His musical experience came at an early age, being the son of the late renowned nationalist composer and Philippine national artist Felipe Padilla de Leon and the late Iluminada Mendoza, an accomplished pianist.
plays all rondalla instruments, the piano, accordion and the violin.
The "De Leon Rondalla" was already appearing in various Philippine functions in the early 60s.
Five years after he migrated to the US in 1971, he started playing for the Pamanlahi Dance Troupe (now defunct).
He also formed the Hiyas Rondalla, active from 1978 to 1985.