Monday, August 29, 2011


This happened just blocks away from our house - a plane crash, at around 2:30 p.m.. The pilot survived; he just had a broken leg. A painter working on a house was hit by debris but is fine.

Santa Monica residents have been complaining about the close proximity of the
Santa Monica airport to homes - to no avail.

This recent plane crash is the third in 2-3 years. In those earlier crashes, the pilots died.

Literary Reading, Sept. 29, 7 p.m, Eastwind Books, Berkeley,

Eastwind Books of Berkeley Authors & Poets Reading:

Oscar Bermeo,
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard,
Rashaan Alexis Meneses,
Veronica Montes,
Barbara Jane Reyes,
Benito M. Vergara, Jr.

September 29, 2011 Thursday 7:00 pm

at Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University Avenue
Berkeley, Ca. 94704

Free Event

For more event information call 510-548-2350 , email, visit

"The Places We Call Home" -a literary event in celebration of the upcoming Filipino American International Book Festival.

Oscar Bermeo was born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below and To the Break of Dawn.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of eight books, including the internationally-acclaimed novel When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and Vigan and Other Stories.

Rashaan Alexis Meneses earned her MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California’s Creative Writing Program, where she was named a 2005-2006 Jacob K. Javits Fellow and awarded the Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz Scholarship for Excellence in Fiction.

Veronica Montes is the co-author of Angelica’s Daughters, as well as a short story writer whose work has appeared in Bamboo Ridge, Growing Up Filipino, and Philippine Speculative Fiction

Barbara Jane Reyes is a recipient of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets and the author of Diwata, which was recently noted as a finalist for the California Book Award.

Benito M. Vergara, Jr. was born and raised in the Philippines. He is the author of Displaying Filipinos: Photography and Colonialism in Early 20th-Century Philippines and Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City.

For more information about the October 1 to October 2, 2011 Filipino American International Book Festival visit

Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University Avenue; Berkeley, CA 94704
phone: 510 548-2350 fax: 510 548-3697 email:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tripadvisor Reviews of Yap Sandiego House & 1730 Jesuit House

I posted a couple of Reviews in Tripadvisor, for the Yap Sandiego House and for the 1730 Jesuit House, both in Cebu:

“#1 Tourist Attraction in Cebu City- The Yap Sandiego Ancestral House”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

I love the Yap Sandiego Ancestral House! It is an evocative Colonial house made of stone and wood and tile roofing. It is filled with lovely antiques. This house allows me to imagine how life in Cebu must have been in the 1700s. Everything about it is beautiful, even the small garden with a well that still has water. Val Sandiego and his wife decorate the house thematically, for Christmas, Chinese New Year, the June Fiesta, and so on. Every time I visit it, it is is like seeing a woman all dressed in another gown! So beautiful! I highly recommend it to all tourists of Cebu. From there, one can easily visit other tourist attractions in Cebu: The 1730 Jesuit House, Casa Gorordo, Cathedral and Museum, Fort San Pedro, Santo Nino Basilica and Museum, and the newly renovated Plaza Independencia.

5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

The 1730 Jesuit House is a historical treasure tucked away in the middle of Historic Cebu City. It is located on Zulueta Street near the Heritage of Cebu Monument and the Yap-Sandiego Museum. For years, the Jesuit House was not available to the public. The Sy Family had used the premises as a warehouse until Jaime Sy decided to develop the Jesuit House as a museum. The rooms have been uncovered, galleries, and exhibits displayed revealing one of the most exciting historical museums in the Philippines.

There are two buildings that are connected by a covered bridge. The tile roof is what fascinates me most of all because it's original and shows a curve that is distinctly Asian. A plague that says "1730" sits on top of a doorway, proof of the age of this treasure of Cebu City. Jesuit historian Rene Javellana and the writer Concepcion Briones have done research on the place and documented this place as the Jesuit house.

The1730 Jesuit House offers tourists a glimpse of eighteenth century life in Cebu, Philippines. It is one place that I visit often, and I always marvel at the new developments Jaime Sy does to this marvelous and mysterious place, which allows me to reflect on the provocative history of the Black Robes in the Philippines

Restoration of the house is ongoing; visitors may make an appointment to visit the Jesuit House.

