Monday, July 30, 2018

A Food Article about Philippine Official National Dishes by Manny Gonzalez (Guest Blogger)


By Manny Gonzalez, Resident Shareholder, Plantation Bay Resort & Spa.
This article was first published in the Philippine Inquirer. It is reprinted with permission by the author. Thanks to Manny Gonzalez for being my Guest Blogger.

As much as some of us like it, Lechon could never be our National Dish. Find out why in this article by a dedicated amateur chef and globe-trotting Filipino. 

Before we get to the food part (don’t worry, there’s lots of it), here are some very serious observations about our society and our economy.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

#CebuLitFest Invitation Launch Cecilia Brainard Book of Novellas

You are cordially invited to the book launching of

Two Novellas: Special International Edition
Published by PALH 2018

Authored by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard & Eve La Salle Caram

Date:  2 pm, Sunday, July 22, 2018
Place: Ayala Activity Center
Cebu City

Cecilia is part of the Diaspora Panel with Steve Monahan and Mike Obieta. 

The Event is free and open to the Public

Note:  Cecilia Manguerra Brainard will be signing books at a table at the #CebuLitFest on Saturday & Sunday, July 21-22, 2018, in Ayala.  Look for her!


Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and Eve La Salle Caram, awarded authors and long-time teachers of Creative Writing, team up in writing two novellas for the Special International edition published by PALH (Philippine American Literary House). The books is beautifully illustrated by Nina Lim-Yuson (of Manila's Museo Pambata) and designed by C. Sophia Ibardaloza. Caram’s and Brainard’s protagonists are women who journey to Rome and Pais and find creativity, love, and healing.

In Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's Melisande in Paris, a young seamstress from the French countryside comes to Paris to assist her dressmaker aunt, and discovers her talent, strength, and a precious "feeling of wholeness" in her new lover's arms.

In Eve La Salle Caram's Please, San Antonio! an emotionally isolated American woman's trip to Rome becomes a powerful quest to find what she has lost: her creativity, identity, and "an open place in her heart,"

Together, Caram's Beatrice and Brainard's Melisande cross geographical borders and borders of the heart with vitality and spirit, and will inspire those who believe in the possibility of heaven on earth.


Cecilia Manguerra Brainard has written three novels: When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and The Newspaper Widow. She has also written and edited eighteen other books.

Cecilia has received a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District. She has also been awarded by the Filipino and Filipino American communities she has served. In 1998, she received the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants in the Philippines, from the USIS (United States Information Service). In 2001, she received a Filipinas Magazine Award for Arts. Her books have won the Gourmand Award and the Gintong Aklat Award.

Cecilia has a website at .

Eve La Salle Caram's novella, Please, San Antonio!, is published by PALH as part of Please, San Antonio! & Melisande in Paris: Two Novellas, Special International Edition.

Eve is the author of five novels, those in her book Trio, A Corpus Christi Trilogy, and the interconnected duo of The Blue Geography and Wintershine. She is also the editor of Palm Readings, Stories from Southern California, a multicultural anthology of stories by Southern California women.

For over thirty years she has taught Literature and Writing at California State University, Northridge, and Fiction Writing at UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program where she won the Outstanding Instructor in Creative Writing in 2006. She also teaches at Los Angeles City College whose students helped inspire her novel, Rena, A Late Journey, and who asked her to write Looking for Johnny, the short novel that completes Trio. All of her books have been used in Literature and Writing classes in California and in Texas.

With her UCLA Extension Writers’ Program colleague and award winning fiction writer and poet, Carolyn Howard Johnson, Eve has conducted writing classes in a villa near the heart of Rome and looks forward to returning to both teach and write.

Her online site is:

#CebuLitFest Cebu, Philippines, literature, books, author, writer, novella

Philippine Literature: Dr. Leonard Casper Passes Away

From the author Linda Ty-Casper: 

"Len passed away in his sleep, on his 95th birthday yesterday.  He wanted to be cremated and didn't want an obituary but I wrote down something to remember him by. We'll have a private service for him. Please keep him in your prayers. Love, Linda
Leonard Ralph Casper passed away in his sleep on his 95th birthday, July 6. He was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to Louis Casper and Caroline Eder. He had three brothers and four sisters. Louis; Rose; Ruth; Leo; Larry; Rita; and Roma.

