Celeste Legaspi – Sabado

Celeste Legaspi (nicknamed Maricelle) is third of five children of Philippine National Artist Cesar Legaspi and his wife who once classified as a Coloratura. Celeste herself started singing from a very young age.

While in college, she appeared in Show Boat as Magnolia followed by her performance as Nancy in the Philippine presentation of Oliver!. But she later confessed that her performance in Show Boat scared her. “There I was, cracking every night, unable to be heard from the musical accompaniment, with Mama holding on to my sister Diana’s hand. As a result I was disillusioned with my singing and with my course then, nursing,” Legaspi told in an interview.


But the then 16-year-old Celeste Legaspi didn’t give up her singing. Her singing career flourished upon shifting her course to Communication Arts at Maryknoll College (now Miriam College). She joined The Ambivalent Crowd, became a college graduate in 1971, and eventually married to Dominador ‘Nonoy’ Gallardo in March, 1972, who was then an advertising man.

In 1972, she left The Ambivalent Crowd and joined the Up from Down Under Band as a soloist for a three-month stint at Wells Fargo. Then she became part of the Time Machine which at the time had a songstress named Didith Reyes and Anthony Castelo who would both conquer the OPM charts in the years ahead.

“Bolero Medley” was sampled on Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push”

Legaspi’s career rose further upon joining the ASEAN Tour in 1975 followed by a solo concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Little Theater where Rolando Tinio, one of the Philippines’ literary geniuses, featured her in Filipino translations of popular songs at that time, most of the songs appeared in her Celeste… Popular Songs Vol. 1 album. The album featured Celeste’s heartwarming Filipino renditions of Mini Ripperton’s “Loving You”, Diana Ross’ “Theme from Mahogany”, and “The Lady Is A Tramp”.

The impressive feat was followed by successful dinner-theater presentations in 1977 of “Manila, Manila” which won her an Aliw Award for Best Dinner Theater performance for that year. She also starred in “Doon Po Sa Amin” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1978, each garnering Best Dinner Theater awards.

Here we have “Sabado” written by Nonoy Gallardo and Willie Cruz, the song is a jazz infused pop song with some well executed vocal scats from Legaspi. The song was quite edgy for its era, especially being performed by a woman and in a Catholic country. The subject of the song being that she cannot wait until Saturday because her husband is not around (presumably so she can meet up with her lover). Question is where is her husband? 😉

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