Friday, July 31, 2015

Philippine Author: YouTube Links with Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

I'm sharing some links to YouTube videos featuring me.

I'm reading from my work in several of them.

The interview is lengthy and comprehensive, with advise to writers.

The last link includes rare pictures of writers including Salman Rushdie, Bienvenido N. Santos, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Lina Espina Moore, and many others.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Writers Program Publication Party 2015  

Writers Program Publication Party 2014

Writers Program Publication Party 2011

Writers Program Publication Party 2010

Read also:
Tags: Cecilia Brainard, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Philippines, Cebu, Filipino, Filipino American, literature, writer, novel, books. author, novelist, YouTube

This is all for now,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Middle East: A Layperson's View of Turkey's Bombing ISIL and Kurdish Targets

Just when I think things can't get worse in the Middle East, it does.

Now Turkey, which had/has been allowing safe passage to ISIL and did nothing while the Battle of Kobani went on, does a turnaround and is bombing ISIL targets and Kurdish targets in Northern Iraq.

I'm fairly certain that the US made some deal with Turkey to be able to use their bases but that the US did not count on Turkey bombing the Kurds who have been the "boots on the ground" to fight ISIL.

If you ask me what I think, I would say the US should not trust Erdogan. I remember how he promised to help when the situation in Kobani was critical but did nothing. In fact, Turkey blocked the entry point between Turkey and Kobani, trapping people in Kobani. Erdogan also forced Joe Biden to apologize when Biden had said the truth that Turkey was being used as the entry point of ISIL jihadists to Syria.

While this complicated dance goes on, people are dying, people are displaced, and peace remains elusive.

Read on
Turkey Launches Heaviest Air Strikes Yet on Kurdish Group
Turkey Escalates Airstrikes on Turkish Targets in Northern Iraq
How Turkey's Fight Against Isis Advances Its War Against the Kurds
Erdogan Takes Turkey to War to Avenge Kurdish Gains: Opposition
Turkish Journalist Sacked Over Critical Erdogan Tweet on Suruc Bombing
Turkey Blocks Kurdish Websites as Twitter and Facebook Slows Down

Photo courtesy of The Guardian

Tags: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Middle East, Erdogan, Kurds, PKK, #turkey, #kurds, #middleeast

This is all for now,

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cebu Philippines: My Aunts, Lourdes and Carmen Cuenco

Lourdes Cuenco

I have been enjoying the family pictures recently shared by my cousin. Some pictures reminded me of my unmarried aunts, Lourdes and Carmen, who were important characters in my childhood.

We used to refer to them as "the Old Maids," not to be unkind but because that was just how things were. This did not mean we called them that in their presence, but it was when we were going to their house, for instance, when we would say, "We're going to the Old Maids' house."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cebu Politics Philippines: Cebu's Cuenco Family in 1932

Cuenco Family, photo taken 1932 when Mariano Jesus Cuenco was Governor of  Cebu
My mother, Concepcion, is standing far left

My cousin, Manny Gonzalez, found a cache of Cuenco family pictures including this family picture of Mariano Jesus and Filomena Cuenco.  Manny's and my mother are in the picture. His mother Teresita is the youngest one, standing between Filomena and Mariano Jesus. Mine (Concepcion) is standing, far left.

The other members of the family are: seated left, Consuelo, seated right, Carmen; standing beside my mother is Manuel, and to his left is Lourdes.  The photo was taken in Cebu City in 1932. At the time, my grandfather was Governor of Cebu; my mother had been Cebu's Petit Carnival Queen in 1931, a coveted title.

What people don't know is the story of vindication behind the glow of success.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Travel Hawaii: Sunset Photo of Seashore in Kihei

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Maui Hawaii: A Visit to Honulua Bay and Lahaina

We drove to Honulua Bay, a famous surfing place, where one can catch the perfect wave in the winter. We also visited the historic town of Lahaina, which used to be a whaling port.  In Lahaina, I was thrilled to visit the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church,, which had been featured in one of the books I edited,  Magnificat: Mama Mary's Pilgrim Sites.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Maui, Hawaii: Mama's Fish House, a Restaurant Review

Someone had recommended Mama's Fish House and we decided to check it out. Mama's Fish House is a sprawling restaurant near the seashore. It's a highend place with valet parking, Hawaiian decor, and fabulous views of a beautiful cove.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Update Travel to Maui, Hawaii - Haleakala Volcano

Maui Update: Swimming, snorkeling ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Filipinos in Hawaii Fastest Growing Ethnic Group

I've been hearing  people in Maui speaking Tagalog and Ilocano, and I recalled that the Filipino population is large in Hawaii. I wasn't sure what the numbers are, so I looked it up and found an article by Belinda A. Aquino and Federico V. Magdalena that says:

