‘Harana’ is not dead

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Friday, February 14, 2014

"HARANA" is best done in the evening when everybody's preparing to doze off and when the surrounding is bereft with all the noise.

While making sure that everyone surrenders to the silence of the night is the perfect time that you strum the strings of the guitar and let out the sweet melody of love.

"Harana" was once a popular custom among the Filipino men to pin down the hearts of the women. How sweet it is to go back in the days when this form of courtship was in every bit of the Filipino lives.


Many believe that this practice has long been gone in time. But, it's neither gone nor on the brink of extinction, it has rather taken on new form, just as we stride into the modern world.

As I was born in the 1990's, I could not exactly describe how the Filipino men did it then, except for the short glimpses that the classical movies taped decades ago afforded to us: a man staring up the window of a woman with his guitar while she, in turn, opens the window, looks down and listens dearly to the sweet melody rendered to her by the "manliligaw."

That is if the suitor and his gang of singers are able to impress the woman and her family. And if the window opens, so does the door of the woman's home.

That, of course, comes with an unexplainable feeling of bliss, and then followed by a blush.

To serenade more like reflects the incessant pleading for the woman to look at the man's pure intention to win her heart.

This isn't practice anymore, at least not the way it's done traditionally. But, there's one thing I'm sure about: "Harana" is not dead, although only few have the appreciation for it today, and even much fewer decisive men who do it in pursuit of a woman.

In today's modern world, when every bit of traditional practices have taken on new forms, there are much newer methods on how to pull off a perfect "harana." What it needs, after all, are a guitar (optional), a voice, and a man's resolve (most importantly) to make it happen. When these elements are present, then that's "harana" no less.

How exactly can it be done? It depends upon how far your creativity can make it happen. It could be right at the mall's most scenic place, or even at the street and park. There's no specific auspicious day to do it, as it's not really a question of when, but how ready are the man and woman to be a couple.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 14, 2014.


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