Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author and editor of over twenty books. Cecilia grew up in the port city of Cebu in Central Philippines, a place that retains its Spanish-Colonial influences, inspiring Cecilia to create her mythical setting called “Ubec” which echoes the Santo Niño Church, triangular Spanish fort, and old buildings and streets of the real Cebu.
Her three novels — When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and The Newspaper Widow are set (even partially) in Ubec. Ubec also appears in her three short story collections — Woman in Horns and Other Stories, Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories, and Vigan and Other Stories.
Responding to the needs of her Filipino and Filipino American communities, Cecilia edited fiction and nonfiction collections, including Fiction by Filipinos in America, Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults, and Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults.
Cecilia has taught at the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension, UCLA, USC, and the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). She continues to lecture and perform in literary arts venues such as Shakespeare and Company in Paris, Culture Rapide in Paris, Beyond Baroque, PEN, Coming Together in Skokie Illinois, Second Literary Symposium in Jackson Tennessee, Filipino American International Book Festivals, Cebu Literary Festivals, and many Philippine and US universities.
As a former Executive Board Member of the writers’ group PEN, she represented PEN USA West in International meetings in Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela. She served as an officer in such groups as the Midnight Special Cultural Center, PAAWWW (Pacific Asian American Women Writers West), and the Arts & Letters at the Cal State University, LA.
Cecilia co-founded PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists) a support group that received funding by the California Arts Council. She founded and runs PALH (Philippine American Literary House) a small publishing house of fine Philippine American books. She is an active member of the Philippine and Philippine American literary communities.