Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!

 Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

Our plan is to hand out huge Snickers Bars to the trick-or-treaters and when we run out, turn off the porch light. We haven't had a lot of trick-or-treaters in recent years. I think the kids now go to private Halloween parties. In the past we would get up to a hundred trick-or-treaters. 

Be safe, and remember --- if you eat candy today, you will not gain weight!

Read also
Celebrating Halloween in America and in the Philippines
Happy Halloween 2008
The Turkish Seamstress in Ubec

Tags: holiday, Halloween, ghouls, ghosts, Day of the Dead

This is all for now,

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Chapter from Cecilia Brainard's novel The Newspaper Widow

I'm happy to share the chapter "The SS Pacifica"  from my novel, The Newspaper Widow ( University of Santo Tomas Publishing House 2017; PALH 2021).  It is now available in Kindle format:


The SS Pacifica
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

copyright 2017 & 2021 by Cecilia M. Brainard, All rights reserved)

            It was Samir’s mother who had said, “Take Didier and go. I’ll be all right.”
The idea had germinated, taken root, and like a wild plant branched out and filled Samir’s mind. With Melisande’s letter in his hands, Samir had read to his son the part about the two talking mynahs in a huge cage beside the picture window with the mannequins.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day of the Dead Halloween Costumes to Consider

A couple of years ago, were in San Miguel Allende, Mexico for the Day of the Dead. It was a big event with every one promenading at the park to celebrate as well as to be seen.  Here some pictures which I hope will inspire some of you to come up with good Halloween costumes and makeup next week.

This site has Halloween Makeup Tutorials.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Invitation to November Literary Events with Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

You are invited to these November Literary Events:

1. Saturday, November 5, 2016, 2 p.m.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard will be at the Skyline Hills Branch Library, 7900 Paradise Valley Road, San Diego, California.
This is part of the celebration of the new library for Skyline Hills.
Cecilia will do a Reading and Powerpoint Presentation on "The Impact of Filipino History and Culture Upon American Literature."

Contact: Glenn Risolo, Manager, Skyline Hills Branch Library, City of San Diego, CA, 1-619-527-3485

2. Saturday, November 19, 20116, 10 a.m.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard will conduct a writing workshop on "How to Create Compelling Characters."

Interview of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard by Libay Linsangan Cantor in BOOKWATCH, NBDB Philippines

The following is an excerpt from the article "Anthologizing the Filipino Experience in America" by Libay Linsangan Cantor. It is an interview of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard by Ms. Cantor who also edited BOOKWATCH. 

You can find the article in p. 29 of BOOKWATCH Vol. 20 No. 3. BOOKWATCH is published by the National Book Development Board of the Philippines.

So what does it take to create such an anthology, and how is it possible to gather varied voices and collect them under one volume? Another anthology editor, novelist and essayist Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, shared with us her thoughts on the matter.

A California-based writer of Cebuano heritage, Brainard travels frequently to the Philippines where she still enjoys literary connections and publication deals. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Travel Italy: Rome the Eternal City

This continues my blog entries about our recent trip to Italy. Here are the earlier accounts:


  •      Because we had taken the train in Tuscany, we learned a couple of important things: first, instead of dealing with the complicated ticket machines at train stations, it's better to buy your tickets at the tabacchi (tobacco) shop for the same price but with the added benefit of having a human being help you.  Second, one needs to validate those train tickets before boarding the train. We learned this the hard way; we were penalized for not sticking our tickets into those small validating machines. Ouch -- sixty euros! (the conductor said we should have paid 120 euros, but he gave us a break.)

  • Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Philippine Literature: Writer Bienvenido N. Santos - 1988 Letter

    Here's a voice from the past! I came across this note from the famous Filipino novelist, Bienvenido N. Santos. In it, he writes:

    May 22, 1988

    Dear Cecilia,

    Thank you for the autographed copy of your book. Now I can read the complete collection.

    As a regular commuter between the R.P and the U.S. every six months each year since 1981, promoting my books and teaching, I know what you mean when you say "I am tired." Consider, too, that I'm a 77-year old man.

    But I keep busy, which to me, is a way of survival. Manila is an exciting town to visit. I was born there, but the place has changed, the people, too.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    My cats Che and Tesla Join #PussiesAgainstTrump

    My cats, Che and Tesla, join #PussiesAgainstTrump !!!

    And here are some more pictures grabbed from the Internet:

    Read also

    Tags: cats, kittens, pets, trump, politics, USA, #PussiesAgainstTrump

    This is all for now,

    Saturday, October 8, 2016

    Travel Tuscany: The Blue Sky of Siena, Italy

    I fell in love with Siena the first time I visited it and my affection for this Medieval place remains high even after subsequent visits.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2016

    Travel Italy: Florence Tuscany in September

    Florence or Firenze is the capital of Tuscany, Italy, and driving there from where we stayed in Montegufoni would have been challenging. Traffic would have been bad and parking even worse. We decided to take the train. First we drove to Montelupo, a municipality fairly close to Florence, parked our car, and took the short train ride to Florence. 

    Monday, October 3, 2016

    Travel Italy: Florence American Cemetery, Volterra, and La Verna in Tuscany

    From the Castle Montegufoni where we stayed at in Tuscany, we could take trips to different places.


    One of the sites we visited was the Florence American Cemetery, where our friend's father is buried. The man in charge of the American Cemetery, an Italian, was cordial and helped us find the burial place of William Allen. There were other Americans looking for the burial sites of their relatives, and some of them had great stories. A woman spoke of her relative, a pilot whose plane had to go down, but he was able to release his passengers, while he and his co-pilot went down with the plane. Even though World War II was years ago, emotions were still palpable.

    Sunday, October 2, 2016

    Travel Italy: Chianti and San Miniato in Tuscany

    Travel: Tuscany, Italy

    One day, almost a year ago, I received an email from Great Value Vacations offering a package deal to Italy.  The package included free airfare from Los Angeles to Rome and back, a Hertz car, and ten nights in hotels in Tuscany and in Rome.  The deal was superb, and we booked it. We went there in mid-September.  

    Our first stop was the Chianti region in Tuscany, in the Castello Di Montegufoni, which dates back to the 10th or 11th century.  The castle has been beautifully restored with, not just rooms, but apartments. The grounds are just as lovely. The view from our apartment was fantastic; we could see Tuscany's rolling hills with vineyards, cypress trees, and another huge castle or villa on a ridge.