Thursday, September 29, 2011

What is Cecilia Brainard Up to?


Thurs, Sept. 29 7 p.m. - Reading at Eastwind Books, 2066 University Avenue, Berkeley
Friday, Sept. 30 - Talk to Students of Galileo High School, attend Bindlestiff production in San Francisco
Saturday, Oct. 1 - FilAm Book Fest, mind the book I'm sharing with John Silva, Marily Orosa, and Veronica Montes, read in Hot off the Press;
Sunday, Oct. 2 - still at the book fest, moderate Hot off the Press

More later on, with pictures!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Are Invited to the HOT OFF THE PRESS: LITERARY READINGS, FilAm Book Fest - Final Lineup

Here's the Final Lineup of the Readings, Hot Off the Press, with authors' books noted:
Please join us for Hot Off the Press this weekend at the FilBook Fest!

WHAT: Hot Off the Press: 10 Readers @ 8 Minutes Each

WHERE: Koret Auditorium / Lower Level SF Main Library / 100 Larkin St.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 - 1:30

Saturday's Lineup
(in order of appearance)

Moderator: Veronica Montes
Tony Robles - Lakas and the Manilatown Fish, Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel (will be reading poetry)
Almia de los Santos - Journey to the Beginning - A True Story
Peter Jamero - Vanishing Filipino Americans: The Bridge Generation
Cecilia Brainard - Vigan & Other Stories
Rafe Bartholomew - Pacific Rims
Sunny Vergara - Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City (will be reading fiction)
Gloria Ramos - The Whippoorwill, Mirabella's White Boots, Mango Memories
Romy Honorio - Op en Visa: A Novel
Bob Flor - Daniel's Mood - Mestizos, The FAYTS (Filipino American Young Turks)
Geraldine Solon - Love Letters, Chocolicious

Sunday's Lineup:
(in order of appearance)

Moderator: Cecilia Brainard
Angela Narciso Torres - contributor, Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul
Sarita See - The Decolonized Eye: Filipino American Art and Performance
Karen Llagas - Archipelago Dust
Veronica Montes - co-author, Angelica's Daughters: A Dugtungan Novel
Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto - Traje de Boda
Lilia Rahman - For the Sake of Louise
Tilay Angbetic - Love & Other Firsts
Emmie Velarde - Show Biz, Seriously--Entertainment as Life, Life as Entertainment
Myles Garcia - Secrets of the Olympic Ceremonies
Samantha Sotto - Before Ever After

Hope to see you there. Visit for more information about the Festival!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

You Are Invited to the HOT OFF THE PRESS: LITERARY READINGS, FilAm Book Fest

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Literary Readings at the FilAm Book Festival in San Francisco, Oct. 1 and 2, 2011, Koret Auditorium, 12-1:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 1 Lineup (moderator: Veronica Montes)

Tony Robles
Almia de los Santos
Peter Jamero
Cecilia Brainard
Rafe Bartholomew
Sunny Vergara
Gloria Ramos
Romy Honorio
Bob Flor
Geraldine Solo

Sunday,Oct. 2 Lineup (moderator: Cecilia Brainard)

Angela Narciso Torres
Sarita See
Karen Llagas
Veronica Montes
Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto
Lilia Rahman
Tilay Angbetic
Emmie Velarde
Myles Garcia
Samantha Sotto

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Reprint of Manila Bulletin Article - Which Book Would You Un-ban?

Which book would you un-ban?
September 24, 2011, 12:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — Every year, from September 25 to October 1, the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates Banned Books Week, a celebration intended to highlight free and open access to information by spotlighting on successful or attempted banning of books across the United States.

The ALA accomplishes this by providing a list of over 100 books that have either been subject to banning, a challenge, or any form of restriction that prevents libraries from freely distributing it to its patrons. The list can be viewed here: bbw-booklist.htm

During Banned Books Week, library patrons are usually encouraged to pick up a book from the list and also encourage other people to do the same.

As part of the banned Books Week celebration, the Students and Campuses Bulletin posed this question to local authors: “If you were to remove just one book from the banned books list, which book would it be and why?”

