SOUNDS FAMILIARBaby A. Gil – The Philippine Star

September 30, 2021 | 12:00am

The show is titled HRNA, letters which are said to mean Hot Romantic New Artists. Presented by Viva Live, Inc., this is an online concert that is set to air today, Sept. 30, and it stars four of today’s hottest solo acts. They are Arthur Nery, Adie, Rob Deniel and Unique Salonga.

While the letters translate into Hot Romantic New Artists, one cannot also help but think of something else at first sight of the letters HRNA. And that is the Tagalog word HARANA, which means serenade, and which comes from the Italian serenata. This means expressing love or admiration for a woman through song.

I have a feeling some sort of serenade was already in practice in the Philippines during pre-Spanish times. After all courtship back then could have certainly benefited from the use of music in whatever form and from whatever type of instrument. I think a flute would have worked beautifully.

The first thing that comes to mind with harana is a love song accompanied by the guitar and the fact that it is one of the customs we inherited from Spain. Back in those simpler, olden times, young men roamed streets after dark and used the harana as a form of courtship.

Armed with a guitar or more instruments if they were of the well-off sort, they would sing a love song beneath the window of the house of the maiden they adore. The best of those songs, were later recorded by the great King of Kundiman Ruben Tagalog back in the 1950s.

Then as courtship mores changed over the years and the peace and order situation got worse and worse, not to mention the fact that young men are naturally averse to doing anything “old fashioned” the custom of the harana silently withered and largely unlamented, died.

That was what we all thought. As we recently found out, the harana was only in hibernation. It was quietly lying in wait for the right time, for the right beauties to serenade and for the right young men to sing the songs that would bring it back to life.

The updated harana crept back into the local music scene with songs like Binibini by Zack Tabudlo, Ivana by Soulstice, Catriona by Matthaios, Marikit by Juan Caiole and Kyle and other new works extolling the charms of beautiful women. By the time Arthur Nery extended his seductive invitation with Higa, it had become a fact that the harana in a new form, think hip-hop soul, alt rock, etc., was back.

Nery, from Cagayan de Oro City, is the hot streaking singer-songwriter who is the leading artist in Pinoy neo-R&B, soul and pop today. He is the singer behind the massive hits Binhi and Higa and then later Take All The Love, Happy w u, and his recent duet Pelikula with Janine Teñoso.

Also a Hot Romantic New Artist is Adie, who is one of the best new acts to break out this year. His song Paraluman has since emerged as a No. 1 seller on the streaming platform Spotify. His music video for Paraluman, which features Ivana Alawi has also become a big hit on YouTube. And one thing more, Paraluman is now the title of a movie on Vivamax.

Then there is singer and songwriter Rob Deniel, the 17-year-old wonder kid who wrote and recorded his first-ever hit on his celphone. Titled Ulap, now it has more than 25 million streams and still counting. Succeeding releases such as Gabi, Baby I Tried and the more recent Darling, Darling prove that Deniel has the talent to stay long in this music industry.

And of course, there is the reclusive UNIQUE. The voice behind Mundo has proven that he is also a potent creative force as a solo act. His album Grandma has spawned fan favorites such as Midnight Sky, OZONE (Itulak Ang Pinto), and Sino. To date, these three songs combine for over 66 million listens on Spotify alone.

Find out how these young men have brought the harana up to date in HRNA The Digital Experience which will stream today on, iWantTFC and TFC IPTV. Ticket price is P499 or $9.99. For details, call VIVA LIVE at (+632) 8687-7236 or (+63908) 814-4601.

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