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Feb 15 18, 7:22 am

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Say it with song! Harana

by | Feature

Feb. 15, 18 | 7:22 am

“Uso pa ba ang harana?”

This is the wondering question raised by Parokya ni Edgar, the first line of their hit song about harana, a Filipino serenade tradition of a young man’s expression of his affection to the lady he desires.

Harana became popular in the country during the Spanish Colonization Period, with influences from Spanish folk music.

However, art studies professor Felipe de Leon, Jr. of the University of the Philippines remarked that harana is ingrained in the Filipino culture as it was practiced by our ancestors even before the Spaniards came.   

“The roots of the harana run very deep in our culture. The form of this ritual has evolved with the arrival of outside influences, but one of its constant components is that it is a nocturnal event.” He stated in an Asian Journal feature.

How to Harana (the old school way):

Traditionally, there are steps to be followed in doing the harana.

First stage: “Wooing the girl”

The suitor, together with his friends (as background vocals and musicians), will visit the home of the lady he is courting. Then, the young man will sing by her window until she comes out to either accept or reject him.  

(Very important tip: To avoid the rage of sleeping neighbors, DO NOT use a videoke machine.)

Second stage: “Meet the daddy”

If the lady accepts her suitor, she will invite him to enter the house and introduce “Mr. lover boy” to her father. However, the suitor must remain standing unless given permission to sit. In front of her daughter, the father will have a chit-chat with the suitor that will lead to an interrogation (some dads do this while sharpening a bolo) about his family background, aspirations, current economic status, and intentions with his daughter. (Sounds like a job interview, right?)

Harana Hack: If the suitor wishes to make a good first impression and earn 1,500 “pogi points”, he must bring pasalubong or gifts for the girl’s family.

Harana in the millennial era

“Marahil ikaw ay nagtataka”, says the second line of Parokya’s song, wondering what really happened to the tradition.

As time passed by and as life moves faster and faster, Filipinos rarely do harana during courtship as lovers became more open to skipping the tedious formal rites.

However, the tradition did not die. It has evolved instead to keep up with the times.

One company that took the Pinoy serenading style to a new level is Harana.ph that overs serenading services.

Jake Jacinto, one of the singers of Harana.ph, has been doing this service for hopeless romantic clients since 2012. For him, it is a rewarding experience.

“We also have different packages that include singers — be it solo, duet, or trio — depending upon the request of the client. Then we have the guitarist, sometimes partnered with a violinist. We also come with a teddy bear and bouquet of flowers and video coverage provided by the company,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

Jacinto said Valentine’s Day is the busiest day for Harana.ph, as many clients request to serenade those who are special to them, with two to three songs.

“It’s always a great and overwhelming feeling whenever we see them (our clients) happy and burst out in tears of joy. That’s what makes it all worth it,” Jacinto said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) also has “Singing Karteros” (Singing Mailmen) who deliver greeting cards, flowers, chocolates and other romantic items to love ones on V- Day, while singing their favorite love songs.

PHLPost offers the Singing Kartero Package for P2,500, which includes a bouquet of flowers a greeting card, and two songs from the mailman.

Along with this is a stamp, designed by in-house layout artist Eunice Beatrix Dabu, that features the digital art rendition of the traditional “Harana”. PHLPost has printed 50,000 copies of the stamps to be sold at P12 each and another 400 pieces of limited edition official first day cover envelope for collectors.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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