Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas songs in the Philippines

There are three types of Christmas songs:
  1. Religious songs related directly to Christianity and the birth of Jesus. (e.g. Silent Night, Joy to the World, O Holy Night)
  2. Secular songs that concern mostly Western Christmas customs and traditions. (e.g. Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
  3. Seasonal winter songs that don't really have anything to do with Christmas. (e.g. Let It Snow, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells)
It makes perfect sense to be hearing religious Christmas songs in the shopping malls and on the radio-- besides, that's what Christmas is supposedly all about, and the Philippines has an overwhelmingly Christian population. And I can excuse the fact they they play secular Christmas songs even though most Filipinos don't know much about many of the non-religious Christmas traditions like Frosty and Rudolf and maybe even Santa Claus.

But why do they play songs that are purely about winter and snow? I look at the lyrics of Winter Wonderland and there's nothing in there about the actual holiday. And I don't think many people are even aware of that fact. It just peeves me somewhat the Filipinos are so culturally chained to the US that we hardly realize that the song isn't relevant to our Christmas in any way.
When it snows
ain't it thrilling
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play
the Eskimo way
walking in a winter wonderland
Speaking of Christmas... in a few minutes I will be heading home for the holidays to stay until January 2. I will leave the office at 5PM and take a jeep to my place, quickly pack up some clothes and things to bring with me, take a taxi to the south bus terminal, and hopefully get there before the 7PM Dumaguete-bound bus fills up with the hoards of other homeward bound Christmas travelers.


  1. There is at least one tagalog song about Santa Claus.

  2. And while we're on the subject:

  3. I spent 2 Christmas holidays in Siquijor and was entertained with carols on a few occasions. These songs were not in English (the 3 carolers could not speak English)My host asked me to return the favor and sing one.I sang "White Christmas" which everyone recognized.

  4. guilty as charged :P
    Merry Christmas Mike. You all enjoy the holidays :)

  5. Ugh. That "Boom Tarat Tarat" is the most inane and mindless thing I have ever heard. I once went into a quiet shoe store in a mall for the sole purpose of preventing that song from further eroding my brain activity.

    I guess that "song" could be grouped in with #2 since it's a non-religious Christmas song.