November 18. Filipino Christmas Carol:
Ang Pasko ay Sumapit
Amstar Company, Inc. Perf. 14.
Strips of 5, Sheets of 50 (5 x 10)
Se-tenant Strips of Five
7p The Three Kings
7p Christmas Decorations
Designer: Corazon T. Loza
Project Coordinator: Dr. Ngo Tiong
Design Concept: Nena de Guzman
Note: Each stamp design includes
lyrics from the Filipino Christmas song "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit"
("Christmas is Here") by Levi Celerio, National Artist.
First Day Covers: Manila
CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES
“Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” (“Christmas is Here”) is a traditional
Filipino Christmas song. It
was originally composed by Vicente D. Rubi and Mariano Vestil in
1933 as “Kasadya ning Táknaa” (“How Blissful is this Season”).
A version of the song in
Tagalog was used by Josefino Cenizal as a marching song for “Ang
Pugad ng Aguila” (“Hawk’s Nest”) in 1938.
National Artist Levi Celerio
also wrote Tagalog lyrics to the song during the 1950’s. The song is
still sung today in various communities, especially in Churches both
in the Philippines and abroad.
The Filipinos are proud to proclaim their Christmas celebration to
be the longest and merriest in the world. It begins formally on
December 16 with the first of nine pre-dawn or early morning masses
which culminates on Christmas Eve with the observance of “Noche
Buena”. It is a lavishly organized feast in buffet with every family
preparing lip-smacking dishes like lechon (roasted pig), pancit,
barbecue, rice, adobo, cakes (Western and native rice cakes) and
lumpia. The celebration continues on non-stop until the first Sunday
of January, Feast of the Three Kings, the official end of the
The bamboo “parol” or star lantern, is the symbol of Christmas in
the Philippines. It represents the guiding light, the Bethlehem
star. It emits a warmth unparalleled among holiday adornments and is
unique to the Philippines.
To most Filipinos, Christmas is the most anticipated time of the
year and is celebrated accordingly. The warm-hearted people with
their true devotion to family and faith all contributes to a holiday
celebrated in the true Filipino Christmas tradition.