Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Laurel Flores Fantuazzo, Author of MY HEART UNDERWATER


Thank you Laurel Flores Fantauzzo (author of MY HEART UNDERWATER pub Quill Tree Books) for acknowledging me and my novel). I'm glad my work helped you.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Filipinos #CopingWithCovid - Tony Robles, North Carolina


The following is part of Cecilia Brainard's series, Filipinos Coping with Covid.

As of October 9, 2020, there are 36,625,213 confirmed Covid 19 cases worldwide, with 1.056,186 deaths. The US has 7,611,722 confirmed cases and 212,840 deaths. (source: John Hopkins University of Medicine).

Filipino American poet, Tony Robles shares with us the following. He had lived in San Francisco for decades but now lives in North Carolina. 

Covid-19:  An Encounter with a Bee during Quarantine

by Tony Robles

Copyright 2020 by Tony Robles.

It’s quarantine, shelter in place--the stay at home order. I am blessed to have a home as many do not. Don’t go outside we are warned, do not gather in large groups so as not to spread Covid-19, aka the Coronavirus. With this diktat comes an assortment of mixed messages. We are told not to wear protective masks then we are told to wear them. We are told that the droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel 6 feet and to give others that amount of "social distance" upon encountering them. Then I read in the Washington Post that the droplets can travel as far as 8 feet while other reports indicate the possibility that Covid-19 can be spread by particles emitted via the mouth during normal conversation. Regarding the spread via sneezing and coughing, I came across the term cough droplet ballistics, used to describe the endeavor of observing and measuring the length and trajectory of droplets emanating from a cough or sneeze. I also came across a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that referred to the very phenomenon of coughs and sneezes as violent expiratory events and the issuance of fluids thereof as multiphase turbulent buoyant clouds with suspended droplets of various sizes. I have always been cognizant of my coughing and sneezing in public, but not all people are. Given our pandemic and the careless coughers and sneezers among us, studies such as these should not go unnoticed. 




PALH (Philippine American Literary House) announces the release of the US edition of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s short story collection, Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories. The book is available from Amazon on sale for $11.95:


First published in the Philippines in 1995, the book collects seventeen stories inspired by the author’s Filipino and Filipino American experiences; they are grouped into four categories: Long Ago Tales, Stories from the ‘60s and ‘70s, Stories from the ‘90s, and American Tales.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Cecilia's Opinion of 2020 - The Scream


This is my opinion of 2020, with acknowledgement of Edvard Munch's "The Scream."

Tags; #writerswhosketchanddraw

Friday, October 2, 2020




PALH (Philippine American Literary House) announces the release of the US Edition of Cecilia Manguerrra Brainard’s short story collection, Woman with Horns and Other Stories.

First published in the Philippines in 1987, the reception of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s first book has been extraordinary. Her mythical place “Ubec” (Cebu backwards), which is the setting for most of the stories, was embraced by Cebuanos and “Ubec” and has become part of their lexicon. Teachers use stories from this collection and YouTube has student films of the lead story “Woman with Horns” in particular. There is even a Wikipedia write-up about “Woman with Horns.”

The book collects a dozen stories that draw from historical and contemporary sources. Many of these stories explore the clash of Philippine culture with foreign influences that reached the archipelago during different historical periods.

Marie Castillo-Prudent praised the book in Katipunan as follows, “Beautifully written in the minimalist style yet never lacking color and clarity, Brainard’s stories reach out from the deep centuries of folklore, superstition, religion, customs, geography and history to bring them life into the present. But more than life itself, this book mirrors the unique ways in which the Filipina woman searches for meaning. The locale and period of each story expand rather than limit the characters’ choices.”

The Manila Times called the book “A welcome addition to Filipiniana.”

The US edition of Woman with Horns and Other Stories presents this beloved book to a new audience. For a limited time, Woman With Horns and Other Stories: US Edition in paperback is available from Amazon for $9.95. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1953716032) The book is also available in Kindle form.

Cecilia Brainard is the author and editor of over twenty books, including her novels, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and The Newspaper Widow. Her Selected Short Stories by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is forthcoming by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.


Tags: books Philippines Cebu Sugbo literature fiction short stories literary

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, anthology book in Kindle


The collection of short stories, CONTEMPORARY FICTION BY FILIPINOS IN AMERICA edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, is available on Kindle. 


