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Letter to Pedro, U.S.

citizen also called Pete


Filed under: Literature franniegoose @ 5:50 am Its sad to think that what was said in this poem is true, and is still happening in the Philippines. (rich becomes richer, poor becomes poorer, women are left to become whores, etc.) But this was written with such humor that it doesnt sound as bad as it was. The persona is very ironic, first saying that nothing much has changed then follows that stanza about changes in their community. Not only was he ironic, he also sounded very sarcastic. These tones were intended to know what the persona really wants to say. If he wants to be like Pedro or if he thinks that going to America is not a good thing.

Renowned writers help teachers impart literature

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By Kevin A. Lagunda Friday, June 10, 2011 WHEN done discussing a story, Katrina Montillano-Pitogo said she let her students dramatize it. The 28-year-old Filipino teacher believes that by doing such activity, her students can get the storys essence. Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos. Ako nang buhaton aron makatabang ko nga di mamatay ang Philippine literature (Thats what I do to keep Philippine literature alive), she said. Pitogo was one of the teachers who attended the lectures of multi-awarded writers Dr. Marjorie Evasco and Dr. Anthony Tan in the third edition of PEN-Sida Teaching Literature Workshop held at the University of Cebu-Banilad yesterday. Evasco, a literature professor of De La Salle University in Manila, discussed how to teach poetry. She was followed by Tan, who teaches literature at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Tan shared his method in imparting a story. Evasco, in her lecture, took up the poem Letter to Pedro, US Citizen, also called Pete written by Cebuano poet Rene Estella Amper.

In dissecting Ampers poem, she used a mnemonic device coined by former education secretary Isagani Cruz. It is called Free, which stands for Feed the text, Read the text, Enrich or Enliven the text, Enjoy the text. Evasco said feeding the text means teachers should conduct background research on the contexts of the poet and the culture of origin from where the poem was produced. Reading the text, according to Evasco, refers to the stage where the teachers do their own strong close-reading of the poem. Enriching the text, refers to the next stage of preparation where teachers design different activities and exercises that students can do to learn the poem better. Enjoying the text refers to how teachers facilitate the process of the students second or third reading of the text, Evasco said. (It is) how they would now enjoy the poem and articulate for themselves the joy of their own discoveries of the poems meaningfulness, she said. Evasco further said she designed several writing activities to help enrich the students understanding of the poem, and enable them to bring their sense of the poems meaning into their own lives. If we can teach our students well how to squeeze the juices out of their imagination with the sweetness and light of every poem, theyll soon know that in the final analysis, it is their own imagination they are drinking and enjoying, she said. If you cannot teach a poem well, the whole semester is gone, she added. Evasco said teachers should continue to work hard and happily each day towards transforming young minds to be brave and confident in the power of their imagination. For his part, Tan said there are many ways of teaching a short story. He said he discovered that one of the easiest ways of doing it is to approach the short story as an art form and to discuss it according to its formal elements, which are the plot, character, point of view, tone and atmosphere, language and style, symbolism, and theme. To succeed in teaching a short story, Tan said teachers should be passionate. How can we communicate our love for words if we ourselves are not enthusiastic about what words tell us? he said. Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 10, 2011.

Letter to Pedro, U.S. Citizen, Also Called Pete


This poem was funny for me :D especially the lizard part! One of the most remarkable thing is this poem is its ironic tone. The poem started off saying that nothing had changed but as I read through the poem, I told myself, wait I thought nothing really changed, so how come it looks like everything had change. Aside from being funny, I believe this poem also accurately presents the situation here in the Philippines-that all thing s American is good. So when realizing this truth, it is also a little saddening. Jun 2, '09 6:42 "Letter to Pedro, U.S. Citizen, Also Called Pete"; Poem by Rene Estella AM Amper for everyone Category: Other Analysis of Rene Estella Ampers Poem: Letter to Pedro, U.S. Citizen, Also Called Pete At the onset of the poem, the persona or the letter writer has already laid in place the setting that is surely rural in nature. The persona paints a picture of a quaint provincial town where as children, he and Pedro, the one to whom the personas letter is addressed, had great rollicking adventures. The persona is reminiscing of childhood haunts and escapades: the burial of the cat Simeona, the splitting of their young lizards by the goat Tasyo, the long blue hills with the tall grass where they shot at birds and leisurely spent many an afternoon. Interlaced with the reminiscences are news of the developments in town, from the mundane to the controversial. Typical of a letter meant for someone who has immigrated, the poem makes mention of new infrastructures and buildings and it has colorful gossip about friends and relatives. The poems wording and style are playful and very conversational, much like the way bosom friends talk and cajole each other. The reader gets comfortable as the poem rambles along, the scenes depicted are familiar to most people and it sounds just like what had happened in our very own hometowns. The diction is halting, the thoughts of the persona arent full-bodied, much like how one would expect someone from the province would talk. The camaraderie between the persona and Pedro is obvious, the mark that their friendship has made is very apparent in the persona. The jibes at Pedro are such that only true friends could make upon each other. The naughty connotation of the personas banter about the goat Tasyo is especially hilarious. However, the superficial picturesque portrait ends there. The poem is filled with potent socio-political undertones, those issues that touch at the fabric of society and is seldom talked about if at all.

