n case you haven’t noticed, with the exclusion of the annual Christmas remix of each year’s most popular song, perhaps the most defining feature of the Filipino Christmas is none other than Jose Mari Chan. After all, who else among all of us actually has an idea of A Perfect Christmas? Or even 8?

Here are 8 signs that this timeless crooner definitely exudes Christmas to Pinoys, by and large – and I say this as one of the most “bah, humbug” Grinches you will ever meet, so it’s got to count for something, right?



Jose Mari Chan may have genuinely found the fountain of youth, and it seems to be the joy of Christmas. As GMA’s TJ Dimacali succinctly put it: have you ever wondered why Jose Mari Chan doesn’t seem to age and where he is the rest of the year?




Jose Mari Chan’s imprint on Pinoy Christmas culture is so indelible that it took him 22 years before he dared to release a new Christmas album.




Dat vocal range! Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas songs (and ballads) are so karaoke-friendly, that they surely saved a relationship or two all because a guy had the good sense to serenade his lady love with one of them, instead of breaking his vocal chords channeling himself some Michael Bolton.




Christmas for most of us is happiest when we relish our sweetest memories with those who are near and dear to us. Speaking of sweet, did you know that Jose Mari Chan is the Chairman and CEO of the A. Chan Sugar Corporation?




A few years ago, Jose Mari Chan invited me as a performer at his family’s Christmas/New Year party. The moment he shook my hand, chestnuts immediately roasted on an open fire, all the holy faithful started coming, and they told me, “pa-ra-pa-pum-pum.” True story!




Whenever we see girls and boys selling lanterns on the streets, we remember only one of two things: the boy (but you don’t remember the feeling), or the Child, in a manger as he sleeps.




Christmas In Our Hearts is not only the highest-selling Christmas album in Philippine history, it is the highest-selling album in Philippine history, period. It sold 800,000 copies to date, and was the first OPM album ever to surpass Diamond status. Nowadays, it takes only 150,000 album sales to make Diamond. When Jose Mari Chan was awarded Double Diamond in 2006, the standard was 300,000, which technically makes him a Quintuple Diamond artist, using today’s standards.




Look at that smile. Have you ever seen Jose Mari Chan angry? A man this happy all the time simply oozes the Christmas spirit, and it’s just infectious. Let’s face it: to the average Pinoy, the first official sign that the Christmas season has arrived is the first time we hear a Jose Mari Chan Christmas song. It was true in 1990, it remains to be true in 2013.


Kel Fabie

Kel Fabie. is a DJ, host, mentalist, satirist, comedian, and a long-time contributor to 8List (Hello, ladies!). He has an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and two other weirdly-named pet dogs. He blogs on mistervader.com.

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