This book is a follow-up of the collection, Fiction by Filipinos in America. Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America collects 26 stories by Filipino American authors including (in no particular order): Fatima Lim Wilson, Mila Faraon-Heubeck, Eileen Tabios, John Silva, Veronica Montes, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Lilia V. Villanueva, Mar V. Puatu, Vince Gotera, Oscar Penaranda, Luis Cabaquinto, F. Delor Angeles, Melissa R. Aranzamendea, Eulalio Yerro Ibarra, Nadine Sarreal, Jay Ruben Dayrit, Ligaya Victorio Fruto, Edgar Poma, Marianne Villanueva, Linda Ty-Casper, Paulino Lim, Jr. Greg Sarris,Lee Respecio Colomby, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Alma Jill Dizon. 

Harold Augenbraum reviewed the book in Manoa, saying: "“By pulling these personal, fictional quests together, the reader indeed comes away with a varied portrait of Filipinos in America, not the expression of dark causality present in the earlier generations of writers, such as Bulosan and Santos—those fantastic conjurors of Filipino American literature—but of people cautiously settling into what they hope will be a comfortable position … So many of these stories convey loneliness, disconnectedness, and an inability to form lasting attachments … This collection abounds with such tension … Brainard has done a fine job of bringing many little-known writers – and the edginess of Filipinos in America – to the fore. ”

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Fiction by Filipinos in America, Short Story Collection - Kindle sale


The collection, FICTION BY FILIPINOS IN AMERICA, is on sale on Kindle. The book includes classic stories such as Carlos Bulosan's "The Romance of Magno Rubio", Bienvenido N. Santos" "The Scent of Apples" and many more.


The other authors in this anthology are (in no particular order): Linda Ty-Casper, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Juan Dionisio, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Manuel Viray, Ligaya Victorio Fruto, Jean Vengua Gier, Alberto Florentino, Michelle Cruz Skinner, Jessica Hagedorn, Paulino Lim, Jr., Samuel Tagatac, Virginia Cerenio, Julia Palarca, Oscar Penaranda, Erlinda Villamor Kravetz, Nadine Sarreal, Marianne Villanueva, Manuel Olimpo, Nenutzka Villamar, and Luis Cabalquinto.

World Literature Today praises the book: "“(Editor) Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s selection is a delight. Some of the stories are masterly, especially those written by such reliables as Carlos Bulosan, Linda Ty-Casper, N.V.M. Gonzalez, and Alberto S. Florentino. None is less than highly competent, and all are worth reading. Manguerra Brainard has done an excellent job of mixing critical judgement and personal taste.”"

Seven Stories from Seven Sisters: A Collection of Philippine Folktales, by PAWWA

 Seven Stories From Seven Stories: A Collection of Philippine Folktales

by PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists)

Here's a can of our book project published in 1992 - Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Remembering Maryknoller Maricel Lopez Hahn by Marissa Tay


My Maryknoll classmate Marissa Tay remembers our classmate Maricel Lopez Hahn who passed away last Aug. 27, 2020. 
 ~ Cecilia 

Remembering Maricel Lopez Hahn

By Marissa Tay

  My ‘closer friendship’ with Maricel began in 2014. I knew her from way back half a century ago, we were friendly because of our  St. Joseph’s Villa connection, but it was in 2014 that a true friendship blossomed. We met in Toronto 2014 for a visit, on Tere Valenton-Concepcion’s invitation, because Nina Lim-Yuson was attending a conference, and  a handful of us who lived close by to Toronto saw a great opportunity to reconnect with classmates before the big reunion in 2018. 

#CopingwithCovid Interview of Cecilia Brainard by DJ Billie of 95.9 Star FM Bacolod


Here's the link to the interview of Cecilia Brainard by DJ Billie of 95.9 Star FM Bacolod on Coping With Covid in the US:


Read also:
Coronavirus: The Beginning, by Cecilia Brainard
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid, Part One (Cecilia Brainard, Positively Filipino)
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid, Part Two (C. Brainard, PF
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid-19, Part Three (C.Brainard, PF)

Covid-19: An Encounter with a Bee During Quarantine

Interviews follow:
Lia Feraren, Germany
Teresa Concepcion, Canada
 Ofelia Gelvezon Tequi, France
Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin, France
New Zealand: Jay Montilla & Monika Tawngdee
Linda Ty-Casper, Massachusetts, USA
Barbara Ann Jacala, San Diego, CAUSA
Brian Ascalon Roley, Ohio, USA
Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino, USA
Interview of Cecilia Brainard by 95.9 Star FM Bacolod (DJ Billie), USA

