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The Christmas Anthem

In a country like the Philippines where Christmas is celebrated as long as possible, the singing of Christmas carols is heard at the start of the BER months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER).

A particular song popularized by Filipino singer-songwriter and businessman, Jose Mari Chan, has become an anthem of sorts during this season. The song is Christmas In Our Hearts.

Christmas in Our Hearts is the 7th studio album and the 1st Christmas album by Chan, which was released on November 17, 1990, by Universal Records. It became a certified Double Diamond and is said to be currently the biggest selling album in the Philippines, dubbing Chan the ‘The Father of Philippine Christmas Music’.

“The song, Christmas in Our Hearts, began as a Filipino poem entitled Ang Tubig ay Buhay, written by Chari Cruz Zarate whose Assumption High School Class of 1963 was celebrating their Silver Jubilee. Their class asked me to set this poem to music”, recalls Chan when asked about the history of the song. But he felt that the ‘catchy and pretty melody’ was ‘too precious to use as a class homecoming, so I decided to turn it into a Christmas song’, he added.

He further relates that before production started, he went to attend Mass at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park Makati, and as he was about to leave, Rina Cañiza, a songwriter, knocked on his car window. She introduced herself and said that she was interested in collaborating with him. ‘Christmas in Our Hearts’ was born out of the collaboration-Cañiza wrote the words to Chan’s melody for ‘Ang Tubig ay Buhay’.

So, here’s the song:

Christmas In Our Hearts

Jose Mari Chan

Whenever I see girls and boys
Selling lanterns on the street
I remember the child in the manger as he sleeps
Wherever there are people
Giving gifts exchanging cards
I believe that Christmas is truly in their hearts
Let’s light our Christmas trees for a bright tomorrow
Where nations are at peace,
And all are one in God
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 in our hearts
In every prayer and every song
The community unites celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ
Let love like that starlight on that first Christmas morn
Lead us back to the manger where Christ the child was born
So come let us rejoice
Come and sing the Christmas carol with one big joyful voice
Proclaim the name of the Lord
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 in our hearts
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 in our hearts

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