ORION, Bataan – The Provincial Government of Bataan led by Governor Albert Raymond Garcia joined the nation yesterday in celebrating Balagtas Day in this historic town.
The celebration commemorated the 230th birth anniversary of Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar in the said town known before as “Udyong” where he resided, raised a family and died.
“Naging saksi din ang bayan ng Orion sa kanyang di mabilang na mga katha, tula, sanaysay at ang walang kamatayang nobelang Florante at Laura na magpasa hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay nagiging tema pa rin ng pag-aaral ng mga estudyante, guro at maging mga manunulat,” Garcia said during his speech at the event.
Balagtas is the most prominent Filipino poet and orator known for his famous literary masterpieces. He has been named as “Prinsipe ng Manunulang Tagalog” (Prince of Filipino Poets) and considered as the ‘William Shakespeare of the Philippines’. One of his renowned works “Florante at Laura” served as one of the foundations of Philippine literature.
His pen name “Balagtas” and nickname “Kiko”, Baltazar was born on April 2, 1788, in Barrio Panginay, Balagtas, Bulacan formerly “Bigaa” town. He is the youngest of the four children of Juan Baltazar, a blacksmith (Panday) and Juana de la Cruz.
He studied Canon Law, Philosophy, Latin, and the Classics in Colegio San Juan de Letran and Colegio de San Jose and finished school in 1812.
“Sa ngayon, marami pa ring mga Balagtas sa ating kalipunan. Mga magigiting na babae at lalaking Bataeño na nagnanais ng pagbabago at kaunlaran na hindi gumagamit ng armas at dahas upang makamit ang pagbabago o marating ang tagumpay,” Governor Garcia added.
Garcia joined officials from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) led by Virgilio Almario, and personnel from the Department of Education in the ceremonial burial of the artist’s “remains” at the pedestal of Baltazar’s statue, which it had put up with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).