MANILA, PHILIPPINES — While restrictions are easing, and kids are now allowed inside malls, it does look like back to old programming with the holidays just lurking around the corner—where the puto bumbong is steaming away.
Gone for now are local traditions and festivities that come with reunions with family and friends. Masks are still required in mass gatherings, and social distancing protocols are still in place. Aguinaldo with the seniors, noche buena with the whole family, and simbang gabi in the chilly early morning with loved ones are just some of them.
The pandemic has changed a lot of the old ways that it’s so easy to turn our back on the season of giving and loving. But don’t say that to events maverick and serial entrepreneur turned singer-songwriter Stephen Ku. This romantic believes otherwise.
“There’s so many reasons to be thankful if we only focus more on the positives than the negatives,” Stephen says in earnest. Words are cheap, but Stephen’s all about action. He lives everyday being thankful.
He himself is going through a major health crisis, but Stephen chooses to think of it as a blessing, dwelling instead on the focus and clarity it has given him. “I am thankful for the chance this has given me to reassess life and what makes us truly happy.”
This positivity resonates in the song “Pasko Nga Ba?” a song written and performed by Stephen just in time for the season. There’s a real need for this song that simply beams with light and good cheers. It’s the first track after “Kapit Lang” a song he wrote about hope and finding strength at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
“Nowadays, I like writing songs that give hope. I believe as artists and musicians we have the power to inspire the world especially during these difficult and even desperate times. The true essence of Christmas is not in the traditions or the bright lights, but rather in the love, kindness and forgiveness which Christ showed us. Quite frankly, we shouldn’t stop and end Christmas on Dec 25. This year or any year when we celebrate the birth of Christ the message will always remain relevant,” adds Stephen.
Originally intended for release last year, “Pasko Nga Ba?” didn’t finish production because of the lockdowns. “Pasko Nga Ba?” is a collaboration with upcoming international producer and artist DJ Young (The Sound House Ph) based in Iloilo and supported by another good friend, top music producer, and arranger, Raul Mitra.
“They really helped me make the song come to life! I hope the song becomes ageless, a song we will anticipate every year during the holidays,” quips Stephen. It would too. The LSS force is strong in this one!
“Pasko Nga Ba?” will be out on Spotify and all digital platforms on December 10 under Warner Music Philippines. Click here to pre-save the song and get exclusive first access https://fpt.fm/app/31714/presavepaskongaba
Watch out for the music video drop in December, directed by veteran film maker Manny Angeles.