" This is like asking me which one of my kids I would save if they both fell off a boat. Ugh. Okay.
Fine. Harry Potter. Some people say it should be banned because it promotes witchcraft. That’s like saying that Winnie the Pooh promotes gluttony. Muggles.” – Samantha Sotto, author of “Before Ever After”

“To Kill a Mockingbird’’ by Harper Lee. I have no idea what this novel is doing in a banned list!

This is a fine work of literature, excellently written, with memorable characters, and about a topic that needed to be looked at the right time in America. That the book was banned because of ‘racial slurs’ is absurd.

I have no doubt that those who banned it were not comfortable with the larger Black-White racial problems in the US that the book brought up. The novel, told from the point of view of a young girl, Scout, focuses on a particular legal case that her father dealt with, in which a white woman accuses a black man of attempted rape. In fact, the white woman had been attracted to him.

Was this what made the people who banned the book uncomfortable? This question was raised in court by Scout’s father, the unforgettable Atticus Finch.” – Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, author of “Vigan and Other Stories”

“Looking over the list of books and authors , it reads like a Who’s Who of classic American fiction.

I think it would really be an honor to be included in ANY club (even a “Banned Books” club!) with authors like Isabel Allende, Aldous Huxley, Mark Twain,

Tobias Wolff. Looking over the list of banned books, I am most saddened by the inclusion of Edwidge Danticat’s Krik? Krak! which I thought was a great collection of short stories.

Of the banned books, the one I’ve read most recently was The Bookseller of Kabul. I read it a few years ago, and was grateful for Asne Seierstad’s warmly human eye, her skill at observation, and for her affording us a glimpse into the world of the Afghan wife.

The human heart is so unpredictable – I thought the book was not a blanket condemnation of the subordinate status of the wife in a traditional Afghan household, but rather a very empathetic portrait of a couple of women, who would never dream of changing the system which requires them to stifle their own desires, but who are resilient and resourceful and find ways to endure.” – Marianne Villanueva, author of “The Lost Language”

“If I could take just one book away from t e banned books list, this would be The Freedom Writers Diar y by Erin Grunwell.

I think it is important for high school students to know how important it is to have hope and care about making a difference in this world. Reading this true story teaches young people not to be afraid of believing in your dreams and making it happen. This is truly an inspiring story.” – Rosanna Gonzalez, author of “Restaurant Management 101”

“I was surprised to find ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee in the l ist of banned books.

The s tory is classical literature that deals with prejudice and racism. I think even if racism against blacks are a thing of the past, new forms of racism are emerging and that there is much to learn from that novel. Also, Atticus Finch serves a model lawyer even for professionals of this day.” – Rachel Khan, author of “Campus Journalism for Students”

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thank you, Teacher - reprint from Manila Bulletin

Here's another article in the Manila Bulletin that includes my 2-centavos worth.

Thank you, teacher
In gratitude, these personalities pay tribute to their teachers by simply saying 'thank you'…
September 18, 2011, 8:00am

MANILA, Philippines — ‘’Marami akong pasasalamatan. Lahat siguro ng teachers ko noong high school. And of course sa St. Mary’s, mga RVM sisters. I started in the business young pero noong nag-aaral ako, talagang they guided me dahil sirang-sira ang schedule ko. Nagsa-summer ako para lang makahabol. And then kumukuha ako ng DepEd test, sa RVM retreat house ako pinakuha ng test para makapasa lang ako ng high school, para makuha ko ‘yung diploma ko. I owe it to them, sa lahat ng teachers ko in high school and of course sa St. Mary’s RVM sisters.’’ – VILMA SANTOS, actress.

‘’The teacher I appreciated most was my own mother – Dolores Aniceto Musngi. I have always been quite a loner, for most of my elementary and high school days. My mother’s body was half-paralyzed and her speech was very limited and yet she struggled to take care of me and my unmarried sister then, keep home, and teach us about values, persistence, hard work and love of God and family. My mother taught me that no matter the odds that are against you, if you try hard enough, success and happiness can be within your reach. She always told me to never give up.’’ – PETER MUSNGI, unit head of ABS-CBN Manila Radio and Sports division.