The destruction of the burial ground of the cat Simeona which unceremoniously gave way for the making of a feeder road, the steel bridge over the gray river and the long blue hills turned private residence of the mayors son, had as its underlying theme the dislocation of the environment for the inevitable march of progress and civilization. The countryside is changing face fast and the persona cant help succumbing to nostalgia for childhood memories that he shared with his friend, Pedro. The stereotype of a conservative countryside is shattered with the provincial people losing their values and the church being helpless about their wavering flock. The countrys political tradition of politician-tyrants-goons is cited in the fifth stanza. As deplorable as it is, nothing decisive is being done about it and these conditions are most felt in the countryside. Prostitution was also tackled albeit in a teasing light but it drives home the message that most women resort to making their bodies wares for survival. Our colonial mentality is explicitly illustrated in the poem, the title itself speaks of it and it can be found in the fixation with the Westernized names, Pedros Tiyo Islaw becoming Uncle Stanley and the envy of Pedros lucky lot for having an American wife and living the American dream.

Death of a poet
Talk about giants among Cebuano poets and one eventually gets to Rene Estella Amper. As a writer, I got to know the man in a circuitous way. I joined The Quill, the student publication of Southwestern University, as a Chemical Engineering freshman. With me was Blanche, an amiable student who turned out to be Ampers daughter. But those were tumultuous times. Instead of concentrating on improving our craft, we got caught in the struggle for campus press freedom. I could not recall now whether Blanche was still with us when years later the school administration eased us out of The Quill. I quit college altogether and joined the bigger struggle outside the school campus. The older Amper had made a name for himself then as a distinguished Cebuano poet writing in English. I heard stories about his stint in The Quill, thats why I havent forgotten Blanche. When you are a young writer, there are works that catches your fancy, and writers that you end up idolizing. I read Ampers published works and became a fan. I didnt get to meet Amper until I took journalism as a profession and ended up covering the Capitol beat. He had jumped from being a municipal health officer to being a mayor of Boljoon, the town of his birth. My admiration grew. In these materialistic times, it is not often that doctors like him would choose to practice in a rural setting. By then, Amper had shifted to writing poems in Cebuano even as politics drew him away from his craft. He was mayor for three terms (nine years), then vice mayor until his death Wednesday. He is a great loss to our town, said SPO1 Roderick Roma of the Boljoon police, recalling how Amper, as a doctor, would treat rural folks for free. I dont know how far Amper would have gone as a poet had he concentrated on his writings. His collection of poems, All Else is Grass grabbed second prize in the Palanca Awards in 1989. This writing fellow of the famed Silliman University Summer Writers Workshop published two other collections, 12 Poems and Collected Poems. It is indeed a pity that this countrys literary lights grow old and pass away virtually unrecognized for their contribution to our culture. Thus, while to his children he was a good father, to rural folks he was a kind doctor and to Boljoon people he was a devoted public servant, Rene Estella Amper should aptly be, to Cebuanos, their pride. Candido O. Wenceslao (I wrote this for Sun.Star Cebu for January 26, 2007)

Friday, February 16, 2007

1:32 PM | Rene Estella Amper, 67


Late last January, a giant of Philippine literature died -- and only a few people knew. Rene Estella Amper, Cebuano poet, doctor, and politician whose Palanca-winning poetry was both a sad and funny indictment of our quirks as a people, has died. I wouldn't have known about this if I weren't googling him today. We will all remember him for his very funny "Letter to Pedro, U.S. Citizen, Also Called Pete": Si Rene Estella Amper ay isinilang noong 18 Oktubre 1940 sa Boljoon, Cebu. Nag-aral siya sa Seminario Menor de San Carlos at kumuha ng medisina sa Southwestern University. Kabilang sa kalipunan ng mga tula niya ang Twelve Poems (1969), Collected Poems (1990), at Payag Ibabaw sa Hangin (1991).