Friday, March 13, 2009

Bridging the Gap with Harana

Ask the young ones what is harana and they’d probably say, “Oh, the song of Parokya ni Edgar!” Those days when the harana was a popular and cherished past-time among the young crowd is gone.  

The harana was a widely-practiced form of courtship way back during Spanish colonial times. It was practiced with a set of protocols, a code of conduct, and a specific style of music. The practice of harana was passed on through generations and until the use of electricity was widespread, the harana was at its peak. In some far-flung barrios, the harana is sometimes still practiced to this day. Few are aware, though, that the harana’s origins are actually older – from pre-colonial Philippines. 

The harana is a traditional form of courtship music. A young man would court a young woman by singing underneath her window in the evening when it is cool. Bringing along with him a guitar and friends who will give him additional courage (or help him sing if his singing voice isn’t that pleasing to the ear), the young man serenades by the window, offering love beyond compare, and hoping to gain an invitation into the house from the young woman.  

The Mabuhay Manor brings back the experience of the harana to this generation. . Guests and diners at The Mabuhay Manor’s Sutukil Restaurant can experience the harana as they take their dinner by the poolside. Unlike the traditional harana, the young man who sings and his guitarist-friend do not seek to be invited into the house. The Sutukil’s harana wants to share the experience of listening to the intimate sound of soft guitar playing to the lyrical poetry of the Filipino language in songs all throughout the cool, tropical night. 

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