Francisco Baltazar y dela Cruz, known much more widely through his nom-de-plume Francisco Balagtas, was a prominent Filipino poet, and is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature. The famous epic, Florante at Laura, is regarded as his defining work.

Early life

Francisco Baltazar was born on April 2, 1788 in Barrio Panginay, Bigaa, Bulacan as the youngest of the four children of Juan Baltazar, a blacksmith, and Juana de la Cruz. He studied in a parochial school in Bigaa and later in Manila. During his childhood years. Francisco later worked as houseboy in Tondo, Manila.

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