What is Harana? Impress Your Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day

January 28, 2018

Harana Philippines
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what is Harana? impress Your Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day

Above img attribute: ffemagazine.com

This Valentine’s Day, try a unique Filipino tradition (not to mention courageous!) and serenade your sweetheart with a love song.


What is Harana?

During the olden days in the Philippines, the tradition of Harana – musical serenading outside someone’s window – was a popular event. Although harana has traditionally been used for a variety of purposes, the most common practice was for suitors to woo their sweetheart through romantic song.

A man wishing to court the woman he loved would arrange for a group of friends to help him serenade her with guitar and singing. They would stand outside her window and play love songs in order to attract the woman’s attention.

They would stand outside her window and play love songs

Watching from her house, the woman, along with all the family members present, would enjoy the romantic performance and courageous display of affection. This was a chance for the young man to court not only his lover but her family as well.

Courtship was an important part of the love culture in the Philippines and the family was at the center of it all.

Check out one of my favorite traditional songs, “O Ilaw.” Sorry if the video is a bit blurry but this is my favorite version of the song because their live performance shows the romance and musical style of the olden days.


O Ilaw

O, Ilaw
sa gabing madilim
Wangis mo’y
bituin sa langit

O, tanglaw
sa gabing tahimik
Larawan mo Neneng
nagbigay pasakit

Tindig at magbangon
sa pagkagupiling
Sa pagkakatulog
na lubhang mahimbing

Buksan ang bintana
at ako’y dungawin
Nang mapagtanto mo
ang tunay kong pagdaing

Find more Filipino songs at: Filipino Folk Songs http://filipino-folk-songs.blogspot.com

What Happened to Harana?

Today, harana is seldom practiced in the Philippines. Like many older cultural traditions that disappear over time, harana has become something found only in movies scenes, not real life.

But what would harana look like in today’s modern society? Can it be brought back as an important part of Filipino culture?

What do you think? Should older cultural traditions be brought back and preserved, or does each generation create its own beloved traditions?

And does this Filipino tradition have its place in America? Would it still hold the same meaning as it did back then in the Philippines?

There’s only one way to find out. Harana your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.

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More about Deborah

Filipino American with a passion for making a difference. Writer. Blogger. Dreamer. Adventurer.

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