Eric Celerio

“We have to go to Mario’s,” I told my good friend, Emerita Domingo, when she invited me for a lunch date with Eric Celerio, the prolific New York-based musician and younger son of National Artist for Music, Levi Celerio.

It would be great, I thought, for Eric to re-visit an old haunt of his father’s, who, back in the 1980s, stationed himself at a corner of the Tomas Morato landmark restaurant, where he played the piano and on occasion, created beautiful music by blowing into a leaf.

For his extraordinary musicality, the late Mang Levi made it to international media, including the Guiness Book of World Records, which celebrated his unique artistry.

We got to Mario’s in time for coffee and cake, allowing us enough room to take a few pictures of Eric playing the piano. Not content with just a shoot, he charged the impromptu performance with bravura and showmanship not often seen among local pianists. He also led a bunch of guests into singing a few of classic Celerio songs as Pipit, Saan Ka Man Naroroon, Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal.

During shows back in New York, he would engage the audience in funny banter as he tickled the ivories, throwing jokes here and there. They seem to fly off from his sleeves with little effort, just like his idol, the Danish pianist-comedian Victor Borge.

Eric recalled that as a young man, he would tag with his father to Mario’s, where he observed closely the entertainer side to Mang Levi.

“He was a stand-up comedian. At home, he was the witty one.”


Snippets of Eric’s humorous side and amazing showmanship burst to the seams at a Sept. 28 media event when he announced the release of his third album, Celerio By Celerio.

Prior to the public interview, he played four songs while he shifted from piano to guitar, which he both wields with equal ease. Throughout his 20-minute showcase, Eric was intensely livid, full of passion, romancing his instruments as if he was making love to them.

In wielding both piano and guitar, Eric has imbued his own, personal style marked by larger-than-life showmanship and humor that could be rowdy and recklessly irreverent. This rare gift of music, he celebrates with zest, dancing, stomping his feet, wiggling to an eclectic beat.

His audience, a small group of media persons, was naturally amazed they had to ask for more and more.


“Celerio By Celerio” is another of Eric’s many tributes to his father.

The album, released under a distributorship deal with Universal Records, will be out on Oct. 7, in various digital platforms.

Made up of 13 tracks, this new album has strong jazz, Latin, Neo Classical, smooth pop and jazz flavors juxtaposed with old man Levi Celerio’s timeless Tagalog classics rendered with a modern touch.


PASSERBY …. The suggestion by a lawmaker to subject actors to undergo drug testing before they get hired for jobs is downright discriminatory. Why focus on just one sector of society just because one actor was caught with drugs recently?

Source: Manila Bulletin (