2013 Featured Authors and Their Books

Facebook

     ALMIRA ASTUDILLO GILES
almiranewAlmira Astudillo Giles is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction whose writing focuses mostly on her Filipino heritage.firebeneath Born and raised in the Philippines, she came to the U.S. to study, completing a PhD and two masters degrees from Michigan State University. Her picture book, Willie Wins, is the most widely circulated Filipino American book for children in the U.S. She has also published poetry, essays, short stories, and plays. She has been invited to speak at many venues around the country, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.Last December, she was conferred the Pamana ng Pilipino Presidential Award for Individuals by Pres. Benigno Aquino III at a Commission on Filipinos Overseas ceremony in Malacañang Palace.The Fire Beneath: Tales of Gold is her first novel which was inspired by the true discovery of the largest collection of gold treasures in the Philippines. In 1981, a bulldozer operator found gold artifacts while working in an irrigation project in Surigao. Most of these treasures are now on permanent display in the Ayala Museum in the Philippines.
Also written by Almira Astudillo Giles
Willie-Wins Willie Wins
Illustrated in full colors by Fil Am artist Carl Angel
Only softcover editions are available now.
The first book published by Almira Gilles. 2001
A tender but vital tribute to a father’s love and a son’s faith. Willie, a young Filipino boy, must bring a bank to class for saving the play money his teacher will be handing out for extra work. His father gives him an alkansiya—coconut shell bank from the Philippines—but Willie worries that Stan, the class bad boy, will give him grief about it. Can you guess how this story ends? BTW, this is the most popular Filiipino American book for kids.
     MARVIN GAPULTOS
MGBorn and raised in Los Angeles, California, Marvin Gapultos is a first-generation Filipino American and author of the celebrated food blog Burnt Adobo-Road-Cookbook-CoverLumpia whose pioneering efforts and singular passion in promoting the food of the Philippines has made him one of the country’s leading voices on Filipino cuisine.With his unique approach to Filipino cooking, Marvin gained both loyal following and critical acclaim from a worldwide audience, which made him the first Filipino American food blogger to truly champion and showcase Filipino cuisine. He opened The Manila Machine–Los Angeles’ first gourmet Filipino food truck, completely owned and operated by food bloggers.His first cookbook, The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey, provides easy-to-follow, tried and true recipes that serve as a guide to the pleasures of Filipino cooking. The nearly 100 recipes in these pages pave a culinary road trip that transports home cooks to the roadside food stalls, bars and home kitchens of the Philippines, to the hungry streets of L.A., and even into the sage kitchen’s of Marvin’s own grandmother, mother and aunties.
     CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD
ceciliambrainardCecilia Manguerra Brainard, is a multi-awarded author and editor who works as a free lance writer and teaches creative writing at the WritersMagnificat: Mama Mary's Pilgrim Sites Program at UCLA-Extension. Some of her noted works include Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories and the internationally acclaimed novel When the Rainbow Goddess Wept among others. She also edited five books and co-edited six books among which are Growing Up Filipino I and II, Ala Carte: Food and Fiction, Behind the Walls: Life of Convent Girls, Cecilia’s Diary,1962-1969 and Finding God: True Stories of Spiritual Encounters. Cecilia has also written a novel with four other women entitled, Angelica’s Daughters, a Dugtungan Novel.Her latest book, Magnificat: Mama Mary’s Pilgrim Sites is a collection of essays which are profoundly Marian and beautifully written as personal experiences by 24 contributors. It features fifteen Marian pilgrim sites around the world and nine sites in the Philippines. “This book assembles a tableau of witnesses to how a visit with Mary can turn into a life-changing introduction to her Son” – Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD., President, University of San Carlos, Cebu, Philippines. Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD., DD., Bishop of Bangued, Philippines, writes “To our fellow devotees and would-be devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you will surely fall in love with Magnificat: Mama Mary’s Pilgrim Sites and love our Blessed Mother even more.” This inspirational book carries the Imprimatur of His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D., Archbishop of Manila.
Other Titles Written by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
     GIOVANNI ORTEGA
giovanniortegaGiovanni Ortega has been working around the country as a playright, director and performer for the last ten years. silverlakeMost recently, he originated the role of Tumao in Aswang, an opera by acclaimed composer Florante Aguilar, in San Francisco. He also recently choreographed the musical adaptation of Velina Hasu Houston’s award winning play Tea for East West Players in Los Angeles while, simultaneously, his play Allos, the story of Carlos Bulosan was produced in Chicago by CIRCA Pintig Theater Company.His book Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio is a collection of short fiction and poetry that deals with the human existence seen from the viewpoints of different characters who come from varying environments, that share a certain sense of grief, isolation and hope. Based on the experience of losing a mentor, Leaves is what came out of a year long grieving process for the author who used writing as a means to immortalize someone who passed away. He says: “This book was initially a concept to somehow immortalize one of my mentors, Peter Corpus. He embodied a larger than life view of how to live, and was always willing to take time to teach others what he has learned. He remains the hardest working person I have encountered but most of all, the most caring as well.”
