Carpenters, Jose Mari Chan songs spell Christmas for Jed Madela

CAPTION: Jed Madela performs with the Philippine Madrigal Singers./ARMIN P. ADINA

MANILA, Philippines — For many, hearing a certain Christmas song ushers in the holiday spirit. But for Jed Madela, what does this for him is an entire album, “Christmas Portrait” by the American duo Carpenters.

“Whenever the ‘ber’ months are coming, I always take out the Christmas album of the Carpenters,” Madela told the Inquirer at the sidelines of a Christmas tree lighting show at a mall in Mandaluyong last Nov. 6, where he performed alongside the Philippine Madrigal Singers.

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“So it’s not just one song, it’s the entire album of the Carpenters,” he continued. Madela, however, cited the song “Merry Christmas Darling” in particular. “Its intro goes, ‘greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through,’ so just the intro alone I could feel it’s Christmas already,” he shared.

The singer said he has been listening to the entire album since he was a kid, and the songs in it remind him of his childhood and how his family used to celebrate Christmas in Iloilo. “It kind of has that nostalgic effect on me,” Madela said.

But as far as performing onstage goes, his go-to Christmas ditties are “A Perfect Christmas” and “Christmas in Our Hearts” written and made popular by Jose Mari Chan. “And there’s also one Christmas song that is always requested, ‘Sana Ngayong Pasko,’” he added.

Madela also shared that performing in a Christmas-themed show carries with it an additional task. “It’s like on my end as a performer, as a singer, it is my job to set the mood for the entire theme of the event,” he explained.

Live performances are already making their way to physical venues and platforms with the easing of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the past two Christmases during the global health crisis made Madela ponder on the significance of the season.