He married Linda Ty-Casper at San Juan Rizal, Philippines on July 14, 1956. They have two daughters, Gretchen G. Casper, professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University; and Kristina Elise Casper-Denman,  professor of Anthropology at American River College, Sacramento. 

Len was inducted into the US Military during World War II; and saw active service starting May 26, 1943; serving in foreign service 4 months, 6 days; in Continental Service, 2 years, 4 months, 11 days. His specialty was Cannoneer, # 864. He was qualified as a Marksman Carbine June 13, 1944; was Grade Pfc. Army serial # 36 821 365.Organization: Battery A 389 the FA Battalion; 99th Infantry Division, 38th Field Artillery Regiment as Marksman, Cannoneer 864.

His battle campaigns included the Rhineland, Central Europe; Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Ruhr Valley. His decorations and citations were the World War II Victory Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, EAME Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Ribbon, 2 Bronze Stars. He was received his Honorable Discharge, 2/12/46 at Camp Chafee, Arkansas. 

Leonard with three brothers—Louis, Leo and Larry—and a sister, Rita, served in the US Army during World War II. Larry received the Purple Heart.

Len attended grade school at the St, Joseph Church, Fond du Lac High School; and received his BA, MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin where he was a graduate assistant.

He taught at Cornell University, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippine Normal College, was lecturer at several colleges in the Philippines, in Taiwan and in Thailand on grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Ford Foundation, ACLS-SSRC, Asia Society. 

He was a Creative writing Fellow at Stanford, 1951; directed the Creative Writing Program at the University of Rhode Island, summer of 1958; Writing Fellow at Bread Loaf, 1961; a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, 1994. He served on the editorial board of several literary magazines such as Literature East and West.

In 1956 he began teaching Contemporary American Literature and Creative Writing at Boston College; and in 1962 received the “Heights” Man of the Year Award in “recognition of his loyalty and service to the University and to its Young men.” After retirement in 1999, Len continued teaching at Boston College as Emeritus Professor; later teaching at the SOAR Federal Program—Seniors teaching Seniors—in Wellesley, MA.

Several of Lens creative writing students became published writers, poets, and editors, including George Higgins, whose first novel was The Friends of Eddie Coyle; Gemino Abad who dedicated his latest anthology, Philippine short Fiction in English from 1990-2008, to Leonard and three other of his professors; Michael J. Brien, editor, Amoskeag.

He wrote critical essays in his field which included American and Philippine literature. In 1966, his book on Robert Penn Warren, The Dark and Bloody Ground, the first on the author, was published by the University of Washington Press; his last book on Robert Penn Warren, The Blood Marriage of Earth and Sky, was published in 1997 by Louisiana State University Press.

Among his books are: Six Filipino Poets (1955), Wayward Horizon (1961) The Wounded Diamond (1964), New Writing from the Philippines (1966) Firewalker (1987), In Burning Bush (1991), The Opposing Thumb (1995) Sunsurfers Seen from Afar (1996) The Circular Firing Squad (1999) Green Circuits of the Sun (2002). With Thomas A. Gullason, he co-authored a textbook The World of Short Fiction: International Collection, Harper and Row, (1952).

While training for service and during active service in the US Army, his short stories were published in SouthWest Review of the Southern Methodist University, Texas; whose editors encouraged him to continue submitting his stories. In 1971 the Southern Methodist University Press published these short stories in a book, A Lion Unannounced, a National Council of the Arts Selection.

Len was a daily communicant at St. Jeremiah, Framingham until the church closed after 48 years. He was a communicant at St. George in Saxonville; and at the Sons of Mary Health of the Sick Missionaries, Framingham.

Tags: #Philippines #Filipino #literature #education