Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#NewYork Restaurant: Pictures Katz Delicatessen Brief Review

We went to Katz Delicatessen in New York because it's supposedly world-famous.

It was incredibly crowded and the food wasn't that great. They have this crazy system of handing out numbers to people, then collecting them after you've paid.  A member of our party didn't have a number, which caused quite a stir. For a rare moment my husband lost his temper and yelled, "What the h--- does it matter!"

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New York: Video The Rockettes at the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City

Saturday, November 18, 2017

New York on a Budget? Visit Christie's Auction House for Great Art

Our dual-tour included a visit to the Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Center Art and Architecture Tour.  Frankly we had difficulty getting to the right group as there were no signs, and personnel seemed not to know what was going on. We were not alone; every other tourist had to ask people as they meandered about trying to get to the right place. Even though we insisted we had a dual-tour, we were sent up the top of the building (Top of the Rock). The lines were long and personnel spent a lot of energy taking our pictures, then selling our pictures --- we had to work hard to finally get someone to understand we had a walking tour scheduled.

When we finally did the walking tour, it was fine.  Our tour guide pointed out the 14 buildings that make up the Rockefeller Center Complex (including NBC and nearby Fox). He talked about the art on the buildings, works by Paul Manship, Isamu Noguchi, Michi Ihara, Jose Maria Sert, Frank Brangwyn, and others. We heard about the quarrel between Diego Rivera and a Rockefeller over the image of Lenin in Rivera's work, and how Rivera's work was ultimately destroyed.

We also saw men setting up the platform for the gigantic Christmas Tree. People were skating on the nearby skating rink -- I could imagine just how festive the place will get in a few days. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained: Part 2, by Manny Gonzalez #Catalonia #Spain

My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. Here is Part 2

an Op-Ed in Three Parts

The Unfolding Current Crisis in Catalunya
By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent.

Catalunya’s “Silent Majority” finally takes to the streets to tell the world that most of them want to remain Spanish.

After Franco died, in 1978 the Spanish government was reorganized as a parliamentary monarchy. In Catalunya, the new Constitution was ratified by 95% of voters. So the Catalans today can hardly claim that the Constitution, in which they agreed to be part of Spain, was rammed down their throat.

Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained: Part I, by Manny Gonzalez #Catalonia #Spain

My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. These articles first appeared in The Philippine Star. They are reprinted in this blog with the author's permission. Here is Part I

an Op-Ed in Three Parts

Spanish and Catalan History in a Nutshell
By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent.

Catalunya occupies a small triangle in the northeast of Spain.

I didn't want to be around to watch history in the making, but here I am in Barcelona, witness to a tragicomedy that will, one way or the other, affect the future of Europe.

Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained: Part 3, by Manny Gonzalez #Catalonia #Spain

My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. Here is Part 3

an Op-Ed in Three Parts

Key Questions About the Spain/Catalunya Crisis Answered
By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent.
The European Union has brought an unprecedented period of peace and economic prosperity to the Continent.

Question: Why should you care about what's going on in Spain?

Answer: Because it offers lessons for the Philippines.

Catalunya Independence Crisis: Part 4, Cleaning Up the Mess by Manny Gonzalez #Catalan #Spain

My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. Here is Part 4


By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent

Last week I reported on the Catalan independence crisis, and made these  suggestions:

If the Catalan leaders persist, the national government will take control of Catalunya. If it comes to that point, the national government has to do it right, with firmness against the ringleaders but no retribution against the general public. Public services must be visibly more courteous, more efficient, more functional, than under the Catalans.

If the Catalan leaders back down, the situation might still fester. The national government should call for snap general elections, and hopefully convincingly defeat the separatists in Catalunya. Then more moderate voices need to be heard in Catalan schools, universities, print and broadcast media, and social media.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New York: Explorers Club and David L. Brainard #explorers

WALKING ALONG East 70th Street in New York, my husband and I spotted a handsome old house with a sign, "Explorer's Club." I paused, remembering something I had researched and written about.

