Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Christmas Eve, 1908", Fiction by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard #literature #Philippines





Christmas Eve, 1908
Excerpt from The Newspaper Widow, novel by
The Newspaper Widow is published by University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2017
Available from Amazon


Time had taken on a rubber quality, stretching here and there, never fixed despite the insistent tick-tocking of the Grandfather clock in their living room. Jose had lost all notion of what day or time it was, and he slept and awoke at strange hours. It was Fernanda who announced that they should “join the world.” Earlier that day she had taken out her pearl jewelry and gold hair comb and she had put on a black satin skirt and blouse of gossamer fabric. He was surprised by this, her vanity, her declaration that she was ready to relinquish her mourning. For over four months, Jose and Fernanda had shared a cocoon of darkness and dread, confining themselves to their house, avoiding people, even his parents, sending out their servant, their sole umbilical cord to the world. During that time, they said very little to each other, but they shared a bond that was to some degree like a balm.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Guest Blogger: Smoothies and More by Bing V. Jacala #health #Maryknoll



Inspired by a recent college reunion, Barbara (Bing V.) Jacala) decided to share the wisdom gained by her classmates in an ongoing column, "The Sage Women We Have Become: Conversations of College Chums Who Met 50 Years After Graduation." 

As my Guest Blogger, she will share health and beauty tips, as well as favorite recipes of these "sage women." Her first entry is "Smoothies And More."

Bing graduated from Maryknoll College, Philippines in 1968. She was an advertising copywriter, a training officer at the Philippine National Media Center, and a Colombo Plan scholar to the United Kingdom. She resided on Guam for 40 years where she held many positions including features editor, chief of staff in the Guam legislature, and adult education program manager.

Thanks Bing! ~ Cecilia



THE SAGE WOMEN WE HAVE BECOME
Conversations of College Chums Who Met 50 Years After Graduation


by Bing V. Jacala

We were sheltered but in Maryknoll our minds were liberated. We read widely and discussed assertively. This is what we found again in each other when we met 50 years after graduation. In reuniting for a week of renewal we discovered that when we stepped into the outside world, our attempts at conquering the world all began with self development and preservation. Here we share a glimpse into our journey.

Group photo of the Maryknollers who met in Toronto (Bing is front, second from the left)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Brainard Christmas Family Pictures


I'm sharing a collage of past Christmas photos of the Brainard family and a recent picture taken of
Cecilia and Lauren enjoying the fake snow after the Christmas Concert in San Pedro, California.

Merry Christmas!


Tags: #Christmas #family #pictures

Read also:


Pictures: Maryknoll College Classmates Christmas Lunch



Tina and Andy Heiter, who are veritable Snow Birds, have left the cold winter of Switzerland for their home in Southern California. This was a good excuse to have them and some other classmates over for lunch. These women had attended the Maryknoll College mini-reunion in Toronto where some serious bonding occurred. We were delighted to see one another again and also happy that the "men in our lives" got along very well.

The women group pictures show seated l-r: Bing Velasco Jacala and Maria Ciocon; standing l-r: Cecilia Brainard, Rose Cua Go, and Tina Borja Heiter.  I'm sharing other pictures.  Enjoy!


L-R: Lauren, Sim, Andy, Jack, Herm

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mactan, 50 Years Ago And Now, article in Positively Filipino by Cecilia Brainard #VietnamWar #Philippines


Mactan, 50 Years Ago And Now
By Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Published in Positively Filipino, September 27, 2017 (Click here to read PF)

http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/mactan-50-years-ago-and-now



When I was a child and living in Cebu, the Island of Mactan was a dry, unremarkable place that we visited only once in a while. Despite being only 8 miles away from Cebu, Mactan seemed cut off by a deep channel. Before bridges were built, we had to take a ferry to get across, and it was a major expedition to picnic there on beaches that had jellyfish and spiny sea urchins. We children preferred the Cebu beaches in Talisay or Liloan where we would swim, go clamming and eat lechon, atsara, puso (rice in woven packets), and my favorite consilva or caramelized sliced plantains. The beaches of Mactan did not offer such a variety of local delicacies.

