Tagalog Association of Australia President Danny Peralta presents a Plaque of Appreciation to Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali for gracing the occasion during the Balagtasan held at the Hub in Mt. Druitt NSW on Saturday, August 25.
He was assisted by Balagtasan participant Ross Aguilar who handed the plaque to the mayor. Standing to the left of Mayor Bali is Philippine Consul General Ma. Teresa Taguiang. By way of introduction, Mr. Roberto Dionisio ), a well-known Tagalog poet from Bulacan, delivered a comprehensive narrative on how Balagtasan evolved into what it is today. Contrary to popular belief, Obet Dionisio clarified that “Balagtasan” was NOT invented by Francisco Balagtas, the author of the famous Tagalog novel Florante at Laura. According to him, it was his uncle, Patricio Dionisio who suggested that the Tagalog rhythmic form of debate be named after Balagtas. Also present was Philippine Consul Melanie Diano, (3rd from left). Max Lopex, Jinky Trijo-Marsh, Tessie Cayanan, Daisy Cummins, Cesar Bartolome and Cecil Aguilar ━ all participated in the Tagalog debate. Balagtasan is an annual event held in conjunction with Buwan ng Wika.