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Francisco Balagtas
1788 - 1862

(The king of Filipino Poets)

rancisco Balagtas was born in Panginay Bigaa (now Balagtas)
Bulacan, on April 2, 1788 to Juan Balagtas and Juana de la Cruz. He was
also called francisco Baltazar or Kikong Balagtas. He was married to Juana
Tiambeng of Orion, Bataan by whom he had seven children. Even as a boy,
kiko was a lover of beauty, he loved to watch the green country and
hear the ustling of the leaves. He could see "stars" in the sparks caused by
the pounding og his father, a blacksmith. Even as a boy, kiko could sense
that there were injustices in his country and that his country men
were suffering in the hands of the spanish rulers.
He came to understand these when as a young men he fell in love with Celia, a love which brought trouble to his life. He was put to prison by his strong rival who was the town cacigue.
He depicted the injustices his people, suffered in his poems, notably
"Florante at Laura". Florante at Laura a masterpiece, depicts the evils that beset Filipinos during the spanish regime.
While Albania was the setting and the characters were of foreign names, the heroes and the heroines stood for Filipinos, and the conditions obtaining were the very one existing in the country. The book contains passages on upright living and lessons on justice, love, respect for elders, industry, discipline, and patriotism . It contains ideal from whic people of today can deduce morals. Hence, it is considered one the his best poems, and Balagtas, its author, the Prince of Tagalog Poets, After a hundred years of Filipino Poetry, isn't it time to elevate Francisco Balagtas to his throne as the "King of Filipino Poetry".
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