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Maligayang Pasko! 7 Filipino Christmas Songs

 

As a nation with a strong background in Catholicism, it’s no surprise that the Philippines embraces Christmas with open arms. In this beautiful, vibrant nation, it’s common for festivities to begin as early as September 1st, making the celebrations in the Philippines the longest in the world.

Filipino Christmas songs are a major part of the nation’s holiday celebrations, and there are plenty of wonderful songs to choose from to add a Filipino flair to your yuletide festivities. Let’s take a look at seven of the most popular Christmas songs from the Philippines.

1. “Himig Ng Pasko” (Christmas Melody) – Serapio Y. Ramos

Originally written in the 1960s, “Himig Ng Pasko” is one of the most popular Christmas songs in the Philippines. This song is a little unique in its message, focusing on the cool trade winds that blow through the Philippines during winter. This wind is a sign that Christmas is coming, and the lyrics discuss the joy, peace, and happiness that come to pass as these winds begin to blow.

We chose a version by APO Hiking Society, which has a whimsical, nostalgic feel that’s sure to transport you to a peaceful Christmas—Filipino style.

2. “Namamasko” (Masked) – Traditional

“Namamasko” is a traditional song enjoyed in the Philippines during Christmas, and you’re likely to hear it sung by choirs during the many weeks of holiday festivities. It has a playful, almost whimsical tone, making it ideal for lighthearted celebrations. Its message is similar to songs like “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” or “Here We Come A-Carolling,” with lyrics asking a Christmas host for gifts in exchange for the singing of the carol.

We chose a version by The New Minstrels, which combines the fun melody of the original carol with a stunning (and almost dramatic) singing rendition by the choir.

Filipino Christmas Songs

3. “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” (Christmas is Coming) – Vicente D. Rubi

This traditional Filipino Christmas song was originally written and composed in the 1930s, but it has endured ever since as a beloved part of the Philippines’ Christmas tradition. There are versions in Tagalog and Cebuano (two of the major languages used in the Philippines) and bilingual versions combining both. This is a common song during Christmas time in the Philippines, often sung at religious services and by church choirs.

The lyrics have a religious angle on celebrating Christmas, heralding the birth of Christ, and rejoicing in the feeling of joy, love, and togetherness. We chose a version by the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, which has a bombastic instrumental complimented by a large, lively choir to sing the lyrics.

4. “Pasko Na Naman” (It’s Christmas Again) – Levi Celerio and Felipe Padilla de León

For something a little different, take “Pasko Na Naman,” a more pop-music-inspired take on a Filipino Christmas carol. Originally written by Levi Celerio (with composition from Felipe Padilla de León), this song has countless versions, from full choirs to singer-songwriters to everything in between. This song has a simple but joyous message, rejoicing that Christmas is here and it’s time to celebrate. The fun melody and simple lyrics make this ideal for kids.

The version we chose is by Janet Basco—a poppy, fun carol perfect for a nostalgic Christmas dance with friends and family.

5. “Pasko Na Sinta Ko” (It’s Christmas Now, My Love) – Gary Valenciano

Looking for something a little more romantic and sentimental this year? “Pasko Na Sinta Ko” is exactly what you need. This stunning number is about missing someone special on Christmas and hoping for their return.

While it’s a little on the sad side, the original version by Gary Valenciano (included on our playlist) is still a gorgeous number and reminds us to cherish our loved ones this season.

6. “Nakaraang Pasko” (Christmas Past) – Kuh Ledesma

For something on the happier side, you can’t go wrong with “Nakaraang Pasko.” Though there are countless versions and interpretations of this famously romantic Christmas carol, they all share the same message: the newfound meaning of Christmas when it’s shared with a special someone.

This sentimental, emotional Christmas song is imbued with nostalgic synths that will bring you back to simpler times. And the stunning vocals on the version by Kuh Ledesma are guaranteed to leave you feeling a little misty-eyed.

7. “Sana Ngayong Pasko” (I Hope This Christmas) – Ariel Rivera

For our last Filipino Christmas song, we turn to Ariel Rivera, a famous singer from Manila. It’s common to hear “Sana Ngayong Pasko” in the Philippines during the long Christmas season, and for good reason. This song is about the feeling of incompleteness when your beloved isn’t with you for Christmas. And while the message is on the melancholy side, Rivera’s beautiful delivery and the swooning composition give the song a triumphant, hopeful feeling.

If you’re looking for a great song for a slow dance by the Christmas tree, this is exactly the tune you need to put on your playlist!

Stay Connected on Christmas and Year-Round

There you have it—seven of the most popular Christmas songs from the Philippines! While you’ll hear many other songs during the Christmas season, these are some of the most well-known, and each one is a fantastic introduction to the stunning tradition of Filipino holiday music.

Many of these songs discuss separation from your loved ones over the holidays. And while it’s challenging to be without your friends and family during the winter months, you don’t have to go through the season without connecting!

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