Interviews of Filipino Americans #CopingWithCovid

All of the above links are part of the Philippine Covid Archive of Filipinas Heritage Library.

tags: #coronavirus #covid19 #covid #Filipinos #copingwithcovid #Paris #France #Europe #FilipinoFrench #FrenchFilipino #FilipinoAmerican #Bacolod #Philippines

Tags: coronavirus covid19 covid interview copingwithcovid US Bacolod Visayas Philippines California writer author

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Class Reunion - Remembering the Salmon Run by Cecilia Brainard


To honor my classmate Maricel Lopez Hahn who passed away last Aug. 27, 2020, I am sharing this personal essay that was first published in Tomas Vol 2, Issue 12, 2nd Semester 2017-2018 (The Journal of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies).

The Class Reunion: Remembering the Salmon Run

by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard 
Copyright 2017 and 2020 by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Aside from the two who lived in Toronto, the women who showed up for our class reunion in Toronto travelled from the Philippines, US, UK, and even Switzerland -- twenty-four women, college classmates, friends from Maryknoll days. I hadn’t seen many of them in decades and had lost the threads of their life stories. In many ways, they were strangers to me, but there were a few commonalities that we shared. Most of us were transplants from the Philippines. Many had left Manila in the years following our 1969 graduation. 

Eve La Salle Caram & Cecilia Brainard Authors of Two Novellas


Autbors of two novellas in the book PLEASE, SAN ANTONIO! & MELISANDE IN PARIS, Eve La Salle Caram and Cecilia Brainard. The novellas are set in Rome and Paris about women seeking healing. Amazon has both hard copy and Kindle formats of this book on sale.

It is also available from Barnes and Noble Online, in which there is a nice review of it that says:
"Great Summer Read that Takes you to Italy & France: I love this book of two novellas by two creative writing teachers. One story is set in Italy and the other in Paris, and so reading the book is like taking a vacation. The protagonists are women who find healing in relationships. There's good writing in these gentle lovely stories. The book also has delightful illustrations by Nina Lim-Yuson. I enjoyed this book very much."

Tags: book, books, international, women, Italy, France, Rome, Paris, love, healing, #summerreading2020

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Cecilia Brainard Updates on Filipino & FilAm Books by PALHBOOKS


Cecilia Brainard gives an update on the Filipino and Filipino American books published by Philippine American Literary House (PALH), palhbooks.com. It's on YouTube here. The narrative is pasted below:

Cecilia Brainard here, writer editor and publisher of PALH or Philippine American Literary House.

Interview of Cecilia Brainard by DJBillie of 95.9 Star FM Bacolod


Interview of Ceciila Brainard by DJBillie of 95.9 Star FM Bacolod will air soon: In California, it will air on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 6 p.m. In the Philippines, it will air on Saturday September 5, 2020 at 9 a.m. in the Philippines.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

RIP Maricel Lopez Hahn Maryknoller - Pictures, Remembrances

 My classmate from Maryknoll College Quezon City, Maricel Lopez Hahn, passed away last August 27, 2020 from leukemia. 

To honor her, I am sharing remembrances and pictures of her.

  • Here is a personal essay that I wrote about that Toronto Reunion, The Class Reunion: Remembering the Salmon Run - click on link below.


  • Marissa Tay also remembers Maricel Lopez Hahn here:  


Maricel is wearing black and white in the photo directly below this one, seated far left. You can find her in the other pictures. We had a joyous time at the Toronto reunion. 

Maricel Lopez Hahn if seated far right, in black and white.


Friday, August 28, 2020

The Eye of the Needle, short story by Gilda Cordero-Fernando


Gilda Cordero-Fernando b 1930-d 2020

Gilda Cordero-Fernando passed away on August 27, 2020. To honor her, I am reprinting her story, The Eye of the Needle, which is part of the collection Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults (ed Cecilia Brainard, published by PALH, 2003).  Reprinted by permission of PALH.

Please read "Literary Luminary and Cultural Icon Gild Cordero-Fernando Dies at 90".

Following is the excerpt with her story from the anthology.

