Why is Jose Mari Chan Associated with the Christmas Season?

The entrance of BER months gave us the early signs that the year is almost over. Thus, it functions as the primary indicator of the Christmas spirit and season. Consequently, we can hear Christmas music playing everywhere because of the emergence of the holiday season.

Moreover, these months serve as an early signal for Filipino families to set up their Christmas decorations. And during these activities, one remarkable man became strongly associated with the Christmas season – Jose Mari Chan.

Photo | Shopee Philippines.

There are tremendous personalities that became the image of the Christmas Season. However, for Filipinos, Jose Mari Chan is the most iconic and legendary among all.

Jose Mari Chan: Father of Philippine Christmas Music

Jose Mari Chan is a Filipino singer-songwriter, musician, TV personality, and businessman. Due to his popular song entitled Christmas In Our Hearts, he earned the title Father of Philippine Christmas Music. As a matter of fact, the band’s CD obtained more than 800,000 copies. 

Facebook | Jose Mari Chan Official Facebook Page

Most Filipinos grew up listening to Jose Mari Chan’s songs. In fact, many young kids know the song and even sang it during Christmas caroling. In addition, the song Christmas in Our Hearts is frequently played at this time of year in the Philippines. Moreover, even before the pandemic, everyone can hear it on the radio or in public spaces like jeepneys or malls.

Christmas In Our Hearts (Song)

According to Chan, the song Christmas in Our Hearts happened to be an arrangement called Ang Tubig Ay Buhay. Subsequently, it was written just for the Assumption High School Class of 1963’s silver reunion. After two years, Universal Records asked him to write a complete holiday compilation. Therefore, Chan recalled the song he had created for the Assumption High School class of 1963. Thus, he decided to revive it to use it for a Christmas song.

Thereafter, the song became popular. In addition, the Philippine Association of the Record Industry gave it a triple platinum award. Moreover, the song grew to be the best-selling OPM Christmas album ever.

Unveiling the Message of the Music

Whenever I see girls and boys

Selling lanterns on the streets

I remember the Child

In the manger as He sleeps

Wherever there are people

Giving gifts, exchanging cards

I believe that Christmas

Is truly in their hearts

By carefully evaluating the message of the song, one can understand the true meaning of the Christmas season. It gives us the message that Christmas is all about giving, caring, and being more compassionate for other people. Additionally, this gives us hope for humanity and a sense of presents beyond material things.

Revival: New Lyrics of the Song

Last September 2020, the period when the entire nation continuously battles the pandemic, Jose Mari Chan completely re-wrote the song. The main reason for this re-writing is to depict a different kind of Christmas celebration in the pandemic. Additionally, this will simultaneously connect him with the people during these terrible times.

“Whenever I hear girls and boys

Singing carols in my mind,

I remember the past

When everything was fine.

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Whenever I see people

Giving gifts to those in need,

I believe this Christmas

We should be there to lead.

Let’s open up our hearts

For a bright tomorrow,

In any way we can

And drive out all our sorrow.”

The new lyrics revolve around the pandemic we are currently facing. This also pertains to the need for us to be more compassionate toward those who are suffering.

Due to his contribution to the music industry, Jose Mari Chan obtained the moniker of Father of Philippine Christmas Music. Through this, he constantly became attached to our Filipino Christmas celebration. And I think we all can agree that he became the iconic image of Christmas in our country.

However, aside from the icons and music of Christmas, I hope that we all will not forget the primary reason for Christmas. And it is the birth of Jesus, our savior.

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