Give Jose Mari Chan a break with these underrated Filipino Christmas songs
When Sep. 1 strikes, you know what time it is. But we don’t have to blast “Christmas in Our Hearts” all yuletide season. Please
Sep 1, 2020
Filipinos are “apocryphally” known to be tardy—as in “Filipino time.” This is, of course, not to be considered a generalization or a stereotype. Not all Filipinos arrive late. If anything, to debunk this one should simply look at how early we celebrate Christmas—three months in advance to be exact.
As soon as the calendar changes from August to September, expect the garlands, the decor and, of course, the Christmas carols to play.
One particular song is associated with this transition: Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in Our Hearts” from his 1990 album of the same name. It is so ingrained in Filipino pop culture that you can count on it to play on the radio and on public places and be sung by Christmas carolers.
As much as it reminds everyone of a joyful time ahead—especially after spending months in quarantine—like any other song, hearing it again and again is not exactly ideal.
Not that we don’t have a lot of other Christmas tunes in our own language—we, a nation of singers (another apocryphal claim, we think)?
Really though, there are many other songs (outside of the usual carolers’ and Misa de Gallo choir’s repertoire) that are worth listening to to usher in the holiday cheer. Here are some suggestions.
A suitable countdown
“Ilang Tulog pa ba?” by The Company
A tune to set our holiday alarms to
“Busina ng Pasko” by Sexbomb Girls
Something to remind us of pre-quarantine traditions
“Pasko sa Nayon” by Pilita Corrales
“Tayo’y Mamasko” by Sylvia La Torre
A prelude to Misa de Gallo
“Simbang Gabi” by Parokya ni Edgar
“Bibingka” by Ben&Ben
A Visayan Christmas bop
“Kay Pasko Man Karon” by Max Surban
A guide to practical gifting
“12 Days of Krismas” by Apo Hiking Society
Christmas caroling Chavacano style
“Pascua de Zamboanga” by Armand Saavedra Cruz and Sweet Xena Estrada
Do you have any other underrated Filipino Christmas song recommendations?
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