September ushers in world’s longest Christmas celebration

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As the “ber” months rush in, there is a familiar face that has become the subject of hundreds of memes and other images, even appearances on numerous TV shows.

Welcome the Father of Philippine Christmas music, Mr. Jose Mari Chan.

True to his virtuoso song composition prowess, Chan has continuously and successfully evolved as a songwriter, even at an advanced age. But this didn’t deter him from creating music that does not fail to capture the essence of Christmas. In fact, even the lyrics of his timeless Yuletide ditties experienced somewhat of a makeover to keep them attuned to the times.

With an entirely different Christmas year 2020 version that’s beset with extraordinary circumstances, Chan still continues to amaze his ever-loya fans, young and old alike. His “Perfect Christmas” and of course the iconic “Christmas In Our Hearts” remain in everyone’s hearts, if only to remind Filipinos that there is still a merry Yuletide season we can look forward to, COVID-19 pandemic or not.

At this morning’s “Unang Hirit” morning show on GMA-7, Chan belted out these two most familiar Christmas anthems with slightly tweaked lyrics together with his kids and grandchildren.

“Whenever I hear girls and boys
Singing carols in my mind,
I remember the past
When everything was fine.
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.”

He also touched on the idea of a Christmas where people live apart from loved ones and may miss celebrating a grand Christmas this year.

“My idea of a perfect Christmas,
is to spend it with you.
We could Facetime an hour or two,
Any app would do.
Carry with you this Yuletide season,
it would light up my life.
Though we are distant,
You’ll see in my face
That my heart is with you.”

Though slightly revised, the two songs still managed to capture the hearts of viewers, some perhaps may have shed a tear or two. Despite the pandemic, there remains hope, which essentially captures the spirit of the season. The birth of the baby Jesus in a lowly manger still gives hope that someday, somehow, this dreaded virus will our midst, and bring our every day lives back to normal where we can sing together, laugh together, and dream together.

Oh, and express our love for one another, and pray for peace and healing for all mankind.

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