Lazaro Francisco

Lazaro Francisco
Lazaro Francisco | @nccaofficial

Lazaro Francisco (National Artist for Literature)

Today, February 22, is the 125th birth anniversary of National Artist Lazaro A. Francisco. (February 22, 1898)

Prize-winning writer Lazaro A. Francisco developed the social realist tradition in Philippine fiction. His eleven novels, now acknowledged classics of Philippine literature, embody the author’s commitment to nationalism. Amadis Ma. Guerrero wrote, “Francisco championed the cause of the common man, specifically the oppressed peasants. His novels exposed the evils of the tenancy system, the exploitation of farmers by unscrupulous landlords, and foreign domination.”

Teodoro Valencia also observed, “His pen dignifies the Filipino and accents all the positives about the Filipino way of life. His writings have contributed much to the formation of Filipino nationalism.” Literary historian and critic Bienvenido Lumbera also wrote, “When the history of the Filipino novel is written, Francisco is likely to occupy an eminent place in it. Already in Tagalog literature, he ranks among the finest novelists since the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to a deft hand at characterization, Francisco has a supple prose style responsive to the subtlest nuances of ideas and the sternest stuff of passions.”

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