Christmas in Our Hearts

"Christmas in Our Hearts," like most Christmas carols, does not convey any political meaning. It is a feel-good song that embodies the spirit of Christmas, a reason for people to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. 

The Christmas holiday is fast approaching. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, Filipinos still find ways to become excited for arrival of Christmas. As early as September, people started playing local and foreign Christmas carols, one of which is Jose Mari Chan's "Christmas in Our Hearts."

"Christmas in Our Hearts" was the carrier single of the album bearing the same name, which was released on November 17, 1990. The nearly thirty-year old English song has been one of the most beloved carols, being sung and listened to by Filipinos from all ages and all walks of life. This also transformed Mr. Chan, an Ateneo de Manila University-educated businessman from Iloilo whose family has been engaged in sugar trading for years and who sees music as a life-long passion, into being the "Father of Philippine Christmas Music."

The first lines of the "Christmas in Our Hearts" perfectly described how Filipinos celebrated the season and the prevalent commercial activity of the time:

"Whenever I see girls and boys selling lanterns on the street

I remmeber the Child in the manger as He sleeps

Whenever there are people giving gifts, exchanging cards

I believe that Christmas is truly in their hearts."

Then the song goes on with fervent hope that the world will be at peace and people would enjoy the spirit of the holidays, and that Jesus is the true reason for the season.

"Christmas in Our Hearts," like most Christmas carols, does not convey any political meaning. It is a feel-good song that embodies the spirit of Christmas, a reason for people to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. It is a carol that provides comfort to those who, at a time like this, are struggling because the Christmas spirit brings joy, hope and optimism akin to how children look forward to it.

Unfortunately, the song was recently given a different meaning by young individuals with Marxist-Leninist-Maoist political tendencies on Twitter. A tweet by certain young person asked this question: "Bakit nung nakita ni Jose Mari Chan yung girls and boys selling lanterns on the street, ang naisip niya si Baby Jesus, hindi yung unjust society that made kids have to work to survive?" Another young person re-tweeted it, commenting, without providing any basis, "Because Jose Mari Chan romanticized child labor. He's a goddamn capitalist, union buster, labor rights violator and we should cancel him and find other Christmas songs instead. Because we don't tolerate any capitalist here and yes this is also political."

To start with, I am actually surprised that Marxist-Leninist-Maoist young people believe in Christmas and in Jesus when their ideology preaches a godless society. Second, "Christmas in Our Hearts" does not convey any political meaning to it but rather it is a feel-good song that describes and embodies the spirit of Filipino Christmas that makes almost every person in this country happy and find comfort in anticipation of the arrival of the holidays. With their toxic way of using social media and their toxic nature as people, these Communist youths, most of whom were born in and live privileged lives, seek to destroy things that provide comfort and joy to others.

These Marxist-Leninist-Maoist young Filipinos on social media should be reminded that "girls and boys selling lanterns on the street" in the old days was not a "romanticization of child labor." What they did not know or prefer to be ignorant about is that children of my generation and my parents' generation were taught to be entrepreneurial and resourceful, which was I, at a young age, joined my parents, who were then working as bank employees while doing a mobile soft drinks dealership as a sideline in order to make ends meet, to go around the barangays in our town and also nearby towns to sell soft drinks in our Ford Fiera and, later on, after they opted for early retirement from the banks, man our stall at the public market. It is also the reason why children during that time and even years before that sell Christmas lanterns, sweets and other goods during the holidays so that they would have extra money for themselves to buy new toys and clothes or save in their "alkansiya" as their way of helping their parents. Being resourceful and entrepreneurial helped me and others from my generation and those before us to become more mature and wiser as individuals, something that is, unfortunately, lacking among most young people nowadays, especially those from privileged families and those who attended prestigious schools, colleges and universities.

They also accuse Mr. Chan of committing anti-labor practices without substantiating their claims. That, in my opinion, is nothing but hearsay and a product of their Marxist-Leninist-Maoist mental masturbation. They have so much idle time during the pandemic that they were fooled by Jose Maria Sison and his cabal of propagandists from the media and the academe into believing that successful people, especially those who built up their material wealth, of doing illicit activities or being unfair to others to achieve their goal. These young Filipinos are so gullible and foolish they have allowed themselves to become agents of Sison's goal of making Filipinos equally impoverished while he and other higher-ranked Communists live the high life just like what he is doing now in the Netherlands, a capitalist Western Europe country and society.

"Christmas in Our Hearts" and other Christmas carols, and the Christmas holiday, in general, there are not only as a celebration of the birth of Jesus on December 25 but also as way for Filipinos to enjoy the season and the company of family and friends. Leftists should cease and desist from ruining things that make other people happy. With how they gave Jose Mari Chan's song a different meaning on social media, they and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are proving to be detrimental not only to happiness of Filipinos but to overall prosperity, development and well-being of this country and of its people. No wonder they are hated and could not gain the support of the majority of Filipinos despite their claim that they are "may marami" and "could influence elections results." They are simply justifying their being toxic and useless, thus the Philippines and Filipinos will be better off without them.

About the Author
Benedict is an agricultural economist, academician and writer. He has gained experience and expertise in various fields of economics, business, political science and public relations after through professional ventures in the academe, and in the public and private sectors. He has authored or co-authored key publications on topics ranging from agriculture and food security to global affairs and politics.
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