"According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 15 percent of the Hawaii state population – or 170,635 – identified themselves as "Filipino" (see Figure 1). However, the Census allowed citizens to opt for more than one ethnicity ("mixed race"), and another 105,728 identified themselves as "part-Filipino." Taken together, Filipinos and part-Filipinos constitute 275,728 or nearly 23 percent of the state population, slightly more than the Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian population. About 70 percent of the Filipino population live on the island of Oahu. While they are a minority population in the state, they form the majority (at least 60%) in Lanai island, Maui county."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Travel - Taking a Break in Maui, Hawaii

The Island of Maui, Hawaii has a population of around 150,000, which swells to around 200,000 when tourist are around. Even though July is not considered high season, there are quite a number of tourists around.  The airplane I took from Honolulu to Maui had many Europeans and Australians.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Travel Korea: Incheon International Airport's Free Transit City Tours

If you ever have a long layover, pray that you're in South Korea. Since 2005, Incheon International Airport has been rated the best and cleanest airport in the world. It has also been ranked the best international transit airport by Skytrax.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cebu Philippines: The Sinulog 35th Issue and Mayen Tan

l-r: Mayen Tan and Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

I spent an afternoon with writer-editor, Mayen Tan, who gave me a copy of the 35th anniversary issue of the Sinulog magazine. As editor, Mayen had invited me to write an article for the commemorative issue, which I did, entitled, "My Mother and the Santo Nino."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Travel Philippines: More Pictures Cebu and Manila

L-R: Terry Escano Manguerra, Lynley Ocampo, Chinggay Utzurrum, Cecilia Brainard, and Chona Bernad

Here are a few more pictures taken in Manila and Cebu. 

The picture above was taken at Cebu's La Parilla restaurant where these ladies and I had a lovely Filipino dinner.  La Parilla is run by the same owners of Cafe Laguna. It just opened last February in a new building in the new SRP development. La Parilla sits on the coast and offers seaside view and pleasant seabreeze. The food was good and reasonably priced. We enjoyed the lechon, barbacoa (ox tail), crablets, and baked clams. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Are Romances the New Philippine Literature?

I visited National Bookstore in SM Cebu and found one rack with serious Filipino literature.  There were perhaps 10 racks of romances, with titles like Deal Breaker authored by Swirlybitch. Seriously.

I wonder what Balagtas, Rizal, Santos, Gonzalez, Espina-Moore, Alfon, and other great Filipino writers would think about this.

If you have any comments, email me directly.

Read also
Leonard Casper's Possibilities of Humaneness in an Age of Slaughter
In Honor of Filipino Writer, Linda Ty Casper
In Honor of Filipino American Writer, PC Morantte
In Honor of Bienvenido N. Santos
Tags: Philippines, Filipino, literature, books, novels, romances, authors
This is all for now,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Guest Blogger Araceli Z. Lorayes Writes About Sharia Law in the Philippines

My Guest Blogger is free lance writer, Araceli Z. Lorayes. In this article she questions the incorporation of Sharia or Shari'ah law into the Philippine judicial systerm

The Constitutionality of Shari'ah (or Sharia)
by Araceli Z. Lorayes
Reprinted by permission of the author. This article first appeared in the Philppine Inquirer, May 12, 2015

RETIRED chief justice Hilario Davide has declared that the formation of Shari’ah courts is within the bounds of the Constitution, and that the decisions of these courts can be reviewed by the Supreme Court. This is a variation of the Shari’ah provisions contained in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which envision a separate judicial system with Shari’ah courts whose decisions may only be reviewed and/or reversed by a Shari’ah high court.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Is an Islamic Substate in the Philippines Possible? by Araceli Lorayes

The following essay is by Araceli Z. Lorayes, a retired life insurance executive and currently a free lance writer. Araceli and I had attended St. Theresa's College in Manila.  We've had lively email discussions about Muslim Philippines. She has given me permission to reprint the following article.

Bangsamoro refers to the proposed autonomous political entity in the Philippines for the ethnic Moro (Muslim) who make up 5% of the Filipino population.

The photo on the right shows Araceli Z. Lorayes. ~ Cecilia Brainard

by Araceli Z. Lorayes
(reprinted by permission of the author. This first appeared as "Religious Policing in the Bangsamoro" in The Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 15, 2015)

Are the fears of an Islamic substate (in the Philippines) really implausible? 

A close reading of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law shows that it does provide for institutions and mechanisms for this very possibility.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Philippines: Lunch and Shopping at Greenhills, Metro Manila

l-r: Guia Lim, Araceli Lorayes, Cecilia Brainard

Sunday, I had lunch with Theresian friends, Guia Lim and Araceli Lorayes, at Brasserie CiCou, 55 Annapolis Street, San Juan, Greenhills, Metro Manila. 

