Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year to All of Us - 2022



An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

#happy2022 #filipinoauthor #happynewyear 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Author Cecilia Brainard Talk University of Santo Tomas CCWLS

Filipino FilAm Author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard gives a talk for the University of Santo Tomas Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies. This is part of their UST International Writers and Scholars Series.

This same video can be viewed in the Facebook site of UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies:

Following is the transcript of Cecilia's talk:

Celebrating Writing and My Selected Short Stories

For the International Authors Series of UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies

by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, copyright by Cecilia Brainard

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

1873 Antique Map of Cebu Philippines


I'm sharing an old map of Cebu from my personal Cecilia Brainard Collection. It's noted as "Plano de la Ciudad de Cebu -- 1873." I hope you can make it bigger because it's really interesting.

#Cebuhistory #Cebumap #antiquemap #Philippinemap #Antiquephilippine 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Author Cecilia Brainard on Reading for Philippine National Book Week 2021


Author Cecilia Brainard talks on Why You Should Read for the Capiz State University Library for the 87th National Book Week 2021

Tags: #nationalbookweek # 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Poems by Valorie Slaughter Bejarano


The following came from Dulce Capadocia. It is the manuscript of a poem by Filipino American writer, Valorie Slaughter Bejarano.
Writer's Bio: A poet/writer, Valorie Slaughter Bejarano was born in Cebu, Philippines on October 15, 1950. She grew up in the Los Angeles Filipino communicty. A self-proclaimed "Temple Street Brat," she attended Belmont High School and UCLA. Her writings were published in Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence; Making Waves: An Anthology By and About Asian American Women: Urthkin; Electruim; Misc. Magazine; Ang Katipunan; and others. She wrote two chapbooks: Ladies First and Before the Sun Comes up. Valorie co-wrote two poetry shows: Voices from the Other Side of the Wall and Lovers Make the Worst Ex-Husbands.

Valorie co-edited two children's books: Seven Stories From Seven Sisters, and The Beginning and Other Asian Folktales, both PAWWA publications.

In November 1989, she was the only Asian woman and Los Angeles poet to perform with the celebrity cast of the Hollywood Women's Political Committee's Pro-Choice rally in Rancho Park as a representative of Asian Pacific's for Choice. She was also a member of Asian Pacific Women's Network and founding member of PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists). And advocate for Amerasians, she founded Amerasian C.H.I.L.D. (Committee to help Include and Legalize Dependents) which helped many orphans in her beloved Cebu.

In her last years, Valorie was active in politics, serving as Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Hungtington Park, California. She was editor and publisher of the Kiwanis Script.
She was awarded Woman of Courage for the Year 2000 under Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh. She was also the recipient of a Community Access Scholarship at the Writer's Program, UCLA-Extension.
Valorie passed away last November 26, 2000 at the age of 50.

Here are other poems by Valorie:



I remember the hot light

On that hot night

(Sometime in July '65)

And an acned blond

in a pink, plastic lei

Hustling old men & sailors

At 50cents a dance.

Things were really hopping

At Roseland.

It was a luau night and

We were cooking flip food

Adobo, rice, pancit & bibingka

$2 a plate no seconds

While Don Ho bubbled a little too loudly

Over a P.A. with only one good speaker

Booming from the corner behind me.

Manongs in their faded

Al Capone suits

Did the twist

Shuffling across the dance floor

Man they really had it

Things were hopping

Fingers popping

At Roseland.

WHY I'M NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK(Another in a Continuing Series of Life's Mysteries Explained)

I like the comfort of quiet dark rooms

Where shadows wrap themselves around you like lover's arms

Heavy with silence

Inviting you in for a small suicide in the afternoon.

No sighs, no tears

No intrusions.

The tyranny of time winds away

Spiraling back into the womb

Sanctuary inviolate as a fetal heartbeat

My eyes cat glow in the dark

My secrets are my own again

Safe in the breathless hush, my defenses fall away

Without the gauntlet, my hand is small and soft

Lacerated in brutal daylight.

