Monday, June 27, 2016

Guest Blogger: Barcelona by Bar, by Manny Gonzalez

Our Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who writes about Barcelona. 
Manny Gonzalez is founder and CEO of Plantation Bay Resort in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines.

Barcelona by Bar
by Manny Gonzalez

Casa  Batllo is Barcelona's most photographed building and is most photogenic at dusk.

There are lots of other sources which will tell you what to see and do in Barcelona. Because I am such a nice guy, and want to save you a lot of bother, I have thoughtfully listed the top ones here:
Sagrada Familia. The still-unfinished cathedral that looks like a Star Wars set. Crowds and lines. Order your tickets ahead online.  Accessible by Metro but taxis are cheap in Barcelona.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Literary Cat Reading Philippine National Artist F. Sionil Jose's Novel MASS

My two cats (Che and Tesla) are Literary Cats and I've caught them reading Hemingway, Allende, Dickens, Brainard, Harper Lee, and many others.  Che spent all night reading F. Sionil Jose's book, MASS. 

Here's an earlier picture of Tesla reading Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Read Also
Literary Cats Reading When the Rainbow Goddess Wept and Out of Cebu
Literary Cats Going to France and Germany?
Literary Cats Reading Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits
My Literary Cat Reading For Whom the Bell Tolls
Cats Reading To Kill a Mockingbird
Pet Therapy: The Healing and Creative Powers of Cat Purring

Tags: Cats, pets, kittens, books, literature, literary, feline

This is all for now,

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wedding in the Family - pictures

Wedding in the family has kept me very busy!  Stay tuned....

Read also
           Swapna and Andrew's Wedding

                  Tags: family, wedding, home

                   This is all for now,



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pictures Philippine American Writers

l-r: Vince Gotera, Virginia Cerenio, NVM Gonzalez, Cecilia Brainard, William Oandasan

Here are pictures of Filipino American Writers. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pictures: Philippine Literature and Filipino Authors

l-r: F. Sionil Jose, Cecilia Brainard

I'm sharing some pictures taken with Filipino Authors. Click on the links to learn more about them. 

l-r: Cecilia Brainard, Lina Espina Moore

l-r: Lina Espina Moore, Cecilia Brainard

l-r: Bienvenido N. Santos, Cecilia Brainard

l-r: NVM Gonzalez, Cecilia Brainard

l-r: Lawrence Ypil, Cecilia

I see Dean Francis Alfar on the far left, Butch Dalisay to my left, and Nadine Sarreal to my right.

I'll post more pictures with Filipino and Fil-Am writers, so stay tuned.  

Have a great weekend!

Read also

This is all for now,

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Once Upon a Time - Family Pictures

Once upon a time a long time ago ...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rhodora G. Magan's Two Scholarly Papers on Brainard's Novel Magdalena

Rhodora G. Magan

I discovered two scholarly papers on my second novel, Magdalena, by Rhodora G. Magan.

The first one, entitled Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's Oriental Oriental " Magdalena" : A Linguistic Reinvention, was published in  GSTF Journal of Law and Social Science (JLSS) Vol. 4 No. 2, October 2015 - see abstract and excerpts below.

The second is entitled "Eve and Her Beings: A Chopin-Brainard Simulation" delivered at the Asian Conference on Literature & Librarianship, April 2-5, 2015 in Osaka, Japan 

Many thanks to Rhodora G. Magan for her comprehensive papers on Magdalena ~ Cecilia Brainard

Cecilia Manguerra Bainard’s Oriental Oriental
“Magdalena”: A Linguistic Reinvention