Books by Filipino American for Gift Giving by Cecilia Brainard #Literature




Books by Filipino Americans for Gift Giving
By Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Published in Positively Filipino, Decemter 13, 2017 (Click here to read PF)

http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/books-by-filipino-americans-for-gift-giving

Let’s face it -- most Christmas gifts are set aside after December 25. The clothes, purses, and knick-knacks are put away and sometimes forgotten or, worse still, set aside as white elephant gifts.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brainard Christmas Pictures Through the Years

Thursday, December 7, 2017

World War Two Novel: When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Brainard




Today, December 7, is the 76th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which started World War II in the Pacific in 1941.

I wrote about the coming of age of a young girl during World War Two in the Philippines. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept first came out as Song of Yvonne in the Philippines, but Dutton/Penguin picked it up in the US. Later the University of Michigan Press published it as well. This novel has been in print since 1991. It is the most circulated of my books.  

 Here are some reviews of the book. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

From Cebu to Ubec: Inspiration for The Newspaper Widow, novel by Cecilia Brainard



I enjoy movies like Shakespeare in Love and The Man Who Invented Christmas.  The first one is a fictional romantic comedy about Shakespeare infatuated with Viola de Lesseps during the time he was working on Romeo and Juliet. The Man Who Invented Christmas relates how Charles Dickens came to write the novella, A Christmas Carol.

These movies amuse me because it's true that some writers will take bits and pieces and weave these into their stories. The facial expression that the movie-Charles Dickens gets when a name or event strikes him as "material", reminds me of when something hits me too, and my creative self recognizes this as important in my work, and I feel as if I'm in twilight zone.

In some cases, these bits of inspiration are a throw-away statement or anecdote overheard, or some bit of information that the author read, or a name that strikes his/her fancy, a bit of truth, a bit of fantasy, a memory, some imaginings.  Even the author hardly knows just where exactly the characters, or scenes, or details from his/her creation came from -- not with precision, because the creative mind whips around here and there collecting material and tailoring these until the end product is new.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Interview of Cecilia Brainard by Leila Magtules #DLSU #Philippines #literature



When I have the time I do my best to help students and teachers. Recently some senior high school students from De La Salle University Integrated School interviewed me for a research project.  

Today I'm sharing the interview by Leila Magtules, whose adviser is Mr. Engelbert C. Talunton.


The photo shows l-r: Samantha Parker, Leila Magtules, and Jihan Ferrer

 ~ Cecilia Brainard


RESEARCH BACKGROUND
Title of Research: The life of an Artist through a literary creative output
Researcher: Leila Mae L. Magtules
Institution: De La Salle University Integrated School

DATA GATHERING INFORMATION
Informant: Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Background of the informant: Bio: Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author and editor of 20 books. Please visit her website at http://www.ceciliabrainard for her bio.




Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review of Cecilia Brainard's novel, The Newspaper Widow, by FOREWORD #mystery #Philippines



I'm happy to share an advanced review of my novel by FOREWORD Review (Jan. 15, 2018)
The Newspaper Widow, a novel by
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, and distributed in the US by Philippine American Literary House, i
t is available from Amazon.com
Softcover $18.95 (238pp)
978-971-506811-6

While at first glance The Newspaper Widow seems like a standard historical mystery, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s novel is full and complex, overflowing with textured, fully realized characters who drive the story on every page.
Ines Maceda, the “newspaper widow,” aims to clear her son’s name. He has been accused of murdering a priest. In addition, Ines grieves for her deceased husband and combats the lingering trauma of earlier miscarriages. Her development is one of the shining elements of the novel—she feels tangible, rooted in the story and the setting.
The Newspaper Widow offers a nuanced glance into Filipino society circa 1908. It is a world rich with history, myth, and ritual; descriptions pulse with life, providing crucial insights into aspects of Filipino culture and world colonial history, such as encounters with the “Island of the Living Dead,” sectioned off to contain those inflicted with leprosy, and once the world’s largest leper colony.
While on the surface the book is a crime story, the plot is actually layered and unique. One of the novel’s greatest strengths is how it raises interesting, complicated questions about morality and justice while Ines searches for the priest’s true killer: Is death ever an apt punishment for a crime? Is revenge moral, or even necessary?
Refreshingly, nothing is black and white.
For all of The Newspaper Widow’s greatness, sometimes there are too many layers to the plot, and the ending falls a bit flat in comparison to the rest of the narrative. But flaws are minor; overall, this is a solid, satisfying work of literature.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard displays masterful storytelling skill in The Newspaper Widow, a unique, memorable mystery.

