I heard about the First Philippine Guitar Festival from an e-mail sent to me through my yahoogroups. After reading that the performers will sing haranas and that an international artist will play using a classical guitar, I was already sold.
I was thinking this is a chance for me to introduce a precious and at the same time dying culture of harana to my son. And although, I have a personal bias on classical guitar, I just can’t let this opportunity pass that my son won’t hear what a harana sounds like. I am hoping he picks up how beautiful the Filipino language is especially when it speaks about love.
Undecided which event to go to Steve Lin’s or the Harana boys, I said to myself who am I kidding. The ticket is sold for P200 pesos each. Why do I even have to think which one to go so I bought tickets for both events for my entire family. I invited my friends and other relatives and my friends’ friends. Finally, I was able to buy 14 tickets plus tickets we got for other friends who asked us to buy for them at CCP.
The first show I attended was Steve Lin’s performance. A few of my favorites are Matud Nila (A cebuano song) and El Negrito Angostura. I was so happy to find out that the “El Negrito” can be found in one of Steve’s CD which was being sold during the event. A CD was sold at P500 each. My cousin bought Steve’s other CD wherein he performs with another artist. Amazingly, my son enjoyed the “Yi Dance” and “A Journey Into Desire”. Steve said that those pieces are not easy to listen to but then it invokes imagery when you really pay attention to it and that you will hear unfamiliar sounds that will tickle your mind. True enough everything he said happened to me but maybe it has more dramatic effect for a young 9 year-old mind.
I went to the event thinking that Steve Lin’s performance cannot be topped anymore. On the second day, I attended Harana performed by Florante Aguilar, Michael Dadap and the Harana Boys. The pieces from the two events were not comparable at all. They are both excellent performances but I did not expect to be emotionally moved by the Harana songs. Florante Aguilar and Michael Dadap are masters in their field but when the Harana Boys sang the serenades coupled with the soft music coming from the guitars, ahh the effect to me was just indescribable. I felt that the stage was transformed into fields. I can imagine a young man serenading a beautiful damsel. I remembered my Lola singing to us to while putting us to sleep. I was just brought to tears. My favorite most of all was the song “Maruja”.
Unfortunately, the Harana boys do not have any CDs of their own to sell. So I bought a CD of Florante Aguilar entitled “Harana”. Another reason I bought the CD is because one of the cuts is “Ugoy ng Duyan” which is another masterpiece.
This event became a reunion of family and friends who share a common love for guitars. beautiful music and of course Filipino culture. I cannot wait for what the Guitar Friends will arrange for next year’s Guitar Festival.
Folks I assure you this is one of those good things in life you should not miss.
For events at CCP, you may contact them at their website