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Reviving Filipino Tradition - Serenade Service Online

Updated on May 19, 2011

My grandparents and parents experienced those unforgettable days, where Harana or Serenade was a typical norm when courting a beautiful lass in a barrio, town or city.

Jason dela Rosa, President of www.harana.ph, founder of the site in order to revive the Filipino tradition amid the surging of online social media and tap it on his site.

Serenading a girl these days, especially Filipinas, requires the service of professional singers requested on the site. Affordability is the always taken into consideration since local artists, famous or not, always demand high payment. It is usually consist of two or three songs per session or in group with the actual play of instruments (guitar as the primary choice).

It's the only existing site in the Philippines.

Harana.ph - A serenade for Jane Gallardo c/o haranaph

Influences

Born with musically-inclined family of my father, they're the local ambassadors of harana or serenade because they used to have an organized family band. The cousin of my grandfather served as the master of their all-male combo.

Serenade is so popular in the 60s before the dawn of mobile disco sounds. Parties in almost far flung barangays were highlighted with the combo players, usually consisted of wind instrument (trumphet), stringed (guitar) and percussion (drums). The father of this hubber used to play the bass guitar; although, he was not happy to handover the knowledge on him.

Hearing serenade in the barrio is but an ordinary thing during those old, golden days. Most of the songs were usually sang during:

  • courtship - the rivalry of two serenading suitors and their entourage (usually consisted of friends) will showcase their expertise in singing. The girl being wooed will decide as to whom she'll give her 'Yes' answer.
  • welcoming visitor - where most of the ladies were usually welcomed with love songs or serenade with the accompaniment of guitar with violin

In the city:

  • a proposal to marry the girl you love is most romantic if there will be musicians who'll serenade your fiancée while you're opening the box of an engagement ring as you kneel and say, "Will you marry me?" It's still happening today!


Travel Man at the back (extreme left as you look at it)) as former member of Harana or Serenade Group on the Radio, circa 1998 (Photo by Travel Man)
Travel Man at the back (extreme left as you look at it)) as former member of Harana or Serenade Group on the Radio, circa 1998 (Photo by Travel Man)

Serenade on the Radio

During the 90s, this hubber joined a serenade group to perform , usually live, on the radio on Sundays. We called it the Harana Group. Members were seasoned serenader who were always invited to grace engagement parties.

Choices of traditional folk and serenade songs were pre-arranged and the drama of actual serenading scene with a girl to liven up an hour-session was always the highlight of the show.

The group, minus this hubber, were able to perform at various local radio stations as the KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas or Philippine Broadcasters' Association). The radio association is reviving this courtship tradition as it continue to change its style according to the generation involved. The elders stick to the standard or traditional songs but the youth cling to a more modern ballad or love songs.

The usual program during serenade session starts with:

  • introduction song - a welcome song or song that describes the boy's agenda for the girl
  • middle songs - can be an alternate songs between the boy and girl who are the center of the occasion.
  • final song - goodbye song that describes how happy the boy will be upon the positive answer of the girl

Recorded serenade songs are the standard sources of the courtship songs. If the boy is so talented to compose a personal impromptu song for her girl, then, it will be an interesting night for the lovers.


Comments

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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Nadia: Thanks for appreciating. I hope you'll here the serenader sing at your doorstep.

    • profile image

      Nadia 

      7 years ago

      Wow!!!fantastic idea!....u are the best harana.ph:)

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: Why not contact that online serenade service and surprise yourself? Kidding, LOL! Boyfriend? Well, I'm sure it will come in the not-so-distant future. Good luck!

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I also want to experience a moment in the video.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I'm glad everyone is all agog in reviving such beautiful part of our tradition and culture. Although, it has been influenced by the Spaniards (as in the mariachi singers), it still stands out whenever courtship strategies are on the floor. Serenading your girl is the best option you have to get a YES on your efforts! Thanks, sailor!

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Kodus to Filipinos who still value this beautiful courtship tradition. I'm sure a girl will be enamored as soon as those singers will serenade her unexpectedly and the marriage proposal will follow coming form her beau! What a beautiful scene!!! Thanks, travel man!

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