Peter Nery: The storyteller
Peter Nery is an Artist finalist for the Rappler Do More Awards

Peter Nery loves to tell stories. Especially those about his hometown, Iloilo.

The Palanca Hall of Famer now lives in Los Angeles and works as an orthopedic nurse. He still writes – mostly in Hiligaynon, his mother tongue.

When the American Council for The Teaching of Foreign Languages recognized Hiligaynon as a language of concentration, they named Peter as one of their proficiency interviewers.

“I think because I am living outside of the country, I have that longing for the Motherland,” Peter explains. “I’m surrounded by people who speak English or Spanish, so the love for Hiligaynon grows more. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Watch a profile video of Peter and the other finalists of the Artist category below.


Longing for home

Over Skype, Peter expressed his longing for Hiligaynon, the places of his youth, and the people he grew up with. “I continue writing about them; I begin to cherish more the words that are becoming less used.”

To date, he has published more than a dozen books, written several award-winning screenplays, and has even directed his first full-length film.

And yet recognition and monetary rewards are not his primary motivation.

“For me, it is finding your purpose and being involved,” Peter says. “As a writer I feel like I am communicating the human experience, not only [to] Hiligaynon readers, but also to lovers of literature. That drives me to continue to write.”


Artist, friend, Filipino

When he’s on duty at the hospital, Peter trades his pen for clipboards and syringes. But he puts his stories to good use when he interacts with patients.

“Sometimes sick people become very focused on themselves. They become very angry. With my knowledge of the arts and literature and all that, I sometimes engage them with stories, and that changes their perspective and their mood,” Peter says. “A good joke always breaks the ice.”

When asked why he keeps writing, Peter answers, “I could not live without doing this.”

“As a writer,” he continues, “I feel that it’s my responsibility to bring light into the experience of people and give them hope and inspire them, maybe educate them, but basically just to make them feel that their experience is also shared by others. Therefore my stories always have that element of hope and that element of sharing and doing something for others.” Through his stories, Peter continues to Do More.

“I think it’s also part of the idea of Doing More when you do not impose limits on yourself,” Peter says. “It’s not just defining yourself as a writer or a nurse but also being an inspiration to others.” –


Get to know other finalists by clicking their names below:
Dan Matutina AG Sano


These figures reflect the result of the public voting phase held from October 24 to November 24, 2013.

The final score for each finalist will be computed from the ff:

Public Vote – 40%
Panel Vote – 60%
Total – 100%

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