Francisco "Balagtas" Baltazar Day

Do you know who is Francisco (Balagtas) Baltazar? From the word "Balagtas," the man behind famous Filipino poet like the famous epic, Florante at Laura. He is the Filipino version of William Shakespeare.

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Today is the day of his 150th Death Anniversary. Francisco (Balagtas) Baltazar was born on April 2, 1788 in Barrio Panginay, Bigaa, Bulacan.

Juan Balagtas and Juana de la Cruz are the parents of Francisco Baltazar. He studied in a parochial school in Bigaa, he was eleven when he decided to move to Tondo, Manila to work as a housebody for his aunt Doña Trinidad. So he can paid for his education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

Balagtas learned to write poetry from José de la Cruz (Huseng Sisiw), one of the most famous poets of Tondo. It was de la Cruz himself who personally challenged Balagtas to improve his writing, according to Talambuhay ng mga Bayani Grade 6 textbook.

When Balagtas transfer to pandacan Manila, he met lady named Maria Asuncion Rivera (his love interest). Eventually Maria became his inspiration for his future works. She is referenced in "Florante at Laura" as 'Celia' and 'MAR'.

At the time when Filipino writing was written in Spanish, Balagtas made his poems in Tagalog language.

When his book (Florante at Laura) published in 1838, He moved to Balanga Bataan in 1840 to work as  Assistant Judge, “Teniente Mayor,” and “Juez de Comentera” in Orion, Bataan.

And in that place he met his wife "Juana Tiambeng" in 1942, where they blessed with 11 children but sad to say that the seven of his sibling died.

In 1849,  Governor-General Narciso Claveria ordered to all Filipino to adopt a Spanish surname. So Balagtas decided to chose Baltazar. He passed away at the age of 74 on February 20, 1862.

Now, let us be inspired from his dedication and contribution to our national heritage. Today is 150th Death Anniversary of Francisco Baltazar.

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