My husband's relative, David Legge Brainard, had been part of the Greely Expedition, which had set out to establish a metereological-observation post in the Arctic. In July of 1881, David Brainard and 24 other men led by Lieutenant Adolphus Greely, sailed on the ship Proteus to the Lady Franklin Bay. There they got stuck for three desperate years. While waiting for help, the men started dying of starvation and sickness. They would have been forgotten and abandoned in the harsh Arctic, but for the relentless lobbying of Mrs. Greeley. They were rescued in June of 1884.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nina Lim Yuson Caricature/ Portrait Cecilia Brainard

My Maryknoll college chum, Nina Lim Yuson did this caricature of me. I think this Toronto picture inspired her.

Thank you, Nina! 
The following article is about Nina:


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creepy Halloween Pictures!

Creepy Halloween Pictures!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Coming up -- Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Update Filipino American International Book Festival by Noelle Q. De Jesus

The following is by Guest Blogger, Noelle De Jesus, who writes about the recent Filipino American International Book Festival held in San Francisco (Oct. 7-8, 2017):

Update Filipino American International Book Festival

By Noelle Q. De Jesus

I imagine that a writer may feel any number of feelings when given the opportunity to take their work to a book festival, but I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be at least a small measure of elation, of satisfaction and indeed, of gratitude. That was certainly my own thought and sentiment brInging Blood Collected Stories to the 4th Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco this year. If I’m honest, I was at the extreme positive side of the spectrum. And of course, it was just great fun to be in San Francisco in October, to meet some of the 27 Filipino and Filipino American authors participants and have the pleasure of connecting with the new librarian of the Filipino American Center, Abraham Ignacio, and reconnecting with Edwin Lozada of PAWA and some of its other members, including founding members like Penelope Flores. By organizing and running this steadily growing event, they and all the members of the Filipino American organizing committee are doing the community and Filipino/Filipino American writers at large a wonderful service.

Pictures: Toronto Reunion 2017 of Maryknoll Class of 1968

Maryknoll Class of 1968 Toronto Reunion 2017
Bottom Row l-r: Tere Concepcion, Lucy McGinley, Marichi Panganiban, Cecilia Brainard, Maria Ciocon, Cora Kinoshi;
Middle Row l-r: Esther Parker, Lorna Cruz, Josette Adams, Maricel Hahn, Marissa Tay, Med Kuney;
Top Row l-r: Luchie Ticson, Alice Edano, (seated) Tina Heiter, Susie Ramos, Precy Florentino, Bing Jacala, Edith Alcantara, Lina Dimayuga, GV Silverio

Bottom Row l-r: Maricel Lopez Hahn, Bing Velasco Jacala, Susie Ramos Montermoso, Med Villanueva Kuney, Luchie Pavia Ticson, GV Silverio, Tina Borja Heiter, Tere Valenton Concepcion, Precy Florentino, Marissa Munda Tay; Back Row l-r: Lina Flor Dimayuga,Alice Edano, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Marichi Santiago Panganiban, Lucy Adao McGinley, Lorna Cayco Cruz, Cora Kilayco Kinoshi, Esther Quintos Parker, Baby Navarro Ciocon, Josette Del Rosario Adams, Edith Alcantara


QUITE A NUMBER of my classmates from Maryknoll College, Quezon City, ended up living in the United States, Europe, Australia, and other places. The ladies in North America, have in recent years, been holding what we call mini-reunions. Las Vegas. Vancouver, and most recently Toronto, were sites of these gatherings.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Importance of Literature, by Linda Ty-Casper #FilBookFest2017

Noted Filipina Author, Linda Ty-Casper, could not attend the celebration of her new book, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories (PALH 2017) at the Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco. Her daughter, Kristina Casper-Denham attended the HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Linda's place.  Linda wrote the following, and with her permission I am sharing her wise words:

The Importance of Literature
by Linda Ty-Casper

Reading our stories together, is a special communion of sharing, a recognition of the importance of literature to our lives, that of our lives to  our country’s life; and our country’s life to that of the world.

All the different literatures form the “human geology” of the world: its human layers. Containing our stories, literature offers a human face and heart to historical dates and statistics, so our past
becomes visible to the  present,  becomes our own experience—enriching, strengthening us; giving us resilience.

It is in our literature that our history is kept safe from revisions. For literature is our true memory, our country’s memory, the world’s memory of us.

If we do not write our stories, who will? If we do not read them how will we know ourselves?  Because it is in our literature that we pay full attention to ourselves, that we imagine and dream ourselves. As long as our literature exists, we will not disappear from our own thoughts, from the thoughts of the world.

