Saturday, April 30, 2016

Publishing: PALH Publishes Filipino American Fiction and Creative Non-fiction

OK, folks, I'm taking the plunge and resuming my publisher role - read on:
PALH also known as Philippine American Literary House is a small press that publishes high quality fiction and creative non-fiction by Filipino Americans and other Filipinos.
PALH's beginnings connect with PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists), an award-winning group that supported other Filipina writers and artists and provided community service. PAWWA recognized the lack of Filipino and Filipino American books in the United States and encouraged PAWWA co-founders Cecilia Brainard and Susan Montepio to start PALH. PALH currently continues under the leadership of Cecilia Brainard with the help of an Advisory Board.

PALH's Advisory Board includes Paulino Lim, Jr., Brian Ascalon Roley,Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin, Akemi Kikumura Yano, Edmundo Litton, and Rocio Davis.
PALH's published books include:
Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence,
Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults, and
Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults.

All titles have received excellent reviews by Booklist, School Library Journal, Amerasia Journal, and others.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pictures Literary Reading at the Jackson, TN Madison County Public Library

l-r: Jimmy Crosnoe, James E. Cherry, Cecilia Brainard, Jenina Madrid, Sandra Dee, Nida Chioco, Angelica Madrid, Lauren Brainard, Gigi Cortez-Sim, son of Windy, Windy Keeton, Perry Burrows, Cherie Tung, Mitzi Williams, Guest, Guest

Nida Vicerra Chioco, member of the West TN Fil-Am Group sent these pictures taken at my Literary Reading at the Jackson, TN public library last April 23, 2016.  Many thanks, Nida!

 Dan Sim and Lauren Brainard

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Pictures: More of Jackson and Nashville Tennessee

Saturday night we went to the second annual Open Mic Reading at the Comme Unity Kitchen as guests of the writer James E. Cherry (shown above).  I enjoyed listening to the poetry shared by the readers, including James, and I also shared a short short, reading from my Smartphone for the first time since I didn't have a printer handy.

The pictures below show the mural on the Rock-a-Billy hall of fame building.

 The last two pictures show us in the Game Room of the historic Timothy Demonbreun House, a noted B&B in Nashville, Tennessee, where we now are.  The Demonbreun house was built in 1901, and the Game Room occupies the entire top floor.  It's a great and amusing room.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Nashville has to offer. Many years ago, I was here as part of the book tour of When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, but I didn't have the chance to see the city since I spent all my time at the Book Fair and book events.

Stay tuned, dear Readers!

      Read also

    This is all for now,

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jackson Tennessee: Pictures Fil-Am Group Friends of the Library

l-r: Gigi Sim, Reyana Tuanqin, Mitzi Williams, Sol Gastador, Sandra Gozum, Joy Alex, Sandra Dee, Cecilia Ray

Hello, I finished the two literary events for the friends of the Library Spring Syposium. Both events went very well, and it's been wonderful to meet members of the Friends of the Library and the West TN Fil-Am Group.  

I am sharing some pictures.  Please check back for more.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Travel Jackson Tennessee: Casey Jones Village, Pinson Mounds State Park

Our cats balked about our leaving for Jackson, TN, but leave we did. The almost four-hour plane flight from LAX to Nashville had a bit of drama. There was a medical emergency and a woman had to be assisted in the back of the plane, but hopefully she's all right.

I sat beside a young man who works for Huffington Post and who kindly invited me to submit blog articles-- hurrah! -- thank you Marco.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

California Travel: More Journal Entries from Cambria Diary

Here are pictures of some pages in our Cambria House's Journal, wherein Guests leave writings, pictures, and drawings.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Travel California: Cambria Pictures and Guest Journal Entries

(Zebra in the field behind us)

 We keep a Guest Book in our Cambria place. It's more of a Journal where guests can write or scribble or draw in it as they please.  I'm quoting  some entries. I'm also posting pictures taken at Cambria and North of San Simeon (where the seals are). The pictures above show the zebra of San Simeon in the field behind.

