While the rest of the world was pretty chill over the weekend, many Filipinos were excited over the start of the Christmas season.
For those unaware, the Philippines has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world — it starts in September and will end the following year at the Epiphany, which will fall on Jan. 6, 2019.
But instead of posting Santa Claus memes and videos, most Filipinos posted memes featuring local singer Jose Mari Chan instead. Jose Mari who?
Chan is a multi-awarded Chinese-Filipino singer-songwriter and businessman whose name has become synonymous with Christmas in our neck of the woods.
See, he came up with the biggest-selling local album of all time in 1990, titled Christmas in Our Hearts. It features several original singles and reinterpretations of Christmas classics.
Thanks to malls and commercial establishments playing them on an endless loop, these songs (and Chan’s voice) have become a sign that the Christmas season is upon us, which is why Pinoys have posted tons of memes featuring Chan over the weekend.
Here’s one which was based on the “Batman slapping Robin” meme:
Or this one that uses the Game of Thrones poster.
And this that says: “I control all the speakers inside a mall.” (Because now that September has started, all malls will now play his songs.)
“[I’m coming] on Saturday [Sept. 1],” said Chan on this meme.
Even Twitter is not exempt from the Chan madness. Check out this one posted by @BogartDexplorer.
Bears hibernate for up to seven months. Jose Mari Chan hibernates up until the Ber months. 👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/ZMZID3447g
— Bogart the Explorer (@BogartDexplorer) August 31, 2018
On the other hand, user @EMaligalig posted this.
— Emmanuel Maligalig (@EMaligalig) August 31, 2018
There is also a video of Chan that resurfaced over the weekend which shows him singing at a mall food court in Mandaluyong City in 2015.
A Facebook poster named David Andrei de Mesa dug up his files after he saw several memes featuring Chan on the internet. It’s gone viral, naturally.
De Mesa told Coconuts Manila: “We all thought the mall was just playing his song, so we were all surprised when he suddenly showed up. A lot of people were so happy and asked for his photo, some even sang along with him.”
Finally, there’s this one guy who, instead of posting a meme, posted a photo of him with Chan himself.
According to Martti Franca, he and his mother met Chan at an airport. He wrote: “I pulled my mom and asked if I could go up to him (Chan) and ask for a photo. We did. I was so nervous [be]cause his songs were the sound of my childhood, adolescence and now, adulthood.”
Franca said Chan made time to actually talk to him instead of leaving immediately.
He added: “He asked about what I do for a living, gave life tips about being an entrepreneur and a musician, talked about family and who he might know from mine. At the end of it, he asked for my name and my address cause he said he’d send over some of his CDs. Didn’t think he would, but a couple of days later, BAM! The LBC [courier] dropped by and gave me three CDs, all with his signature.”
“There’s a reason why he’s the voice of Christmas. Because he embodies a goodness and generosity that no other musician has,” Franca ended.
Sounds like a swell guy.