By Freddie Velez
Residents in this province could now extend their holiday after the Holy Week, because the Office of the President declared the birth anniversary of the Bulakenyo poet and orator Francisco (Balagtas) Baltazar on Monday, April 2, as a special non-working day in Bulacan.
Proclamation No. 454 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea dated March 20, 2018, said “it is but fitting and proper that the people of the province of Bulacan be given full opportunity to celebrate the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.”
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said he believes the youth should never forget the great legacy of Balagtas: , his poetry.
“Sa panahon ngayon na tila nakakalimutan na ng ating mga kabataan ang pagtula at balagtasan at unti-unti na itong napapalitan ng mga makabagong uri ng sining, mahalaga na kanilang mabatid na ang uri ng sining na ibinabaon na sa limot ay isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit naging dakila ang ating mahal na lalawigan,” Alvarado said.
The municipality of Balagtas will have a mass to be followed by a wreath laying activity at the monument of Baltazar in front of
the municipal hall to give honor to the great poet whom they named their town after.
Francisco Baltazar has been named as “Prinsipe ng Manunulang Tagalog” 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.