Levi Celerio

Levi Celerio-Composer, Lyricist, National Artist

I remember Levi Celerio making train noises from his violin. Usually he caps his guest performance by playing a tune using a simple leaf which landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only man who could play music with a leaf.

I did not know then that he was a composer and lyricist of 4,000 songs. Some of his love songs were use for movie titles or movie theme songs.

Among his songs are:
Saan Ka Man Naroroon?, Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Kapag Puso'y Sinugatan, and Ikaw, Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak, Bagong Pagsilang, and Sapagkat Kami'y Tao Lamang, while his folk songs include Tunay na Tunay, Itik-Itik, Waray-Waray, Pitong Gatang, Ako ay May Singsing, Alibangbang, Galawgaw, Caprichosa, Dungawin Mo Hirang, Umaga na Neneng, Ikaw Kasi, and Basta't Mahal Kita. Celerio also wrote nationalistic songs such as Ang Bagong Lipunan, Lupang Pangarap, and Tinig ng Bayan.

He was born on April 30, 1910 in Tondo, Manila. He died at the Delgado Clinic in Quezon City on April 2, 2002 at the age of 91, just two days after the death of a fellow National Artist, Lucio San Pedro (who wrote the music for Sa Ugoy ng Duyan).

On October 9, 1997, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1114, President Fidel V. Ramos proclaimed him a National Artist for Music and Literature. His citation read that his music "was a perfect embodiment of the heartfelt sentiments and valued traditions of the Filipino.

His compositions:

1. O Maliwanag na Buwan

2. Alembong

3. Sa Ugoy ng Duyan

4. Bakya mo Neneng

5. Gaano Kita kamahal

6. Ang Pipit
7. Tinikling

8. Ang Tapis Mo Inday

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