Thursday, March 17, 2011

Marinduque Harana

In the olden days in Marinduque and many other rural areas in the country, a man in love would stage a harana (serenade) for the girl of his dreams. At night in front of her nipa house he'd sing songs that spoke of undying love and devotion. Moral support would be provided to the man by his closest friends, who'd also join him in the singing.

The girl was not expected to show her excitement or interest in the man and play hard-to-get, pakipot, as showing positive response right away would be considered inappropriate. This courtship ritual was also a popular feature of local movies in the 60’s.

Up to the present time on this island, however, one might still encounter haranas in the rural areas of Torrijos and Santa Cruz. Girls are still expected to play coy, mahinhin, and would not openly show their love lest she might give the impression of being a flirt, malandi or kiri.

From the looks of it, however, with the advance of modernization, this game of courtship has faded away from local villages, with girls almost unmindful now of labels i.e. malandi or mahinhin. More open to expressing themselves now, girls associate this with new-found freedom and ‘liberation’, kalayaan.

Listening to such harana songs as a form of entertainment is still welcomed by a large audience in such areas, or during special occasions. “Harana” was a special activity incorporated in past “Araw ng Marinduque” celebrations with municipalities sending their delegation of costumed singers and actors prepared to share with province-mates their own interpretations, such as the above photo, taken during such an event in Santa Cruz.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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