Google Doodle on Monday commemorated the life and legacy of Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, one of the Philippines’ literary legends, poet and orator.
Google featured a doodle of his masterpiece, the epic poem “Florante at Laura.”
In addition to being a highly-skilled poet, Baltazar earned acclaim for writing in Tagalog (most writings at the time were in Spanish) and including Filipino themes, even though the characters were not from the Philippines,” Google wrote.
Born in Bigaa town in Bulacan province on April 2, 1788, this year marks the 230th birth anniversary of Baltazar.
He moved to Orion, Bataan in 1840 and resided there until his death in 1862. He died at the age of 74.
“Francisco Balagtas” was the nome de plume Baltazar chose for his work. He learned to write poetry under the guidance of Jose de la Cruz, whose pen name was “Huseng Sisiw,” one of the most famous poets of Tondo at the time.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared April 2 a special non-working day in Bataan to celebrate the life and works of Baltazar.
THE Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), the government agency tasked to promote the Philippines’ national language, will mark Baltazar’s 230th birth anniversary by leading the interment of his “remains” in Bataan province today.
In modern-day Philippines, Baltazar remains a popular literary figure. His “Florante at Laura” continues to be discussed in schools and performed onstage.
“Balagtasan” is still the local term for debates done in verses. Authorities also renamed Baltazar’s birthplace as Balagtas.