(1871 - 1928)
Santos y Cristobal was the first Filipino member of the
He was born on
He had his early education
under maestro Jose Flores, a noted private tutor. He enrolled at the Ateneo de
Manila where he obtained after six years a Bachelor of Arts with excellent
grades and notable marks in many subjects. Upon leaving Ateneo where he spent
time in painting, he concentrated of some time in music. The arts fascinated
him, but when he transferred to
In his diverse studies, he became acquainted with German, French, and Greek literatures.
With the outbreak of the
second phase of Philippine revolution, he and Jose Clemente Zulueta published
in 1898 the news paper libertad in
Malabon. Later, he became an associate editor of La Independencia, the first revolutionary periodical, and a
contributor of El Renacimiento, La
Democracia, La Patria, and
In April 1900,
he was appointed a the district attorney for
On his return,
he resume his duties as governor of Nueva Ecija. Then,
in 1906, he moved to Malolos where he was the provincial Fiscal for both
Provinces of Bulacan and
In 1909, he published algo de prosa, a collection of stories and sketches. His
other books are Tagalog Literature,
Confidencial letter of Dr. Jose Rizal, The Tagalog
Theater, Musical folklores of the
One day a reader went to the library to read something on Concepcion Bagay, the first Filipino Cartographer. He approached Don Epifanio and told him what he wanted. Knowing perhaps that the visitor was unfamiliar with the Filipiniana Division, Don Epifanio went personally to look for materials he needed and readily handed them to the visitor. The library employees were amazed at the ease and exactness with which he pulled out the bundles that contain the desire information. He was asked why he did not ask his clerks to look up the materials. He answered:” all of us here are servants of the reading public. I am the head of the servant and I must show that I know better than any of the servant where the materials are found. I want to show that our service here is efficient and that we are really working to serve.”
He was a great conversationalist, sometimes even forgetting his meals because of prolonged discussion with a fiend or a visitor. In his office, everybody was treated fairly, whether he be a division chief or messenger.
As a historian, he was sincere and impartial in his approach, research, and writings. He monographs, essay and lectures are considered a real contribution to the Philippine History. He was, according to Cecilia Apostol, the first of 2 best Filipino writers in Spanish prose, the other being Marcelo H. del Pilar. Unlike many critics of other prestige, his motive was “ to build rather than to destroy”.
He married twice. His first wife was Ursula Paez of Malabon and the second was Margarita of Malolos. Only one of his children inherited his fashion for history and ability as a researcher. He was Jose P. Santos, a son of his first wife, who became a distinguish historical writer, biographer and collector.