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Jose Mari Chan: My Friendly Filipino Singer-Songwriter

Updated on October 18, 2016
Charito1962 profile image

Ms. Charito is a Filipino based in Manila. She has worked as an executive assistant and a journalist. She is a widow with a grown-up son.

Meeting Filipino celebrities

As a practising journalist in the late '80s and '90s, I had the good fortune of meeting many Filipino entertainers. It was an exciting experience, as I found myself interviewing them in TV stations, recording studios, concert venues, and five-star hotels.

This explains why most of my hubs focus on entertainment. I am truly a lover of films and music.

For this hub, I zero in on one highly respected entertainer whom - I am proud to say - I personally know. Read on to know more about him.

Joe Mari on “The Ryzza Mae Show”, a popular TV show in the Philippines (November 25, 2013)
Joe Mari on “The Ryzza Mae Show”, a popular TV show in the Philippines (November 25, 2013) | Source

Singer-songwriter, gentleman...my friend!

It was in 1991 when I first met him. I was a freelance writer then wanting to write about him for one of Manila’s lifestyle magazines. Before that, I was already familiar with his pop tunes that were hit singles of the ‘70s – Afterglow, Deep in My Heart, Can We Just Stop and Talk a While and Here and Now.

Our first meeting at his cozy office in Makati (Manila’s central financial district) was most memorable to me, as it was such an amiable encounter. As soon as my feature on him was published, I decided to see him again to personally hand him a copy of the magazine. But I actually had another purpose. Daring as I was, I wanted to show him a few of my own compositions! To my surprise, he sat with me, listened to me sing my tunes, and critiqued me. I will never forget that moment. I cherish it because it was the start of a warm friendship.

So, who is this man? He is Jose Mari Chan – a multi-awarded singer and songwriter in the Philippines.

I bet people of other cultures would think they were listening to some American balladeer once they hear Joe Mari (as he is fondly called) sing. Being Chinese-Filipino, he told me once that he writes his lyrics in English, as he is not that proficient in Tagalog. He also admitted that his music is influenced by the works of Michel Legrand, Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini and the Beatles. (He has one composition, in fact, which serves as a counterpoint to John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Here, There and Everywhere.)


Joe Mari with his devoted wife Mary Ann at the 4th Star Awards for Music of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) held in September 2012.
Joe Mari with his devoted wife Mary Ann at the 4th Star Awards for Music of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) held in September 2012. | Source

My fondest memories of Joe Mari are the occasions when he and his lovely wife, Mary Ann, graced my wedding reception in September 1994, and when he guested in one of my civic organization’s activities.

Blessed with a wonderful family, Joe Mari is a fine product of the Ateneo de Manila, one of the nation’s top universities. As a businessman, he currently runs his late father’s sugar business.

Afterglow

Jose Mari Chan told me that he was once mistaken for a popular American singer when some people heard this.

Deep In My Heart

This love song was released in 1969 and quickly became a hit.

Can We Just Stop and Talk A While

This is the first Jose Mari Chan composition I ever heard. I was instantly charmed by it.

Why Did We Not Meet (Some Years Before)

From the album Afterthoughts, this is another favorite of mine. The melody is just soothing.

Here and Now

In this song, Jose Mari Chan sings with Pol Enriquez and Cynthia Patag of The Ambivalent Crowd, a popular Filipino band of the ‘70s. I love the mellowness of this tune.

Counterpoint to Lennon and McCartney's "Here, There and Everywhere"

If the late John Lennon and Paul McCartney could just hear this!

My Girl, My Woman, My Friend

One of my favorite duets! The female vocalist is popular singer Janet Basco. (Love the way he sings "rolled into one"!)

Christmas In Our Hearts

This is Jose Mari Chan’s most popular Christmas song. The female vocalist is his daughter Liza (now married with kids).

We Share the Same Horizon (jingle)

Jose Mari Chan wrote this for a bank commercial in the ‘70s.

Love At Thirty Thousand Feet (jingle)

Jose Mari Chan wrote this for Philippine Airlines.

