HARANA the Movie Synopsis

HARANA – The Search for the Lost Art of Serenade Upon his father’s death, Florante, a classically trained musician returns to the Philippines after 12 years of absence. During his stay he rediscovers the music of Harana – a long-forgotten tradition of Filipino serenading when men sang under the window […]

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By floranteaguilar / February 20, 2012 / Harana / 3 Comments

The Great Denigration of Composers

I recently had the opportunity to watch this video clip that became viral. It is a 6-minute video based on Don McLean’s anthem of a song American Pie. It is an elaborate set-up that employs a single take which must have required prodigious amount of coordination. It is nice and […]

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By floranteaguilar / February 10, 2012 / On Composing and Composers / No Comments

Harana the Movie Production is Completed

Hello everyone. I know I have not blogged for almost a year. But the answer will be obvious as the fruit of my labor on various projects slowly unfold one by one this year. The most significant among them is the completion of Harana the movie which I co-produced with […]

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By floranteaguilar / January 12, 2012 / Harana / 6 Comments

Harana and the Latin Rhythms

Pandangguhan/Lawiswis Lawayan – Florante Aguilar EnsembleI was once chastised for using a distinctly Latin rhythm on a popular Filipino harana song ‘Sa Gitna Ng Dilim’ on the opening scene of the Harana The Movie trailer. “Travesty!” they say, a bastardization of the noble harana rhythm. “This guy should be shot”, […]

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By floranteaguilar / March 14, 2011 / Harana / 2 Comments

Why do Filipinos Love Sad Pensive Songs?

Admit it. If you’re Filipino, you are a sucker for corny ballads. You go teary-eyed on some of the sappiest American pop songs. Even boxer Manny Pacquiao belts out an old tune from the 70s (Sometimes When We Touch by Dan Hill) on late Night with Conan. When I was […]

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By floranteaguilar / March 10, 2011 / Harana, Kundiman / 2 Comments

A Case for ‘Bayan Ko’ as Philippine National Anthem

The only thing of note Julian Felipe ever wrote was Bayang Magiliw, a foreign rip-off, commissioned by a friend who is a military president with blood on his hands.

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By floranteaguilar / January 17, 2011 / Kundiman, Most Popular / 10 Comments

Searching For Sylvia – The Last Surviving Practitioner of the Kundiman Art Song

Many older Filipinos know Sylvia La Torre as the grand dame of Philippine cinema and television. She is known as a comedian notably starring as Sebya with fellow comic Pugo (Mariano Contreras) in a series of popular films. She is also known as a co-host in the daily noon time […]

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By floranteaguilar / December 5, 2010 / Kundiman / 2 Comments

The Portuguese Fado, the Philipine Kundiman and How an Artist Arrived at an Idea

The Portuguese fado and the Philippine kundiman are art forms that are tied to their national identities. But why does one flourish while the other languish?

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By floranteaguilar / November 20, 2010 / Kundiman, Most Popular / 3 Comments

The Difference Between Harana and Kundiman

If you are one of the Filipinos having a hard time distinguishing between harana and kundiman music, don’t be ashamed – you are not alone! It is very easy to confuse the two. It is common to hear people refer to ANY old Tagalog love song as kundiman or harana. […]

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By floranteaguilar / November 9, 2010 / Harana, Kundiman, Most Popular / 20 Comments

The Different Stages of Harana (Serenading)

During the filming of Harana the movie in late 2008, I had the opportunity to travel to remote provinces of the Philippines in search of master haranistas – the vanishing breed of expert singers skilled in the art of serenading. Serenading was particularly popular in the Philippine provinces from early […]

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By floranteaguilar / October 28, 2010 / Harana, Most Popular / 7 Comments