Dale Ibay inspires us to give love “This Christmas Time”

LA Music Review | Art, stories and advice


Hopeful, edgy and truly anthemic!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hi Dale, welcome to LA Music Review! Tell us a little bit about you and your music.

I am a singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer who has written over 100 songs since 1992 (30 years!)

and released an independent album in 2004, which was re-released under a major label (Vicor Music) in 2005 with 16 tracks, and also more recently released a 15 track instrumental guitar album just last March 2022. I’ve also written songs for a band called Solace who also released an album under Able Records in 2006 and have a total of 41 songs released to the public.

I’ve had a 16 year hiatus from 2006 up to 2022, and now with the dawn of digital distribution and easier production methods, I fully intent to re-record and release the other 60+ songs I’ve written through the years in the months to come and also to document and perform through the internet as well as live in some capacity to promote these songs.

Start streaming “This Christmas Time” here:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Congrats on the release! What was your inspiration when you were writing this project?

Christmas always had an ethereal quality for me…

perhaps because whenever it arrives, there was an impervious air or atmosphere that accompanied it. No matter how hard I tried to explain it during my childhood, the world was just… “different”, whenever Christmas rolled along.

Though the season is inherently religious, there was something else that permeated the air aside from the idea of our Savior being born and the celebration around it (for us Christians) Every single religion had a reason to celebrate and you could feel the joy in the air during the holidays no matter where you went.

As a matter of fact, I found that you can’t stay depressed or angry throughout the entire holiday season, no matter how tragic the circumstances. Believe me, me and my family know after celebrating Christmas last year without our eldest child and only daughter Miracle Aria (12 years old at the time) who had passed away a mere months before due to a tragic accident.

No matter how angry I was at the situation and perhaps myself, Christmas time had a unique way to remind you of everything that’s right in the world and more importantly, the things and people that we have to be grateful for that CONTINUE to make life worth living.

And that’s when I realized that Christmas truly was magical because it reminds us that WE ARE NEVER ALONE.

that all of these imperfect, depressed, angry and hurting people in the entire world can find solace in one another. We realize that giving a person a piece of fruitcake, or hamonado, or even some candy to someone who probably wouldn’t even finish it, makes US happy and creates a certain bliss that can never be taken away. We realize that saying “Merry Christmas” to the guard at the door of the bank with even a forced smile can reciprocate in so many ways and sends RIPPLES into the universe, and arrives at the footsteps of people who truly needed that smile the most.

When we are in a “State” of giving, of which Christmas conditions us to do, we inadvertently put ourselves in a state of healing, both for ourselves and for the person we are giving a piece of ourselves to.

Whether it be a smile, a hug, a nod, a knowing tap on the shoulder, we start ripples of care across the universe. And when we receive this, it makes us want to give out more, to reach out more, and to remind everyone that we are never alone, especially This Christmas Time.

This song is a reminder of how we always come into the Christmas season hardened by our own problems, insecurities and circumstances:

Nobody wants to be alone, least of all in these times of giving and receiving…
The emptiness is magnified when you think there isn’t a soul to hear you when you cry

However, when Christmas rolls by, something different happens:

But when the bells start ringing
That’s when you know your heart should start believing

Now RAISE your head up high
To all the LOVE in the world outside
Let the world sing out a lullaby
To all who feel alone this Christmas Time
Let the JOY in the world surround you
THIS CHRISTMAS TIME

I know all the hurt inside can make you feel lost in a maze of your own emotions…
The puzzles that bog your mind
Blur all of the TRUTH about WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO OUR LIFE

But when the music around you changes
The carols around remind you of the LOVE that’s circling

Now RAISE your head up high
To all the LOVE in the world outside
Let the world sing out a lullabye
To all who feel alone this Christmas Time
Let the JOY in the world surround you
THIS CHRISTMAS TIME”

Let us spread JOY and LOVE even if we don’t feel like it, and JOY and LOVE will magically find its way back to you 🙂

This song was written on the spot in about 5-10 minutes and arranged, recorded and mixed in about 2 hours (since we were recording the song together with a few other bands for the JAM 88.3 Christmas collaboration album). What made recording it easy was the talents of uber jazz/fusion bassist Empi Martinez (who has an incredible bass solo in the song) and progressive rock drummer Hershey Fremista (done circa 2005). For this release, I recorded additional backing vocals for the carols at the background to emphasize how the music of Christmas truly transforms the atmosphere and reminds us of the change in seasons (try giving it a few listens and identify the carols that were recorded, from the ubiquitous Joy to the World to some less known ones like “One Small Child”).

The album cover is a picture taken during one of our monthly food giving efforts (through the Miracle Aria Foundation) to the homeless even just around our area (where there are a dozens), and what was touching was one of the homeless we gave food to actually volunteered to also give food using a tray (the man in red). That was what made this picture truly special and a microcosm of how Christmas can transform and send ripples out to people who need it the most.

What is your vision for this song?

It means simply to give the effort of spreading Joy and Love to others.

No matter how trivial the action or words, since these little random acts of kindness form ripples of love that nazurally reciprocate. It’s also to think about Christmas as an opportunity to Love and not fall into the trap of seeing it as mundane but rather seeing the magic and beauty of how being in a state of giving creates an atmosphere of Joy and Love that cannot be denied, which we all should be grateful for.

It’s the medicine that heals everyone, no matter how cheesy it sounds. Not just to Christians but to all religions and even to those who don’t have a religion. Christmas reminds us that we can all put our differences aside and treat each other with kindness and love if we allow it.

What is your favorite part of the song?

What I love a out this particular song is the fact that I wrote it 17 years ago and the true spirit of the song still holds a lot of meaning, and maybe even more so now after the pandemic since it deals with people who have many emotional and mental issues.

Anything else we should know about it? Future releases? 

My third full length album will come out sometime the first half of 2023, and will include a couple of singles I plan to release in the next couple of months as teasers to this album so people can have an idea how its going to sound and what kind of musical journey to expect.

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