Statement of His Excellency Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, on the occasion of the 156th anniversary of the birth of Francisco Baltazar, Manila, April 1, 1944:

The Filipino people are justly proud of Francisco Baltazar. In the Tagalog poet’s works, the genius of our race has found adequate utterance.

“Florante at Laura,” the immortal Baltazar classic, is the very distillation of Filipino folk-wisdom the truth of whose teaching constitutes the core and substance of Filipino life and manners.

The work is compressed but searching history as well of the heroic struggle of the Filipino spirit for freedom and vindication. Whoever reads it with understanding secures the key to fresh rediscovery of a people’s soul and a people’s dream. Whoever renews himself its immortal message sets the seal of his emancipation.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library