“Sister Consuelo Varela was my teacher in St. Theresa’s College, San Marcelino where I attended high school. She was also the principal. She was strict and fearsome and we were all terrified of her, until we became her students and enjoyed her protection. She pushed all of us to use our heads, reminding us that we had an obligation to give back to society. What I remember most was studying Shakespeare in her class her. She had us do little theatrical plays in the classroom. Those were memorable; they made Shakespeare’s work come to life. She made us excited about literature. I can still quote Lady Macbeth’s lines: Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” – CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD, author

“If I could thank one teacher, it would be my dad, Sonny Jaboneta. When I was six years old, he chided me that a younger cousin could read the newspaper already. That moment really taught me that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.” – JAY JABONETA, firestarter, Philippine Funds for Little Kids

“I would thank all my high school and college teachers, but ultimately I would thank Mr. Jesus de Silva, my fourth year class adviser and our Accounting teacher. He made Accounting perfectly clear for us, with his funny jokes. And he made our last year in high school the best we could possibly have. He is very proud of what I’ve become. – CARLA ABELLANA, actress

“Teacher Baba Paguia is one of my autistic son’s early teachers. She’s a gifted SpEd (special education) teacher who made a lot of breakthroughs during those years of early intervention for my Gio. Very creative... can you imagine miniature trampoline made out of ladies’ undies? She taught our yayas and me how to be consistent when doing behavior management at home with Gio. While addressing family issues with Gio, including those of his siblings, she was educating me not just on raising a child with autism, but on how to be a mother to all my three boys. Come to think of it, Teacher Baba IS one of my teachers. I would always think of her with so much love and gratitude.” – DANG KOE, chairman emeritus, Autism Society Philippines

“I would like to thank Dr. Judy Ick from the UP College of Arts and Letters. She was my teacher in three different classes, including Intro to Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature. Ma’am Ick had an ability to make works written in the 15th, 18th century relevant to our lives. She made stories come alive and made us realize that even though so much has changed since the time of Shakespeare, so much has remained the same in terms of racism, gender studies, politics, religion, etc. Ma’am Ick taught with such infectious enthusiasm that I looked forward to going to class every single day. Her approach to life and literature inspired me to pursue my passion and take the road less traveled.” – ANNA OPOSA, environmentalist and theater artist.

“I would thank the teacher (clinical supervisor) who gave me a failing grade during my last rotation at the Philippine General Hospital, a month before I was supposed to graduate. She taught me a real lesson in life – that you do not always reap what you sow, but the most important thing is falling forward and bouncing back with every misfortune that comes your way! That experience taught me to rise above life’s challenges and be resilient enough to pick up the pieces and move on. If I probably had it easy with that teacher, I wouldn’t have turned out the way I did.” – GENEVIEVE RIVADELO, pediatric physiotherapist and special educator

“The teacher that I appreciate the most is my grandmother Ruby Mangahas. She got me into music and loving it for the pure art that it is. I never thought I would like music but the more I talked to her, the more I spent time with her, the more she encouraged me to do it, to follow what I liked to do and to follow what’s in my heart. Until now I subscribe to that. If you do something, it has to be bigay todo, or just don’t do it.’’ – KELLEY MANGAHAS, band member, Kjwan

“Doreen Fernandez. I met her when I was a freshman at the Ateneo. She told me I was a writer long before I felt like one. The stresses of the writing life are many but with her firm belief in my ability, and her example, I learned to navigate the shoals of the writing life with fearlessness.” – MARIANNE VILLANUEVA, author of ‘’The Lost Language’’

What Would You Ask Rizal? - Reprint Manila Bulletin

I found this article in the internet that includes my 2-centavos worth:

What would you ask Rizal?
June 18, 2011, 3:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Jose Rizal excelled at many things, but nowhere is he more well known here and around the world than for being the writer of the “Noli Me Tangere” and the “El Filibusterismo”.

