “I have carefully weighed the virtues and the faults of the Filipino, and I have come to the conclusion that he is worth dying for!”


It works brilliantly. From a glimpse of Ninoy as a heartbroken child after losing his father, to the young man wooing Cory, “Ninoy” presents a very reader-friendly passage through Aquino’s life before the legend. It is intimate (Cory Aquino got an Amorsolo painting of herself from Ninoy) and surprisingly inclusive (read the doctor’s report on Aquino’s triple bypass).

Aquino’s achievements as a governor and a senator at 34 stun readers in these times of pedestrian expectations. It is bracing to read Noynoy, the son who also became a senator, write about what it means to be senator in this country at this time.

Aquino’s Job-like ordeal in Laur is nothing short of dramatic. “In faith, it dawned upon him what it meant to be destined for greater things,” the book notes. “Ninoy the future president died in Laur. In its place, Ninoy the hero was born.”

Even a quarter century later, it is difficult not to feel moved by the decision, after three bucolic years exiled in Boston, to return home to certain death. The one page in
“Ninoy” that is truly done up in full comic-book form is page 81, a riveting four-panel recollection by Aquino-Cruz and artist Jason Paz of Ninoy Aquino’s last moments prior to his assassination. The book has it right: “There was no stopping Ninoy.”

Beyond its quirky visual and narrative charm, “Ninoy” boasts a winning price (P300 for a hardcover) and a good cause (all the book’s proceeds go to the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation). Together with the ingenious iamninoy campaign, “Ninoy” represents a dynamic and valuable attempt to acquaint an entire generation of Filipinos with the life and legend of Ninoy Aquino, most significantly a generation born after Aquino’s history-changing death in 1983, and one which includes the book’s creator, Jiggy Aquino-Cruz.

“I wasn’t sure what a 22-year-old like me could do to achieve such a great feat,” he explains. “But I was certain I wanted my lolo to inspire the youth as he had inspired me.”

Judging by the maverick yet accessible nature of “Ninoy: Art and Essays,” it can be safely said, Job well done, because this is definitely a book worth shelling out for.

Available in hardcover at Comic Odyssey and Druid’s Keep.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Birthday Blowout to my Blockmates in Barcino

This year, my Birthday came earlier and it wasn't celebrated at home. I invited my dearest block that is R2. It was another great reunion. Though there was a slight awkward moment during the night, it was another fun time to add to the memory box!

The celebration was at Barcino in City Golf. It's a Spanish Wine Cellar and Tapas Bar. It's a quiet nook but it found its customer base. It's amazing food! Although the serving of the Barcino Platter was less plus they added this "salad" which wasn't very appetizing to the people... The Manchego Cheese and the cold cuts were the winners!

Val surprised everyone by dropping by. Grad ko pa siya last nakita. It's been too long...

October is usually the best time of the year for me. Hehehe. Since it's my Birthday month and all. Plus the block really comes to my celebration. It's a happy reunion!

This year was quiet. Not that many people but nonetheless happy!

My 2 best friends have to be there to make the night complete. Timmy and Ospret just HAVE to attend. You can't have a celebration without those two. And of course there's Steph :) Siya ang MUST! Hahahaha.

It's not yet my Birthday as of the moment. Well not for another 3 hours and 10 minutes. I'm already happy! I just hope work will be kind to me tomorrow...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Holy Land

So it seems 100% sure that the Aquinos will be visiting the Holy Land this October.

My Lola wants to visit the Holy Land and pray for the country, the family, and her health.

It'll be a new experience for me but I'm excited that we'll be one happy family travelling together.

It looks like EVERYONE will be going. I CANNOT miss it. So I'll be filing for a leave. Probably 5 days max. I hope my boss allows me to go. I just CANNOT be left here alone.

Family comes first...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Posting Publicity Articles

I was interviewed a few weeks ago by SUPREME of Philippine Star. Jan Vincent Sarabia Ong wrote this article and he went overboard with praise.

I have been blessed. The publicity the book has been getting is just great! Can't ask for more... Well... Sales of course.


The yin and yang of justice

READ NOW By J. Vincent Sarabia Ong
Saturday, August 30, 2008

We Filipinos recently had two long weekends of snoozing, goofing off, DVD marathons, overdue reunions over coffee, hopping back to our barrios and, of course, pigging out. Basically, time was finally ours and there is a reason for that. It is because of our national heroes that we can appreciate those few days of liberty from corporate slavery. Aside from the genius of holiday economics, heroes make life more than just bearable. They make it possible.

