The balagtasan, a Filipino poetic form, was invented and performed during the American occupation of the Philippines. The balagtasan honored Francisco Baltazar (also known as Balagtas), the 19th century Filipino author of the Filipino narrative poem Florante at Laura. As a literary form, it was based on a traditional Filipino form of debate in verse that was popular in the rural areas at that time. This popularity partly accounts for its success as entertainment until after World War II.
However, the balagtasan was also the product of a nationalist and anti-colonial impulse in Filipino vernacular literature during the early 20th century. The balagtasan was used by Filipino writers and poets to express the most progressive and current political ideas then and to comment on contemporary social issues. Join us for an afternoon of Filipino literature, history and poetry with Philippine National Artist Virgilio Almario.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2003 4-6 pm
200 Wheeler Hall, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY
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