There is kindness and healing in the dark


And sleep

Sweet, wine laced and opiated sleep.

(Valorie Bejarano
February 26, 1992


Picture of PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists) - Valorie is third from left. 

Tags: Filipino American poetry #FilAmpoetry #FilipinoAmericanpoetry #filAmauthors 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Old Photos of Woman With Horns Book Launch 1988

 Old Photos taken at the 1988 book launch of my first book, WOMAN WITH HORNS AND OTHER STORIES, held at the Casa Gorordo in Cebu. The Cebuana author LINA ESPINA-MOORE helped organize the event and was there at planning meetings and the event itself.

l-r: Lina Espina Moore, Concepcion Cuenco Manguera, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

l-r: Concepcion Manguerra, Mariano Manguerra Jr. Cecilia, Lina

l-r: Cora Seno, Cecilia

#philippinebooks #philippineliterature #cebuanowriters #womanwithhorns

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Cecilia Brainard Book at the Manila International Book Fair #MIBF


Here's the short video promo I did for the Manila International Book Fair on behalf of the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. This is airing today along with others by USTPH authors, live on the MIBF site. I'm sharing this video for your convenience.

My book and my other USTPH Titles (SELECTED SHORT STORIES BY CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD, WHEN THE RAINBOW GODDESS WEPT, MAGDALENA, and THE NEWSPAPER WIDOW) are available in the Philippines from Lazada and Shopee. In the US, these are easily available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
Enjoy the video!

The picture above was taken a nunber of years ago, by Doreen Stone 


tags: #MIBF #MIBF2021 #Philippinebooks #filipinoauthors #filipinobooks 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Book Review of THE BETRAYED by Reine Arcache Melvin


Passion in the Time of Revolution

Book Review by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Book Title: The Betrayed

Author: Reine Arcache Melvin

Published by Bughaw/Ateneo de Manila University Press 2018

For complete article in Postiviely Filipino - click here 

The Betrayed is a complex and rich novel that focuses on the lives of two sisters and the man they love. The story is set primarily in the Philippines; it fictionalizes historical events of the 1980s: the EDSA Revolution; the ousting of dictator Ferdinand Marcos; the election of the widow of his political enemy, Cory Aquino; the coup d’├ętats; and the pervading violence and political unrest of that era. Melvin’s main characters are members of the ruling political families in the Philippines, and their lifestyle reflects their extreme wealth and the corresponding poverty of the general population. These characters also reveal the feuding, violence, negotiations, and tentative alliances they engage in to maintain their wealth and power.

Lali and Pilar are the sisters whose father, Gregorio, had been jailed in Manila then hustled out of the city with his family to live in exile in San Francisco. The novel begins after Gregorio was gunned down by “the General’s men.” Now the prospect of ending their eight-year exile is possible, and Lali marries Arturo, a wealthy and powerful young man -- a member of the political opposition -- so she (and her mother and sister) can return to Manila where they can presumably resume their privileged life.Lali gets her Mercedes Benz and her lavish parties. Pilar, the more cerebral of the two, works on documenting the life of Gregorio, who is considered a hero of the government opposition – the communists, the extreme-right faction of the military, the religious left. Pilar lives in their neglected family house along the river, an area which used to have Spanish colonial mansions but has been taken over by factories and warehouses. (continue reading in Positively Filipino)

Tags: Philippine literature, Book Review  

Monday, November 15, 2021

Filipino Author Cecilia Brainard Talks About Four of Her Books


In this short video, Filipino American Author Cecilia Brainard talks about four of her books: SELECTED SHORT STORIES, WHEN THE RAINBOW GODDESS WEPT, MAGDALENA, and THE NEWSPAPER WIDOW. Published by the University of Santo Tomas University, University of Michigan Press, and PALH, these are all available from Lazada and Shopee in the Philippines, and they are also available in the US from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others.

