Monday, December 19, 2016

87. THE CAROLS OF CHRISTMAS: Christmas Traditions in Philippine Ads

CHRISTMAS CAROL TRADITION, theme of a corporate ad from Shell, 1957

Christmas carols began in the west, and the earliest  one in modern form was written in 1410. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time were loosely based on the Christmas story, sung by minstrels wherever they went.

CAMAY CHRISTMAS CAROLS----FREE! 16 favorite carols in a free booklet! 1964

The Americans introduced their English carols here and has since become a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. As early as November, you would find children carolers out on the streets, singing Christmas carols from house to house spreading musical cheer, accompanied by improvised instruments like tansan tambourines and tin can drums.

Christmas carols available to Filipino carolers were mostly  in English---Silent, Night, Jingle Bells, O Holy Night, Joy to the World.  Local versions were made by translating these into English.

STANDARD CHRISTMAS CAROLS. From Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. 1957

The first known Christmas carol was originally composed in Cebuano by Vicente D. Rubi and Mariano Vestil in 1933. “Kasadya ning Táknaa”(How Blissful is this Season) was translated into Tagalog  by Josefino Cenizal in 1938 but the lyrics of Levi Celerio done in the 50s, remained to be the most popular. This carol is widely known today as "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit".

PILIPINO TRANSLATIONS OF "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" in a
Satndard-Vacuum Oil ad. 1957

After being given their envelopes or coins, the carolers end their visit on a note of gratitude by singing: "Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo ...thank you...."

These ads celebrate our caroling tradition, from our holidays of the past that are now long gone, but never forgotten.

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