In preparaion for the 226th birth anniversary of the great Filipino poet, Francisco Balagtas Baltazar, the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) visited the town of Orion and proceeded to Jose Rizal Institute (JRI) to assess the condition of the Balagtas monument in the campus. The monument of the writer is the only one in the Province of Bataan. KWF’s visit is in connection with the program they are preparing for the April 2, 2014 commemoration of the hero’s birth.
According to Ms. Sandor B. Abad, Officer-in-Charge of the commission’s Sangay ng Edukasyon at Networking, the highlight of this year’s celebration will be in Orion, Bataan because of the town’s importance in the life of Balagtas. It was in the town of Orion, then known as Udyong, that the Filipino writer settled after his painful stay in Pandacan, Manila. He met and married Juana Tiambeng, a beautiful lady of the town, and raised his children in the town. It was also in Orion that he died and warned his children not to venture into writing or suffer his fate.
Abad also outlined the celebration which will be a literary pilgrimage in the places where Balagtas spent his years. It will begin in Pandacan, Manila before proceeding to Balagtas, Bulacan, the birthplace of the laureate. The pilgrimage will end at Jose Rizal Institute where the final program will be held. The final program will include a wreath-laying at the Balagtas monument and the Gawad Balagtas 2014, a national search for the outstanding literary writers in Filipino.
KWF is closely coordinating with the Local Government Unit of Orion for the pilgrimage which is expected to be attended by the top brass of the Surian ng Wikang Filipino led by its Chairman, National Artist for Literature, Virgilio S. Almario, Ms. Serena Diokno of the National Historical Commission and those from the national Commission of Culture and the Arts.
Accompanied by another KWP personnel, Roy Rene Cagalingan, Abad met with Ms. Socorro G. Estacio, JRI Principal, and discussed the activities which will put the school in the consciousness of the SWP and re-introduce Balagtas to the people of Orion. The Municipality of Orion will coordinate with the school regarding the preparations for this event.