Gilda Cordero-Fernando was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She received her B.A. and B.S. in Education from St. Theresa’s College; and her M.A. from the Ateneo Graduate School. She wrote short fiction in her "early housewife" years, from 1952-1970, then put it behind her to go into non-fiction and publishing. Her most recent collection is entitled Story Collection (Anvil 1994). As publisher, Gilda trailblazed with big and beautiful illustrated Filipiniana volumes such as Turn of the Century, Culinary Culture of the Philippines, and History of the Burgis. She was the Patnubay ng Sining awardee for literature in the 1993 Araw ng Maynila, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Gawad awarded for literature and publishing in 1994. She has also produced children's books; she has painted; she has organized fashion shows ― Gilda's ways for artistic expression have been boundless.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Good Night, Gilda Cordero Fernando

 Standing: Cecilia Brainard, Marily Orosa, Felice Sta. Maria; seated Gilda Cordero Fernando

I must confess that I hardly slept last night, and it had to do with the passing of Gilda Cordero Fernando. That with the stresses of Covid and politics kept me awake until around 4 am.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Kindle Release of Two Novellas by Eve La Salle Caram & Cecilia Brainard


PALH (Philippine American Literary House) announces the Kindle release of two novellas, PLEASE, SAN ANTONIO! by Eve La Salle Caram & MELISANDE IN PARIS by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard:


The book. a Special International edition of PALH, collects two delightful novellas written by award-winning authors about women who journey to Rome and Paris and find creativity, identity, love, and healing. 

Fundamentals of Creative Writing by Cecilia Brainard, now on Wattpad


For educational purposes, Cecilia Brainard has decided to make her book, Fundamentals for Creative Writing, available for free in Wattpad. It's available in Kindle format and Anvil may still have hard copies, but this free digital form will help students and educators. 

Here's the link:  


Tags: writing, how to write, creative writing, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of writing, how to write, literature, fiction writing, personal essays

Herminia Meñez Coben Reviews The Newspaper Widow by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Book Review by Herminia Meñez Coben, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita from California State University of Sonoma

Title: The Newspaper Widow

Author: Cecilia Manguerrra Brainard

Publisher: University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2017, Beato Angelico Bldg., Espana, Manila, Philippines; 

Available from Amazon in hard copy and in Kindle format

Number of pages: 234 pages

Softcover, $18.95 in the US


            The Newspaper Widow, a fast-paced, multi-layered novel of romance and mystery, presents an international cast of characters: a Spanish friar; an ill-fated lawyer; an expatriate Frenchwoman and her gay friends, a Tagalog and a Catalan; an American doctor and researcher at the leper colony; and finally, the enterprising publisher widow of the novel’s title, Ines Maceda.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

PALH Kindle Release of Veronica Montes Short Story Collection


For your Summer Reading:

PALH (Philippine American Literary House) announces the Kindle release of "Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories, a short story collection by Veronica Montes. 

It is also available in paperback and hardcover from Amazon.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Cecilia Brainard's Popular Books


Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author and editor of over twenty books. Cecilia grew up in the port city of Cebu in Central Philippines, a place that retains its Spanish-Colonial influences, inspiring Cecilia to create her mythical setting called “Ubec” which echoes the Santo Niño Church, triangular Spanish fort, and old buildings and streets of the real Cebu. 

Her three novels — When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and The Newspaper Widow are set (even partially) in Ubec. Ubec also appears in her three short story collections — Woman in Horns and Other Stories, Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories, and Vigan and Other Stories. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Interview of Cecilia Brainard by 95.9 Star FM Bacolod


INTERVIEW OF CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD by DJ Billie of 95.0 Star FM Bacolod about Life in the US during Coronavirus Here's the interview:
Interview by Ve Ann Joy D. Lumangyao,.LPT (DJ Billie)
Disc Jockey
95.9 Star FM Bacolod
707-2836 I 441-1670; 09957924803

1. Greetings:  I am Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, writer -- please see my site for bio:  ceciliabrainard.com

2.Kamusta ang buhay niyo dyan sa America?
As of August 21, 2020, here in California, we no longer have a lockdown and the economy is opening up. California is not doing well; as of today there are 227,346 confirmed Covid19 cases in Los Angeles, with 5,446 deaths. In my city, Santa Monica, it is mandatory to wear masks once you are outside your house. Only outdoor restaurant dining is allowed and so you see parking lots of restaurants converted for outdoor eating.