     SUMI SEVILLA HARU
sumi-haruFrom humble beginnings in her Colorado home, Sumi Sevilla Haru has worked her way to become a world traveled actor, union leader, and civilironlotus rights activist. Some of her titles have included Screen Actors Guild officer; radio programmer; television producer/host at KTLA-TV; writer, creator, and executive producer for Iron Lotus Productions.Having led a varied and interesting life, Sumi sums it all in her memoir, Iron Lotus. In this debut book, she shares her trials and triumphs as she paved the road for women of color to enjoy success of their own making in the entertainment industry and corporate world.Honest, open, and frank, Sumi’s memoirs will educate as much as entertain, with her wit and wisdom showing on every page.
     JANET STICKMON
janet stickmonJanet C. Mendoza Stickmon, whose work has influenced thousands of adults and adolescents for the last seventeen years, is a teacher, writer, andmidnightpeaches performer. Stickmon has taught ethnic studies, social justice, history of Christianity, spoken word and algebra at Salesian High School in Richmond, CA for several years. She is currently a professor of Humanities at Napa Valley College and is the founder and facilitator of Broken Shackle Developmental Training—a program that promotes the use of healing techniques to help reduce the effects of internalized racism. Her memoir, Crushing Soft Rubies, has been used as a course textbook at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Santa Rosa Junior College and Gavilan College. She is also a spoken word artist who has performed at several venues across the country. Through her literature and performances, she explores issues of love, motherhood, resilience, ancestral connection, and joy.Her latest book, Midnight Peaches, Two O’Clock Patience is a collection of essays, poems, and short stories. It invites the reader to bear witness to how women touch others and the ways they want to be touched. Janet reminds us that patience and a listening ear can inspire a woman’s creative power to overflow without warning.
Also written by Janet Stickmon
 crushingsoftrubiescoverCrushing Soft Rubies: A Memoir-this title is being revised and new edition is still not available momentarily.
     CRISELDA YABES
criseldayabesCriselda Yabes is a seasoned journalist and award-winning writer. She graduated from the University of the Philippines and has worked as an Peace-Warriosinternational correspondent covering political events that saw insurgencies, rebellion, and coup d’etats in the Philippines as well as war and crises across the globe. While she was born in Quezon City, she spent her growing up years in Zamboanga and thus developed an affection for the Muslim Region which is a favorite subject for her literary pieces.Her most recent book on literary journalism regarding military affairs in Muslim Mindanao Region, Peace Warriors, won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 2012. It gives an account of the armed forces in the Muslim Mindanao region where the struggle to find peace is taking place to end one of the country’s longest-running insurgencies. This was written ten years after her first book, the well-acclaimed, The Boys from the Barracks which chronicles events of several attempted coups soon after Ferdinand Marcos was deposed as dictator of the Philippines.Sarena's StoryIn 2008, two of her books won the University of the Philippines Centennial Literary Prize: for creative non-fiction, Sarena’s Story: The Loss of a Kingdom, a story on the fall of the Sulu Sultanate and for fiction, Below the Crying Mountain, a weave of love stories with a backdrop on the Muslim secessionist uprising in the 1970s. The latter was long-listed for the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize.She also wrote Our Rights, Our Victories: Landmark Cases in the Supreme Court, in collaboration with Marites Danguilan Vitug.Her other books that are now out of print are Jalan Jalan, a travel narrative through the backwaters of Mindanao province and Borneo that were under an economic reconstruction plan known as East ASEAN Growth Area; Letters from Pala’wan, which follows an anthropological team searching for ancient pre-Hispanic script on an island known as the Philippines’ last frontier and a former Spanish penal colony and A Journey of Scars, a personal reflection on life and love during her European sojourn, which was short-listed by the Philippine National Book Award.She currently works as a free lance writer and is a Diana Bennett Fellow, at the Black Mountain Institute of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 2012-2013.
Also written by Criselda Yabes
     STEVEN A. YAGYAGAN
Steven YagyaganSteven A. Yagyagan, born and reared on a sugar plantation in Waialua, Hawai’i, has been working on his books for the last 20 years. His firstHaikus_For_Life_Cover_for_Kindle book, Haikus of Life: Live, Love and Laugh With Passion is the result of his reacquaintance with the sights, sounds, smells, texture and in sometimes tastes of Nature’s Beauty when he started running again after a three-year hiatus. He started to form haiku poems which flowed naturally in his mind and heart.The Divine Mercy: An Amazing Journey was inspired by events in the life of Antonio Campanano, Jr. who has shared his journal which narrates how his divinemercyDivine Mercy experience solidified his faith in God and tells how God teaches him about Joy, Peace, Love, Forgiveness and Trust by experiencing the highs and lows of life. A deeply spiritual person, he also enjoys writing music, playing music with his friends in their band, Da 2nd Wind Band. He relishes living every moment of his life to the fullest with his wife, children and closest friends. Otherwise, he is a very private person. It is in his private moments that he collects his thoughts of the day and expresses them in poetry and in song.

