Ildefonso Santos, born in 1897 in Malabon, Rizal, was an established Tagalog poet, professor, translator and supervisor for the national language of the Philippines. Once his poetry gained public attention, Santos adopted "Ilaw Silangan" as his pen name.
His works, including "Tatlong Inakay," "Gabi" and "Sa Tabi ng Dagat," used a free verse Modernist style that incorporated American culture and thought, which gained popularity in the 1930s during the American period of political occupation. In 1929, Santos' son, Ildefonso P. Santos, Jr. was born. The younger Santos, known as the father of modern Philippine landscape architecture, was an architect, educator and mentor.