About HARANA Festival

“HARANA” (or Serenade) is one of the positive Filipino tradition and culture which was being practiced in the Philippines during the early days. During those days, it is the appropriate means for a young bachelor to meet formally a young lady. The young man shall organize a small “Harana” ensemble – size ranging from two (duet), three (trio) or five-man team, with one guitarist. With the silence of the night as their background, the team will serenade the young lady with romantic “kundimans” or Tagalog love songs. After two to three songs, the young lady will invite the group into their house for some conversation. During the conversation proper, songs shall also be exchanged between the young man and the young lady.

After the “getting-to-know-you” stage, the young bachelor will start courting the young lady through frequent visits, gifts, “panunuyo or paninilbihan” (i.e., voluntary service in the young lady´s household like chopping of firewood, fetching of water, etc.). After some time, the young man will propose to the lady of his dreams and if the lady replied “Yes” to his proposal, then the “pamamanhikan” will follow. If the parents of the lady agreed to the proposed wedding arrangements of the young bachelor´s family, then the wedding date shall be set, finally. The tradition of “harana” has been practiced by Filipinos for the past decades. However, it is seldom practiced nowadays.

In order to revive the “harana” tradition, THE MANILA EXPRESS will sponsor the HARANA FESTIVAL. Aside from reviving “harana,” the FESTIVAL aims to develop/discover hidden cultural talents and feature them in its effort to promote cultural awareness, tourism development and youth empowerment in the United States. Highlighted by a Love Song Competition, other activities are lined up to drumbeat the affair.