MANILA -- It’s the coming of “ber” months season again ushering Christmas!
And with it, Jose Mari Chan’s image is again cropping up on every imaginable scenario created by Photoshop-crazy netizens -- as Thanos; Ray Stark, a character in “Game of Thrones,” announcing the coming of winter; or as himself declaring he now controls the radio and mall speakers with his classic Christmas carol “ Christmas in Our Hearts.”
“Now i wear a face mask!” Chan tells ABS-CBN News, laughing at his latest recreation as the symbol of Pinoy Christmas.
It’s his way of injecting levity amid the various crises hitting the country.
“It’a sad time now but I feel blessed that a Christmas song I wrote three decades ago continues to be loved and sung today,” he said.
It’s hard to believe that "Christmas in Our Hearts," which was originally composed by Chan for a high school reunion theme song with different lyrics, is now 30 years old -- and remains an anthem of joy and hope for listeners.
The unforgettable Christmas lyrics beginning with “Whenever I see girls and boys selling lanterns on the street, I remember the child in the manger as he sleeps” were a collaboration between Chan and songwriter Rina Cañiza. Recorded by Chan and his daughter Liza, it went on to become one of the biggest selling OPM songs in history and a constant LSS or last song syndrome among Filipinos.
Chan said the song will always remind people that “Christmas is a season of joy, a season of gratefulness that God Almighty sent His only Son to grant us eternal life with Him.”
But this time, Chan wants the song to motivate people to share their blessings.
“Our people today are suffering and I earnestly pray that they will not lose hope that this virus gets dissipated soon and bring us all back to good health," he said.
"It is my hope that Christmas will bring us comfort and healing. For many who have been blessed with sufficiency, God is giving this opportunity to share your blessings and bring joy to our brothers in need and make this Christmas happy and meaningful for all.”