About the Composer

Francisco Santiago Santiago (View Compositions)

January 29, 1889 - September 28, 1947

Birth Place: Santa Maria, Bulacan
Father: Felipe Santiago
Mother: Maria Santiago

Francisco Santiago, the first composer to include the kundiman in a concert and the first to write Philippine Christmas carols, came to Manila at the age of 10 to study the pianoforte under Blas Echegoyen, Faustino Villacorta, and Rev. Primo Calsada, a Dominican friar. He took a post-graduate course at the UP Conservatory of Music before going to the American Conservatory of Music for his certificate in advanced harmony and counterpoint. Santiago went to the Chicago Musical College for his doctorate in music. He was the first Filipino to obtain a doctor of music degree. His “Sakali Man” was the first Filipino song in ballad form, while “Sonata Filipina” was the first sonata to use native airs. He formally utilized folk songs by picking out many rural materials and fully using their potentials to express the Filipino soul. Dubbed as the “Father of Nationalism in Music,” he raised the kundiman to the status of a national song, and transformed it into a serious musical form. He was the winner of the 1927-28 Himno al Cristo Rey and 1928-29 Himno del Congresso Eucaristo Nacional contests. He was the first Filipino director of the UP Conservatory of Music.