Cambria Calfornia: ENT in My Backyard!

It's a glorious morning in Cambria, and guess what I saw when I looked outside? An ENT tree!

This mini-retreat in beautiful Cambria will give me the chance to get ready for my forthcoming talks in Jackson Tennessee -- see the schedule below:

2016 Second Annual Literary Symposium, Jackson Tennessee

Sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson-Madison County Public Library

Fri. April 22 - 6 p.m. Brainard talk "The Impact of Filipino History and Culture Upon American Literature" at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1665 Highway 45 Bypass, Jackson

Sat. April 23
     Breakfast meeting with West TN FilAm Group
     1:00-2:30 p.m.  - Brainard Talk at the Library


Monday, April 11, 2016

Bad Reviews for Caris Properties, Playa Del Rey, California #propertymanagement #realestate

I learned that Caris Properties (Playa Del Rey) seems to be a client of, a site that advertises that it intercepts negative feedback and gets good ones. 
In other words, the reviews of Caris Properties online are most likely inaccurate. Therefore, I'm reposting the Bad Reviews Caris Properties earned in Yelp so the public is aware.

Coming soon: Author Cecilia Brainard Gives Talks in Jackson, TN

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard


Santa Monica, California-based writer Cecilia Brainard co-founded Philippine American Women Writers and Artists and teaches creative writing at UCLA. On April 22, she will lecture on the influence of Filipino history and culture in American literature at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 6 p.m.
On April 23 at 1 p.m. Brainard will speak at the library as part of the Spring Literary Symposium in partnership with the West Tennessee Fil-Am Association.
“I’m actually very impressed that the people in Tennessee have arranged this, and because of what’s happening in the world — in Brussels and in Paris — and thinking of the Muslim community there that hasn’t been integrated well, I think it’s wonderful the people of Tennessee are going out of their way to reach out to the Filipino-American community,” Brainard said.
Brainard said as a Filipino-American, seeing the two dynamic cultures merge is a challenge. English is not her first language, and it took a while to find her voice as a writer.
“When I started writing stories, they would come out in English, but the subject matter was set in the Philippines,” she said. “As a writer you don’t really limit yourself. I’ve seen a lot, and I try to express that in my writing.”
Reach Danica at (731) 425-9643. Follow her on Twitter: @danicasmithwick
2016 Second Annual Literary Symposium, Jackson Tennessee

Sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson-Madison County Public Library

Fri. April 22 - 6 p.m. Brainard talk "The Impact of Filipino History and Culture Upon American Literature" at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1665 Highway 45 Bypass, Jackson

Sat. April 23
     Breakfast meeting with West TN FilAm Group
     1:00-2:30 p.m.  - Brainard Talk at the Library

Read also:

    This is all for now,

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Philippine History: Who Were the Thomasites?

Who Were the Thomasites?

While some Filipinos may know who the Thomasites were, most Americans probably don't have the foggiest notion of who they were.

In 1901, soon after the American civil government was established in the Philippines, the American government sent 540 teachers to the Philippines  on board the USS Thomas. These American teachers and those who followed, were thus called the Thomasites

Monday, April 4, 2016

Philippine American: 1763 Filipinos in Louisiana

1883 picture of Saint Malo, from Hearn 1883

Not very many people know that Filipinos first lived in the New World in the late 1700s when some sailors deserted Spanish galleons. Known as Manilamen, they settled in the marshlands of Louisiana and established small fishing villages such as Saint Malo. The Manilamen  married Cajun, Indian, and other women.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Filipino American Youths: Remembering the Kids at SIPA

Dark Horse, movie

We saw a wonderful movie from New Zealand, Dark Horse, based on the true story of Genesis Potini, who suffered from bipolar disorder, and who, after being confined in medical facilities for a year, starts a chess club for youths. Potini is Maori and the kids he deals with are underprivileged kids, children of gang members, the type of kids who, as one of them did, tried to burn a school down. The movie is somewhat painful to watch because of the almost hopeless condition Potini and the kids are in, but at the risk of spoiling the movie for you, I will let you know that it ends on a high note.

