Ang Bagong Harana: A Musical Journey To The Very Start

A few days ago, I read a friend’s tweet:

What would life be without music?  We would all be deaf.

Yes, we probably would.  Filipinos, by nature and by blood, are music lovers.  We relate so much to the songs we sing and the lyrics we hear.  Our emotions are easily expressed through music. I am pretty sure that even if you have a voice that won’t pass a barangay level singing contest, you don’t just handover the mic when you’re with friends at a KTV bar.

Fine.  Enough pointing fingers.  Yes, I am like that. *chuckles*

What I’m trying to say here is…music is a Filipino way of life.  Let’s trace it back to history where our ancestors sing the folk songs for celebrations or the kundiman to show their emotions to a lover.

If I were to share my most fondest scene of Filipino tradition relating to music — it’s the HARANA.  I’ve seen it in the movies.  I’ve witnessed it in my years of vacationing in the province.  I’ve experienced how awkward it could be.  How romantic the concept is.  How funny it sometimes begin yet end up in a serious note or knot.

Just as when I thought that HARANA has been phased out of the market and from each Filipinos, it’s when I received an invitation to see the gala show.


Ang Bagong Harana — an age of Innocence that we Filipinos so badly need to return to.  [Karla Gutierrez, POC Atistic Director]

Whoever doubted that serenading is already out of fashion in this age of globalization?  Well, Chito Miranda doubted for a time.

In this theatrical performance of the Philippine Opera Company (POC), we are taken into a musical journey of the Filipino way of life.  From the children’s songs to tribal chants, the planting songs to courtship ditties, even the nostalgic kundiman to the work of the three C’s — Canseco, Cruz and Cayabyab, up to Freddie Aguilar’s hit song translated in multi-languages worldwide.


I, for one, found myself in awe and drowned in my own thoughts of the past.  These long forgotten songs are exactly what I needed to hear.  We need to be reminded once more who we were…before we came to this kind of a Filipino.

Ang Bagong Harana is a love song to the country.  It is a showcase of Filipino culture and how music has mold the Pinoy life today.  It is a musical journey every Filipino should take.

Karla Gutierrez said in her Artistic Director’s Note that “the songs in Ang Bagong Harana are our legacy and our best gift to the world.

In singing them again, we say to the world,

“This is who are are”,

“This is our heritage”,

“This is the musical journey all Filipinos should take.”

This is one theater performance I would recommend my theater friends to watch.  I am not a fan of musical plays, especially operas yet I appreciated the show.  I appreciated it because I was able to connect with it.  And that’s the power of music — it connects to your soul and emotion no matter how young or old we all are.


Apart from being blown away by the POC performers’ operatic voices, I was totally swept away by the gorgeous Filipiniana costumes they wore onstage.
The company of ten singers is made of theater actors and singers, Karla Guttierez, Aizel Prietos, Charley Magalit, Janine Santos, Marian Santiago, Lawrence Jatayna, Jack Salud, Nazer Salcedo, Marvin Gayramon & Al Gatmaitan.  Most have appeared in plays and musicals and even have a proper education on music.  Completing the powerful ensemble is the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group.

This journey is directed by Mr. Floy Quintos — a director for twenty-five years already, a five-time recipient of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Ward for Literature, a two-time recipient of the Philippine Theater Guild’s Gawad Buhay award, and a former fellow of the UP Creative Writing Center.

Ang Bagong Harana had a re-run at the RCBC Theater during the week of Independence Day.  If it were to be staged again, I encourage you to watch it.  Not convinced?  Here are 10 great reasons why you shouldn’t let a re-re-run to pass.

POC, in its 11th year of continuous efforts to revive and keep the tradition alive, is commended by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

These initiatives are also seen to help promote the thriving art scene, a niche market for both domestic and international tourism.

May the Philippine Opera Company, through its world-class performances, continue to draw deeper appreciation for the country’s many interesting features, especially among foreign guests.

— Sec.  Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr.

Love your own.  Support your own.  Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.

Let us show the world that we love our own talent and entertainment.  Like POC on Facebook and get the latest update on their upcoming shows and events.


~ by ironessa on June 26, 2012.

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