Since it was launched on November 4, ABS-CBN’s Christmas Station ID entitled “Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko” has sparked a craze in the streets and on the Internet, lighting up the country’s Christmas season with a message of hope and unity.
Kids sing along and mimic the actions in the song, others convert it to ringtones, while many view and repost the station ID in video-sharing sites like Youtube and other social networking sites.
The SID has also boosted the sales of “Parol ni Bro,” the large Christmas lanterns being sold by the network in selected SM malls to raise funds for Sagip Kapamilya. Likewise, people have also flocked to ABS-CBN to purchase the star-shaped handheld miniature parols seen in the video.
ABS-CBN vice president for creative communications Robert Labayen, who has worked on top of all ABS-CBN SIDs since 2004, said the public’s response was record-breaking. “In less than a day, the video had been posted all over the Internet and viewed by thousands. There was an outpouring of positive comments. Real people telling us how they were uplifted by the song and how it reminded them of Christmas in the Philippines,” he said.
To date, the SID has gotten over 200,000 hits in ABS-CBN’s official Youtube account alone, a feat unrivaled by any other effort.
Labayen, who wrote the lyrics to the song, admitted it was one of the hardest he has made in his storied career, both as an advertising maven and now as a television executive. The multi-awarded creative head said it took him two days to finish the song. “I wrote the song right after Typhoon Ondoy happened and the challenge was to weave in the spirit of Christmas in a message song. This is not the most poetic song I’ve written but it happens to come in the right time. People can easily relate to the song,” he shared.
With lyrics like “Dumaan man sa malalakas na alon, lahat tayo ay makakaahon,” the song easily invokes memories of the recent calamity, and inspires the listeners to remain positive in spite of it.
However simple, every image in the SID also evoked the message of faith and hope – from the kid finding a star amid the muddy traces of typhoon, to the Christmas tree made of relief goods, and the community cleaning a church after the storm.
Even the chorus parts featuring ABS-CBN stars, anchors, reporters, and executives singing with ordinary people stood for something. Labayen said this symbolized how the whole ABS-CBN family has worked alongside nurses, doctors, the military, priests, and other volunteers in relief and rescue operations in order to help people rebuild their lives after the typhoons.
Kapamilya stars, who also had their share of volunteer work, took time from their busy schedules again to appear in the SID. “After the shoot, they thanked us for making them a part of this. They hope that in their little way they can help uplift the feelings of people. They are real people too and I felt their sincerity,” Labayen said.
With the positive response of the people to the SID, Labayen said he and his team feel great pride and a sense of accomplishment. These images matched with a meaningful and positive song have captivated Filipinos who are looking for a light to hold onto in these dark times of calamities and economic turmoil.
“Station IDs have always been a big thing for ABS-CBN and our viewers. It’s like a tradition every Christmas and summer that people look forward to. It’s not just a parade of stars, but a way for ABS-CBN to communicate values to the public, and for this year we want them to believe in the resilience of Filipinos and to keep the faith in Bro,” he said.
Last Thursday (Nov 19), the “Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko” craze was felt again when the country’s top advertisers and creative minds gathered for ABS-CBN: One Way Up! Kayang-Kaya Kapamilya, the ABS-CBN trade event during the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress in Subic.
The network’s brightest actors and actresses, most talented performers, and hottest love teams led by Judy Ann Santos, Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Bea Alonzo, Anne Curtis, Jericho Rosales, Kristine Hermosa, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca, Cristine Reyes, and Ms. Kris Aquino with her son Baby James, entertained a crowd of 3,000 delegates and also teased them with the Kapamilya network’s much-anticipated 2010 program offerings like “Habang May Buhay,” “Kokey@ako,” “Rubi,” and “Pilipinas, Got Talent.”
Also bringing the house down was the surprise performance of the station’s top management led by ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III, ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio, and Channel 2 head Cory Vidanes, who all gamely danced to the hit Korean song “Nobody” with ABS-CBN Sales heads. They also thanked advertisers for their support as ABS-CBN continues its leadership in ratings, viewership, and programming.
Finally, to cap a magical night, the Kapamilya stars and officials sang the ABS-CBN Station ID with all the guests. They were each given a miniature parol, which they would wave in unison while singing the song. It was indeed a star-studded event, a night of fun and hope which made everybody excited about Christmas once again.