The “Noli” and the “Fili” not only stoked the fires of Filipino patriotism during the 19th century, but they have also stood the test of time and have proven themselves to be exceptional novels worthy to be ranked alongside the other great works of the world. Rizal’s works have no doubt inspired many a young Filipino to pick up their pens and write.

In celebration of the upcoming 150th celebration of Jose Rizal's birth, the Students and Campuses Bulletin has asked some of the country's top writers what they would ask the national hero if he were still around today.

Politics, maybe? “Ang itatanong ko kay Rizal ay kung kakandidato ka ba sa pagka-presidente, senador, o congressman? At kung kakandidato ka, gusto mo bang kasama sa ticket si Manny Pacquiao? Para sa akin, unang-una, tanong iyon para ma-determine natin kung tama 'yung ating mataas na pagpapahalaga sa politics at politicians. Tama ba ang paraan ng pagtingin natin sa mga pulitiko. Si Pacquiao nga eh kakandidato daw for President. 'Yun ang gusto kong malaman. Kung tunay siyang hinahangaan ng taongbayan, maaring makapagsalita siya tungkol sa uri ng ating mataas na pagpapahalaga sa politics at sa uri ng politics na meron tayo dito.

Ang ikalawa kong tanong, pahihintulutan ba niyang komiks ang ipangturo sa Noli at Fili sa high school at sa kolehiyo?” — National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario

Where do you get the energy? “If I were to ask a question addressed to Rizal, it would be this: How were you able to do all those things--study, organize Filipinos abroad, research prehispanic Philippines relentlessly, write the novels, befriend Spaniards, put up a school--in so short a time?” — Romulo P. Baquiran, Jr., editor of “Laglag-Panty, Laglag-Brief” and “Tahong/Talong”

What are you hiding? “The question I will ask is also one of the things I tell people. He left us 25 volumes of material. But those are the things he wanted us to see. There are things he didn't write. There are letters and diaries he destroyed. Why did you destroy that and why?” — Ambeth Ocampo, historian and former chair of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Peace or revolution? “Knowing what happened to the Philippines after your death, which would have been more effective in achieving independence from Spain - non-violence as Gandhi used, or a bloody revolution?

Jose Rizal did not join the revolution; he sought reforms from the Spanish government. Would the Spanish government have given reforms if the Filipinos had not fought? Would non-violent means as Gandhi used, have worked? Or would the Spanish government have simply crushed and oppressed the Filipinos further if they tried to get reforms peacefully?” — Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, co-author of “Angelica's Daughters”

Are we free from the church? “Pepe, what can you actually do so that the Church is truly separate from the state in all matters of state governance? Why this question? Remember he didn't like the Spanish friars then for being the real governors of the country during colonial times, and so that may be his continued sentiment today.” — Herbert Sancianco, author of “Sales Promotions: Best Practices”

A modern Noli? “I have a few questions for Jose Rizal:
1. Do the many books and other materials on you do you justice? Are they faithful to your life and all that you hold dear? Which titles do you recommend we all read?
2. Considering how you have always regarded the youth as the hope of the fatherland, what is the most important advice you'd give today's youth?
3. Seeing the state of affairs in the country today, what 2011 version of the Noli would you write?
4. What are you most pleased about the Philippines today?
5. How do you feel that the Philippine Board on Books for Young People has pegged the annual celebration of the National Children's Book Day on the 3rd Tuesday in July, when Trubner's Oriental Record in London first published your 'Monkey and the Turtle'?” — Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, author and National Book Award winner

What's cooking? “What foods did you eat on a daily basis with your meager allowance during your stay in Europe? If you had more money at your disposal then, how would you have spent it, upgraded your lodging or spent more on food?” — Claude Tayag, author of “Food Tour” and “Linamnam”

What's the best translation? “Which English and Filipino translations of your novels best capture the aesthetic effect you wanted to achieve?” — Jonathan Malicsi, University of the Philippines professor and author of the “English Linguistics Project”

