Laksamana, Francisco

Francisco Laksamana – b. Concepcion, Tarlac, 2 April 1877, d. 23 January 1966. Fictionist. Born to Pampango parents. He grew up and was educated in Manila. Before WWII, he finished his secondary education at the Escuela Normal Superior de Maestros de Manila. He first worked as a checker in the ports from 1901-1903. Then, he became a writer for La Patria, Muling Pagsilang, Talibaand Sampaguita . He also did translation work for the Institute of National Language (now Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino), becoming a permanent employee in 1948.

Laksamana’s first and only novel is Anino ng Kahapon (Shadow of the Past), which was serialized in Muling Pagsilang in 1906 and published in book form in 1907. The novel covers the last decade of the 19 th century, the period when the Filipino nation emerged from the crucible of struggle against the Spanish colonizers and the American invaders. However, its focus is not on the bloody confrontations of those times but on the theme of honor and love. Although the guardia civil are pictured as villains, the hero is not a patriot and a fighter for justice, but student who goes to America to seek a better fortune. Nevertheless, in his explanation of the novel, the author admonishes the youth of the land to remember what his parents’ generation has been through and to draw lessons from it.