A CD cover of traditional Philippine Christmas songs
One of the most-loved Christmas songs in the Philippines, “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit (Christmas Has Come) is a traditional Filipino Christmas song originally composed by Vicente Rubi and Mariano Vestil in 1933.
The original was titled ‘Kasadya ning Táknaa’ (How Blissful is this Season!). A version of the song in Tagalog was used by Josefino Cenizal as a marching song for “Ang Pugad ng Aguila” (Hawk’s Nest) in 1938. National Artist Levi Celerio also wrote the Tagalog lyrics to the song during 1950s.
The song is still sung today in various communities, especially in churches in the Philippines and abroad by Filipino expatriates. Filipinos expats sing and play this song in family gatherings and parties to evoke the quintessential Filipino Christmas. Interestingly the song’s refrain expresses the Filipino’s aspirations (and unfulfilled hopes) for a progressive and ‘better’ Philippines. The refrain’s lyrics goes:
“Bagong taon ay magbagong-buhay
Nang lumigaya ang ating bayan…”
Rough translation: “New Year’s means a new start
For the prosperity of our country…”
Marked with a jolly tempo, the song captures the merry-making spirit of the December holiday season and is often played by radio and TV stations throughout the Christmas season.
(From: Wikipedia and other sources)
Long live original Philippine music!
Click on the link to listen to a renditionof “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit”
Cool evenings, a carpet of soft lights and the expectant, festive air of a unique Filipino Christmas
Perhaps this Filipino Christmas is the most imitated or sung by YouTube enthusiasts, and understandably so since this is one of the most popular if not widely loved original Filipino Christmas songs. “Pasko na Sinta Ko” (It’s Christmas My Beloved) was composed by Francis Dandan with lyrics by Aureao Estanislao. An intensely felt version was originally performed by Gary Valenciano in 1976 conveying the song’s heartfelt wish of seeing again his/her absent beloved.
More than a Christmas melody, Pasko na Sinta Ko is a love song and evokes the nostalgia and yearning of those who are spending the Christmas holidays without their loved ones. The song is specially evocative for Filipino overseas workers and expatriates as it captures celebrating Christmas in less than cheerful circumstances. Even non-Filipinos find resonance in this song which has been performed or played in the US and Europe in Filipino expat communities.
Regularly appearing or ranked in the popular Filipino music hit list and charts, Pasko na Sinta Ko has also been sung by the Philippine Madrigal Singers, perhaps by far the best rendition of the song which has been interpreted by countless other Filipino singers.
Long live Philippine original music!
Click on the link for Gary Valenciano’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XlFY141Q-E&feature=related