Francisco Baltazar, was a prominent poet, widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent
of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature.
Baltazar, (known much more widely through his nom-de-plume Francisco Balagtas) wrote
his poems in Tagalog, during an age when Filipino writing was predominantly written
The famous epic, Florante at Laura, is regarded as his defining work. In 1835 he
met Maria Asuncion Rivera, who would effectively serve as his muse for future works.
She is referenced in Florante at Laura as 'Celia' and 'MAR'. Balagtas' affections
for Celia were challenged by the influential Mariano Capule. Capule won the battle
for Celia when he used his wealth to get Balagtas imprisoned. It was here that he
wrote Florante at Laura (the events of this poem were meant to parallel his own situation)
which was published upon his release in 1838.