University of San Carlos Press, 2012, softcover ISBN 978–971-539–034-7
Many of the personal essays in this book explore the author’s Cebuano ties, including colorful accounts about her mother’s political family, the Cuencos. The collection of 28 prose pieces also includes accounts about the author’s life and travels outside of Cebu.
“How can anyone miss with a book like this? It combines the marvelous prose of Cecilia Brainard with the reflective ambiance of Cebu. Although I am neither a woman nor a Cebuano, Cecilia is one of my favorite authors and Cebu is one of my favorite cities. Cecilia has always impressed me with her energy and expertise. Cebu has always been my writing city, which I visit whenever I am in need of inspiration. Now I have both Cecilia and Cebu every day between covers in my hands.” (Isagani R. Cruz. Columnist, Philippine Star)
“I knew Cecilia Manguerra Brainard first as a fiction writer, writing from the U.S. but grounded in the physicality of Ubec, Cebu, of course … Later when I got to know her as a friend, I discovered another layer which involved her deep interest, research in and thinking about Filipino history, particularly Magellan, who died, of course, in Cebu. I visited her in her current Cebuano home in the Parian, and we walked past the old Jesuit house down the street. Thus I found this collection of essays charmingly familiar and yet fresh and new … A beautiful collection!” (Susan Evangelista, Professor, Palawan State University)
“Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s essays are invaluable to students as they reflect on their own life journey. These essays celebrate a pride in a heritage. Brainard is clearly proud of her Cebuana heritage and this pride shows in this magnificent collection of essays. No doubt, educators and students alike will be enthralled by the details and pictures created in these essays.” (Edmundo F. Litton, Professor of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles)
“Cecilia Manguerra Brainard lets her passions take us on travels to places in the world and in her spirit. Either way she releases the candidness, the critique, and the chaos that confront a writer evolving. For never does the writer tire of becoming while connecting past with future. And in her case, a youth spent on the island of Cebu, jumps in and out whether she is haggling in Peru, contemplating sweet Philippine custard, or recalling her beloved Carnival Queen mother who reigned before modern beauty contests dared to design an international standard.” (Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, Writer)