‘Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit’s’ original composer
This refers to the article on the Christmas song “Ang Pasko Ày Sumapit” and Josefino Cenizal, its alleged composer (“Unknown man behind PH immortal yuletide music is 98,” Front Page, 11/23/14). Some years ago, we read a similar article in a newspaper the name of which escapes us now.
- For almost four decades we personally knew Cenizal. He and his beautiful wife, actress Gloria (aka Olivia Cenizal), were neighbors of our late auntie Dr. Rosalina G. Hilario at Timog corner Panay Avenues, South Triangle, Quezon City. We met during one of her birthday parties.
- For almost three decades we also personally knew Levi Celerio after a common friend brought him to our law office at Madrigal Bldg., Escolta, Manila, for some legal and personal matters.
- We told Celerio that we knew for a fact that he was the lyricist of the song and that the composer was Vicente Rubi.
- We asked Celerio why Cenizal claimed to be its composer. We cannot forget what he said: “Rubi is the composer of that song! Cenizal is wrong!”
So we researched the matter and we found out that:
- Rubi was the composer while Mariano Vestil was the lyricist of “Kasadya Ning Taknaa.”
- Celerio was fascinated with its melody and apparently communicated with Rubi to convert it into a Christmas song.
- Rubi was apparently happy that his song became a national Christmas song and now a global one.
—BRAULIO RG TANSINSIN,
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