Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:05 AM February 22, 2016
THE CITY of Cabanatuan and the division of city schools through the initiative of Cabanatuan Lodge No. 53 will pay tribute to the late National Artist for Literature Lázaro Francisco on his 118th birth anniversary on Feb. 22.
As mandated by Ordinance No. 002-2015 , the birthweek of Francisco will be declared Lázaro Francisco Week in Cabanatuan City. Michael Angelo T. Reyes, worshipful master of Cabatuan Lodge No. 53 announced that this year’s Lazaro Francisco Week will be observed from Feb. 17-27.
To kick off the weeklong celebration, the Lodge is hosting a simple ceremony to be held at the Museo Lazaro Francisco in Brgy. Bonifacio, Cabanatuan at 7 AM. Vice Mayor Marius A. Garcia, presiding officer of the City Council, and Danilo D. Angeles, past grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, have been invited to give inspirational talks. Students from the Lázaro Francisco Elementary School will render the intermission numbers. Lawyer Rafael A. Francisco, one of the surviving sons of the National Artist, will give the response in behalf of the family.
Regarded as a champion of the Filipino writer’s struggle for national identity, Francisco was one of the very few writers who commanded respect for uncompromised novels with a a broad base of social awareness. He was cited in the 50s as a “nationalist of the first order” by the Philippines Free Press.
To honor the great Tagalog writer, the National Historical Institute installed a marker on the grounds of the Lázaro Francisco Elementary School in 1990.