Yet what are heroes in the first place? Are they mortals or gods that walk on this earth? Do you need to wear a cape to be one? These ruminations started kicking in as I realized how much time I had, thanks to heroes like Ninoy whose time was cut short. I considered that my A.D.D. couldn’t contain such lofty ideas (or ideals). I also knew that I couldn’t talk to Ninoy Aquino since he has been gone for 25 years unless I stare at a P500 bill. So I did the next best thing. I talked to people who at least looked like him and maybe spoke like him. I set up an interview with his nephew Bam Aquino and grandson Jiggy Aquino-Cruz. They have both edited books about heroism — one about the past and the other about the future of heroes.

Super Lolo

As I read 22-year-old Jiggy Aquino-Cruz’s tribute book to his lolo, Ninoy: Essays and Art, I discovered the true heart condition of this modern Filipino inspiration. He didn’t have coronary insufficiency, as Dr. Rolando Solis says in this book. I would rather believe that it was because his heart had a big hole: it bled too much with love for both the people he knew personally and for people he never even met. As a teenager, Cory writes, Ninoy gave her a portrait that was worth two months of his salary at the time; but he also had compassion for foreigners like the Koreans whom he reported about in the Manila Times. His heart was too big for his body; maybe that’s why he even came back to Manila only to be shot after three tranquil years of living as a family man in Boston.

After reading these anecdotes, I realized that there is a yin and yang to justice. The equation is that for every loss, there is a gain. For something to live, something else must die before it. In Ninoy’s life, his early understanding of responsibility came with the passing of his father when he was only 14. Then Ninoy had to lose himself in Laur prison to find God. Finally, he had to lose his personal dream of a family and intellectual career by coming back for us to live that dream ourselves, thus making sure that people would never have to make the same sacrifice again.

And this is why Ninoy is more than a measure of currency that can give you a fistful of change in denominations of 100s and 50s; he has changed forever the lives of many persons starting with his grandson Jiggy who worked on this book for two to three months, giving up time after hard working days, as a gift to his Lola Cory. Now, the buck has passed on to the many writers and artists who were inspired by Ninoy. This includes the writers who were Jiggy’s famous relatives, friends from his comic arts group Übermensch Studios and even a Ninoy Aquino scholar, Sonny Pasimio, who is now an assistant VP with an international company. The artists, on the other hand, are what Jiggy calls a “comic book boy’s dream.” The contributors include Whilce Portacio, Leinel Francis Yu, Philip Tan, Jason Paz, Gerry Alanguilan and others who set aside time from their big projects at Marvel and DC comics to complete the work at a photo-finish pace. The outcome is a collection that Ninoy would no doubt have appreciated: work done with a lot of heart.

Bam! Fighting everyday evil

Like Jiggy, his uncle Bam is a comic book fan. Yet Bam (or Paolo Benigno Aquino) already possesses the powers of a superhero. As president of Microventures, he already has empowered poor sari-sari stores on a multi-regional scale through his Hapinoy microfinance program. He was also chairman of National Youth Commission (NYC) for three years. More than that, just as Robin was trained to excel by Batman, Bam was raised as a political child star — but instead of singing he began by giving speeches at rallies by the age of six, immediately after Ninoy’s death. His strong resemblance to his uncle even makes you think that the universe has conspired to have him fill the gap Ninoy has left behind.

He has certainly lived up to his role to inspire, beyond his clean-cut looks and simple demeanor. As he capped his NYC run two years ago, he was asked to produce a book for the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN. He gladly accepted the task and took it as a cherry atop his political career. The outcome is an ambitious profile book entitled Young Southeast Asia: 40 Inspiring Youths published by Art Post Asia, written by 10 teams from the ASEAN region, and shot in natural light by our very own Jake Versoza.

As much as featured names like Bounleuth Luanpraseuth or Muhammad Fahmie Haji Awang Metussin can leave you breathless, their diverse stories of courage, compassion, commitment, and creativity can leave you at the loss for words. Included among the 40 is a Quaran-reading winner, a world-class violin player, a colleague of Professor Stephen Hawking at age 21, a bowling champion, a Gawad Kalinga volunteer, a Miss Universe representative turned teacher. These stories, Bam says, reflect the character of the ASEAN region due to specific problems that kids must face, whether poverty or political turmoil in their own communities, and the changes they want to inspire. He adds that religion, as an integral part of our Asian heroism, shouldn’t be thought of as a backward characteristic because it displays the richness of our cultures as compared with the West.

He hopes that readers won’t find the lives led by the 40 featured Asians to be daunting, but rather as inspiring, attainable and accessible as the people they see every day. This is all in the wish that people might pick up a soccer ball, a chessboard, a Bible, an ambulance bicycle or even just themselves to change the world and challenge people to do the same.

