Harana, the Filipino Serenade

A harana is a traditional Filipino serenade. The man is accompanied by his friends who back him up both vocally and psychologically. At first, the woman’s window is closed. The man calls out to her and if she’s interested, she’ll open her window.

picture of harana

Haranahin mo siya.
Serenade her.

Haharanahin kita.
I will serenade you.

In the mp3 clip above, you can hear Dungawin Mo, Hirang.


The most famous Tagalog harana, one that you can still hear people singing today, could be O, Ilaw (Oh, Light). In this song, the man compares the woman to a star in the dark sky. The song lyrics specifically ask her to open her window and look out at him. Singing harana originated during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines.

Uso pa ba ang harana? Marahil ikaw ay nagtataka
Sino ba ‘tong mukhang gago, nagkandarapa sa pagkanta…
at nasisintunado sa kaba. Meron pang dalang mga rosas
Suot nama’y maong na kupas at nariyan pa ang barkada…