What about your big brother? “Why did you agree to everything your brother Paciano planned for your education and mission? Did you agree because you also believed in it totally or because it was expected of you? It is clear that if your brother Paciano wasn¹t there to support you on both an emotional, financial and moral basis, you may not have been able to study abroad and do the mission you had to fulfill for our country. I wonder if there was every a moment or time that you doubted what your brother Paciano had requested of you and the pact you both agreed on.” — Jeannie E. Javelosa, writer and curator of the Rizalizing the Future Exhibit at the Yuchengco Museum

Are you gay? “Your flitting from girlfriend to girlfriend, was that to camouflage a homo streak? Why I'd ask him that is explained by my observation that most men I know who leave a trail of broken hearts of women are actually, well, insecure about their manhood and they have to prove this to themselves over and over through conquest, and then dumping, so they could be assured na lalaki nga sila.” — Babeth Lolarga, editor of “Baguio We Know” and “Baguio Calligraphy”

Any advice for expats? “What advice would you give Filipino expatriates today about loving one's country from across the seas? Who better can speak about the concept of patriotism away from home better than Rizal?” — Gemma Nemenzo, managing editor of the online FilAm magazine Filipina

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I saw the documentary The Sun Behind the Clouds (directed by Sarin and Sonam) about Tibet's fight for independence from China and the tension between the Dalai Lama's Middle Road policy and the younger generation's desire for total independence. The documentary is very moving and makes the point that China is a Big Bully. If I'm not mistaken 2 Tibetan monks burned themselves in March and August of this year as a political protest.

For some time now, I check all labels of food, clothing, etc. and if I can help it, I don't buy if made in China. In fact, a friend told me recently that she found apple juice that at first glance indicated it came from Canada, but the fine print indicated it actually came from China; she did not buy it.

Further, the Chinese people better wake up; LA Times featured an article yesterday about how organic food in China is sold exclusively to high Communist Party leaders. Do you recall how China has provided tainted milk, poisonous cat food, and lead-laden toys to the world?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


One Hundred Authors, Thousands of Books at Filbookfest
September 15, 2011

The largest convergence of authors with Filipino roots outside the Philippines is taking place on October 1 and 2 at San Francisco’s Civic Center for the first-ever Filipino American International Book Festival (FilBookFest).

The Philippine contingent includes former Philippine president Fidel V. Ramos, National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario (aka Rio Alma), National Artist for Visual Arts Ben Cabrera (aka BenCab), journalists Marites Vitug, Cris Yabes and Pete Lacaba, historians Ambeth Ocampo and Felice Sta. Maria, critic Isagani Cruz, noted psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang, cultural activist John Silva, author/chef Claude Tayag and multi-awarded authors Jose “Butch” Dalisay, Ed Maranan and Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, among others.

The bigger group of writers/authors of course are Filipino Americans and include such notables as Cecilia Brainard, Marivi Soliven Blanco (who just won the Palanca Award for Best Novel), Ben Pimentel (another new Palanca awardee), R. Zamora Linmark, Oscar Penaranda, Barbara Jane Reyes, Evangeline Buell, Tess Uriza Holthe, Luis Francia, Leny Strobel and Reme Grefalda, publisher of the online magazine, Our Own Voice.

A Filipino-Canadian author, Romeo Honorio, is flying in from Calgary while Filomenita Hogsholm will be joining from Denmark.

There will be something for everyone to look forward to and enjoy at Filbookfest.

Presented by the Literacy Initiatives International Foundation (LIIF), the San Francisco Public Library, the Asian Art Museum and the Philippine Department of Tourism, in cooperation with TFC/ABS-CBN Foundation International, FilBookFest is headed by Al Perez, the moving force behind the annual Pistahan celebration. Perez is festival director.

Among its highlights:

• Children’s book readings by well-known Filipinos, arts and crafts, a lesson on writing in baybayin (ancient Filipino script) and video showings at the second floor of the San Francisco Main Library. To be featured are Filipino American children’s book authors reading their works , and a large selection of children’s books published in the Philippines

• Lectures on Filipino cuisine by cultural historian/author Felice Sta. Maria, who will talk on the fascinating historical evolution of Filipino food, and chef/artist/author Claude Tayag, who will describe the many flavors of regional cuisine. The audience will be treated to a taste of a variety of Filipino dishes created by local chefs.