If history is our biography; literature is our autobiography, containing the memory of our spirit, the reflections of our existence, the promise of what we can become: literature is our attempt to understand ourselves, to  recover lost destinations, to preserve the thoughts and feelings and hopes too deep to utter. Giving us roots and meaning and direction, our literature is what we are: what we were, and what we can be. 

Linda Ty-Casper 
            A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories (Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2017 & UST Publishing House forthcoming)

Linda Ty-Casper is the author of 16 books that deal with Philippine events from the 18th century, the 1896 Philippine revolution, the Philippine-American War (1898-1902), World War II, on to the Martial Law years of the Marcos Dictatorship, and the post-Marcos days until the early 2000s, where her recent novella, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories, leads us.  So powerful are her writings that two of her historical novels (Fortress in the Plaza and Wings of Stone) were banned in the Philippines during the Marcos Dictatorship.

Ms. Casper’s awards include the SEA WRITE Award, UNESCO/P.E.N., Rockefeller (Bellagio), Radcliffe Fellowship, among others.

l-r: Kristina Casper-Denham and Cecilia Brainard showing off Linda Ty-Casper's new book, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories

Tags: #FilAm #FilAmBookFest #literature #poetry authors, writers, Philippine American, fiction, books, Asian American, Filipina

Read also:

Monday, October 9, 2017

#Pictures Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival #FilBookFest2017

Here are some pictures taken at the Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival. I will continue to add pictures, so please check back. The picture above shows the authors who read in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading #  1-r: Prosy Delacruz Kristina Casper-Denham, Renee Macalino Rutledge, M.Evelina, Eliza Victoria, Cecilia Brainard, Myles Garcia, Mia Alvar, Veronica Montes, Brian Roley, Marie Deaconu-Baylon

HOT OFF THE PRESS Readers #2  L-r: Gemino H. Abad, Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto, Merlinda Bobis, Barbara Jane ReyesRobert Francis Flor, Cecilia Brainard, Eileen Tabios, Janice Sapigao

L-r: Mia Alvar, Edwin Lozada, Evelina Galang, Cecilia Brainard

Friday, October 6, 2017

Guest Blogger: "WIFE" by Wanggo Gallaga #Fiction #Philippines


By Wanggo Gallaga

Copyright 2015 & 2017 by Wanggo Gallaga
This story was first published in Team (Issue 2, 2015) teammag.ph

Tacky. Julia’s house is so tacky. It’s like they just randomly turned the pages of three different interior design magazines and pointed blindly at what they wanted. Julia never really had good taste. She gets that from her dad’s side of the family. Our mothers had impeccable taste. And class. How did Julia turn out the way she did?

Thank God Adrian and I had left Florence for Lisbon during her European tour. Adrian would hate her.

Would have. Adrian would have hated her. Shit.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

#Video Cecilia Brainard Talks on the Challenges of Writing in Panel Discussion 2017

This video clip of Cecilia Brainard was taken at the Panel Discussion titled, "Cute as a Filipino on a Saturday afternoon, May 20, 2017 at the LitFest in Pasadena, California. The panel was headed by Noel Alumit and held at the Walt Girnder Photo Studio and Gallery, 27 South Molina Ave. Pasadena, CA. Boni Alvarez, Angela Penaredondo and Chris Santiago were the other panelists.  The title of the panel came from Raymond Chandler's "Big Sleep."

This video is on YouTube.

Tags: #Philippines #FilAm creative writing, author, writers, How To write

Read also

Cecilia Brainard's Reaction to Alex Tizpn;s "A Slave in My Family" 

#KababayanToday with G. Tongi and Writers Cecilia Brainard and Noel Alumit

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Student Films Based on Stories by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Many of my books and stories are used in classrooms.  Some favorites are Woman with Horns and Flip Gothic, used in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, the University of San Carlos in Cebu, and the Cebu Normal University. I believe other schools use my stories in their curriculum, but these are the universities whose students have posted YouTube film clips.  I invite you to watch them. The students have so much energy and creativity, it's a joy to watch.  I've also included the Kindle links to the stories.

