Composer, pianist and teacher, Francisco Santiago was born in Santa Maria, Bulacan in January 29, 1889. Poverty didn’t stop him from pursuing his studies in piano, supporting him through school. In 1916, he became a piano instructor when the UP Conservatory of Music was established during the same year. The following year, his composition Kundiman, Anak Dalita, the first art song kundiman, was sung Royal Court of Spain upon the request of King Alfonso II. His masterpiece “Concerto in B flat minor” for pianoforte and orchestra was presented at the Chicago Music School, where he received his doctorate degree in 1924.
Upon returning to the Philippines, he became director of the UP Conservatory of Music from 1930 to 1946. He also directed the music for such films as Manileña, Madaling Araw, and Pakiusap. He died in September 28, 1947. Twenty-one years later, he was given a posthumous award as Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan by the City of Manila.