It’s A Matter Of Time

As I got my Aquino dose of what valor means, I realized that heroism begins with what you do to fill your time on the planet. If you are not doing something good for others or yourself, you owe it to the heroes who made your time possible. Whether it’s two months like Jiggy or two years like Bam, we have to realize that evil occurs because there is no one to stop it. Thus, in the yin and yang of justice, we have to ask ourselves where we stand in the balance of good versus evil. After all, as Ninoy told Kris: “Nobody will help make the Philippines great except us Filipinos.” We must understand that nobody can make ourselves great except us. It is only then that we can be prophets of hope as Ninoy continues to be.

* * *

Ninoy Art and Essays is exclusively at Comic Odyssey ( Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place Manila, and Druid’s Keep, third floor, Gateway Center, Paseo de Magallanes.

Looking back at my Coffee Stint

April 8 to August 8, 2008.

I had my Marketing Stint in Coffee, under Nescafé Classic. It was probably my most challenging stint. My first stint in General Trade was like the adapting phase and immersing myself in the urban areas. My second stint was the analyzing part of my training. It was a pure desk job analyzing charts and numerical data. Marketing let me see the company some more. I got to meet a lot of people and I got to handle a New Product Launch. It doesn't come every stint and I was very fortunate to have experienced that.

Probably the best part of the stint was working for a great boss. She's probably the most sincere, humble and genuine person there in Nestlé. She taught me a lot. I was given independence but also given guidance from time to time. I felt that it was the part wherein I grew professionally as a person.

I had a lot of good experiences in the 4 months. Interacting with the main bosses gave me good exposure and training to be more confident. High Risk, High Return also went into play but I don't wanna get into the details.

What makes me happy is the people that surrounds me in the work place. If the work is hard but the people that keeps you sane are there, then it's all good. I was surrounded by dedicated men and women. It was a blessing that I was put there because I learned so much.

From time to time, I drop by and say hey to the people in the Coffee Business Unit. I miss the work there but the life of a trainee is adapting to change. It's hard at times. If you're the type of person who values relationships, it'll be hard. Time is what you need.

I feel like I have adjusted already. It's not like I left or anything but the world I live in is much different. The transition has been good so far.

Right now, I'm back with Sales and I'm also thankful that the people there are also fun to be with. Sales and Marketing are different worlds but hey, at least I get the best of both.

Time flies so fast. Today is September 8... What a coincidence...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Manila Comic-Con

Next year will be big for Pinoy Comic Fans.

The first ever Manila Comic-Con will be held March at the SMX Convention Center (Tentatively)

It'll be huge. I know one of the organizers and he says that it'll be huge!!!

As of now, they're getting artists, both current and the legends. I heard that even the Pinoy Artists abroad will drop by.

I might be doing a project for this one depending on the success of Ninoy: Art and Essays.

A Ninoy 100 project might be in the works. Or even the first ever Ubermensch Studios Graphic Novel...

We'll just have to wait and see...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 and Gerry Alanguilan

I owe a lot to Mr. Gerry Alanguilan.

He's like THE guy of Pinoy Komiks. He is MR. KOMIKERO.

If there's one guy so passionate about Philippine Comics, it's Gerry Alanguilan.

He was the first guy to offer colored art for the book. He insisted that he'd incorporate a different style on the artwork. Damn it, his work frakkin rocked!!!

But what strikes me the most is that he is like THE HUMBLEST guy. He's super cool and fun to be with. If you check out his videos, it's pure genius!

Check him out at, you won't regret it!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The effects of launching a book

So Ninoy: Art and Essays is well-received by the public. Thank God!

A lot has happened to me because of this book. But first, let me stress that I didn't do the book for fame or popularity. It was 100% love for my Lola, my Lolo, and for the comic-book industry.

But the book is taking me places where I've never been before. A lot of people are proud of what I did. And I'm very thankful to God for His help. I really don't deserve all of this.

Why am I reacting? For one, I just had a friggin photoshoot. I'll be appearing in the October issue of People Asia. The writer told me that this is not the end for you... More will come. I don't think I'm ready for that.

I'm being featured as a SCION. Since that's the theme of the October issue. KC Concepcion will dawn the cover. Other Scions that will be featured are Quark Henares, Gary V's son, the chef of CYMA, and another guy. So, yours truly will be the one covering the political side of things. Whoopdeedoo...

What I'm thrilled about is that my comic book heroes are now my friends!

The guys in the states have added me on Facebook. How sweet is that?

Getting to chat with these people is already such a great blessing. I'm just happy.

My only fear now is that I hope the book sells...

Oh well...

We'll have to wait and see

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thoughts on The Umbrella Academy

There were a few comics in recent months that got me hooked so bad.

There's The Immortal Iron Fist (But sadly, Brubaker and Fraction aren't writing anymore)

and then there's Dark Horse Comics' The Umbrella Academy.

