Sheryl RamosWho would have guessed that “Isang Pamilya, Isang Puso Ngayong Pasko,” the first official ABS-CBN Christmas station ID released in 2002, would give birth to a beloved Filipino tradition? The videos are now considered harbingers of the holidays, while the theme songs become instant classics.
Sheryl Ramos, creative accounts head, has been involved in making more than a decade’s worth of station IDs as a member of ABS-CBN’s Creative Communication Management (CCM) division. Here, she shares what goes on behind the scenes of this Filipino Christmas staple.
According to Sheryl, producing the Christmas video requires five months to eight months of continual brainstorming, shoots and presentations. But planning begins in earnest only after the team completes work on the summer video, ABS-CBN’s other major annual ID.
CCM head Robert Labayen usually gets things started by coming up with the core idea.
“Pag sinabi niya na ito yung idea natin for Christmas ID this year, mag-iisip kami ngayon ng message behind it, kung ano ba yung gusto nating sabihin,” Sheryl says.
As much as possible, each Christmas ID should be different from previous productions. The message has to be fresh and reflective of current events and authentic experiences, something that will strike a chord with viewers and make them say, “Yes, this is what’s going on now.”
When it comes to the song itself, the melody and even the title are also important. Sheryl cites the rap parts in English and in various Philippine languages as well as the gospel elements as new flavors incorporated into the themes of recent videos.
“Meron tayong magagaling na songwriters dito sa team natin especially Sir Robert, yung mga coproducers ko din… Kasi yung songwriting ino-open yan sa team. So pag nagsabi na si Sir at approved na yung messaging, approved na ng mga head, ng management, we start writing the song,” Sheryl reveals.
Catchy and heartfelt
“Through the years, yung Christmas IDs natin part na siya ng Christmas events, programs, buhay ng mga tao tuwing Pasko. Di ba kinakanta na siya, naririnig na siya sa mga mall, sa mga program sa schools, so mahalaga siya na nakakanta ng lahat. Very catchy and at the same time heartfelt dapat,” she adds.
Like most viewers, Sheryl also has a favorite ABS-CBN Christmas ID. It’s the one with the most views on YouTube, so it’s fair to say the video is truly a fan favorite.
“One of the producers pa lang ako nun, di pa ako yung naging head ng ID. … We were already shooting nung mga panahon na yun ng different concept ng ID…,” she recalls.
The “Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko” Christmas ID, which features the song “Star ng Pasko” with lyrics by Labayen and music by Marcus Davis and Amber Davis, was released just weeks after typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) overwhelmed the metro.
57 million views
With 57 million views so far on the ABS-CBN Entertainment YouTube channel 14 years since launch, “Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko” is one of ABS-CBN’s most emotionally charged and inspirational Christmas IDs. As a recent comment on YouTube declares: “Definitely the most iconic Christmas station ID in the PH.”
“Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko” may be close to Sheryl’s heart, but it’s not only because of her own role in it. Another reason was the teamwork and resilience she saw in her CCM colleagues during that chaotic time.
“Sobrang galing lang ng team mag-shift to a different messaging, to a different concept, so amazing lang na nagtutulungan yung lahat. …. Sobra ko lang nakita dun yung teamwork pagdating sa pagpo-produce ng ID and at the same time yung experience ko din na while we were shooting tapos ang lakas-lakas ng ulan, the next day binabaha na pala yung Metro Manila,” she says.