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.
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Ninoy in a nutshell
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.