Saturday, April 29, 2023

Cecilia Brainard's Selected Short Stories Wins 40th National Book Awards in Short Fiction


Read CNN article "Full List: The Winners of the 40th National Book Awards"

I am grateful that my Selected Short Stories was honored with the 40th National Book Award in the category of  Best Book of Short Fiction in English.

The book was quietly released in 2021 when Covid was still causing havoc, and like most books released during the time of pandemic, it was ignored.  I am therefore happy that the Manila Circle's Critics and the National Book Board Development found merit in the book.

Thanks to my publisher, University of Santo Tomas Publishing house and the UST folks who have included me in their family: Ailil Alvarez, Ned Parfar, Jack Wigley, Jing Hidalgo, Ralph Galan, and many others.

There is more information about my Selected Short Stories in this link:

The book is available from Lazada and Shopee in the Philippines. Amazon and Barnes and Noble also carry the book.

Read also 

Rappler "Full List..." 


Recent blogs by Cecilia 

  River Cruise .... Keukenhof Gardens

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Bruge or Brugge

 River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Antwerp

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Hoorn and Arnhem

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Amsterdam Canals  

Tags: Philippine books, Filipino books, Filipino short stories, Filipino literature, Cebuano literature, Cebu literature, NBA Awards, Book Awards


Friday, April 28, 2023

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Ghent & Ypres



BY THE TIME we visited Ghent Belgium, I understood that Belgium is a wealthy country. I see it as more lowkey than countries like Spain, France or Switzerland or Germany. It is probably because of my own ignorance but I had a better sense of the history and personalities of other countries.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Antwerp



OUR FIRST STOP in Belgium was Antwerp, known as the capital of the world's diamond trade. No, I did not go shopping for diamonds there, and we didn't even visit the Diamond Museum. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Hoorn and Arnhem


This continues my blog about our recent River Cruise to the Netherlands and Belgium.  The first blog entry about Amsterdam can be read here:


FROM AMSTERDAM, our ship the Oscar Wilde had to be raised UP to sea-level via locks -- that was sort of mind-boggling to watch. Then overnight we sailed in the open sea, rough at times, then we were back in still canals and we sailed through locks once more.
Our first stop was the picturesque city called Hoorn, in the Netherlands. We walked off our boat and saw the harbor, darling shops, cafes, and bars. Narrow winding streets, pristine canals with ducks swimming about. And it was a lovely sunny day, not too cold because the temperature could drop to 10 degrees when we were there. That was frigid for me.


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium - Amsterdam Canals



We did a River Cruise of the Netherlands and Belgium and I'll be posting pictures and short videos of that trip, so stay tuned. 


In  Amsterdam, we did a canal cruise. One of my advocacies is cleaning up rivers in Cebu, Philippines. The canals and rivers are chock-full of garbage there. When I see clean and beautiful canals in other places, like Amsterdam for instance, I feel sad about the rivers and canals in the Philippines and hope that people will stop throwing garbage in the waterways, and and the government will do more to clean up the Philippine rivers.

I digress because this blog entry is about Amsterdam. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Crypto's Last Stand: Stablecoin by Manny Gonzalez


The following article was first published in the Philippine Star. It is reprinted here by permission of the author Manny Gonzalez.  

Crypto’s Last Stand: Stablecoin

 By Manuel Gonz├ílez

Note to Editor

In respect of the current subject: Four years before Paul Krugman did in December 2022, Mr. Gonzalez debunked not only cryptos but the entire blockchain concept. He brings a unique multi-disciplinary perspective to this issue – public policy, financial analysis, and technology. He once blew the whistle on the hollow balance sheet of ADELA, a multibillion-dollar New York company owned by the world’s then leading industrial and financial corporations, and spent a year advising on its liquidation. (The Wall Street Journal reported this story back in the 1980s.) As an officer of the World Bank, Mr. Gonzalez dealt with governments and financial institutions. As an investment banker in Hong Kong he designed financial derivatives and assessed IPOs. On the tech side, he has been awarded 7 US Patents related to gathering information on the internet (, Inventor: Gonzalez, Emmanuel). He is now a successful hospitality and food-manufacturing entrepreneur.

 MBA Columbia University, Robert J. McKim, Jr., Fellow, and Roswell McCrea Award winner. For more details and list and texts of publications, please see His cryptocurrency articles: Bitcoins — the Emperor Has No Clothes (January 2018); Bitcoins AND Blockchains — Murphy’s Law Waiting to Happen (November 2018); and Crypto Resurrection (November 26, 2022). All were published in the Philippine Star, the leading daily newspaper in this country of 120 million people.


 In December 2022 New York Times columnist Paul Krugman finally came round to making the same assertion I made in print four years ago: Not just crypto, but blockchain itself, is BUNK, a complicated and demonstrably fragile way to perform a function — information storage — that is already reliably, easily, and cheaply performed with other devices (such as USBs, stand-alone hard drives, and paper). Read his column: New York Times December 2, 2022, Blockchains — What Are They Good For? Or mine, which takes the trouble to explain the argument: Philippine Star November 26, 2018, Bitcoins AND Blockchains — Murphy’s Law Waiting to Happen.