iSurprise Santiago Heritage House

Named after a local folk song hero and composer of the Ave Maria

House of world-famous composer

Here lived famous composer Dr Francisco Santiago, best known for his masterpiece Ave Maria. Here in Hidalgo Street he founded the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Philippines. It was 1916 when the first students walked in. Ave Maria may be Dr Santiago international claim to fame, but locally he was better known as the ‘Father of Kundiman’; traditional Filipino love songs. He elevated the simple folk songs to the status of serious music, blending the popular love tunes in classical concerts and composing Philippine Christmas carols.

Song of resistance

Kundiman is Filipino folk music at its best! and Dr Santiago’s ‘Anak Dalita’ is one of the most famous Kundiman songs of all time. A popular love song, it became a symbol of resistance during the Japanese occupation of World War 2.

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