Filipinos welcome -ber months with Jose Mari Chan posts


You know it’s the beginning of the -Ber months when funny Jose Mari Chan-inspired posts start flooding your social media feed.

And this year, despite the overwhelming events of 2020, the annual Filipino netizen tradition of sharing content inspired by the singer from the early weeks of August down to the beginning of September just doesn’t stop

Meme-savvy netizens are editing Chan’s photos in quarantine style to suit the times, while Shopee Philippines even geared up its content marketing by collaborating with Chan in its Zoom-inspired backgrounds.


Meme-savvy netizens create quarantine-themed memes


Jose Mari Chan ber months
Image adapted from: George Cruz Calauad Jr. 

For instance, the classic meme of Chan on a white background peeking out from a corner is still being shared, although a version of this meme by George Calaud Jr. shows Chan across from actress Kim Chiu.

Chan asks “Pede na ba lumabas?” (Can we now go out?) in the meme, then Chiu responds, “Nag-comply ka na ba?” (Did you comply already?), which is a reference to the actress’s viral “Bawal Lumabas” statement from May this year.

Jose Mari Chan ber months
Image credit: Haze Manat 

Photos of President Duterte and Chan were placed alongside each other to create a meme with the caption  “ECQ, GCQ, MECQ, ano susunod?” (ECQ, GCQ, MECQ, what’s next?) referring to the various pandemic-related movement restriction rules in the Philippines.

“Eh di PASQ. Kakanta na ba ako?” (Well, of course it’s Christmas. Do I start singing now?) Chan responds in the meme.

Jose Mari Chan ber months
Image credit: Onse_ G ARTS

In his meme, Onse_ G ARTS edited the popular line “Whenever I see girls and boys selling lanterns on the streets” from Chan’s popular song Christmas In Our Hearts to “Whenever I see girls and boys wearing facemask on the streets,” instead.

Jose Mari Chan ber months
Image credit: Nicolle Lisay Ilagan

The meme posted by Nicole Ilagan on August 8, for example, showed a photo of Chan sneaking out from a corner with a face shield and a mask. 

In the meme, Chan sings the beginning of Christmas in Our Hearts, only to cut it short: “Ay bawal pa ba?” (Is it still not allowed?) with an awkward expression.


Shopee Philippines designed Zoom backgrounds inspired by the singer


Jose Mari Chan ber months Image credit: Shopee

Even Shopee Philippines has caught up with Filipinos’ inside jokes, as it has even come up with various downloadable Jose Mari Chan-inspired Zoom backgrounds to the delight of online shoppers.

“My new Zoom background starting September 1,” Shopee Philippines shared on its Facebook page on August 24, together with a downloadable orange background with Chan reaching a hand towards the viewer, subtly advertising the upcoming Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day.


Chan wishes the messages of the memes will be more positive


When asked about the popularity of his memes, Chan said, in an interview with ABS-CBN, that he “wish[es] the messages of the memes [would] be more positive like, ‘malapit na [soon], don’t worry.’ I know it’s darkness all over but the dawn is coming.”

Jose Mari Chan ber months
A scene from the official music video of Christmas in Our Hearts
Image credit: UniversalRecPH

His most popular seasonal song Christmas in Our Hearts (1990) remains dear to Filipinos 30 years after it was co-written with songwriter Rina Cañiza. 


Christmas songs in Filipinos’ hearts


Christmas is indeed one of our favorite seasons, as it means receiving gifts and a time to bond with loved ones.

This year’s celebration will be different than that of the past few years, but our love of Christmas songs like Jose Mari Chan’s should give us hope that everything will be well in the end.

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Cover image adapted from: George Cruz Calauad Jr., Shopee

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