Rhodora G. Magan

Abstract--- Critical at this point in the postmodern society is ‘an idea’ nuanced in myriad voices. This paper contends that in the Philippine context there may be  very little room for this type of linguistic exploration but  is enough to exhibit the existing engagement of writers with the never-ending phenomenon of interpretation, that is, a particular meaning is contingent to one’s “situational frame”. Simply put, two similar structures/codes/words are associated with multiple meanings. More so, these modes of interpretation will eventually affect one’s capacity to assign an array of codes to build upon the very image one intends to create. In this paper Magdalena in Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s Magdalena is thought to be the embodiment of the Biblical Magdalena sought to be determined by linguistic limitations in the context of the author herself. She is exactly the very image of a woman that the author, in her capacity, would wish to create given her own situational frame----her milieu. Likewise, as the reader engages himself with the text, another frame is recreated so that the meaning   becomes ultimately unstable in a continuous regression. Meaning-making incidence is primordially seen in this study as the crux of the matter by which different ‘situational frames’ can be understood as such. The character, Magdalena,  is seen in that respect as it largely depends on how such relations are created between the signifier and the signified.  Dwelling much on Saussure’s perspective, the meaning that is evidently explored which gives Magdalena  ‘the identity’ is not only drawn from the characteristics nor from her inner sensibility as a person but from the intricate connections that surround the perceived object of woman through which binary oppositions are thought to emerge.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Brainard Collection of Philippine Fil-Am Books at Jackson TN Library

 l-r: Dr. Sandra Dee, Perry Burrows, Cecilia Brainard

I donated some Filipino/Fil-Am books to the Jackson, TN Library and here's what the President of the Friends of the Library Perry Burrows said.
"Thank you so much for your contributions; I'm asking the librarian to set them aside as the "Brainard Collection" to give the Filipino American community time enough to view the works.
Perry Burrows"
Please check out the books! Jackson, TN Main Library is at 433 East Lafayette Street, Jackson, TN 38301, tel: 731-425-8600.
Here's an addendum: in fact, I had sent a 33 lb-box of books to Jackson that unfortunately lost all the books. The box arrived empty!  We had to contact the post office to let them know that if they find Philippine-related books between California and Jackson, TN, they should be sent to Perry Burrows.

I was very sad over the loss of the books - around 20-25 of them, some rare first editions.  But, pulling myself together I gathered more books and sent them on the Perry Burrows. 

We are still hoping the lost books surface.

Read also
Tags: literature, library, books, Philippines, Filipino, Filipino American, Jackson, Tennessee, Cecilia Brainard

This is all for now,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Handsome Boy Cat in Irvine, CA Needs Home

Mochi, a handsome boy-cat needs a home. He's in Irvine.  Email me if you know someone who wants to adopt him.

My name is Mochi (named after the delicious Japanese dessert that's the same color as me). I'm 12 years old, but still healthy and spunky as heck! I like to eat. A lot. I'm a sweet boy, although I do have a grumpy side. I get annoyed when humans rub up on me for too long, but I love to rub up on them as long and as often as I please. My mom rescued me from a shelter when I was 3 months old. Unfortunately, she found out she was allergic to me soon after she adopted me, but it was too late...she had already fallen in love with me--ha! Sadly, her allergies got progressively worse over the has gotten so bad lately, that she has trouble breathing around me. She wheezes. I believe it's called asthma 😿

So...long, sad story short...I need a new home. If any of you or your fellow cat-loving friends can help, mom would be eternally grateful!

Much love,


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Philippine Carnival Queen: The Muse Within by Jean Vengua

My Guest Blogger today is Jean Vengua, a writer, artist, and co-chair of the Asian Cultural Experience (ACE) of Salinas Chinatown. Thank you, Jean for sharing this wonderful account about your mother! ~ Cecilia

Trinidad Vengua Muse 1940/JVengua Collection

The Muse Within
Jean Vengua

I grew up amid piles of glistening satin, sequins, brocade fabric, and sewing notions. My mother, Trinidad (Trining), was, among other things, a seamstress. She was also what one might describe as a “social, fun-loving” person, who did not like to dwell on life’s dark moments. When they came, her denial, and her sewing skills, made everything beautiful again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Why I Started a Publishing House, by Cecilia Brainard


Aside from being a writer, I recently embraced the role of publisher of PALH or Philippine American Literary House, a press that publishes high quality fiction and creative non-fiction by Filipino Americans and other Filipinos. PALH is a member of PAPC (Philippine American Publishers Consortium).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Picture NVM Gonzalez Centennial Celebration in Los Angeles, California

This photo is courtesy of Fabricio Expasande-Bouza This was taken at the NVM Gonzalez Centennial Celebration in Echo Park Library last May 21, 2016, a literary event organized by Linda Nietes of Phiippine Expressions. You will have to click on the picture in order to see everyone. Members of the Filipino American community are in the picture. Linda Nietes is in front of the poster. Michael Gonzalez is in the Barong Tagalog in front of me.