Tags: #filipinoauthors #filam authors #pinoylit  #filipinonovels #filipinofiction #Philippineliterature  

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Signed HB First Edition of Brainard's WHEN THE RAINBOW GODDESS WEPT Available


PALH has a few Signed First Edition of the hardbound WHEN THE RAINBOW GODDESS WEPT (Dutton 1994) - as new $79, including US shipping. Contact or
Amazon has this listed for over one hundred.

BOOKLIST Review by Kathleen Hughes
Yvonne Macairag is a nine-year-old living in the Philippines during World War II. She plays contentedly with her cousin, Esperanza, and spends quiet evenings on the veranda with her grandfather. Her family life is idyllic. All of this is lost when the Japanese invade the Philippines. Yvonne flees to the jungle, where her father joins the resistance movement, the guerilleros. Life is hard in the jungle, and Yvonne is often exposed to the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese soldiers. As the child encounters scenes of wartime horror, she remembers and recites the epic stories of her ancestors. She uses the ancient fables to bolster her courage and to help herself cope with the horrors of the war. Overwhelmed by the superior Japanese firepower, the guerilleros hope the American soldiers will arrive and assist in expelling the Japanese. The American soldiers eventually do, but not before the guerilleros realize that ultimately Filipinos are responsible for the destiny of the Philippines. Like the epic legends, this story tells the tale of the essential courage and wisdom of the Filipinos. A beautifully written novel in which the words flow smoothly across the pages, weaving a story that is half lyrical myth and half brutal reality. Enchanting throughout, this novel will mesmerize the reader right up until its victorious ending.



Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Certificate of Recognition from LEAP, Inc. 2021



Thanks to the Literature Educators Association of the Philippines. Inc. for this Certificate. The leaders did everything gracefully and efficiently, and really it was my privilege to share what I know to Literature teachers. I wish them the best in their important work of teaching young people, not just how to write or read fine literature, but to think critically.

 Read also:


Monday, November 8, 2021

Cecilia Brainard Talk to Literature Teachers, International Conference LEAP ICLE2021


Video of Cecilia Brainard Talk to Literature teachers, International Conference LEAP ICILE2021, Part 1

Cecilia Brainard's Talk "Literature as a Coping Strategy", Delivered at the International Conference on Literature Education, Oct. 28, 2021. The conference aimed to address the pressing concerns of Literature Teacher on teaching literature during this time of Covid. It likewise sought to provide a platform for discussing the significant shifts in literature teaching and redefinitions of the 21st Century literature teachers. The conference connected vital discussion areas important to the theme to draw a clear and critical understanding of the concerns and challenges that literature teachers face toward the new normal. #education #teachers #literature

PART 1  Video link

 PART 2: Video Link

PART 3 - Video Link

Transcript of Cecilia Brainard's Talk "Literature as a Coping Strategy, delivered at the Int'l Conference on Literature Education 2021, LEAP, Inc. -

Certificate from LEAP, Inc.



 tags: #Philippineliterature #Literatureteachers #literatureconference #Philippineeducaton 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

"Death Is Nothing At All" by Henry Scott Holland


By Henry Scott Holland 1847-1918 Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral


Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity of sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well.
Prayer at the Funeral Service of our friend Les Grossman, may he and all those who have died rest in peace.

Photo by Cecilia Brainard

tags: grief, mourning, funeral, memorial 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Three Zoom Recordings in One Afternoon


I did three, I repeat three, Zoom recordings today for future releases, one for a book fair, another for an International Authors Series, and the last is a Christmas reading. I will let you know when the recordings are released.
I'll be focusing on homey things in preparation for the Holidays. Baking fruitcake and cookies are in ,y mind, and some gift shopping too. Before we know it, it'll be Thanksgiving, then Christmas.
I am very grateful that because of the vaccines we are able to resume a more normal life. I pray that the rest of the world can do the same.
Here's a selfie I took before the Zoom recordings.
Have a great weekend coming up.


tags: #filipinoauthors #filipinobooks #Philippineliterature


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Positively Filipino Book Review of Selected Short Stories by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard


George Deoso Reviews Selected Short Stories by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard in Positively Filipino.

