Paskong Pinoy officially starts with Jose Mari Chan, rice cakes, and Parol

Paskong Pinoy Jose Mari Chan
Paskong Pinoy is not complete without bibingka, puto bumbong, parols, and Mr. Jose Mari Chan. Photo edited by Martina Torres

It’s September 1st and that signals the official start of the world’s longest Christmas season in the Philippines – the well-loved Paskong Pinoy!

“Mr. Christmas” Jose Mari Chan arrived back in the Philippines last August 29, 2022, in time for him to join the nation in kicking off the Paskong Pinoy BERmonths.

Chan is known to every generation because of his essential role as the music herald of the Filipino celebration of Christmas.

Paskong Pinoy would not be complete without hearing the King of Christmas Carols’ iconic “Christmas In Our Hearts” everywhere across the islands.

Jose Mari Chan ushers in the Filipino Christmas season in many ways. Pinoys would make funny memes of Mr. Christmas peeking through or tuning his guitar to signal the four-month celebration of Paskong Pinoy.

For this year’s season, Jose Mari Chan has been turned into a Funko Pop, a popular themed vinyl figure that has a big head, short body, and huge eyes. He is the first-ever Filipino musician to be “funko-ed”.

JMC joins Darna, Alexandra Trese, Jo Koy, and Jollibee, the first Pinoy Funko Pop, in the line of Philippine-exclusive Funko collectibles.

Along with the craze for the Christmas Carol King is our craving for our favorite rice cakes Puto Bumbong and Bibingka. There are local vendors who sell these year-round but in keeping with the holiday spirit, Pinoys patronize them more during BER months – especially on the 1st of September.

Aside from Jose Mari Chan and rice cakes, Filipino homes are busy with the annual unboxing of our families’ Christmas ornaments. Images of the Holy Family Belen, Santa Claus, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and the iconic parol star lanterns are gracing the internet in time for the season.

Jose Mari Chan and rice cakes have been a staple of ways Filipinos celebrate the Christmas season. The long and advanced celebration of Christmas in the Philippines has been embedded in our culture and we have come to be known for it globally. It is a testament to our innate joyous hearts and merry spirits that we commemorate the birth of Jesus ahead of time.

SHARE THIS STORY to spread the Christmas spirit as the Filipino nation starts the world’s longest holiday season with Jose Mari Chan, rice cakes, and all things Paskong Pinoy!

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Martina is an explorer, a film buff, and an avid pageant fan. She is majoring in Communication to one day work in journalism or a production house to tell stories about life, society, and scenic places. She is also an environmental conservation advocate and firmly believes in humankind’s role as the planet’s caretakers.