Friday, October 20, 2017

Update Filipino American International Book Festival by Noelle Q. De Jesus

The following is by Guest Blogger, Noelle De Jesus, who writes about the recent Filipino American International Book Festival held in San Francisco (Oct. 7-8, 2017):

Update Filipino American International Book Festival

By Noelle Q. De Jesus

I imagine that a writer may feel any number of feelings when given the opportunity to take their work to a book festival, but I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be at least a small measure of elation, of satisfaction and indeed, of gratitude. That was certainly my own thought and sentiment brInging Blood Collected Stories to the 4th Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco this year. If I’m honest, I was at the extreme positive side of the spectrum. And of course, it was just great fun to be in San Francisco in October, to meet some of the 27 Filipino and Filipino American authors participants and have the pleasure of connecting with the new librarian of the Filipino American Center, Abraham Ignacio, and reconnecting with Edwin Lozada of PAWA and some of its other members, including founding members like Penelope Flores. By organizing and running this steadily growing event, they and all the members of the Filipino American organizing committee are doing the community and Filipino/Filipino American writers at large a wonderful service.

Pictures: Toronto Reunion 2017 of Maryknoll Class of 1968

Maryknoll Class of 1968 Toronto Reunion 2017
Bottom Row l-r: Tere Concepcion, Lucy McGinley, Marichi Panganiban, Cecilia Brainard, Maria Ciocon, Cora Kinoshi;
Middle Row l-r: Esther Parker, Lorna Cruz, Josette Adams, Maricel Hahn, Marissa Tay, Med Kuney;
Top Row l-r: Luchie Ticson, Alice Edano, (seated) Tina Heiter, Susie Ramos, Precy Florentino, Bing Jacala, Edith Alcantara, Lina Dimayuga, GV Silverio

Bottom Row l-r: Maricel Lopez Hahn, Bing Velasco Jacala, Susie Ramos Montermoso, Med Villanueva Kuney, Luchie Pavia Ticson, GV Silverio, Tina Borja Heiter, Tere Valenton Concepcion, Precy Florentino, Marissa Munda Tay; Back Row l-r: Lina Floor Dimayuga,Alice Edano, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Marichi Santiago Panganiban, Lucy Adao McGinley, Lorna Cayco Cruz, Cora Kilayco Kinoshi, Esther Quintos Parker, Baby Navarro Ciocon, Josette Del Rosario Adams, Edith Alcantara


QUITE A NUMBER of my classmates from Maryknoll College, Quezon City, ended up living in the United States, Europe, Australia, and other places. The ladies in North America, have in recent years, been holding what we call mini-reunions. Las Vegas. Vancouver, and most recently Toronto, were sites of these gatherings.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Importance of Literature, by Linda Ty-Casper #FilBookFest2017

Noted Filipina Author, Linda Ty-Casper, could not attend the celebration of her new book, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories (PALH 2017) at the Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco. Her daughter, Kristina Casper-Denham attended the HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Linda's place.  Linda wrote the following, and with her permission I am sharing her wise words:

The Importance of Literature
by Linda Ty-Casper

Reading our stories together, is a special communion of sharing, a recognition of the importance of literature to our lives, that of our lives to  our country’s life; and our country’s life to that of the world.

All the different literatures form the “human geology” of the world: its human layers. Containing our stories, literature offers a human face and heart to historical dates and statistics, so our past
becomes visible to the  present,  becomes our own experience—enriching, strengthening us; giving us resilience.

It is in our literature that our history is kept safe from revisions. For literature is our true memory, our country’s memory, the world’s memory of us.

If we do not write our stories, who will? If we do not read them how will we know ourselves?  Because it is in our literature that we pay full attention to ourselves, that we imagine and dream ourselves. As long as our literature exists, we will not disappear from our own thoughts, from the thoughts of the world.