MYA ALEXICE (January/February 2018)
FOREWORD

Book Trailer of The Newspaper Widow on YouTube
https://youtu.be/cNe8rS3dAXU

Tags: #book #novel #Cebu #literature #writer #Filipino

Read also


Interview of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard by Samantha Parker #DLSU #Philippines



When I have the time I do my best to help students and teachers. Recently some senior high school students from De La Salle University Integrated School interviewed me for a research project.  

Today I'm sharing the interview by Samantha Servino Parker, whose adviser is Mr. Engelbert C. Talunton.


The photo shows l-r: Samantha Parker, Leila Magtules, and Jihan Ferrer

 ~ Cecilia Brainard



INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD 

OPENING BY SAMANTHA SERVINO PARKER
-          I will be writing a novel on Autism Spectrum Disorder and I would like to request for your honest answers to all questions. 




I. Basic Information
1.      Novelist’s Experience

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author of 10 books, editor of 4 books, co-edited 6 books, collaborated on one novel.







Monday, November 27, 2017

Interview of Cecilia Brainard by Jihan Ferrer #DLSU #Philippines #literature



When I have the time I do my best to help students and teachers. Recently some senior high school students from De La Salle University Integrated School interviewed me for a research project.  

Today I'm sharing the interview by Jihan Marie Claire G. Ferrer, whose adviser is Mr. Engelbert C. Talunton. 

The photo shows l-r: Samantha Parker, Leila Magtules, and Jihan Ferrer.

~ Cecilia Brainard


INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD

OPENING
A.    Good day! What is your name?
Thanks for the interview. My name is Cecilia Manguerra Brainard.
B.     What is your profession?
Writer, Editor and Publisher
C.     How long have you been under the said profession?
My first book, Woman with Horns and Other Stories, was published in 1987 so I’ve been doing literary work for over 30 years.
a.  What are some of your best known works?
When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, The Newspaper Widow, Magdalena, and Woman With Horns and Other Stories (Please visit http://www.ceciliabrainard.com for my other titles.)




I. Clarification of Information
A.    Kindly elaborate on the different voices that can be used for narration?
The elements “voice” and “point of view” have different definitions. Point of view is defined in the question below. Voice is more difficult to define. Each writer has his or her own writing voice, which involves subject matter, handling of that subject matter, the themes he/she like to explore, as well as the style of writing. Each writer will have his/her own writing voice. But each written work will have it’s own voice as well, determined primarily by the demands of the work.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Greely Expedition: David L. Brainard's Books



The visit to the Explorers Club headquarters in New York made me more interested in my husband's relative, David L. Brainard, one of six survivors of the Greely Expedition of 1881-1884.
Brainard had co-founded the Explorers Club and is quite famous in the exploration-scientific world.



I decided to buy David Brainard's two books, the 1929 The Outpost of the Lost (Bobbs-Merrill Company), which includes the last part of  Brainard's journals of the ill-fated expedition.  Six Came Back also published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1940 includes all journal entries from the beginning until the end of the Greely Expedition.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#NewYork Restaurant: Pictures Katz Delicatessen Brief Review




We went to Katz Delicatessen in New York because it's supposedly world-famous.

It was incredibly crowded and the food wasn't that great. They have this crazy system of handing out numbers to people, then collecting them after you've paid.  A member of our party didn't have a number, which caused quite a stir. For a rare moment my husband lost his temper and yelled, "What the h--- does it matter!"

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New York: Video The Rockettes at the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City

Saturday, November 18, 2017

New York on a Budget? Visit Christie's Auction House for Great Art





Our dual-tour included a visit to the Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Center Art and Architecture Tour.  Frankly we had difficulty getting to the right group as there were no signs, and personnel seemed not to know what was going on. We were not alone; every other tourist had to ask people as they meandered about trying to get to the right place. Even though we insisted we had a dual-tour, we were sent up the top of the building (Top of the Rock). The lines were long and personnel spent a lot of energy taking our pictures, then selling our pictures --- we had to work hard to finally get someone to understand we had a walking tour scheduled.

