Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Monday, December 29, 2014
Happy New Year!
This is a continuation of my retrospective in pictures of 2014.
Here is part 1 -
In the Philippines some writers and I had a lovely writers' retreat in Palawan.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I'm reviewing what happened in my life in 2014. Here are some pictures taken during the first part of the year. Here is the link to the second half of the retrospective.
These were taken in the Philippines, a few months after Cebu was devastated by an earthquake and Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
In the morning, we gather to open gifts. Even though we don't encourage it, the children do get a touch of "avarice" over gifts. One of the older children was getting sad when the younger ones had many gifts, and he had few packages -- until he opened the last package which was a computer that he wanted.
In the afternoon, we visit my mother-in-law, where her other children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are also visiting. I'm guessing there must be around 50-60 people in there. I try to sit quietly someplace or else I feel like the woman in A Passage to India who freaks out in the Marabar Caves.
I'm sharing some pictures taken this Christmas. You can make them bigger by clicking on the pictures.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
I'm sharing with you an article by my cousin, Manny Gonzalez. This is
reprinted with his permission. It first appeared in the Philippine Star. A resident of Whistler, Canada, Manny Gonzalez is a Director/shareholder at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Mactan, Philippines. He travels extensively and enjoys reviewing the hotels and restaurants he's visited.
I had the chance to visit Heidelberg last October and am sharing some of the pictures I took in this picturesque German place. I hope you enjoy this article. ~ Cecilia
A Stroll Around Heidelberg
By Manny Gonzalez
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
I was hemming and hawing about whether I'll fix a roast or turkey for Christmas Eve, and on Monday I decided on a roast. That would be Monday, December 22.
I drove to Costco and the crowd there was unbelievable. There was absolutely no parking. I went around several times until I finally gave up. I went to Smart and Final where all the nice roasts were gone. I settled on a turkey.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Monday, December 22, 2014
Here are some pictures taken over the weekend, including a couple taken from our rooftop deck, and Doug Noble's Christmas party. Aside from seeing old friends, I was happy to see Doug's patio, decorated in the Mexican style, with decorative items from San Miguel Allende, Mexico, where we had vacationed not too long ago.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
We saw the movie, Mr. Turner, a two hour and forty minute film about the English seascape painter from the 19th century.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Pope Francis will be visiting the Philippines from January 15-19, 2015. He will be there to comfort Filipinos devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda and earthquake that hit the Visayas or central part of the Philippines last year. This site has a lot of information about the Pope's Apostolic Visit of Mercy and Compassion.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
My mind is still on spirits and ghosts and I thought I'd let you know about Tony Perez, a writer and professor at the Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines, who is famously known as a "Ghostbuster." Tony Perez also works or worked at the US Embassy in Manila. I met him years ago when I did a USIS book tour in the Philippines, and I recall that when we were in Zamboanga, the hotel rooms that I, Tony, and the other USIS representatives occupied, had ghosts. Tony and I felt them (but that is another story).
In 1995, Tony Perez started the Spirit Questers, and the group had the mission of providing their services to reach out to spirits who had not been able to cross-over. I'm pasting an excerpt about them from the Inquirer:
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I had an interesting chat about ghosts with Joan Cuyugan Bohlmann. She and I can "feel" supernatural presence. I promise to write about my own experiences, but I have Joan's permission to share her story about "The Pink Lady Ghost."
I hope you enjoy it. And if you have a ghost story yourself, email it to me, Cbrainard@aol.com.
Monday, December 15, 2014
For several years now, instead of a regular Christmas party, my husband and I have hosted a literary soiree. Aside from the eating and socializing, we have a literary reading, with friends sharing excerpts of their work.
Thanks to those who shared their work at yesterday's celebration: Marilyn Alquizola, Carlene Bonnivier, Patrick Culbertson, Akemi Kikumara, Paulino Lim, Doug Noble, Julia Stein, Hilary Walling. The Readers shared their poetry, fiction, as well as personal essays.
The pictures show:
Top: Seated, l-r: Akemi Kikumura, Carlene Bonnivier; Standing l-r: Cecilia Brainard, Patrick Culbertson, Hilary Walling, Doug Noble, Paulino Lim, Julia Stein, Marilyn Alquizola.
The Christmas Season is rolling along quickly! Ten days to Christmas, folks! I hope you are enjoying the holiday season.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Saturday, December 13, 2014
The City of San Francisco, California, is one of my favorite cities. This was the second city of the United States that I visited (after Honolulu), The minute I caught sight of its steep hills and Victorian houses, I fell in love with it straightaway. I lived there for a while and have many pleasant memories of this beautiful city.