Fil Am Authors Celebrate Authors Night and the LA Times Festival of Books

2013-Festival-of-Books-header
authorsnight (2)Rancho Palos Verdes, CA– To celebrate the Printed and Spoken Words, Philippine Expressions Bookshop will host its annual Filipino American Authors Night and present eight authors and their new works to the community. Traditionally, Authors Night is held on the eve of the LA Times Festival of Books when authors gather in Los Angeles for the Festival. This year, Authors Night will be held on Friday, April 19 from 5:30pm – 9:00pm at the Community Hall of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) which is located at 1145 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. The building is on the corner of Lucas Street and Wilshire, next to the Good Samaritan Hospital. Visit http:///www.apalc.org/for the map site. The venue host is Carmina Ocampo, a Fil Am lawyer connected with APALC. The event is free and open to the public but RSVP is requested. Call Linda Nietes at (310) 514-9139 or email linda@philippineexpressionsbookshop.com. Street parking is available or at Athena Parking for $6.00 located at 634 Lucas Street.

Featured Authors at this year’s event include two out-of-state women authors: Almira Astudillo Gilles of Chicago and Criselda Yabes, a journalist from Manila. The rest of the authors are from Northern and Southern California: Janet Stickmon of Napa Valley, Steven Yagyagan of San Diego, Santa Monica author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and debut authors Marvin Gapultos, Giovanni Ortega and Sumi Sevilla Haru who are presenting their first books. The authors will talk, read and sign their books. 

booksigningEvery year, the small literary community within the big Filipino American community of Southern CA awaits the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which is now on its eighteenth year. Philippine Expressions Bookshop has participated in the Festival since 1997. The Bookshop started with just a couple of Fil Am authors and over the years, more and more works of Fil Am authors have been published. Except for Brainard and Gilles, six Featured Authors will also sign books during the Festival. They will be joined by four other authors: Carina Forsythe known in the writing world as Carina Monica Montoya, Albert J. Mortiz, Myrna Mulhern and Leslie Ryan. Details about them and their books are in the bookshop’s blog Archive in March, September and October 2012 .