Writers Faire UCLA - Sunday, August 28

I'm a panelist in the Writers Faire which will be held this Sunday, August 28, at the Young Hall Courtyard at UCLA. I'll be in the "Getting Started as a Writer Panel" from 11-11:40 a.m., Court of Sciences 24, along with Barbara Abercrombie, Michael Buckley and Rachel Kann (chair).

The Writers Faire is free and open to the public. It is an opportunity for those interested in writing to get some ideas about the craft of writing, to familiarize themselves with the Writers Program at UCLA Extension, as well as get an idea of what the teachers are like.

It's a very fun and exciting literary event. I hope to see you there. More information follows:

The UCLA Extension Writers' Program presents its annual Writers Faire, with 24 free mini-workshops and panel discussions on such topics as "Writing Your First Novel" and "Conquering the Dreaded Second Act." Attendees can learn more about the program, register for fall courses at a 10% discount and grab lunch from three gourmet food trucks. UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., L.A. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. Free. (310) 825-9415.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

San Francisco Theatre - Based on short Stories (including Brainard's)

I got a Google Alert that my name was mentioned in publicity material by Bindlestiff Studio - see below, about their featuring a performance based on my short story. For the life of me, I have no idea which short story this is - I'm guessing it's based on "Acapulco At Sunset".

Bindlestiff Studio presents
An annual production showcasing original works
from Bindlestiff Studio’s Stories High XII workshop series

WHEN: September 8th through September 24th
Thursdays through Saturdays, 8pm

WHERE: Bindlestiff Studio
185 Sixth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

TICKETS: $20 advanced; $25 door
Advanced tickets available via Brown Paper Tickets
Brown Paper Tickets

Bindlestiff Studio presents STORIES HIGH XII, its annual showcase of original works for the stage written, acted, and directed by Pilipino/Filipino American artists. This show will be the inaugural production Bindlestiff Studio’s new home at 185 Sixth St. (at Howard) in San Francisco. Performances begin Thursday, September 8th, at 8:00 pm and runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings through September 24th. Tickets are $20 advanced and $25 at the door; advanced tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Bloodthirsty Spaniards and fearless revolutionaries! Angry young men and passionate women! The powerful forces of love, freedom, and loss. STORIES HIGH XII, the twelfth installment of Bindlestiff Studio's annual freshmen playwrights showcase throws the doors of Bindlestiff Studio's new home at Sixth and Howard wide open with adaptations of short fiction by Pilipino and Filipino American writers. This year's exciting anthology features:

*THICKER THAN WINE Conrad Panganiban, playwright. The Jacinto-Basa brothers, spoiled by their aristocratic upbringing, meet resistance from their strong-willed maid. Set in 1870, the adaptation of Tess Uriza Holthe's "Portrait of an Aristocrat" deals with a sixteenth-century curse, corruption in the church, and racism. Directed by Arianna Caramat and Melissa Diaz-Infante.
*TIP JAR Patrick Silvestre, playwright. Based on Oscar Penaranda's "Prelude to a Gig". A young upstart challenges a jazz musician to a game of pool. Directed by Alan S. Quismorio. Choreography by Brian Batugo.

*GABRIELA'S MONOLOGUE Jocelyn Deona de Leon, playwright. In A woman, in the wake of her infant's death, is caught in a love triangle involving her husband and a 19-year-old man. Based on the short story by Cecilia Marguerra Brainard. Directed by Melinda Lopez.

*BABY LUST Manny Cabrera, playwright. M. Evelina Galang’s short story inspires this piece about a miscarriage that tests the relationship between young lovers. Directed by Jocelyn Deona de Leon.

*RIZAL ON ANGEL ISLAND Ignacio Zulueta, playwright. A feverish imagining of the Philippine national hero's detainment by the U.S. while en route to China. Directed by Larry Robinson and Wernher Goff.
CAST: Melvign Badiola, Joe Cascasan, Jackie Castillejo-Guingona, George Coker, Reg Clay, Michael Dorado, Roczane Enriquez, Kat Evasco, Emily Fernandez, Melanie Galang, Lorenz Gonzalez, Chuck Lacson, Norman Munoz, Allen Ocampo, Nino Palay, Jed Pasario, Percival Arcibal, Sunshine Roque, RJ San Jose, Paolo Salazar, Sabrina Sandalo, & Mallory Somera.

