Jose Mari Chan memes are not the only ones dominating social media platforms at the beginning of the “-ber” months, which signify the start of the Christmas season in the Philippines.
Posts associating singer-actor Ariel Rivera with the holidays appeared on Filipinos’ timelines and feeds.
Jose is usually associated with the monthslong Christmas festivities usually marked by his songs that start playing on radios, in shopping malls and public transportation.
The songs are from his bestselling 1990 album “Christmas in Our Hearts” which include tracks like “Christmas in Our Hearts,” “A Perfect Christmas,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Give Me Your Heart for Christmas” and “Mary’s Boy Child,” among others.
Due to the popularity of his songs that cut across generations, Jose was later dubbed as the “Father of Philippine Christmas Music.”
But Ariel is also part of the local holiday tradition.
His songs in the 1993 Christmas album “Paskong Walang Katulad” also frequently grace local airwaves. It includes his popular ballad “Sana Ngayong Pasko.”
The song has been a hit in the OPM scene that other Filipino artists such as Broadway star Lea Salonga have also recorded their own renditions.
“Sana Ngayong Pasko” also became the theme of a Christmas family drama series of the same title in GMA Network in 2009.
In a 2020 interview, Ariel said he remains “eternally grateful” to be associated with the ballad.
“I just think the lyrics, as well as the music of ‘Sana Ngayong Pasko,’ somehow relates to a lot of people to a certain extent,” he said to ABS-CBN News.
“During the Yuletide season, we seek to be with the people most important to us and people we love. But somehow, due (to) certain circumstances, it doesn’t always work out that way,” Ariel added.
Other original tracks in his Christmas albums are “Paskong Walang Katulad,” “Sa Paskong Ito,” “Silent Night Na Naman,” “Kahit sa Pasko Lang,” “Pasko Na, Pasko Na,” “Bakit Araw Pa ng Pasko,” “Nakaraang Pasko,” “Pasko sa Maynila,” “Sana Araw-Araw ay Pasko,” “Give Our Love Today” and “I Dream of Christmas.”