Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Travel Challenge: Paris Mont Saint Michel

My own Travel challenge - to post a favorite travel photo daily, to send out something beautiful to this world.
It looks like it'll be a while before I can visit Paris again, especially given the Eu banned US travelers due to America's unchecked coronavirus situation.

Tags: travel, Paris, Mont Saint Michel, #travelban #Covid19

Monday, June 29, 2020

Old Photographs Tony Cuenco of Cebu, Philippines

Cuenco Famiy: I am sharing what I believe are early pictures of my cousin TONY CUENCO who recently passed away. The picture of three, shows my grandmother Filomena Alesna Cuenco with Tony (the older boy) and another grandson.

The group picture features my grandfather and grandmother, Senator Mariano Cuenco and his wife Filomena with their family. Standing l‑r: Carmen Cuenco, Milagros Veloso Cuenco carrying Baby Tony, behind them is possibly my mother Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra carrying Baby Victoria, Consuelo Cuenco, back is Manuel Cuenco, Archbishop Jose Ma. Cuenco, Miguel Cuenco, Lourdes Cuenco.

My oldest sister Victoria was a bit older than Tony. They were the first grandchildren of Mariano and Filomena and reportedly were “spoiled.” They are both gone now. Victoria passed away two years ago from heart complications, and recently Tony succumbed to Covid. May they rest in peace.

Read also: 84-year-old Tony Cuenco dies from new coronavirus

Tags: Cuenco, Cebu, politics, society, Philippines #TonyCuenco

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Filipinos #CopingWithCovid --- Linda Ty-Casper, USA

The following is part of my series, Filipinos Coping with Covid.

Linda Ty-Casper is a multi-award Filipina novelist noted for her historical fiction set in the Philippines. She is the author of over 16 books and has been awarded the SEA WRITE Award, Rockefeller (Bellagio), Radcliffe Fellowship, among others.

Responding to my interview questions, Linda describes life for her in Massachusetts, USA, during the time of coronavirus. This was written on May 24, 2020. Copyright 2020 by Cecilia Brainard ~ Cecilia Brainard

Life in Massachusets, USA during Covid 19
By Linda Ty-Casper

Dear Cecilia,

We're still in lockdown and I have been in for over two months now. I'm in the house by myself but neighbors look after me, bring me take outs, include me in their grocery deliveries. A friend's daughter asks for my grocery list when she shops for her mother. I get help with the computer and, once, checking the fuse box for the refrigerator.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Cecilia Brainard #Covid Articles in Positively Filipino

Cecilia Brainard

Please read my articles in Positively Filipino:

Coronavirus: The Beginning 

"When I visited Manila last January 20 the air was thick with smoggy haze from the ash fall of Taal Volcano. Taal had erupted on January 12-13 and destroyed people’s homes and farms and killed livestock. People in Luzon were busy helping the displaced people and cleaning up the ash fall.

Still reeling from this disaster, people discovered the news shifting to the deadly virus in Wuhan, China. The symptoms of coronavirus sounded like a very bad flu: fever, cough, muscle pain, pneumonia; but unlike the flu, coronavirus could not be checked with a vaccine, and it was deadly. Defying Chinese authorities, some doctors from Wuhan posted online horrific reports about coronavirus.  The novel virus was highly contagious; it was spreading like wildfire; it was killing huge numbers of people..."  please continue reading in Positively Filipino. 


How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid-19, Part One: Canada, Singapore, UK, Italy

"Filipinos all over the world have been grappling with the coronavirus pandemic’s disastrous effects ever since it broke out in February: travel bans; deaths on cruise ships; lockdowns or shelter-at-home or self-isolation. Filipino medical care workers have been thrust into the limelight, trying to save people from dying from Covid-19. Coronavirus recalls the monumental pandemics of the 1918 Spanish flu and the Black Death of the 14th century.

How have Filipinos all over the globe coped with the disruptions caused by coronavirus?

Despite varied government lockdown rules, most of those I interviewed have stayed at home and limited their contact with others. They wear face masks, practice social distancing, and sanitize their hands, surfaces, groceries, mail and packages -- careful about not infecting themselves and others,

Part One of this series features Filipinos from Canada, Singapore, UK and Italy..." please continue reading in Positively Filipino.

How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid-19, Part Two: Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France

"The Filipinos I interviewed for this article shared some of the precautions they take to survive the coronavirus pandemic. All wear face masks (some wear gloves while shopping), practice social distancing, wash their hands, and sanitize mail and packages. Some wash fruit, vegetables and sanitize cans and food boxes. Many remove their shoes at the doorway. All limit their contact with other people; and in some cases do not have close contact with their children nor grandchildren. In many households, one person is designated as the buyer of groceries and necessities; the rest stay home. Many cook their food; those who order takeout do so via contactless delivery. Some order online items and food...." please continue reading in Positively Filipino.