• A balagtasan (traditional debate in poetry) on a timely topic by the Philippines’ best known balagtasan performers, Teo Antonio, Vim Nadera and Mike Coroza.

• Hot Off the Press featuring Filipino American authors reading from their newest books

• In the evening of October 1, A Tribute to Filipino Literary Laureates, a special program honoring Filipino authors who have created classic works that celebrate our history and culture: Carlos Bulosan, NVM Gonzalez, Bienvenido Santos, Jose Garcia Villa, F. Sionil Jose, Al Robles, Ceres Alabado, Fred and Dorothy Cordova, Evangeline Buell, Linda Ty-Casper and Nick Joaquin. There will be a reception to precede the program.

• Thousands of books by Filipino and Filipino American authors will be available for sale from various booksellers on Fulton St., between the San Francisco Public Library and the Asian Art Museum.

• The best Filipino dishes from restaurants and food trucks also on Fulton St.

• Hourly prize drawings and a grand prize drawing at the end of each day of the festival. The grand prize is a round-trip ticket to the Philippines, courtesy of Philippine Airlines.

FilBookFest is sponsored by The Asia Foundation, the University of San Francisco’s Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, Target, Chevron, Ramar Foods International, AT&T, Mama Sita’s, Philippine News, and Asian Journal. Partner organizations include the Book Development Association of the Philippines, the National Book Development Council, the National Commission for Culture and Arts, the Philippine American Writers and Artists Inc. (PAWA), the Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS), the Filipino American Arts Exposition (FAEE), the Friends of the San Francisco Library and Philippine Expressions Bookshop.

For more festival information, please check out regularly.

Monday, September 12, 2011


The first ever Filipino American International Book Festival will be held in San Francisco on October 1 and 2. Some 100 Filipino writers from all over the world will converge in the Bay Area for the event. I'll be there and will be in several readings.

First:I'll be in a Literary Reading "The Places We Call Home" at the Eastwind Books of Berkeley. I'll be reading with Oscar Bermeo, Rashaan Alexis Meneses, Barbara Jane Reyes, Sunny Vergara, and Veronica Montes. That'll be on Thursday, September 29, at 7 p.m., and Eastwind is on 2066 University Avenue, Berkeley, 94704. Veronica Montes organized the reading at Eastwind in conjunction with the FilAm International Book Festival. Bios of readers follow:

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 5.

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 info about the Berkeley Reading, visit this site:

Second: PALH (Philippine American Literary House) will have a booth near Philippine Expressions. John Silva, Marily Orosa, Veronica Montes, Tony Robles, and I will be in the booth. We'll be there on Oct. 1 and 2; please stop by and say hi!

The book festival will take place in three adjacent locations in the Civic Center: the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., and on Fulton Street between Hyde and Larkin streets.

Third: Veronica and I are hosting 2 literary readings: HOT OFF THE PRESS, on Oct. 1, and Oct 2, from 12-1: 30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium. Some 20 talented writers will be participating. More information forthcoming.

For more information about the Book Festival, please visit this site:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mother Goddess Figures: Food for Thought

I'm taking a class that's looking at ancient statues of Mother Goddesses. I found a picture of the statue of the Venus of Willendorf (with the curly hair) whom we discussed. She was carved during the Paleolithic time, 24,000-22,000 BCE.

The Goddess of Fertility with the lions by her side (Neolithic, 6,000-5,500 BCE), and the other Mother Goddess figure were not discussed in class, but are mother goddess figures as well. (I took the pictures of the Goddess of Fertility and the other Mother Goddess figure in the Museum in Ankara when we visited a few years ago.)

The small figurines of Mother Goddesses are food for thought. Why did ancient sculptors exaggerate the sexual characteristics of these statues?

It's a provocative question, especially when you consider that modern society now places value on extreme thinness.

Why the extremes in beauty ideals - corpulence in ancient times vs the super-thin look now?

I leave these questions for you to answer, dear Readers.

Visit the following site for more information on the subject matter:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Signing - FPAC September 10, 1-4 p.m.