The picture below was taken in the mid-1980s in Santa Barbara, California. From l-r: Vince GoteraVirginia Cerenio, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, and William Oandasan

Read also:

           The Centenary of N.V.M. Gonzalez
            In Honor of Filipino American Writer N.V.M. Gonzalez
Tags: Philippines, Philippine, literature, writer, author, books, novelist, Filipino, Filipina, National                                     Artist, NVM Gonzalez, Filipino American, Philippine American, centenary

This is all for now,

Why Did You Start a Publishing House? Eileen R. Tabios of Meritage Press Answers

To celebrate the newly formed Philippine American Publishers Consortium (PAPC), I'm featuring member-publishers' replies to the simple question - Why did you start your Press?

Our first answer comes from Eileen R. Tabios, who founded Meritage Press.

By Eileen R. Tabios: I started my press Meritage Press to publish the historic and necessary tome PINOY POETICS: A Collection of Autobiographical and Critical Essays on Filipino and Filipino American Poetics, a long-time dream that came to be edited by Nick Carbo.  I had anticipated that it would be difficult for PINOY POETICS to find a publisher in a timely manner because of its subject matter and (Filipino) authors. At the time the book was created, most of its poets were not well-known, though many of these poets since have come to receive numerous international and national-U.S. poetry prizes.  Moreover, reflecting a long tradition of Filipino grassroots activism that overlaps with what’s become the DIY (Do It Yourself) small press movement, I thought that creating a press to present this project was an apt reflection of its underlying poetics.  Having said all that, I did not want to start what looks to be a Filipino-only press because I wanted to reflect the (oft-ignored) reality that, as Filipino poet-novelist Eric Gamalinda once succinctly stated, “The history of the Philippines is the history of the world.”

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Morning - What I'd Like to Do #CatPics

What I'd like to do for another hour this gray Monday morning...

And here's another recent picture of my cats, Che and Tesla.

Have a great week!

Read also
My "Boys" - Che and Tesla
My Non-Ninja Cats and this Southern California heat wave
My literary cat reading "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
Cats reading "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Tags: cats, kittens, pets, animals #catpics


Friday, June 3, 2016

Pictures Paris Flooded - 2015 and 2016

Paris is flooded now!

I took these pictures last year, 2015. Note that the lower embankment of the Seine has people walking on it. Take a look at the picture of the tip of the Ile de Cite below.  In the pictures showing the flooding (further down below) you will see that the embankment and tip of Ile de Cite are covered with water.

Note also that the bridge posts in 2015 were showing, but now the posts are covered with water.


Here are some pictures now, grabbed from the Net. Note that the river now covers the lower embankment of the Seine and most of the bridge posts.

Read also:
Hollande Declares Natural Disaster as Seine Burst Its Banks
Louvre Moving Some Artworks as Floodwater Rise in Paris

Read also 

Tags: Travel, France, Paris, Cecilia Brainard

This is all for now,

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Literature: Novelist James E. Cherry Introduces Writer Cecilia Brainard

The following is the introduction by the poet and novelist James E.Cherry of the writer Cecilia Brainard at the Second Literary Symposium in Jackson, TN.

by James E. Cherry

            Cecilia Manguerra Brainard was born and grew up Cebu City, Philippines.  She is the award-winning author of nine books, including the internationally-acclaimed novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept.  She has edited four books and co-edited six others.  Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish and many of her stories and have been widely anthologized.  She co-founded Philippine American Women Writers and Artists, a collective of Filipino artists.  Mrs Brainard has received a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension and is married to Lauren R. Brainard; they have three sons.
            Without a doubt, this is an impressive list of accomplishments.  But these awards and accolades are not who she is.  Cecilia Brainard is a cultural and literary warrior.  She is a fierce and fearless cultural and literary warrior.  She loves the Philippines and she loves the Filipino people that it produced.  She has deeply rooted herself in Filipino culture, has embraced its customs, mores, legends, myths, heroes and villains.  She celebrates its beauty and is not afraid to confront the ugly aspects of its nature as well.