Filipino Christmas Songs
Christmas for Filipinos isn't complete without those beloved
Filipino Christmas songs. In the Philippines, Christmas is a much
anticipated holiday. Everyone looks forward to Christmas. It's the
time where the people are most generous. Many events, parties and
happenings occur during Christmas time and it is the most festive
holiday of the entire year. During earlier months, children look
forward to December wherein they get a vacation from school and get
presents from their Ninongs and Ninangs (Godmothers and
Godfathers). As early as October, Christmas lights are being strewn
over every house, on every street. Houses are adorned with
Christmas decorations. Christmas songs blast from the speakers of
each house and people don't complain about the racket because they,
themselves, enjoy the songs.
The Philippines is mostly inhabited by Catholics and
consequently, Filipino Christmas songs have spiritual and religious
On December 16, Christmas celebrations reach an all time high.
December 16 is the day when Simbang Gabi (Mass at Dawn) starts.
Filipinos wake up at 3 in the morning and go to mass. It goes on
for nine days until the Christmas mass. Legend says that if one
attends every single Simbang Gabi, they get to wish and the wish
will come true. That's why early in the morning, we hear Christmas
songs being sang by choirs in nearby parishes and chapels. December
16 also marks the day when children go caroling. It is a tradition
in the Philippines to prepare coins because every night, children
knock on your door and sing Christmas songs with their maracas and
tambourines. Kids go from door to door singing and the atmosphere
becomes joyous and festive.
Starting October, Christmas songs are being sung in TV shows,
Christmas themed movies come out in the Philippines and everyone
starts to shop for Christmas.
There are two types of Christmas songs in the Philippines: the
traditional Filipino Christmas songs and the Popular Filipino
Christmas songs. Traditional songs are being sung by choirs and
children. These are the songs that have transcended time and were
created by generations before but are still alive until today. Here
are some of those traditional songs:
o Ang Pasko ay Sumapit (Christmas has Come): This song was
created by Levi Celerio. It was originally written by Vicente Rubi,
a celebrated Cebuano poet, on April 1933 in the Visayan dialect but
was translated to Tagalog, the Filipino language. This song is a
classic among Filipinos and it speaks of celebrating on Christmas.
It encourages people to sing on Christmas, to sing those wonderful
songs to spread love because Christ has saved us from sin and has
given us salvation to enjoy eternal life with Christ. This song has
a catchy tune and is very religious in nature.
o Sa May Bahay ang Aming Bati (Roughly translated to 'Our
greetings are addressed to your household'): This is the most
popular caroling song for children. This is usually the first song
sung by children when they knock on your door. The song's message
expresses warm greetings to the Filipino households. It says that
if love reigns in everyone's herts, every single day will be like
Christmas. The song also speaks of asking for Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo
is a Spanish word that was adapted by Filipinos during the Spanish
Occupation in the Philippines. It means a Christmas gift or a
Christmas present. When children ask for Aguinaldo, people usually
give them money, sweets or treats.
o Mano Po, Ninong, Mano Po, Ninang: This song speaks about
pagmamano. Pagmamano is a Filipino sign of respect to elders. This
is when a child or a young person touches an elder's hand to his or
her forehead. This song speaks of this tradition of giving respect
during Christmas day.
o Pasko na naman (It's Christmas again): This songwas composed
by Felipe De Leon and the song's lyrics was written by Levi
Celerio. This is a favorite among carolers. The song is about how
time flies and it is once again Christmas. The song says that it
was just like yesterday that we celebrated last Christmas and now,
it is once again that time of year.
o Sa Paskong Darating (On the Coming Christmas): This
traditional Christmas songs conveys the message that Christmas is
for children. The singer says that on the Christmas to ome, he will
give children the things they want most like apples, grape, candies
o Simbang Gabi (Mass at Dawn): This song describes the Simbang
Gabi or the nine day novena wherein people go to mass at dawn. It
says that the Simbang Gabi is when Christmas truly begins.
There are other popular Christma songs in the Philippines. These
songs are popularized by recent artists and they often speak of
love or they convey a romantic denotation. Some examples of popular
Filipino Christmas songs are as follows:
o Christmas in Our Hearts: This is an English Christmas song but
it was popularized by Jose Mari Chan, a celebrated singer in the
Philippines. It was written by Rina Caniza and the singer himself.
It speaks of the spirit of Christmas. An excerpt of the song goes,
"Let's sing Merry Christmas, and a Happy Holiday. This season may
we never forget the love we have for Jesus. Let Him be the one to
guide us as another new year starts. And may the spirit of
Christmas be always on our hearts."
o Pasko na Sinta Ko (It's Christmas, my love): This is a heart
breaking Christmas song written by Francis M. Dandan and sung by
Gary Valenciano in 1976. The lyrics of the song describes someone
longing for their love during Christmas time. The speaker of this
song talks about being left behind and finding no joy in Christmas
now that his or her loved one is gone.
o Sana Ngayong Pasko (I Hope this Christmas): This song talks
about hoping to see their loved one on Christmas. The author of the
song talks about hoping that her loved one will remember her.
Singing at Christmas has been a tradition in the Philippine
culture for a long time and its songs reflect the country's beliefs