Hi, if you're attending the FPAC Festival this weekend, stop by the booth of Philippine Expressions. I'll be signing VIGAN AND OTHER STORIES, and ANGELICA'S DAUGHTERS: A DUGTUNGAN NOVEL there on Saturday, Sept. 10, 1-4 p.m.


Point Fermin, San Pedro, CA or call (213) 380-FPAC.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

12:00 Noon - 4:00pm Jay Wertz. The Pacific: War Stories WWll Firsthand. Volume 1. Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal.

1:00pm - 4:00pm Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. Vigan and Other Stories and Angelica's Daughters, a Dugtugan novel
Elnora Kelly Tayag. Filipinos in Ventura County
Lorenzo Paran, lll. The Filipino American Experience: The Making of a Historic Cultural Monument;

2:00pm - 4:00pm Sarita Echavez See. The Colonized Eye: Filipino American Art and Performance

3:00pm - 4:00pm Florante Peter Ibanez and Roselyn Estepa Ibanez. Filipinos in Carson and the South Bay

Sunday, September 11, 2011

12:00 Noon - 4:00pm Jay Wertz. The Pacific: War Stories WWll Firsthand. Volume 1. Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal.

1:00pm - 4:00pm Percival Campoamor Cruz. TheMaiden of Ilog-Pasig and Other Stories
Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier. Autobiography of a Stranger: A Novel and Seeking Thirst: A Novel
Frank Tinio Lopez. Gallant Warriors from The Sea: The Philippine Marine Corps Today
Albert Mortiz. Discover the Philippines Cookbook

2:00pm - 4:00pm Roseli Ilano. Walang Hiya: Literature taking risks toward liberatory practice

3:00pm - 4:00pm Lorna Dumapias. The Filipino American Experience: The Making of a Historic Cultural Monument

Feastday of Our Lady of Velankanni & Our Lady's Birthday today

Novena Prayer to Our Lady of Velankanni

Oh Most Holy Virgin! You were chosen by the Most Adorable Trinity from all eternity to be the most pure Mother of Jesus. Permit me, your humble and devoted servant, to remind you of the joy received in the instant of the Most Sacred Incarnation of our Divine Lord and during the nine months you carried Him in your chaste womb. I wish most sincerely that I could renew, or even increase that joy, by the fervour of my Prayers.

Oh! Tender Mother of the afflicted! Grant me under my present necessities that special protection You have promised to those who devoutly commemorate this ineffable joy. Relying on the infinite mercies of your Divine Son, trusting in the promise which He has made that those who ask should receive, and penetrated with confidence in your powerful prayers, I most humbly entreat you intercede for me. I beg you to obtain for me the favours which I petition for in this novena, if it be the Holy Will of God to grant them; to ask for me whatever graces I most stand in need of.

(Here specify your requests)

I desire by this novena, which I now offer in your honour, to prove the lively confidence I have in your intercession. Accept it, I beseech you, in honour of that supernatural love and joy, with which your Immaculate Heart was replenished during the abode of your divine Son in your womb; in veneration of which, I offer you the sentiments of my heart.

(Repeat the Hail Mary nine times)
and then say the following prayer:-

Oh! Mother of God! accept these salutations in union with the respect and veneration with which the Angel Gabriel first hailed you, "Full of Grace" I wish most sincerely that they may become so many gems in the crown of your incidental glory, which will increase in brightness to the end of the world.

I beseech you, Oh! comfortress of the afflicted, by the joy you received, when the word was made flesh, to obtain for me the favours and graces, which I have now implored through your powerful intercession. For this end I offer you all the good works which have even been performed in your honour. I most humbly entreat you for the love of the amiable Heart of Jesus, with which yours was ever so inflamed, to hear my humble prayers and to obtain my requests.
- Amen.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Maryknollers in California - More pictures

I got together with some Maryknoll classmates over the weekend. Maria Ciocon is wearing black and white; Lucy Adao McGinley has the bow in her hair; Med Villanueva is in the animal print top; Cecilia has the red/orange top; the gentleman was hijacked to take our picture. The mural was taken at Mission San Viejo Church.