O FORTUNA 500 is a work intended to stand with the country’s frontliners during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. As the title suggests, my composition targets another harsh reality other than the main fight through the pandemic, which Filipino frontliners have endured for the last five months of quarantine, which is an inadequate hazard pay amounting only to PHP 500.00 or USD $10. Realizing that the lack of a competent government is adding more damage to our current situation, I have intended to write this piece as a battle cry for our last standing frontliners who continue to sacrifice their safety and lives in exchange for the lives of millions of Filipinos.

Jai Saldajeno

JAI SALDAJENO (b. 1995) is a composer from Cavite, Philippines. He graduated from the University of the Philippines – Diliman College of Music with a degree in Music Composition. His compositions have been performed locally in various UP stages (2012-2019), and at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (2016). He has been involved in music since his childhood, growing up around a family of musicians. On occasion, he is also a pianist and a transcriber.



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