First King of ‘Balagtasan’: José Corazon de Jesus remembered, reinvented

To the public mind, the poet José Corazon de Jesus (1894-1932) is primarily the lyricist behind Constancio C. de Guzman’s famous anthem “Bayan Ko.” Why yes, the culturati would say, wasn’t his pen name Huseng Batute? Why, there’s a little theater at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) named after him? “Bet you didn’t know that!”