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 :)