Who Are Some Famous Filipino Poets?

Jose Rizal, Jose Garcia Villa and Francisco Balagtas are three of the most prominent poets in Philippine history. Jose Rizal’s most famous poem is “Mi Ultimo Adios,” while Francisco Balagtas is known for his “Florante at Laura” and “Florante’s Lament.” Jose Gracia Villa is sometimes referred to as the “comma poet.”

Jose Rizal is the Philippines’ national hero. He was a provocative writer, having written his novels to inspire the country to unite. He was more of a novelist than a poet, but his poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” (“My Last Farewell” in English) made him one of the most respected poets in the Philippines. He wrote this poem just before he was executed.

Francisco Balagtas, whose real name was Francisco Baltazar, is sometimes considered the William Shakespeare of the Philippines, mainly due to the impact of his contributions on Philippine literature. Many of his poems were inspired by his muse, Maria Rivera, and his heartbreak over losing her led to the writing of his most famous work, “Florante at Laura.”

Jose Garcia Villa was a poet known for his bold and provocative subjects. His work collected in 1929’s “Man Songs,” a series of erotic poems, was deemed too obscene by the Philippine government and he was fined for publishing it. He went on to publish many other collections.