"There is much to rejoice about this feast of a book: the range in terms of form; the weaving of past and present between the pages; and that reassuring sense of being in the hands of a writer—an artist—whose mark transcends the boundaries of time, place, and historical conflicts. 


Brainard’s Selected Short Stories make me upset. And I am only happy to be upset by her fiction. Literature is nothing if it doesn’t shake the core of our being, if it only gives us a kind of bliss."

tags: #bookreview #philippinebooks #philippineliterature #filipinobooks #filipinoauthors #pinoyreads

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Literature as a Coping Strategy by Cecilia Brainard, delivered at the Int'l Conference on Literature Education 2021, LEAP, Inc


Talk Delivered at the International Conference on Literature Education

Literature Educators Association of the Philippines (LEAP), October 28, 2021 

Literature as a Coping Strategy


Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Copyright 2021 by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard




Greetings from California. I’m Cecilia Manguerra Brainard here to talk to you about Reading and Writing Literature as a Coping Strategy. Thanks to Dr. Christopher Yap-Wright for inviting me. I would have wanted to be with you, in person, as it is always nicer to see people face to face. But given the limitations of the pandemic, I am still glad that I can address you from my office here in Santa Monica.


Conversation with Author Cecilia Brainard, YouTube LA Public Library


Many thanks to Ana Campos, Acting Principal Librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library for hosting a virtual program, A CONVERSATION WITH AUTHOR CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARDSELECTED SHORT STORIES.  Writer, Actor, and Buddhist pastor Noel Alumit was  the interviewer/facilitator.

This was aired yesterday on the's Facebook and YouTube sites. 

You can watch the program on's YouTube site. Don't forget to like it!



Noel and I have known each other for many years, and so the interview had an ease possible only between two friends who happen to be novelists too.

Noel had sent me some questions before the program, and while the actual one-hour interview covered more topics than just these questions, I'm sharing my notes to answer his questions. The taped interview is much richer and more detailed, so do try to view that one.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Effects of the Pandemic on New Books: A Mild Lament by Author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard


My Selected Short Stories was released by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House and by PALH in July-August, and the book has had a lowkey existence since, thanks to the pandemic. The book collects 39 of my best short stories, many of which are used by educators in their classrooms. Classics such as "Woman With Horns", "Flip Gothic", "Romeo:, and more are part of this collection. All the stories in this book have been previously published, some have been anthologized several times. 

Unfortunately, there have been no book launches to promote my Selected Short Stories, as most bookstores are closed and many people are being cautious about mingling with others. 

Even the book distribution in the Philippines (via Lazada and Shopee) has suffered because when there are pandemic-lockdowns, people can't go to their offices (to process book orders).

I did participate in several Zoom events (US Philippine Embassy, CTU in Cebu, and others), but there hasn't been an event that focused on Selected Short Stories.

I am therefore delighted to announce that I have some forthcoming events that highlight this new collection of mine. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Cecilia Brainard Panelist in International Conference on Literature Education - Oct. 2021



Cecilia Brainard is a panelist at LEAP, Inc's International Conference on Literature Education, Oct. 28, 29, 30, 2021. Her talk is about "Reading and Writing Literature as a Coping Strategy." Here's registration information:
How does literature help us cope in times of crisis?
Learn from our highly-esteemed panel speaker during the ICLE 2021!
To register, click this link:
See you there!
#PhilippineLiterature #Filipinoliterature #filipinoauthors

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Conversation with Filipino Author Cecilia Brainard, Oct. 26, 2021 PT



INVITATION FROM the Los Angeles Public Library


Tuesday, California time, Oct. 26, 2021, 6-7 pm (Manila time is Oct. 27, 9 a.m.) 

Streaming live on the library's YouTube channel (

and Facebook page (