Owner Linda Nietes of Rancho Palos Verdes is “glad to be part of the cultural scene of the City of Los Angeles all these lindanietesyears. She is also happy that she has helped create more awareness for the Filipino literary traditions in America.” Philippine Expressions, her specialty bookshop was established in Los Angeles in 1984 in order to provide a home for Philippine writings in America. It is the first of its kind in American soil and is dedicated to Filipino Americans and Filipinos in the diaspora who are in search of their roots. When martial law was declared in the Philippines in 1972 and Philippine writings were censored, Linda Nietes bravely opened Casalinda Bookshop, her first Filipiniana bookshop in San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park, Makati. Her aim was to encourage Filipinos to write despite political censorship and to provide a home for Philippine writings during that period. After twelve years of giving support to Philippine writings and living in a repressive society under martial law, she left for the United States in 1984 and reopened her business as Philippine Expressions Bookshop in Westwood Village near UCLA. Two years later in 1986, dictator Ferdinand Marcos was deposed but Nietes decided to stay on. In 1997, she moved to Rancho Palos Verdes where her home-based mail order bookshop still operates. Counting the years when she opened her first bookshop, Nietes has been a bookseller and cultural activist for the last forty-one years, of which 29 years were on American soil. Before becoming a Philippine book specialist, she worked for the world’s biggest stock market brokerage firm in Hong Kong. When the company opened its Regional Office in Manila, she was transferred to Manila as the Operations Manager. When martial law was declared in the Philippines, she opted for an early retirement so that she could help her country in crisis. She found her niche in the book business. Looking back, “it has not been an easy journey but it was a mission that I undertook gladly,” Nietes added. She had been exposed to the ups and downs of the US stock market and in risk-taking, so she took everything in stride. Today, the book market all over the world is undergoing tremendous challenges due to new technologies and innovative methods of doing business. And this trailblazer looks forward to retirement soon.

She further added, “the Bookshop continues to seek the support of the community as we present new programs that make a difference in the cultural life of Filipinos in the diaspora. LATimes_BoothPlease support Filipino American authors as they try to find their place in the literary map of mainstream America! Inspire our authors with your presence and have a book autographed for your private library when you visit us at the Festival. Do come and bring your family and friends.” If you are unable to visit but would like to purchase autographed copies of their books, the Bookshop accepts orders. The booth of Philippine Expressions Bookshop
 is Booth # 033, located at Trousdale Parkway, along Exposition Boulevard
 at USC Campus, Los Angeles. For more details, visit the Festival’s website: http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/general-information/ For maps and direction to USC Campus, visit http://visit.usc.edu/maps-directions/

Meet and Greet the Authors

authni

2012 Authors Night

To Celebrate the Printed and Spoken Words

and to launch ten new works by Filipino American Authors

Ofelia V. Dirige & Aurora S. Cudal, Rachelle Cruz, Cecilia Gaerlan,
Theodore S. Gonzalves, Greceila Jota, Paulino Lim, Jr., Carina Monica Montoya,
Donna Miscolta, Ruben Nepales, Quirico S. Samonte and Susan Vance, guest author

Friday, April 20, 2012    6:00pm – 9:00pm
Community Hall, Asian Pacific American Legal Center
1145 Wilshire Boulevard, corner Lucas Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Free and Open to the Public. RSVP is requested. (310) 514-9139

linda@philippineexpressionsbookshop.com

Free parking available at the rooftop of APALC building after 5:30pm. There is also street parking; additional parking for a fee is available at Good Samaritan parking structure next to the APALC building. Entrances to both APALC and GS parking are on Lucas.

***

 Special Thanks


To  Asian Pacific American Legal Center and most especially to our host for the evening, Atty. Carmina OcampoMaraming salamat for your nurturing and generosity of spirit towards to our Bookshop and to the whole Filipino American community in Los Angeles! You are a role model for our young people and we are blessed to have someone like you in the community.


***

Authors and their Books

The following authors will talk and read from their book (s). There will be booksigning sessions during Authors Night and at our Booth # 024 during the LA Times Festival of Books at USC Campus, April 21-22. Please refer to Booksigning Schedule posted in this blog. Do come and join us to Meet and Greet our Fil Am Authors. Your presence means support for their creative talents and it will be a source of inspiration to them.


Ofelia V. Dirige and Aurora S. Cudal
are co-authors of Global Filipino Cuisine: Healthy Recipes. This is a revised edition of their 2009 book which was published with the late Dr Riz A. Oades. It now contains 100 modified choices complete with nutrient analysis, and the book is the authors’ contribution to healthy eating in the Filipino American community.

Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California.  Her chapbook, Self-Portrait as Rumor and Blood was recently published by Dancing Girl Press.  Her work has appeared in Muzzle Magazine, Splinter Generation, KCET’s Departures Series, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others.  She hosts “The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Riverside, California.

Cecilia Ilano Gaerlan is a multi-awarded Bay Area playwright and author of several plays on a wide variety of topics. In Her Mother’s Image is her debut novel. A long-awaited journey back to the land of her birth unleashed the floodgates of Chiquita’s painful childhood memories of World War II in the Philippines. The book has been adopted for a screenplay.