Stories High is a series of theatrical workshops culminating into a fully-mounted, professional theatrical production. These workshops are open to anyone, novice or intermediate, interested in getting involved with community arts through our workshops. Stories High hopes to discover, cultivate, and nurture new and emerging artists. This will be Bindlestiff's 12th Stories High production.

Stories High 12 is made possible by generous funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the W & F Hewlett Foundation, and the W A Gerbode Foundation.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More, More National Parks - set 4

Lauren in San Francisco's Chinatown
Group shot: Kathy and Peter Shack with Lauren
Lodge near Waterton,Canada
Lodge in Glacier Park
The cabin in Whitefish, Montana
Old Faithful
Grand Tetons
Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho

I'm posting more pictures of our recent trip:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Still More National Parks - Set 3

Here are more pictures taken in Jasper National Park in Canada.

Along the drive, we saw my seventh bear (Lauren's eighth bear) along the side of the road, the closest ever, maybe 25 feet away, but I was in the car; otherwise the recommendation is to be a football field away from a bear because they move fast.

The closeup of the whimsical lamp was taken in the Fairmont Hotel in Lake Louise. The Caribou sign was along the Jasper National Park Highway. The glacier pictures were taken along the Jasper Highway; the glaciers are melting and are expected to be gone in 20 years. In a lunch stop at the Fairmont in Jasper, we ran into this bear family and also another couple, Mike and Connie Metzger, whom we had dinner with in Waterton a few evenings ago. The Mount Robson Park shot had to be taken because Lauren's middle name is Robson.

Here's a quick aside: the beef in Montana is really very good; the milk is also excellent - must be because the cows are grass fed. But the biscuits and gravy for breakfast are butt-thickening!

We are in Ashland Oregon(famous for their Shakespeare Festivals) and will continue south. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Pictures National Parks - set 2

I'm never going to get caught up blogging everything we've seen and done, so I'm just going ahead and mention that we made our way from Yosemite to Reno to Twin Falls Idaho to Craters of the Moon to the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone to Glacier National Park to Waterton National Park in Canada to Banff, Canada where we still are.

Banff is a picturesque place, as lovely as Chamonix or Alpine village, with shops, restaurants, and the grand old Banff Springs Hotel. It was gloriously sunny yesterday and light until past 9 p.m. but today it rained and was 43 degrees, very cold! The pictures show an elk nibbling away on the grass in Waterton Canada, and a bear in Waterton as well. In fact we saw six bears including a mother and two cubs, just of the road; it was very exciting.

There are also wildflowers along the roadside or on hillsides that are breathtaking. The scenes of rivers, waterfalls, forests of pines are incredible. I will post them later on.

One more interesting note: here in Banff, our Best Western Hotel has Filipino staff members.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yosemite, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park set 1

We're visiting some US National Parks, and here are some pictures. I'll be writing about them and posting more pictures later on. We've seen Yosemite, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park so far. Pictures can never capture the beauty of these places.
The group photo shows Lauren with old friends, Chuck and Karen Dell. The next photo shows Lauren and Cecilia in the Grand Tetons. There's a picture of the dining room of the Ahwanee hotel in Yosemite; and several pictures taken in Yellowstone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Maryknollers in California

Maria Ciocon, Frances Garrovillo, and I spent a nice today together, catching up. We three were Communication Arts majors at Maryknoll College. The pictures show Maria telling Frances (or Bingbing) about Our Lady of Velankanni or Our Lady of Good Health.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cecilia and Chinggay in a Carriage in front of the Yap-Sandiego House, Cebu

Chinggay Utzurrum and me in a carriage in front of the Yap-Sandiego House, picture taken last June 24, 2011.

My Baby Pictures Discovered! ~ Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

I found these baby pictures, old black and white photos. One is in really bad shape. The other one, I was able to Photoshop and this is the first time I've seen a picture of myself as a baby! There are a couple more old photos when I was older, with my siblings.

Top photo - this photo is virtually ruined
Second to top - l-r: my oldest sister Vicky carrying me, my sister Ana, and brother Junior;
Third to top - l-r: Swimming in Liloan Beach, with a WWII landing craft behind us, Junior, Ana, me;
Fourth from top - l-r: Christmas circa 1956, Ana, Junior, me

tags: pictures, photographs, Cecilia Brainard, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Cebu, history