If history is our biography; literature is our autobiography, containing the memory of our spirit, the reflections of our existence, the promise of what we can become: literature is our attempt to understand ourselves, to  recover lost destinations, to preserve the thoughts and feelings and hopes too deep to utter. Giving us roots and meaning and direction, our literature is what we are: what we were, and what we can be. 

Linda Ty-Casper 
            A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories (Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2017 & UST Publishing House forthcoming)

Linda Ty-Casper is the author of 16 books that deal with Philippine events from the 18th century, the 1896 Philippine revolution, the Philippine-American War (1898-1902), World War II, on to the Martial Law years of the Marcos Dictatorship, and the post-Marcos days until the early 2000s, where her recent novella, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories, leads us.  So powerful are her writings that two of her historical novels (Fortress in the Plaza and Wings of Stone) were banned in the Philippines during the Marcos Dictatorship.

Ms. Casper’s awards include the SEA WRITE Award, UNESCO/P.E.N., Rockefeller (Bellagio), Radcliffe Fellowship, among others.

l-r: Kristina Casper-Denham and Cecilia Brainard showing off Linda Ty-Casper's new book, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories

Tags: #FilAm #FilAmBookFest #literature #poetry authors, writers, Philippine American, fiction, books, Asian American, Filipina

Read also:

Monday, October 9, 2017

#Pictures Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival #FilBookFest2017

Here are some pictures taken at the Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival. I will continue to add pictures, so please check back. The picture above shows the authors who read in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading #  1-r: Prosy Delacruz Kristina Casper-Denham, Renee Macalino Rutledge, M.Evelina, Eliza Victoria, Cecilia Brainard, Myles Garcia, Mia Alvar, Veronica Montes, Brian Roley, Marie Deaconu-Baylon

HOT OFF THE PRESS Readers #2  L-r: Gemino H. Abad, Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto, Merlinda Bobis, Barbara Jane ReyesRobert Francis Flor, Cecilia Brainard, Eileen Tabios, Janice Sapigao

L-r: Mia Alvar, Edwin Lozada, Evelina Galang, Cecilia Brainard

Friday, October 6, 2017

Guest Blogger: "WIFE" by Wanggo Gallaga #Fiction #Philippines


By Wanggo Gallaga

Copyright 2015 & 2017 by Wanggo Gallaga
This story was first published in Team (Issue 2, 2015)

Tacky. Julia’s house is so tacky. It’s like they just randomly turned the pages of three different interior design magazines and pointed blindly at what they wanted. Julia never really had good taste. She gets that from her dad’s side of the family. Our mothers had impeccable taste. And class. How did Julia turn out the way she did?

Thank God Adrian and I had left Florence for Lisbon during her European tour. Adrian would hate her.

Would have. Adrian would have hated her. Shit.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

#Video Cecilia Brainard Talks on the Challenges of Writing in Panel Discussion 2017


This video clip of Cecilia Brainard was taken at the Panel Discussion titled, "Cute as a Filipino on a Saturday afternoon, May 20, 2017 at the LitFest in Pasadena, California. The panel was headed by Noel Alumit and held at the Walt Girnder Photo Studio and Gallery, 27 South Molina Ave. Pasadena, CA. Boni Alvarez, Angela Penaredondo and Chris Santiago were the other panelists.  The title of the panel came from Raymond Chandler's "Big Sleep."

This video is on YouTube.

Tags: #Philippines #FilAm creative writing, author, writers, How To write

Read also

Cecilia Brainard's Reaction to Alex Tizpn;s "A Slave in My Family" 

#KababayanToday with G. Tongi and Writers Cecilia Brainard and Noel Alumit

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Student Films Based on Stories by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Many of my books and stories are used in classrooms.  Some favorites are Woman with Horns and Flip Gothic, used in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, the University of San Carlos in Cebu, and the Cebu Normal University. I believe other schools use my stories in their curriculum, but these are the universities whose students have posted YouTube film clips.  I invite you to watch them. The students have so much energy and creativity, it's a joy to watch.  I've also included the Kindle links to the stories.

