“Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” Or “Kasadya Ning Taknaa”? Which Came First?

The Cebuano or the Tagalog song, which is the original?
posted on: Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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Digital Agitator

In a recent article published by Inquirer, they’ve interviewed the “unknown” man behind the popular yuletide music, “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit”.

inquirer headline



In the article, they introduced Josefino “Pepe” Cenizal, a composer who scored countless Filipino movies from the 1930s to 1960s.

pepe cenizal

Leo M. Sabangan II via inquirer.net


According to the interview, Cenizal, along with National ArtistĀ Levi Celerio, composed the popular Christmas song, “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit”.

levi celerio



Cenizal said that “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” is actually a reinterpretation of a music he composed in 1937 for the movie, “Pugad ng Aguila”.

Here’s a copy of the music sheet, from Ka Bino Guerrero, a Heritage Interpreter.

pugad ng aguila music sheet

from Ka Bino Guerrero


However, the Cebuanos challenge this claim – that it was theĀ Cebuano composer Vicente “Noy Inting” Rubi who originally composed the song in Cebuano.


In a The Freeman article written by Garry B. Lao, the original song – “Kasadya Ning Taknaa” was composed by Rubi along with lyricist Mariano Vestil in 1933.

article about vicente rubi

The Freeman, philstar.com

As the story goes, the song became very popular and Rubi proceeded to sell it to a recording company in Manila in 1950 but he was underpaid. He sued the company but justice was too late, he died in 1980 before the decision came into his favor.

In another article written by Ricky Lo in 2002 entitled “Where credit is due”, it turns out that many songs have been wrongly credited to Levi Celerio, including “Rosas Pandan” and “Tinikling”.

Who’s to blame with all this misconception? And which do you think came first, “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” or “Kasadya”?