Genesis Potini

The real Genesis Potini ran the chess club for years before he died at the young age of 47. During the last decade of his life, he made a strong contribution to his community and is called a “hero.”
The movie, Dark Hose, has been called “one of the greatest New Zealand films ever made.”

This movie touched me very much because these Maori youths who had nothing to look forward to except for abuse, failure, and narrow painful lives, found a way, via chess, to experience a bigger world, and most important, to free their minds and hope for something better. That was what it was, really, Potini’s chess club gave the kids the opportunity to open the doors of their minds to other possibilities of what they could do. 

Strangely (or perhaps not so strangely) I recalled how, many years ago, I received a grant to conduct writing workshops at a nonprofit that served Filipino American youths. It was called SIPA (Search for involvement of Pilipino Americans) and was located in Los Angeles. I had funding from the California Arts Council to conduct three or four Saturday workshops.

SIPA kids now, not the ones I taught

SIPA was something like a Boys’ or Girls’ Club where Filipino American youths went for programs or to hangout. Some of those kids were or had been involved in gang life. To be honest, I was somewhat nervous to teach there, but off I went with notebooks, pens, and snacks for the kids. Joel F. Jacinto, who ran (and continues to run SIPA) brought me to our classroom. There were around 20 teenagers, boys and girls, mostly Filipino Americans, although there was one Latino young man, named Lobo, who looked tough and whom the kids looked up to. They were all dressed neatly; they were polite; they behaved; they paid attention; and they did their exercises and so on.

For three or four Saturdays, I went to SIPA, and the kids showed up on time, with their homework, and they kept up their exceptional good behavior. I did not at the time fully appreciate what went on, but when I saw the movie, Dark Horse, I saw in those Maori kids, the same SIPA kids whom I taught. And I understood what it must have meant to the SIPA kids to study creative writing, to open their minds to the possibility of being a writer, a poet perhaps, instead of being a gang member, or a bad kid, or a child from a broken home.

I recall two memorable incidences. 

I gave them a visualization exercise and had them write, and two young men were stunned to have written poems. Regie was the name of one kid, and he almost turned pale from shock that he wrote a poem. The other fellow who was surprised at his writing was the bad-looking dude, Lobo. Lobo was not as shocked in appearance as Regie was -- Lobo would never be shocked -- he stood up … or swaggered up … and read his poem with confidence, and the entire group applauded him. Their leader had written a POEM.

I don’t know what happened to Lobo, but one day, years after that workshop, I received a letter from Regie informing me that the workshop had changed his life and he was now a counselor in a nonprofit.

The movie, Dark Horse, brought the memory of those SIPA teenagers again. And I thought about the grant money given to me, and how if it changed the lives of one or two or more of those kids, it was money well spent.

Read also
 Tags: youth, teenagers, community, Dark Horse, movie, SIPA, Filipinos, Filipino American, gang members, writing, teaching

This is all for now,

Friday, April 1, 2016

Author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard Gives Talks in Jackson, Tennessee

The Public is Invited to the:

2016 Second Annual Literary Symposium, Jackson Tennessee

Sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson-Madison County Public Library

Fri. April 22 - 6 p.m. Cecilia Brainard will talk on "The Impact of Filipino History and Culture Upon American Literature" at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1665 Highway 45 Bypass, Jackson, Tennessee

Sat. April 23 - 1:00-2:30 p.m.  - Cecilia Brainard will Talk and Read at the Library in Jackson, Tennessee

The Events are Open to the Public.  Please confirm with venues and times with the library. 

Read also

Philippine American War: Balangiga Massacre in Samar

I found these pictures about the historic Balangiga Massacre in Samar, Philippines during the Philippine American War.

The Filipinos attacked and killed 48 members of the US 9th infantry. In retaliation, Gen. Jacob H. Smith ordered the killing of all Filipino males over ten years old. Some 2,500 Filipinos were killed.

The picture above shows the American soldiers with their war booty, the church bell, which remains in the hands of the Americans.