Filipinos mark September 1st as Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey’s ‘comeback’ day

September 1, 2021 - 1:48 PM
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Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey performs in her video "All I Want For Christmas Is You (Make My Wish Come True Edition)" on YouTube (right) and Jose Mari Chan in this photo from 2020 The Philippine Star article "The durable Jose Mari Chan" by Ricky Lo (left).

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.

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.”

RELATED: ‘Bringing our hearts close to Christmas’: Jose Mari Chan’s classic hit gets revamped in wake of COVID-19

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.