By: Francis Lloyd Ramos Sauza
Photos by: Jiggy Aquino Cruz
YOU CAN’T please everyone. The only thing you can really focus on is living your life. If someone doesn’t like what you do, just remember it’s not personal and keep expressing yourself the way you want to.
Just take it from the 32 year-old Marvel Comics vlogger (video blogger), Justin Benigno “Jiggy” Aquino Cruz. For him, if you want to get into the world of video blogging, it’s important that you only do what makes you feel comfortable because you are your only guide. If something feels wrong to you, you shouldn’t do it. If your friends try to pressure you into doing something you don’t feel like doing, or if your boss or co-worker insists you make an unethical decision, question their intention and your own. Simply put, only do what feels right to you. “When you get into it, do it because you want to. Don’t do it for anything else. Do it because you want to. That’s the best advice I can give.”
Just like Jiggy, don’t think about how people will perceive you or how you express yourself. As long as you’re bettering yourself and making yourself happy, nothing else matters.
Whatever your practice or passion is, you must exercise discipline. For Jiggy, it’s not enough to just love doing something if you want to be good at it. It’s important that you continue to work hard at it. You can’t get lazy about it. It’s a daily effort. “You need to love the comic industry to begin with. You need to read comics. A lot of comics! You need to know what you’re talking about. Don’t be shy. Prepare your material. Talk as if talking to a friend. You need to commit to it. There’s no room for being lazy. One needs to be consistent and that’s my rule.”
Just like Jiggy, take time out of your life to practice your passion and how you can continue to improve and enrich your life each and every day. Do whatever you need to do that will propel you toward your goals.
Each of us leads unique lives with experiences that nobody else will ever completely understand. Your story holds so many valuable lessons that can help inspire, teach, and motivate someone else should you choose to share it. Jiggy believes that when you share your knowledge, the strength in you grows and the inspirational effect you have on others multiplies. Simply put, true joy comes when you inspire, encourage, and guide someone else on a path that benefits him or her. He’s so thankful that he found the courage to share his knowledge and talk about what he’s passionate about. Not only has it helped him, but it’s helped give perspective and inspiration to so many other people. He encourages you to do the same. “I remember I was in second year college (2005) when I got into LiveJournal because my blockmates were doing it. After that, I transitioned into Blogger/Blogspot and I just wrote down my thoughts there. Yahoo! Philippines then hired me to blog for them which was the birth of Geek Speak. I thought of the name Geek Speak for my Yahoo! Philippines blog back in 2010. I decided to carry it on. Digital evolved to Twitter and now YouTube. I did Jiggy’s Geek Speak as a video format now focusing on Marvel Content from a fan’s perspective. I need to give them what’s on the way. I need to inform them of relevant information of characters and geeky tidbits that only hardcore fans would know. I just want to share the knowledge.”
Just like Jiggy, share your knowledge with someone. You never know how your piece of advice could inspire someone to do the same. So use your gifts wisely and you will be amazed how much you can inspire others.
Think about what matters to you and make sure you are doing things for the right reasons and not to please your ego. Make sure your intentions are healthy for you. For Jiggy, what is most important is that you have a cause, something you believe in that lights up your life and connects you to your life’s purpose. For him, it’s his vlog, Geek Speak. “I don’t make money out of it. It’s just something I like to do!”
Just like Jiggy, find something in life that makes you get up in the morning, and keep on doing that. Stand up for the things you believe in.
WE ARE ALWAYS THE SAME AGE INSIDE
For Jiggy, just because we grow up, it doesn’t mean that we have to lose our inner child. For him, that little boy or girl is still inside you. They don’t get to call the shots anymore, but they should still be able to play and experience pure joy. “I love Marvel! The Amazing Spider-Man is my favorite Marvel character. I’ve been a Marvel Zombie ever since I got into comics! My Marvel blog started in 2015 with the Marvel Zombies Philippines Podcast together with Rick Olivares, Jeff Canoy, Gerard Poa, and Earl Maghirang. But their busy schedules got in the way so that’s on hiatus now. [And] Comic-Con is my happy place. It’s my version of Disneyland. You get to meet all sorts of fans and everyone is just happy to be there.”
Just like Jiggy, remember to find enjoyment in your work and find fun in everything you do.
All kinds of relationships require love and respect. [And] those things take time. Make sure you nurture the relationship that you have with yourself and the relationship you have with your family and friends. Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow. It’s not enough just to say you love them. You have to put in time and effort and demonstrate your love through your words and your actions. For Jiggy, it’s important not only to learn from them but to remember and show respect and gratitude for all that they have done for us. “I’ve been working for my Tita Kris (Aquino) for over a year now helping out her Chowking Franchises and her production company, KCAP (Kris C. Aquino Productions).”
Just like what Jiggy did, show someone you love them with your actions. Sometimes saying “I love you” is not enough.
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