Angel Locsin thanks a Red Cross volunteer in 2012’s Lumiliwanag ang Mundo sa Kwento ng Pasko
How ABS-CBN Christmas station IDs bind Filipinos with love
KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2019 - 12:00am

You know it is Christmas in the Philippines when you see the ABS-CBN Christmas station ID, says one netizen on YouTube when the Kapamilya network launched its Family is Forever music video recently.

Judy Ann Santos with students of Philippine School for the Deaf in 2017’s Just Love Ngayong Pasko

Heartfelt comments from all over the world abound about how the song, which also carried the most memorable ABS-CBN Christmas station IDs in the past years, deeply touched them or about how they have memorized the lyrics of the tunes that became a major part of their childhood.

The messages in these songs and videos have not changed over the years, because Christmas in the country only means a few things: Love, gratitude, faith in God, kindness and family. And this is why Kapamilya Christmas station IDs have always been part of the Filipino Christmas tradition.

Kapamilya station IDs carry a certain kind of magic  it moves us, it transports us through time, it shows us that generosity is not that rare after all, and most importantly, it unites us.

Kim Chiu with Baby Cerdeña, who was featured in the 2013 and 2019 stations IDs

Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko, arguably the network’s most popular Christmas station ID and song, is not the network’s first, but it changed the essence and purpose of what one should be: Hopeful, inclusive, and brings to light what makes Filipinos going, despite seemingly insurmountable calamities and their everyday struggles.

Released in 2009, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko was made to provide optimism to Filipinos after Typhoon Ondoy devastated the homes and livelihoods of our kababayan in Luzon.

A YouTuber named Kristine Manansala said it best with her comment: “2009 was the year we needed something to hold on to, and this song reminded us that we have God behind our backs, to light our ways and guide us through and past everything. This song will forever be iconic, timeless and incomparable. Looking forward to future station IDs from ABS-CBN, but this one can never be replaced.”

Soldiers in Marawi receive letters from Kapamilya stars in Just Love Ngayong Pasko

Many scenes in 2012‘s Lumiliwanag ang Mundo sa Kwento ng Pasko were also inspired by real events that happened during Typhoon Sendong and at the height of Habagat and featured stories of heroism and ordinary people helping each other.

With the proverbial parol as its centerpiece, the station ID also kick started a campaign that called on Kapamilya to buy the Kapamilya parol, designed by kids orphaned by the disasters, as proceeds from the sales were donated to Sagip Kapamilya to provide relief and rehabilitation to affected communities.

Magkasama Tayo Sa Kwento Ng Pasko from 2013, meanwhile, focused on ABS-CBN’s relationship and meaningful memories with its audiences, and how their love and support ignite the network’s passion to serve and tell stories.

Da Best Ang Pasko Ng Pilipino from 2011 was dedicated mostly to homesick overseas Filipino workers and the unique customs that make Christmas in the Philippines the longest and happiest in the world.

Gratitude and giving back became the central themes in 2014’s Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo, a meaningful take on Filipino Christmas carols that has since become a staple during the pamamasko season. 

Ted Failon expresses his gratitude to a Yolanda survivor in 2014’s Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo for giving him strength in delivering news

Ditto with 2015’s Thank You for The Love, where Kapamilya stars expressed their gratitude to countless Filipinos whose stories inspire them in their work and personal lives.   

Before Bro, Ikaw Ang Star ng Pasko, the network’s station ID’s also focused on extending kindness to others and the importance of togetherness during times of triumph and despair in 2004’s Sabay Tayo, Kapamilya, 2007’s Walang Mag-iisa Ngayong Pasko and 2008’s May Katuparan ang Hiling sa Kapamilyang Kapiling.

While celebrities are a major draw, ordinary people and their stories have always been the foundation of each Kapamilya Christmas station ID since 2002’s Isang Pamilya, Isang Puso Ngayong Pasko up until this year’s Family is Forever. They’re not just a reminder of the blessings we receive each year, but of the things we can do to share them with our loved ones and fellow Filipinos.

“Great concept, ABS-CBN, pinagsama-sama niyo lahat ng saya at alaala na naramdaman namin sa mga Paskong nagdaan,” one comment on YouTube said.

Another one enthused, “I’m Muslim. Wala kaming Pasko pero every year ko inaabangan ang CSID (Christmas station ID) ng ABS-CBN. Ramdam na ramdam kasi kung ano ‘yung gusto nilang ipahiwatig sa atin lahat… Nakaka-touch ng sobra. Mashallah.”

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