I am delighted to share some reviews of restaurants in San Francisco written by my cousin Manny Gonzalez. These are reprinted with this permission. A resident of Whistler, Canada, Manny Gonzalez is a Director/shareholder at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Mactan, Philippines. He travels extensively and enjoys reviewing the hotels and restaurants he's visited.
These reviews first appeared in TripAdvisor.Thanks to Manny Gonzalez for sharing these reviews in my blog.
Friday, December 12, 2014
When we were children in the Philippines, Christmas gift-giving wasn't emphasized. Celebrating and eating were, and the highlight of our Christmas festivities was the "Nochebuena" which was the gathering after Midnight Mass. Those Midnight Masses were usually High Masses that went on forever, and I recall nodding off in church and feeling absolutely miserable. But by the time the Mass ended and we were in my aunt's place for Nochebuena, I bounced back to life. My aunts and uncles and a multitude of cousins were there, and there was feasting and playing until almost dawn.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I am at this moment trying to decide whether I'll mail out (hard copy) Christmas Cards or email E-cards. I remember going through this dilemma when I had to decide if I wanted a Kindle or not (I did get a Kindle and appreciate how practical it is when travelling).
Christmas Cards seem more personal than E-Cards, although I've been seeing some nice E-cards by Jacqui Lawson.
Christmas Cards involve the destruction of trees; they entail more work and cost in terms of production and mailing. Frankly, after Christmas, I toss them away because I simply don't have storage space for Christmas Cards.
The idea of limiting the destruction of trees (from which paper is made), is very attractive to me.
Further, the greeting card industry makes so much money -- do I really want to support them?
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
OUT SHOPPING! Check back!
Monday, December 8, 2014
The slow-moving Typhoon Hagupit or Ruby weakened into a tropical storm, and while it killed some people and destroyed homes, spared the Philippines from the kind of destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda last year.
For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.
Meanwhile, Southern California is expecting much-needed rain this coming Thursday and Friday.
This is all this Monday morning, have a great week!
Super Typhoon Ruby or Hagupit Will Make Landfall in Philippines
Typhoon Ruby or Hagupit Could Make Multiple Landfalls
Fiction: Typhoon (1912), by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Tags: weather, Philippines, Cebu, Manila, Ruby, Hagupit, typhoon, storm, hurricane, supertyphoon
Sunday, December 7, 2014
I am delighted to include reviews about some of these Geneva restaurants by our Guest Blogger, Celine Conejos.
A Philippine Diplomat's wife, Celine Conejos is a permanent resident of Makati, although she currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland. She reviews hotel, restaurant, and attraction sites in TripAdvisor under the name of Coellum. She says this of herself:
"My father was very fond of traveling. He passed on his wanderlust to me. I enjoy traveling and planning for my trips. People close to me benefit from this. My children have many good memories of happy vacations together. At present, I live in Geneva temporarily. Being in the heart of Europe gives me many opportunities to see new places."
The following reviews first appeared in TripAdvisor and are reprinted with Celine Conejos' permission. I look forward to posting more of her reviews about other places in my blog. Thanks to Celine Conejos for sharing her reviews.
La Faviola - 4 Stars
Rue Jean Calvin 15, Geneve, Geneva 1204, Switzerland
Each time I have eaten here, I have enjoyed both the favors and the presentation of my food. It is a rather pricy place though.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Ruby or Hagupit made landfall in the Philippines at 9:15 p.m. on Dolores, Eastern Samar. Because the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands, the typhoon is expected to hit other islands as it makes its way through the archipelago. Because Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda had devastated the Philippines last year, Filipinos have been particularly afraid of Ruby. In preparation for Ruby, over half a million people were evacuated from coastal areas.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Super Typhoon Ruby or Hagupit is barrelling its way to the Philippines and is expected to make landfall this weekend. Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda had devastated the Philippines 13 months ago.
Filipinos are asking for prayers.
Here are some links:
Updates re Typhoon Ruby
Cecilia Brainard"s "Childhood in the Path of Typhoons" - CNN
Jews in the Philippines - 1940-2013
A Northern Cebu Couple's Story of Survival
Tags: supertyphoon, super typhoon, storm, typhoon, Ruby, Hagupit, Cebu, Visayas, Tacloban, Central Philippines, #supertyphoon,
My Literary Cats are at it again!
They've gotten hold of the book, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.
They're excited about Christmas coming up and have been bugging me to start decorating the house They want the tree up so they can play with the breakable decorations; they also love climbing into the middle of the tree -- what fun!
To those interested, here's a summary of A Christmas Carol.