It’s the first day of September and for Filipinos, it is the “comeback day” of Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey, whose Christmas songs would endlessly blast in shopping malls and residential areas as soon as the “Ber months” begin.
The Philippines is known to celebrate the world’s longest Christmas season.
As September kicks off, songs and lavish displays related to the Yuletide would start playing and appear in public spaces.
It is the first month with the “-ber” suffix which is also fitting since some of these months are associated with the northeast monsoon or “amihan,” when cool and dry winds from Siberia and China are blown to Southeast Asia. This results in cool air and low humidity.
From a Catholic perspective, the celebration starts from December 16 to the first Sunday after New Year or the Feast of the Epiphany.
Nine masses are held in anticipation of Christmas Day itself, which is traditionally held at early dawn. This is also called “Simbang Gabi.”
These Eucharistic celebrations also help usher in the festivities with the church displaying star-shaped lanterns or “parols” and putting up “belen” or the Nativity Scene near altars.
Well-known delicacies such as “puto bumbong” (purple rice cake steamed in bamboo tubes), “bibingka” (baked rice cake) and “puto” (steamed rice cake) are also sold by vendors to churchgoers.
In line with this, memes of Chan and Carey surfaced online as Filipinos digitally mark the start of the months-long Christmas season in the country.
Some online users quipped that September 1 is the artists’ “comeback day” as it is the start of the period when their Christmas hits would be played in malls, stores and houses in anticipation of Christmas itself.
JOSE MARI CHAN COMEBACK D-DAY
title track: Christmas In Our Hearts ft. Julie Anne San Jose
— joa ♡ ll stu-dying (@gyuberriee) August 31, 2021
OMG Mariah Carey and Jose Mari Chan are preparing for their grand comeback on September 1, 2021! pic.twitter.com/yIja6pDgUx
— 𝓓𝓮𝓼𝓶𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭 (@fritzjanross) August 30, 2021
Setting the mood for the 1st of September. 😁😁😁😁
Filo Moomoos will really relate to this! Jose Mari Chan comeback will always be the 1st day of September. 🤭🤭🤭🤭 pic.twitter.com/Y146jZZH7a
— Solar Keem (@agi_moomoo) September 1, 2021
Hello September 1! Hello Ber Months!
Mariah Carey and Jose Mari Chan is waving!
after all, “All we want for Christmas is Christmas in our Hearts” 💝
Merry Christmas!! pic.twitter.com/tirXyWkLuu
— WALTER CES (@waltzjces) August 31, 2021
Chan is known for his bestselling 1990 album “Christmas in Our Hearts” which features Holiday-themed songs such as “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.
The popularity of his Christmas songs has earned him the title of “Father of the Philippine Christmas Music.”
Carey’s hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” an uptempo track from her 1994 album “Merry Christmas,” is also being played during the holidays.
It is also considered one of the “ultimate modern Christmas anthems,” according to TIME Magazine.
The song is famous enough to get a rerecording featuring Justin Bieber for his 2011 album “Under the Mistletoe.”
There is also a revamped version of the song titled “All I Want for Christmas Is You (Make My Wish Come True Edition)” which features new scenes of Carey in 2019.