Available from Kindle

Woman with Horns:

Flip Gothic

Available from Kindle:

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept  

Available from Amazon and  Kindle

Theme Analysis for When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

Wallenberg "When the Rainbow Goddess Wept" Theme Project

Tags: Films, movies, Student films, YouTube, Philippines, Cebu, Ubec #studentfilms

Read also

"Loving Vincent" Movie Review and Reflections by Cecilia Brainard

"Loving Vincent" Movie Review and Reflections
by Cecilia M. Brainard

There's a new movie out, Loving Vincent, by Breakthru Films and Trademark Films. It's reportedly the world's first fully painted feature film, with over 62,000 oil paintings used as frames for this animated movie. Watching the movie was a fascinating experience: I felt as if I entered the world of Vincent Van Gogh! (Be sure and watch the Trailer here.)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Schedule and #Authors Featured in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings, Oct 7-8, 2017, #FilAm Book Fest

Here are the Authors Featured in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings. Join us on Oct. 7 and 8 -- see schedule below. Click on the images to make them large.

This year, there will be three HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings at the Filipino American International Book Festival, which will be held at the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Civic Center, San Francisco, CA 94102. The schedule follows:

The First HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading, moderated by Cecilia Brainard
 Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 1:30-2:50 p.m.
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library:

Veronica Montes - Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories (Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2018)

Marie Deaconu-Baylon - North for Sun (2017)

Linda Ty-Casper - (Presenter is Kristina Casper-Denman) A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories(Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2017)

Brian Ascalon Roley - The Last Mistress of Jose Rizal (Curbstone Books 2016)

Eliza Victoria - Dwellers (Visprint 2014)

Renee Macalino Rutledge - The Hour of Daydreams (Forest Avenue Press 2017)

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard - The Newspaper Widow (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House 2017)

Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz - Even the Rainbow Has a Body: Distinct Artistic Legacies (Eastwind Books of Berkeley 2016)

M. Evelina Galang - Lolas' House: Filipino Women Living With War (Northwestern University Press 2017)

Myles Garcia - Of Adobo, Applie Pie, and Schnitzel with Noodles (2017)

The Second HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading, moderated by Cecilia Brainard
 Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 4:20-5:35 p.m.
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library:

Barbara Jane Reyes - Invocation to Daughters (City Lights Books 2017)

Joseph O. Legaspi - Threshold (CavanKerry Press 2017)

Janice Sapigao - Like a Solid to a Shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light 2017)

Angela Pe├▒aredondo - All Things Lose Thousands of Times (2016)

Eileen Tabios - Manhattan: An Archaelogy (Paloma Press 2017)

Robert Francis Flor - Alaskero Memories (Carayan Press 2016)

Aileen Cassinetto - The Art of Salamat (Locofo Chaps 2017)

Merlinda Bobis - Accidents of Composition (Spinifex 2017)

Wesley St. Jo, & Reme Grefalda - Blue (Paloma Press 2017)

Gemino Abad & Krip Yuson, Eds- (Presenter is Gemino Abad) -
BLOODLUST: Philippine Protest Poetry (From Marcos to Duterte) (Reyes Publishing 2017)

The Third HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading, moderated by Veronica Montes
 Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 1:45-3:05 p.m., 
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library:

Tony Robles - Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike (Ithuriel's Spear Press 2017)

Rachelle Cruz - God's Will for Monsters (Inlandia 2017)

Amanda Ngoho Reavey - Marilyn (The Operating System 2015)

Randy Ribay - After the Shot Drops (HMH Books for Young Readers 2018)

Giovanni Ortega - Ang Gitano (2017)

Noelle Q. de Jesus - Blood Collected Stories (Ethos Books 2015)

Sansu Ramsey - Elizabeth Ramsey, Queen of Philippine Rock N' Roll (2017)

Merlinda Bobis - Locust Girl: A Lovesong (Spinifex Press 2015)

