hero Francisco Baltazar, the great orator and poet hails
from the province of Bulacan.
He was born on April 2, 1788 in Panginay, Bigaa, Bulacan.
His parents were Juan Baltazar and Juana dela Cruz.
He worked as a houseboy for a rich family in Tondo,
Manila when he was only 11 years old. He went to school
during his off hours.
He went on to finish high school. He continued his
college education at the Colegio de San Jose and
graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Theology.
He became a great a writer and poet. It was Dr. Mariano
Pilapil who taught him how to write and Joseng Sisiw was
his mentor in poetry.
Joseng Sisiw once refused to edit Francisco's poem
because he did not have any chick to pay him. A dejected
Francisco edited his own piece and to his surprise many
liked it even better than mentor's works. It was to be
the road to his greatness, besting even his mentor
A pretty maiden by the name of Asuncion Rivera captured
the heart of Francisco.
Asuncion had many suitors. One of them, Mariano Capule a
wealthy and influential man was so obsessed with her
that he ordered Franscisco jailed. While Francisco was
in jail Capule and Asuncion got married.
While in prison, Francisco wrote his greatest
masterpiece, Florante at Laura. This piece was written
in Tagalog. The book vividly and artistically
illustrated the true state of the country at the hands
of its Spanish colonizers.
He was released from prison in 1840 and found himself in
Bataan. He met Juana Tiambeng, courted and married her
in July 22,1842. They had 11 offspring.
He got involved in another controversy and landed in
jail anew. He took his incarceration as an inspiration
and produced more literary innuendoes and poems against
the Spanish rule in the country.
Francisco Baltazar who was also known as Francisco
Balagtas died on February 20, 1862 at the age of 74.
It was from Francisco Baltazar that the name Balagtasan
was derived to honor his excellence and greatness in the
field of poetry.