Big Beautiful Country (jingle)

Jose Mari Chan wrote this station I.D. jingle for the now-defunct TV station Banahaw Broadcasting Corp. (BBC2).

We're on the road

We move from place to place

And oftentimes when I'm about to call it home

We'd have to move along

Life is a constant change...

The friends we know we meet along the way

Too soon the times we share form part of yesterday

'Cause life's a constant change

And nothing stays the same, oh no

— Jose Mari Chan, from “Constant Change"

Which of the above songs did you like?

See results

Listen to Jose Mari Chan's albums :

Comments - So, what do you think of Jose Mari Chan?

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    • profile image

      joseph-anthony-montecillo 3 years ago

      Thanks for featuring one of our great local talents!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @joseph-anthony-montecillo: You're welcome!

    • profile image

      ahmlaw 3 years ago

      Thank you for this! I LOOOVE "Could We Just Stop and Talk Awhile". This has always been one of my favorites, and it is wonderful to have a copy! Wasn't there a counterpoint melody...?

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @nonya222: You're welcome!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @ahmlaw: Glad you like this song.It had no counterpoint melody.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      This is a very nice lens I must say. I have never heard of him before but now I do because only for you. Love those songs, they are amazing :)

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @takkhisa: Thanks for listening. Glad you enjoy Jose Mari Chan's songs.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 3 years ago

      What a lovely voice he has. I really liked the Christmas ones in particular, just a little different from the traditional ones.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @rattie lm: Glad you enjoyed listening to him!

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 3 years ago

      He is one of my favorite singers back home. Thanks for writing about him and his music.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @LornsA178: Glad you like him!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Heidi Vincent: Yes, he does!

    • iwrite100 profile image

      Maribel Forayo 3 years ago from Philippines

      I like this singer very much. If I hear him sing, it seems that the melody is piercing through my soul.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @iwrite100: I just love his music!

    • rainykua profile image

      rainykua 3 years ago

      He has a unique and soothing voice that makes him stand out from other singers. I really like his Christmas in Our Hearts.

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 3 years ago

      How nice it must be to have such wonderful talent. It must have been such a pleasure for you to get to know him.

    • QuiltFinger profile image

      QuiltFinger 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Wow he has such a wonderful voice, and what I nice person too. That's a rare combination.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Felicitas: Yes, it was!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @rainykua: Glad you do!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @QuiltFinger: It is!

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      Nice! Not only do I Love Jose Mari Chan but I also love the way you created your lens. My fave among his songs is Refrain but it was not included in your list....

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @asereht1970: Thanks! Glad you like his music! "Refrain" isn't really one of my favorites.

    • yayang0405 lm profile image

      yayang0405 lm 2 years ago

      I can never forget the song "Constant Change" by Jose Mari Chan because that is one of the songs we sang during our Graduation in High School.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 2 years ago

      What a soothing voice he has! Love the lyrics...does he also write the music? They'd be great movie theme songs.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @delia-delia: Yes, he writes both the lyrics and music. He's very talented.

    • SilverLotus1 profile image

      SilverLotus1 2 years ago

      Thanks for introducing me to someone I didn't know about. Enjoyed this lens!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 21 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I love JMC and I have a collection of his CD's. My fav amongst them is the Christmas in our Hearts. I traditionally play this every year during the Christmas season and I smell nostalgia.

      Good hub. I enjoyed it.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 21 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello! I'm glad we both like his music. Thanks for dropping by!

    • word55 profile image

      Word 21 months ago from Chicago

      Hi Rosario, you have a great musical taste and you're a gifted writer. This guy has some classical compositions going on. Yes, an amazing and classy voice with depth. He and I have a lot in common although our music styles vary. Thank you for haring his great music and his talent. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs. God bless!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 21 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Glad you stopped by to sample Joe Mari's music, word55! Yes, I'm a music lover, and I like various genres. I'm happy to share my interest with you.

      Thanks for visiting! Oh, and by the way, just call me by my nickname - "Charito".

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