Constance Valencia Santos & Victoria Santos - (Presenter is Victoria Santos) - Memoirs of Manang: A Story of a Filipina American Pioneer (Eastwind Books of Berkeley 2015)

Mila De Guzman - Women Against Marcos: Stories of Filipino and Filipino American Women Who Fought a Dictator (Carayan Press 2016)

Raissa Robles - Marcos Martial Law: Never Again (Filipinos for a Better Philippines, Inc. 2016)

Tags: #FilAm #FilAmBookFest #literature #poetry authors, writers, Philippine American, fiction, books, Asian American, literary readings, spoken word, poetry reading

Mini-Reunion of Maryknoll Class 1968 in Toronto, Canada

My college class is having a mini-reunion in Toronto, Canada. I put together this collage of our graduation pictures, and I'm sharing random group pictures that include these women. (Click on the pictures to make them large.)

 l-r: Becky Marfil, Tina Borja Heiter, Maria Navarro Ciocon, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard,  Boots Besa Browne, Marissa Munda Tay

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Finding God Through Mary, Personal Essay by Cecilia Brainard #religion #Catholic #Marian #Christianity #spirituality

I'm sharing my personal essay which was published in the book, Finding God: True Stories of  Spiritual Encounters (Anvil 2009), edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard & Marily Orosa.  The book won the prestigious Gintong Aklat Award for 2010. 

The book is available from -

Finding God through Mary
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

I am not sure when exactly I strayed from God because I had always turned to Him even when I was a child. I remember how, after my father’s death I tried to understand that I’d never see my father again, that he was now in heaven. My concept of heaven then was fluffy clouds and a bearded old man as God, but I had a difficult time seeing my father in that setting. Even though I didn’t know where he went, I believed in the afterlife and hatched the idea of writing to him to update him of my life.
His death left my life in chaos: my mother, frantic about how to take care of her four children; my siblings taking off to other countries to study. I turned to the nuns in my school and to the Catholicism they taught me. The nuns’ rules and Church’s rules helped give my life a framework. I did well in school; I went to Mass and prayed. The prayers were childish: give me this, give me that, a constant focus on I, me, and myself, not realizing I was a pinprick in the universe.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#Authors Mila De Guzman & Cecilia Brainard in HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings Oct. 7 & 8, 2017

Here are 2 more authors who'll be participating in the HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings in San Francisco on October 7 and 8, 2017.  These readings are part of the Filipino American International Book Festival. They will be held at the San Francisco Main Library at 100 Larkin Street, Civic Center, San Francisco, CA 94102.

To view the complete schedule of the three HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Readings, click here:

Mila De Guzman will be reading from:                                                               
            Women Against Marcos: Stories of Filipino and Filipino American Women Who Fought a    Dictator. Carayan Press, 2016

Mila De Guzman is a freelance writer, correspondent for, and author of Women Against Marcos: Stories of Filipino and Filipino American Women Who Fought a Dictator. She was a member of the Coalition Against the Marcos Dictatorship and Union of Democratic Filipinos that fought against the Marcos dictatorship and for the democratic rights of Filipino-Americans. Mila worked for 20 years at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.  She received her M.A. and M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and has been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island, Washington and Mesa Refuge in Marin County. Mila is a member of Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard will be reading from her novel The Newspaper Widow (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House 2017)

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author and editor of 20 books, including the novels When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and The Newspaper Widow. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized.  She has received awards including a California Arts Council Fellowship, a Brody Arts Fund Award, an Outstanding Individual Award from Cebu, Philippines, and several USIS grants. Cecilia also heads Philippine American Literary House (PALH), a literary press that publishes high quality fiction and creative non-fiction by Filipino Americans. Her novel, The Newspaper Widow, was shortlisted in the Cirilo Bautista Prize for the novel in 2015. 

Tags: #FilAm #FilAmBookFest #literature #poetry authors, writers, Philippine American, fiction, books, Asian American, literary readings, spoken word, poetry reading