HARANA follows the journey of U.S.-based guitarist Florante Aguilar back to his Filipino roots and his search for the tunes of harana (where young men would stand outside girls windows, guitar in hand, serenading) and the lost voices of master haranistas. It is nostalgia brought about by the slow disappearance of harana into the realm of folklore that drives his quest to the Tagalog region where Aguilar gathers a disparate group of old men - all self-taught - who sing in deep baritones with trembling vibratos. The heart of this documentary lies in three haranistas as bastions of a fading art. Everywhere they played, audiences came to witness them bring this culture back to life.
Directed by Benito Bautista (THE GIFT OF BARONG, BOUNDARY) HARANA travels through the countryside and architecture of Old Manila, complementing the melodies and exposing the beauty in disappearing songs. Through Bautista’s record, and Florante’s efforts to reach a wider audience – like a languid BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB - their soundtrack is saved for posterity.
Synopsis written by: Doug Bond
||Benito Bautista, Florante Aguilar
||Fides Enriquez, Florante Aguilar
||Florante Aguilar, Fides Enriquez, Valeria Cavestany, George & Barbara SyCip, Sonia Delen & Chris Fitzsimmons, Sol Manaay, Jim & Jean Maliksi, Iraida Que de Vera, Vincent de Vera, Norma Edar
||Florante Aguilar, Celestino Aniel, Felipe Alonzo, Romeo Bergunio