Filipinos in the New York-New Jersey area will honor and celebrate the life and career of one of the Philippines' most beloved national artists, the late Levi Celerio, in a big concert on Dec. 12 (Sunday) at Roy Irving Theatre of St. Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J.

"Parangal: A Salute to Levi Celerio" is presented by the Philippine Chamber Rondalla of New Jersey in time for the 100th birth anniversary of the legendary maestro, who was named National Artist in Music and Literature in 1997.

Two of Mr. Celerio's children will grace the event, according to U.S.-based musician Dante Tolentino.

The Tondo, Manila-born Levi Celerio had written over 4,000 songs in his lifetime, including the timeless "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit," "Ang Pipit," "Sa Ugoy Ng Duyan," "Itik-Itik," "Tunay Na Tunay," "Waray-Waray," "Pitong Gatang," "Dungawin Mo Hirang," "Basta't Mahal Kita," and a host of classic Filipino love songs like "Saan Ka Man Naroroon," "Kahit Konting Pagtingin," "Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal," "Kapag Puso'y Sinugatan," "O Maliwanag Na Buwan," "Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak," and "Sapagkat Kami'y Tao Lamang."



"Levi Celerio, who is also a violinist, left behind a treasure trove of masterpieces that will fascinate even the future generations of Filipinos," said Dante Tolentino, who also heads the dctalents multimedia.

"Let's just hope the new generation of Filipino musicians and songwriters emulate the likes of Levi Celerio so that they can also come up with songs that Filipinos worldwide can be proud of," he added.

Mr. Celerio's distinctions include making it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the only person to play music using only a leaf. He had also received awards for his musical achievements in film.

He succumbed to emphysema at age 91 on April 2, 2002 in Quezon City, only three days after National Artist in Music Lucio San Jose, with whom he had co-written several songs, passed away.

The Dec. 12 "Parangal" concert will feature local New York artists Maria Leonor Paliguin, violinist; Bituin Escarcha, soprano; Janice Yalong, soprano; Rosemarie Flores, soprano; Erwin Escarcha, baritone; Amia Zalamea, folk dancer.

Stage director is Elvira Reyes, with music guru Bayani de Leon as special consultant.

Tickets are $15 (advance general admission) and $20 (at the door).

Call 908.359.3297 or 732.207.3284 for tickets; or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.



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