The day, Sunday, had been deliberately selected because traffic is light at that time. Greenhills isn’t really that far from Makati, but when traffic is bad, the trip can be like purgatory. Sunday, we sailed down EDSA to Greenhills.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Philippines: Bartholomew, Brainard Books Spotted in Manila and Makati Bookstores!

Spotted in Powerbooks, Makati - Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew and some of my books, Behind the Walls, Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, and the dugtungan novel, Angelica's Daughters. (Read the description of these books in my official website.)

Spotted in National Bookstore at the Robinson's Galeria in Ermita - Behind the Walls, edited by Brainard and Orosa.

Read also
Cecilia Brainard- Wikipedia

Tags; Philippine literature, Philippines, Filipino, books, literature, fiction, authors, writers, novel, dugtungan
This is all for now,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Visiting Philippine National Artist F.Sionil Jose & Tessie Jose

There are now two additional tropical storms around Manila, which accounts for the bad weather. The rain is sporadic but very strong when it falls. Despite feeling intimidated by the rain and traffic, I visited Frankie (F. Sionil, Philippine National Artist) and Tessie Jose at their iconic Manila bookshop, Solidaridad.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Philippines: Rain and Traffic in Makati

Monday, July 6, 2015

Healthy Philippine Tropical Fruits for Breakfast

I thought I’d eat more fruits and vegetables and cut back on stuff like lechon and chicharon.

I found mangoes, guyabano, and custard apple at the supermarket.  The market also had tamarind, santol, and lanzones, but I thought I’d start with these. I grew up with these fruits but haven’t had some of them for years.  I had guyabano a few years ago in Canada, of all places.  These tropical fruits are really very tasty and great for breakfast or for dessert.

I'm sharing a couple of pictures of my fruitarian breakfast and my refuge here in Makati.

The rain has stopped and it's a beautiful clear tuesday morning!

Internet is slow in Manila so if you don't hear from me, check back!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Philippines: In Manila with Tropical Storm Egay!

I’m in Manila and it’s been raining because of tropical storm, Egay. I’ve forgotten how hard it can rain, and how relentless the rain can fall. What amazes me is how people can go about their business despite the rain.  In Makati this afternoon, people went shopping as they probably do every Sunday afternoon. When the rain fell harder, they stayed indoors, waiting I presume for the rain to let up.

Actually the rain feels good. It seems to have cleaned Manila’s air that’s pretty polluted. The last time I was in Manila I had asthma, and I am certain it was because of the bad air. Many people in Manila have respiratory problems because of the pollution.

Stay tuned, dear Readers.

Read also

Egay Triggers Floods in Northern Luzon

Egay Unleashes Floods Submerges La Union Towns

Tags: Manila, Philippines, Egay, tropical storm, typhoon, weather, rain

This is all for now,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Odlot, Northern Cebu Almost Two Years After Super Typhoon Haiyan

Last November 2013, when super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda struck the Philippines, the small town of Odlot in Northern Cebu was devastated. Homes were destroyed, trees uprooted; the church of Odlot lost its roof and suffered a lot of damage.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Promoting the Beatification of Bishop Camomot of Cebu, Philippines

The Philippines is one of two Asian countries with a predominantly Catholic population (the other is East Timor).  Eighty-six percent Filipinos are Christians, with eighty percent being Roman Catholic. Religion plays a large part in their lives. In shopping malls for instance, a loud speaker will blare the Angelus prayer at 6 p.m. Many shopping malls will have a chapel with regular Masses.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Philippines Architecture: Heritage Houses of Carcar, Cebu

We visited two heritage houses in the the City of Carcar, which is around 45 km southeast of Cebu City. These houses are privately owned and we had to ask permission from the owners. 

My grandmother came from Carcar and these well-preserved houses allowed me to imagine how life might have been for her. Please take time to look at the pictures to appreciate the architectural detials and antique furniture in these houses. 

The first house is the Balay na Tisa, a Spanish Colonial house built in 1859. This is reportedly the oldest house in Carcar, Cebu.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Proud to be Part of "Filipino Woman Writing" by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo

I'm proud to be part of this book by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo who wrote:

"This was waiting for me on my desk Monday morning. Great way to start the week!

"Here's the blurb:

'Twenty years have passed since this groundbreaking book was first published. In 1994, there was hardly any "life writing" being published in the Philippines, let alone critical commentary of it. Hidalgo retrieved what she called "autobiographical narratives" by Filipino women from their essay collections, columns, and sundry other publications, and focused on how they wrote and rewrote themselves while writing of their "homes." The UST Publishing House has decided to re-issue Hidalgo's book, with a new Introduction by the author, because the field remains relatively unexplored today (despite the publication of many more memoirs by Filipinas) and its insights remain fresh and relevant.'

Photo of first issue Filipino Woman Writing courtesy of Pinay Van Alemanya