National Artist Levi Celerio was born in the slums of Tondo, Manila on April 30, 1910. When he was 11, he took lessons from the Philippine Constabulary and later became a member. He finished two semesters of a violin course at the UP Conservatory of Music, and later, took a scholarship at the Academy of Music of Manila upon the recommendation of the then UP Conservatory director Alexander Lippay. It was then that he became the youngest member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. A tragedy struck when Levi fell from a tree and broke his wrist, abruptly halting his career as violinist. In 1930, he was asked to write the theme song of Filippine Film’s Dalagang Bukid starring Rogelio dela Rosa and Rosa del Rosario. Soon, he became one of the country’s most preferred lyricist, even providing lyrics for folk melodies such as Cariñosa, Subli, and Maglalatik. He was featured in the popular American TV program That’s Incredible for his feat as the only man who can play music using a leaf. During his prolific career, Celerio was able to compose and lyrics to more than 4000 songs, most of them unaccounted for. In 1991, he was conferred a doctorate in humanities, honoris causa, by the University of the Philippines. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Film Academy of the Philippines, a Gawad CCP Para Sa Sining by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, a Natatanging Gawad Urian from the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino; and most significantly, he was conferred the National Artist Award for Music.