Google Philippines seems to be stepping up their game in honoring Filipinos who’ve made invaluable contributions to our culture. On April 2, they created a doodle celebrating Francisco Balagtas’s 230th birthday, and today they’re honoring National Artist Levi Celerio on his 108th birthday.
The doodle depicts Celerio playing a leaf—a feat which landed him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. He was also asked to show off his leaf-playing skills on The Merv Griffin Show and That’s Incredible! As he says in the video below, this unusual talent actually saved his life during an encounter with Japanese soldiers during World War II.
While walking behind Mt. Arayat, he and his companions were ambushed by soldiers. "Guerillas!" they said, pointing their rifles at the group. "No, musician!" Celerio replied. He took a leaf and started playing, and the soldiers were so delighted they sang along, and let the Filipinos go on their way after a round of applause.
The composer and lyricist penned more than 4,000 songs in his lifetime, including classics like Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, Waray-Waray, and Saan Ka Man Naroroon. He was proclaimed National Artist for Music in 1997.
It’s always good to stop and remember the accomplishments of our countrymen who are long gone, and we’re looking forward to more of Google Philippines’ doodles.