Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The anthology, FINDING GOD: TRUE STORIES OF SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTERS, will be launched next month August. It's not yet confirmed and I will confirm the details as soon as I have them: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2009 IN POWERBOOKS, MAKATI. Thie book is co-edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and Marily Ysip Orosa, and published by Anvil.

Contributors are: Mila D. Aguilar, Raquel Villavicencio Balagtas, M.G. Bertulfo, Susan Evangelista, M. Evelina Galang, Evelyn Regner Seno, Tony Robles, Edgar Poma, Aileen Ibardaloza, Paulino Lim, Jr., Brian Ascalon Roley, Marlinda Angbetic Tan, Lisa B. Martinez, Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, C. Sophia Ibardaloza, Reme A. Grefalda. Cecilia and Marily also have essays in the book.

There is one thing I am sure of, and it is that God will never do anything that is bad for us. Our puny minds often cannot understand how all our sufferings can be good for us, but if we look back at our lives, we see how everything eventually works out well in the end. This is the faith that underlies the essays in this book. It is a simple faith, but a profound one.
Isagani R. Cruz, Philippine Star

My father confessor once told me, that at times one would not be able to see God's plan until one looks back or partake in the experience of others. This book, a collection of narratives on finding God will surely uplift our faith as we learn from the experience of others.
Jocelyn B. Gerra,Ph.D, OPL, ( Lay Dominican), Executive Director, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.

Finding God on earth, next to entering heaven in eternal life is, to my
mind, the greatest gift one can experience.
I know that not everyone can be aware that he or she is finding God at
precisely the moment this experience is happening, but all the contributors are
to be envied, for finding God can be such an awesome moment whether it happens
when one is in great physical pain or in deep spiritual anguish.
I am privileged to write one of the blurbs of a book being dedicated to the
memory of my dear friend, Jose de Santos Orosa, who taught me what forgiveness
is all about.
Josefina T. Lichuaco, columnist, former Secretary of the Department of
Transportation and Communications


Friday, July 17, 2009

Pictures of my Women Ancestors ... and Me

Here are some of my women ancestors: GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMOTHER - Juana Diosomito Lopez from Naic, Cavite; born circa 1850, businesswoman; married a second time to a Veloso from Leyte; children were Remedios, Concepcion, Feodor and Domingo Veloso; an aunt said she "loved to dance." I have a legal document that says that in 1896, "Dona Juana Lopez Diosomito of Baybay, Leyte, purchased (for 3,000 pesos, pacto de retro) two houses in Cebu City, one in mamposteria and solar on calle de Prim, facing the Plaza de General Lono, and the other of calle de Prim, in the barrio of Maloco, from Don Prudencio Sanson Camara, negociante, married, natural and vecino of Cebu City (Cebu Protocolos, Doc 11, 1/27/1896/1411:74-77) GREAT-GRANDMOTHER - Remedios Diosomito Lopez Cuenco; born 1870; married Mariano Albao Cuenco when she was 13; bore him over a dozen children although only 4 survived to adulthood (Dolores and Jaime died young); widowed at 39; took over her husband's Imprenta Rosario making her the first woman publisher of Cebu; also invested in real estate; mother of: Archbishop Jose Maria Cuenco of Jaro, Iloilo, Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco, Representative Miguel Cuenco, and writer Remedios Cuenco Borromeo; died in 1945 at the age of 75. GRANDMOTHER - 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 Isabelo Montesclaros; Filomena married Mariano Jesus Cuenco; they had 8 children (6 survived to adulthood: Manuel, Lourdes, Concepcion, Carmen, Consuelo, Teresita; the 2 who died were Maria and Corazon); had a stroke and died during wartime (WWII). MOTHER - Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra; born Feb.18, 1912; Carnival Petit Queen of Cebu in 1931; married Engr. Mariano Flores Manguerra from Sta. Rosa, Laguna; mother of 5 children (4 survived to adulthood: Victoria, Mariano, Ana Maria, and Cecilia Catalina; a boy was born prematurely and died during WWII); a business woman, she also invested in real estate; died in November 7, 2002 at the age of 90. She has a memorial website at www.palhbooks.com/iton.html. AND ME - please visit my official website for more information, http://www.ceciliabrainard.com

Las Vegas and Lost

We visited Las Vegas for three nights. The last time we were there was around 3 years ago. I was suprised to see many "For Lease" and "For Rent" signs. My favorite Antique Mass has closed. Decent hotels have signs offering rooms for $19.99. There's a pall over Las Vegas.

But it wasn't all gloom and doom for us. We saw the Jersey Boys and enjoyed the music and performance. We had brunch at Wynn's; the Atrium there is lovely.

We did some gambling, because who visits Las Vegas and not gamble. I lost, but fortunately Lauren won.

It's still hot in Las Vegas. Daytime temperature was around 109 degrees, and at night, even though we set the thermostat at 68 degrees, the air conditioner would kick in often to maintain that temperature.

Altogether we had a pleasant three days there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

PRAYER - "May today be all you need it to be ...."

I received this prayer from my friend, Mila Santillan. It's a lovely prayer and am sharing it with my readers:

May today be all you need it to be. May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself today in ways you have never experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your prayers be answered. I pray that faith enters a new height for you; I pray that your territory is enlarged. I pray for peace, healing, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, true and undying love for God.

Peace be with all of you,