When we finally did the walking tour, it was fine.  Our tour guide pointed out the 14 buildings that make up the Rockefeller Center Complex (including NBC and nearby Fox). He talked about the art on the buildings, works by Paul Manship, Isamu Noguchi, Michi Ihara, Jose Maria Sert, Frank Brangwyn, and others. We heard about the quarrel between Diego Rivera and a Rockefeller over the image of Lenin in Rivera's work, and how Rivera's work was ultimately destroyed.

We also saw men setting up the platform for the gigantic Christmas Tree. People were skating on the nearby skating rink -- I could imagine just how festive the place will get in a few days. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained: Part 2, by Manny Gonzalez #Catalonia #Spain




My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. Here is Part 2

CATALUNYA INDEPENDENCE CRISIS EXPLAINED
an Op-Ed in Three Parts

The Unfolding Current Crisis in Catalunya
By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent.

Catalunya’s “Silent Majority” finally takes to the streets to tell the world that most of them want to remain Spanish.

After Franco died, in 1978 the Spanish government was reorganized as a parliamentary monarchy. In Catalunya, the new Constitution was ratified by 95% of voters. So the Catalans today can hardly claim that the Constitution, in which they agreed to be part of Spain, was rammed down their throat.

Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained: Part I, by Manny Gonzalez #Catalonia #Spain



My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. These articles first appeared in The Philippine Star. They are reprinted in this blog with the author's permission. Here is Part I

CATALUNYA INDEPENDENCE CRISIS EXPLAINED
an Op-Ed in Three Parts


Spanish and Catalan History in a Nutshell
By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent.


Catalunya occupies a small triangle in the northeast of Spain.


I didn't want to be around to watch history in the making, but here I am in Barcelona, witness to a tragicomedy that will, one way or the other, affect the future of Europe.

Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained: Part 3, by Manny Gonzalez #Catalonia #Spain




My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. Here is Part 3

CATALUNYA INDEPENDENCE CRISIS EXPLAINED
an Op-Ed in Three Parts

Key Questions About the Spain/Catalunya Crisis Answered
By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent.
The European Union has brought an unprecedented period of peace and economic prosperity to the Continent.

Question: Why should you care about what's going on in Spain?


Answer: Because it offers lessons for the Philippines.


Catalunya Independence Crisis: Part 4, Cleaning Up the Mess by Manny Gonzalez #Catalan #Spain



My Guest Blogger is Manny Gonzalez who shares with us a four-part series on Catalunya Independence Crisis Explained. Here is Part 4


CATALUNYA INDEPENDENCE CRISIS PART 4: CLEANING UP THE MESS


By Manny Gonzalez, founder of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and now part-time foreign correspondent


Last week I reported on the Catalan independence crisis, and made these  suggestions:


If the Catalan leaders persist, the national government will take control of Catalunya. If it comes to that point, the national government has to do it right, with firmness against the ringleaders but no retribution against the general public. Public services must be visibly more courteous, more efficient, more functional, than under the Catalans.


If the Catalan leaders back down, the situation might still fester. The national government should call for snap general elections, and hopefully convincingly defeat the separatists in Catalunya. Then more moderate voices need to be heard in Catalan schools, universities, print and broadcast media, and social media.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New York: Explorers Club and David L. Brainard #explorers





















WALKING ALONG East 70th Street in New York, my husband and I spotted a handsome old house with a sign, "Explorer's Club." I paused, remembering something I had researched and written about.

My husband's relative, David Legge Brainard, had been part of the Greely Expedition, which had set out to establish a metereological-observation post in the Arctic. In July of 1881, David Brainard and 24 other men led by Lieutenant Adolphus Greely, sailed on the ship Proteus to the Lady Franklin Bay. There they got stuck for three desperate years. While waiting for help, the men started dying of starvation and sickness. They would have been forgotten and abandoned in the harsh Arctic, but for the relentless lobbying of Mrs. Greeley. They were rescued in June of 1884.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nina Lim Yuson Caricature/ Portrait Cecilia Brainard



My Maryknoll college chum, Nina Lim Yuson did this caricature of me. I think this Toronto picture inspired her.

Thank you, Nina! 
The following article is about Nina:

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/268262/nina-lim-yuson-now-late-bloomer-artist-teaches-kids-heritage/

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creepy Halloween Pictures!



Creepy Halloween Pictures!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Coming up -- Halloween!



Happy Halloween!


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.