Television network ABS-CBN officially ushered the holiday season on TV last night with the release of its annual Christmas-themed station ID, which has since gone viral on social media.
If you’ve been living under a rock (or you just can’t be bothered to watch TV anymore), ABS-CBN’s annual Christmas station ID is about as close to a star-studded holiday musical event as you’ll get, condensed into several cheery minutes of airtime. The spots traditionally assemble the finest stars in showbiz, along with the rest of the network’s broadcasters, hosts, and young stars. They’re usually assembled and filmed en masse dressed in ABS-CBN Kapamilya (“Family”) t-shirts, singing and cheering and generally being merry.
If that sounds like some cornball nonsense to you, then you’re clearly not one of the 2.6 million people to view the 13-minute video, or the 86,000 to share it since it exploded onto the internet last night.
This year’s festive holiday music video is extra-special as it attempts to not only be a “We Are the World”-esque parade of stars, but also to shoehorn in a message of peace and unity, while covering both the joys and sufferings of the Filipino experience. (So yeah, pretty tall order.)
The video opens with a line, accompanied by a twinkly star graphic, that reads in Filipino, “Let’s look back at some memories from our 65 years together,” after which a song kicks off, performed by Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo, and Lea Salonga, along with a list of other headliners, with everyone else in the video later chiming in for the chorus.
The video opens with tranquil scenes from around the country, before transitioning to dramatic shots of disasters, rubble, and injured men in uniform — but also people coming together, in the indomitable spirit of ABS-CBN itself. The video then shifts to shots of smiling ABS-CBN fans, some muddy holiday decorations (because nothing can diminish the light of this magnificent season!), and shot after shot of children, farmers, fishermen, office workers, shoemakers, people in traditional dress, priests, and navy sailors, their voices all raised in joyous song as the lyrics “family is forever” ring out. (Awwwwwww.)
The Filipino chorus goes, “The person who will light the fire / Is no one else except you / Thank you for the light you bring / It will continue to make Christmas colorful.”
The effect is a full-throttle feel-good onslaught that is, frankly, kinda overwhelming.
The video (finally) ends with famous showbiz personalities — like loveteam partners Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, and Ang Probinsyano lead actor Coco Martin — rubbing elbows with regular folk, giggling, and being generally affectionate, and a thick knot of ABS-CBN stars huddled en masse on the station’s grounds (along with network chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez) singing and watching fireworks go off in the distance.
Too cheesy, you say? Well, shame on you!
Over in the comments section, meanwhile, Facebook users were pretty much in agreement that after watching the station ID, they, ahem, had something in their eye [sniff, sniff].
Commenter Djhong Valerio-Garcia summed it up nicely, saying, “Didn’t waste almost 13 minutes watching because of the feeling I got from this station. Filipinos were one and I feel Christmas. Got teary-eyed because it was overwhelming.”
What were your feelings about ABS-CBN’s Christmas Station ID? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting @CoconutsManila.
This article, ABS-CBN looks back on more than six decades of TV in viral Christmas station ID, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!