Kristian Sendon Cordero

A young Bicolano poet entertained a motley crowd by reading his poems during a get-together held on November 2, 2012 at the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM) in Southfield.

Poet Kristian Sendon Cordero, 29 years old, a Palanca awardee, was the honored guest at the dinner affair hosted by Dr. Ernestina delos Santos-Mac. He had just attended a four-day international conference on Philippine studies which was held at the Michigan State University (MSU).[box type=”default” size=”large”] Poet Cordero reads his poems about rural life in Bicol [/box]Cordero, who is the author of four Bicol poetry books, regaled the crowd, composed mostly of Bicolanos, by reading some of his poems about Bicol rural life, including one about the beetle (sallagubang), which is a delicacy in some Philippine rural areas. He first read the poems in the Bicol dialect and later read the English translation of the verses.

He thanked Doctor Mac for hosting the get-together, saying his meeting with his fellow Bicolanos at the affair made his travel to the US complete.

In an interview, Cordero said he began writing poems when he was 16 years old. He received in 2006 his first Palanca award in the English fiction category, and this year, he got his second Palanca award in the Filipino poetry category.

While he was growing, he was tormented by “so many things” which included his separation from his parents who are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). He discovered his poetic talent when he wrote an emotional letter to his mother who works as a domestic helper abroad. His mother Ofelia is 45 years old, while his father Alejandro is a seaman.

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He noted that some children of OFWs are dysfunctional because they lack emotional support.

On the conference he had just attended, Cordero said that the participants presented their studies about the Philippines. One of the participants was a Japanese scholar who conducted a study on Hacienda Luisita, while another scholar presented the findings of his study on a village in Ifugao.

His study, he said, was about how literary writers look at the minorities, particularly the Aetas.