Theodore S. Gonzalves, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. His two latest books are The Filipinos in Hawaii (part of the Series on Images of America and co-authored with Roderick N. Labrador)  which captures in black and white the history of Filipinos in the islands and how they became “Hawayanos” over time, and Carlos Villa and the Integrity of Spaces which is a definitive work on the artist, educator, curator and author. This book ensures Villa’s rightful place in the art and cultural history of America. His other books include Stage Presence: Conversations with Filipino American Performing Artists  and The Day the Dancers Stayed: Performing in the Filipino/American Diaspora .

 Greceila Jota. Popularly known as Grace, she holds a masters degree in Education and a Diploma in Theology. Along with her husband of thirty-one years, she is a Bible Study leader. Her book, The Deliverer is her first novel. It  is about love, materialism, and challenges faced by unbelievers, rich and famous. It exposed a love triangle between Dun Rosenberg, a prominent Jew turned atheist, and his son, Alex. Both fell in love with Phyllis, who was engaged to be married to Brad Dennison, a church minister. Tragedy came, but once we allow deliverance to begin, we never know where it will end. Author lives in Sydney, Australia.  

 Paulino Lim, Jr was chairman of the English Department of CSU-Long Beach where he taught for several years. Now retired, he writes fiction as a hobby and his latest novel is Death of the English Zen Professor. A British professor at an American university is found dead on a meditation cushion in his office by Neil Saguisag, the Filipino chairman of the English Department. The novel takes the point of view of Neil as it “investigates” a murder, divorce, and postcolonial education. His other books include four novels: Tiger Orchid on Mount Mayon; Sparrows Don’t Sing in the Philippines; Requiem for a Rebel Priest; Ka Gaby, Nom de Guerre; two short story collections, Passion Summer and Other Stories, and Curacao Cure and Other Stories, and Menage Filipinescas: a Play in Three Acts.

Carina Monica Montoya. Her latest book is Santa Maria Valley (part of the series, Images of America) which she co-authored with the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society. The book has made mention of the Filipino farm workers who have worked on the rich agricultural fields of this Valley. Also known as Carina Forsythe, her other books include Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown; Filipinos in Hollywood and a juvenile cookbook, Let’s Cook Adobo!

Donna Miscolta has received many awards and her fiction has appeared in literary journals. Her short story collection Natalie Wood’s Fake Puerto Rican Accent was a finalist for the 2010 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her debut novel, When the De la Cruz Family Danced is an all-familiar story of how immigrants carry the heavy burdens of family life in America, welding the past into the present. You will love the journey of the De la Cruz family.

Ruben Nepales’ “deftly-written stories of Filipino-American personalities, The Philippines in Hollywood showcase his masterful craft of writing. It comes from his persistent, disciplined, dogged hard work of interviews and honed by his writing experience of more than three decades. This book takes you on a global journey with these mostly Filipino-American talents that include an executive chef in the White House. In his pieces, Ruben reveals their gentle spirits which mirror his generosity of spirit as well.” – Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D. Columnist, Asian Journal Press and writer, Balikbayan Magazine – 

Quirico S. Samonte. He is a Professor Emeritus, Eastern Michigan University, and  a graduate of the University of the Philippines and the University of Michigan.  His book of fiction, Panagani means harvest time in Ilocano. It is about ordinary people who try to make sense of their fears and frustrations, bound to injustices committed by rich agrarian landlords and the corrupt political system that exists. Since many Filipinos today still suffer the same fate, this is almost the story of Filipinos living in the countrysides. His other books  include At the Table with the Family, and Not at the Table, Please! Both books of narratives about growing up in the Philippines are entertaining, and were illustrated by his wife, Judy.

 Susan Vance.  Tropic Born War Torn: Untold Tales of WWII in the Philippines as retold by Susan Vance. This is the story of her mother,  Gloria Haube whose family was living in the Philippines when war broke out in 1941. A story of romance, gold-mining ventures, and idyllic lifestyles torn asunder by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Near war’s end they followed indigenous Igorots into remote mountains to seek refuge from American bombs, living on sweet potatoes until their harrowing escape from retreating Japanese troops. As a journalist, Susan Vance developed an active interest in documenting history.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS BLOG WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES ALL OVER THE WORLD!