Thursday, August 20, 2020



I’ve collated election information for battleground states here. I got the links online. Please double check information.
Act NOW because of postal delays. Vote in person or use official ballot drop box.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

California Voting Information for Nov. 2020 (compiled by Cecilia Brainard)


Here is information as of 8/15/2020. I will continue to add information in this note, so check back.
Vote early
California voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 5, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Early voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop off locations may be found on the Secretary of State's Early Voting website.
Vote on election day
All registered voters in California will receive a ballot by mail. However, in-person voting locations will be available to voters. Polling locations may be found online by visiting the Secretary of State's My Voter Status tool.
Vote early
California voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 5, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Early voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop off locations may be found on the Secretary of State's Early Voting website.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Larger Portrait of Remedios Lopez Cuenco by Ceciia Brainard


I made a larger portrait of my great-grandmother Remedios Lopez Cuenco as reference. I had made a smaller study a few days ago. https://ceciliabrainard.com/portrait-of-remedios-lopez-cuenco-by-cecilia-brainard/

Here is an excerpt from my grand-uncle’s biography that touches on the life and background of Remedios, who inspired me to write my third novel, The Newspaper Widow:

“From Archbishop Cuenco Autobiography, pages 1–3:

I was born in the little town of Carmen, Cebu province on May 19, 1885. I received Baptism in the same Church on May 27, 1887, and was confirmed by the Spanish Bishop, Most Rev. Martin Alcoser of the Franciscan Order. My parents were Mariano A. Cuenco and Remedios Diosomito. They did not enjoy a long and thorough education in the school as we understand it today. My father attended classes at the Normal School for teachers in Manila just for one year. This school was directed by the Jesuit fathers. My mother was no more fortunate than my father. While a young girl, she studied in Cebu at the old Inmaculada College run by the Sisters of Charity. There she learned the three R’s. For one reason or another she quit schooling. Hence she just stayed at school for one year. But both of them were gifted by nature with natural talent and ability. They specially possessed a tactical and common sense.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Portrait of Remedios Lopez Cuenco by Cecilia Brainard


I made this portrait using the photo of my great-grandmother Remedios Lopez Cuenco as reference.  Remedios was the mother of my grandfather (Mariano Jesus Cuenco, who was the father of my mother Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra.  

Portrait of Filomena Alesna Cuenco by Cecilia Brainard


I made this portrait of my maternal grandmother, Filomena Alesna Cuenco, in prisma color and pastel, size 9 x 12.

Filomena Alesna Cuenco from Carcar; born May 1, 1882, parents: Evaristo Barcenilla Alesna and Cresencia Ynosencia Sanchez Villarosa; parents died when she was young and she and her 2 sisters were raised by 2 old maid aunts; her older sister Placida married Mateo Noel; her younger sister Josefa married a Montesclaros; Filomena married Mariano Jesus Cuenco; they had 8 children (6 survived to adulthood: Manuel, Lourdes, Concepcion, Carmen, Consuelo, Teresita; the two who died as children were Maria and Corazon); had a stroke and died during wartime (WWII).


Read also:


Tags: Filipino woman, Filipina, art, sketch, portrait, Cebu, Philippines

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Filipinos #CopingWithCovid - Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino

 Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino

The following is part of Cecilia Brainard's series, Filipinos Coping with Covid.

Responding to my interview questions, Filipino American author Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino describes life in New Jersey, USA, during the time of coronavirus. This was written on May 24, 2020.

Update August 4, 2020 by Betty Ann Quirino: New Jersey is still on partial lockdown, even if some places opened. Gyms and bars are still not allowed to open. And masks are mandated in every building, park or public place.

We are still working from home and practicing social distancing as we did in March.


Monday, July 20, 2020

SALE - Cecilia Brainard Books for $5 Each

SALE - Ceciila Brainard Books for $5 each

PALH has Cecilia Brainard books on sale. These are new, but may have minor wear, at $5 each, US shipping is $10: Will combine shipping. Email palhbooks@gmail.com, Visit ceciliabrainard.com (click on books and other books) for more information.


Cecilia's Diary: 1962-1969;

Growing Up Filipino: Stores for Young Aduts 

Magdalena (US edition)

Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Phi. Independence

 Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose
tags: Philippine literature, Philippine books, Filipiniana, literature, #CeciliaBrainard