Which Filipino poet wrote 'Florante at Laura'?
Francisco Balagtas y dela Cruz (April 2, 1788 - February 20, 1862), commonly known as Francisco Balagtas and also 'Francisco Baltasar,' was a prominent Filipino poet during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines (1565 - 1898). He is widely considered on the greatest Filipino literary laureates for his impact on Filipino Literature. The most famous epic 'Florante at Laura' is regarded as his definite work.
The commonly misspelled surname 'Baltasar' as 'Baltazar' sometimes miscontrued as a pen name, was a legal surname Balagtas adopted after the 1849 edict of Governor-General Narciso Claveria y Zaldua, which mandated that the native population adopt standard Spanish surnames, instead of the native ones. His surname is also sometimes given as "Balagtas Baltasar" when instead he used one or the other but not both at the same time. But Balagtas resented the Spanish rule and so spelled his adopted surname with an S instead of Z. Thus, his legal surname was really Baltasar, and not Baltazar. The Philippines has released currency honoring Kiko Balagtas and his chosen spelling of Baltasar on the 10 centavo coin.
'Florante at Laura' is an 1838 poem written by Tagalog poet Francisco Balagtas. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Philippine Literature. Balagtas wrote the epic during his imprisonment. He dedicated it to his sweetheart Maria Asuncion Rivera, whom he nicknamed "M.A.R." and is referenced to as "Selya" in the dedication "Kay Selya" ("For Celia").