Read also:
Coronavirus: The Beginning, by Cecilia Brainard
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid, Part One (Cecilia Brainard, Positively Filipino)
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid, Part Two (C. Brainard, PF
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid-19, Part Three (C.Brainard, PF)

Covid-19: An Encounter with a Bee During Quarantine

Interviews follow:
Lia Feraren, Germany
Teresa Concepcion, Canada
 Ofelia Gelvezon Tequi, France
Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin, France
New Zealand: Jay Montilla & Monika Tawngdee
Linda Ty-Casper, Massachusetts, USA
Barbara Ann Jacala, San Diego, CAUSA
Brian Ascalon Roley, Ohio, USA
Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino, USA
Interview of Cecilia Brainard by 95.9 Star FM Bacolod (DJ Billie), USA

Interviews of Filipino Americans #CopingWithCovid

Live Interview of #CebuLitFest Producer Hendri Go by Cecilia Brainard

All of the above links are part of the Philippine Covid Archive of Filipinas Heritage Library.

tags: #coronavirus #covid19 #covid #Filipinos #copingwithcovid #Paris #France #Europe #FilipinoFrench #FrenchFilipino #FilipinoAmerican #Bacolod #Philippines

Designer Face Masks by Cecilia

I made some face masks, lined with cotton and flannel, with pockets for filter.

People have asked me if they can buy these and I’m making them available as a fund raiser for PALH (Philippine American Literary House).

I have six right now (June 12). one size small (the blue solid with batik trim); the rest are size medium — $30 for each one, and US shipping is $10. I will pick up US shipping for orders of three. Email me at cbrainard@aol.com and I can send you a paypal invoice.

I wash these in warm water and while they can tolerate the dryer, it is better to hang dry them. I also run an iron over them to make the pleats more crisp although they look all right if unironed.

For filters, I use coffee filter with nonwoven gauze sandwiched in between.

You can also change the loops so they tie in back of your head. You will have to use your own cord or ribbon. In some cases, you use one long cord so the bottom cord is continuous.

tags: #covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic #facemasks #designerfacemasks

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Filipinos #CopingWithCovid - New Zealand: Jay Montilla & Monika Tawngdee

On June 7, 2020, New Zealand declared it had eliminated Coronavirus. Its last new case was in May and New Zealand hospitals have no Covid-19 cases (as of June 9, 2020).  Lead by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, the country implemented strict quarantine, travel restrictions and widespread testing. Here are the interviews of two Filipinos (my nephew and niece, in fact) who live in New Zealand, Jay Montilla and Monika Tawngdee. The interviews were done on May 29, 2020.  ~ Cecilia Brainard 


I live in Wellington, New Zealand where we are currently at Alert Level 2. I live alone but do see other people on a daily basis, and as prescribed by the government guidelines. We all have to practice social distancing: 2 meters in public and in retail stores, like supermarkets and clothes shops; 1 meter in most other places such as workplaces, cafes, restaurants, and gyms.

Due to travel restrictions under Alert Levels 4 and 3, movement between suburbs was restricted, thus limiting any additional income. However people who were receiving unemployment, disability, and retirement benefits were granted a winter heating allowance as well as an increase on all benefits.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Filipinos #CopingWithCovid -- Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin, France

The following interview is part of my series, Filipinos Coping with Covid.

Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin (Bonnie) was born in Manila and has lived in Paris France for many years. She is the award-winning author of A Normal Life and Other Stories and the novel The Betrayed. ~ Cecilia Brainard

Cecilia Brainard Interviews Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin
Interview conducted via email on May 25, 2020
Copyright 2020 By Cecilia Brainard

Cecilia Brainard: Are you still in lockdown? Are you alone or with others? Do you see other people, and do you practice social distancing if so?
Bonnie Melvin: France went into lockdown on March 16, and began to ease out of it on May 11. For the first two months, there were very strict restrictions on movement. People were asked to work from home whenever possible, and we could go out only with a certificate stating the reason for our movement – grocery shopping, urgent medical visits, work (for essential workers), an hour of exercise (but only within a kilometer from home). Parisians still lined up to buy their baguettes and cigarettes, of course.

Filipinos #CopingWithCovid -- Ofelia Gelvezon Tequi, France

Marc and Ofelia Tequi

The following is part of my series, Filipinos Coping with Covid.
Ofelia Gelvezon Tequi was born in Iloilo and has lived with her husband Marc in France for many years. Ofelia is a modern and comptemporary artist as well as a printmaker.
Responding to my interview questions, Ofelia describes life for her and her husband Marc in Limeuil, France, during the time of coronavirus. This was written on May 28, 2020.~ Cecilia Brainard

Life in Limeuil, France during Covid 19
By Ofelia Gelvezon Tequi

Dear Cecilia,

Marc and I are both in our seventies.  He started his education in the classic path - Latin, Greek, history but switched to banking when he realised he couldn't raise a family well on a teacher's pay.  This was still the time when banks welcomed people who had training outside of business schools.  We met in Manila as he was sent to UP as a "coopĂ©rant".  The Cooperation being the French program of sending young men to teach/cooperate abroad based on their educational background instead of doing their obligatory military service.  I was also teaching Humanities, Art History and Printmaking in the UP.  But he was my teacher at the Alliance Française where I was already in the fourth and last year.