I've recommended it to a few people already but they just can't seem to dig it. It's The X-Men meets The Royal Tenenbaums. It's just frakking awesome! Gerard Way wrote as if there's already a back story to it but there actually is none. It took him 6 issues. Just 6. He's already got an Eisner for Best Limited Series. Yes, IT'S THAT DAMN GOOD.

I've bought a 9.8 CGC of The Retailer Variant. I cannot wait for it to arrive.

Anyway, today, I got this MySpace Dark Horse Collection. There's a story on TUA. I'll read it tonight. Then there's the Umbrella Academy Umbrellas! SO F'N COOL... I want to get one!

Oh well... That's it for today. I had a rough day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Being a Merchandiser for a Supermarket

Today was the start of my 3 day Merchandising Stint in Robinsons Supermarket in Metro East.

It's not an easy job. I salute all the men and women working in the supermarkets, groceries, hypermarkets, etc. It's a friggin hard job man. My legs are killing me right now. I don't know how those guys find the energy to work like that. It's physically challenging!

Today made me appreciate the merchandisers more. A lot more!

I really gotta give it to them. They do suggestive selling and they get to interact with consumers every single day. Our company owes a lot to the hardworking men and women of ACE and SPARK.

I was in the 10-7pm Shift today. Tomorrow, I'll be at the 6-3pm. On Friday, 1-10pm.

3 day sale pa naman sa Robinsons Metro East sa Friday... Uh-oh.

In other news, the remaining books of Ninoy: Art and Essays arrived! 600 pieces.

The con of launching a book, you gotta sign a lot of them when people request. It's the least you can do for the support they give.

It's kinda weird doing autographs. I'm not worthy!!! But hey, it's pretty cool!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Looking back at the project...

(Standing L-R: Brian Barretto, Andrew Drilon, JPaul Marasigan, Harvey Tolibao, Jason Paz, Carlo Pagulayan, Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Carlo Montano, Jofred Villaruz)
(Kneeling down L-R: Jed Segovia, Jiggy Cruz, Stephen Segovia, Noah Salonga, Felix Cua, Andrew Agoncillo, Jonty Cruz)

The highlight of the whole project was probably meeting the artists. I threw a dinner for them last month and they were all such wonderful people.

You see, the comic book industry here in the Philippines isn't like the one in the U.S. or in Japan. I was talking to Gerry Alanguilan and he said that distribution is the hard part. Getting your work out there is difficult and most of the readers are in Metro Manila.

But nonetheless, what's important is that you have the love and passion for the craft. It's not to get famous or to get rich but you do it because you love everything about it.

Compiling the book was difficult since I was juggling two jobs.

By day, I was a guy working for the corporate world. By night, I was trying to be an editor-in-chief. I barely made it. But hey, I thought that it was a big accomplishment for me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I AM NINOY Campaign

I'm really thrilled about the I AM NINOY Campaign. I really feel that most of the youth of today don't know who my grandfather was or what he stood for.

The whole glasses thing was genius. If we were to wear his glasses, what would we see? How would we react today?

There are a lot of things happening in the Philippines today and there really is a need for young people to step forward and take the challenge.

There is a Ninoy in all of us.

We can be heroes in a big way or in a small way.

We have to remember that evil will triumph when good people do nothing...

I like this campaign. It gives us a challenge.

Check the website out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

25 years

My first entry in Blogspot. I decided to have a public blog. :)

August 21, 2008

25 Years passed since my grandfather's death. People have been asking if he died in vain. He didn't.

In my opinion, his death sparked a revolution without violence and it showed what Filipinos are capable of.

Right now, we, as a nation maybe confused and tired. But nonetheless, the potential is still there.

For his death anniversary, I published a book.

Ninoy: Art and Essays.

25 Defining Moments of my Lolo Ninoy's life drawn by 25 Filipino Artists accompanied by 25 essays.

What's special about it is that proceeds of this book will go to the Ninoy Aquino Foundation. :)

It was done with a lot of love and hard work.

Being the comic book geek that I am, I wanted to do a graphic novel about him. But due to my work in Nestle and time constraints, I had to think of something else. I got Pinoy Comic Book artists like Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Harvey Tolibao, Carlo Pagulayan, Lan Medina, and Whilce Portacio to name a few.

It was a fanboy's dream to communicate with them, even if it was through email.

They were all very cool and awesome people!

So I finally got the book done and it will be out in the market soon. Right now, I'm selling through book inquiries.

But the book will be out in bookstores soon :)

Top L-R: Jed Segovia, Me, Lola Cory, Brian Barretto
Bottom L-R: Leinil Yu, Harvey Tolibao, Gerry Alanguilan, Jason Paz, Carlo Pagulayan