Available from Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074JJPD1S

Woman with Horns: 








Flip Gothic

Available from Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074FQ4R92





When the Rainbow Goddess Wept  

Available from Amazon and  Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007NE0NZS

Theme Analysis for When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

Wallenberg "When the Rainbow Goddess Wept" Theme Project

Tags: Films, movies, Student films, YouTube, Philippines, Cebu, Ubec #studentfilms

Read also

"Loving Vincent" Movie Review and Reflections by Cecilia Brainard

"Loving Vincent" Movie Review and Reflections
by Cecilia M. Brainard

There's a new movie out, Loving Vincent, by Breakthru Films and Trademark Films. It's reportedly the world's first fully painted feature film, with over 62,000 oil paintings used as frames for this animated movie. Watching the movie was a fascinating experience: I felt as if I entered the world of Vincent Van Gogh! (Be sure and watch the Trailer here.)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Schedule and #Authors Featured in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings, Oct 7-8, 2017, #FilAm Book Fest

Here are the Authors Featured in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings. Join us on Oct. 7 and 8 -- see schedule below. Click on the images to make them large.

This year, there will be three HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings at the Filipino American International Book Festival, which will be held at the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Civic Center, San Francisco, CA 94102. The schedule follows:

The First HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading, moderated by Cecilia Brainard
 Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 1:30-2:50 p.m.
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library:

Veronica Montes - Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories (Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2018)

Marie Deaconu-Baylon - North for Sun (2017)

Linda Ty-Casper - (Presenter is Kristina Casper-Denman) A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories(Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2017)

Brian Ascalon Roley - The Last Mistress of Jose Rizal (Curbstone Books 2016)

Eliza Victoria - Dwellers (Visprint 2014)

Renee Macalino Rutledge - The Hour of Daydreams (Forest Avenue Press 2017)

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard - The Newspaper Widow (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House 2017)

Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz - Even the Rainbow Has a Body: Distinct Artistic Legacies (Eastwind Books of Berkeley 2016)

M. Evelina Galang - Lolas' House: Filipino Women Living With War (Northwestern University Press 2017)

Myles Garcia - Of Adobo, Applie Pie, and Schnitzel with Noodles (2017)

The Second HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading, moderated by Cecilia Brainard
 Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 4:20-5:35 p.m.
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library:

Barbara Jane Reyes - Invocation to Daughters (City Lights Books 2017)

Joseph O. Legaspi - Threshold (CavanKerry Press 2017)

Janice Sapigao - Like a Solid to a Shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light 2017)

Angela Pe├▒aredondo - All Things Lose Thousands of Times (2016)

Eileen Tabios - Manhattan: An Archaelogy (Paloma Press 2017)

Robert Francis Flor - Alaskero Memories (Carayan Press 2016)

Aileen Cassinetto - The Art of Salamat (Locofo Chaps 2017)

Merlinda Bobis - Accidents of Composition (Spinifex 2017)

Wesley St. Jo, & Reme Grefalda - Blue (Paloma Press 2017)

Gemino Abad & Krip Yuson, Eds- (Presenter is Gemino Abad) -
BLOODLUST: Philippine Protest Poetry (From Marcos to Duterte) (Reyes Publishing 2017)

The Third HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading, moderated by Veronica Montes
 Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 1:45-3:05 p.m., 
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library:

Tony Robles - Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike (Ithuriel's Spear Press 2017)

Rachelle Cruz - God's Will for Monsters (Inlandia 2017)

Amanda Ngoho Reavey - Marilyn (The Operating System 2015)

Randy Ribay - After the Shot Drops (HMH Books for Young Readers 2018)

Giovanni Ortega - Ang Gitano (2017)

Noelle Q. de Jesus - Blood Collected Stories (Ethos Books 2015)

Sansu Ramsey - Elizabeth Ramsey, Queen of Philippine Rock N' Roll (2017)

Merlinda Bobis - Locust Girl: A Lovesong (Spinifex Press 2015)

Constance Valencia Santos & Victoria Santos - (Presenter is Victoria Santos) - Memoirs of Manang: A Story of a Filipina American Pioneer (Eastwind Books of Berkeley 2015)

Mila De Guzman - Women Against Marcos: Stories of Filipino and Filipino American Women Who Fought a Dictator (Carayan Press 2016)

Raissa Robles - Marcos Martial Law: Never Again (Filipinos for a Better Philippines, Inc. 2016)

Tags: #FilAm #FilAmBookFest #literature #poetry authors, writers, Philippine American, fiction, books, Asian American, literary readings, spoken word, poetry reading