Arts and Culture

Cesar Montano returns to musical roots, shares real-life 'harana' experience

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Cesar Montano returns to musical roots, shares real-life 'harana' experience
Cesar Montano as seen in CCP's "Kung Hindi Man?"
CCP Office of the President Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — It was Cesar Montano's harana to Cultural Center of the Philippines President Arsenio "Nick" Lizaso that made the latter think of adding the actor to "Kung Hindi Man," an online musical series that highlights the Filipino kundiman.

"Binisita ko si Cesar or Buboy the way his friends call him. Noong binisita ko siya, hinarana ako ng kanyang mga komposisyon in Filipino. Sabi ko tamang-tama ito. 'Will you do us a favor of being one of our artists in 'Kung Hindi Man?' That's it. Kaya napasama si Cesar," explained Lizaso.

The actor said he had his fair share of harana when he was a young man in Bohol.

"Marami na. Nakapag-harana talaga ako. Talagang pumupunta kami sa bahay, naggigitara kami noong nandoon ako sa Bohol. Pwedeng Tagalog pero kailangan kumanta ka rin ng Bisaya," he shared.


He would sing Ruben Tagalog's "Awit Ko'y Dinggin."

Harana is the Filipino way of wooing or serenading a woman by singing love songs or kundimans usually accompanied by guitars.

Cesar was featured in the first episode of "Kung Hindi Man" that premiered last September 25 on the CCP Office of the President Facebook page.

The said episode featured the kundimans "Nahan" by National Artists for Music Ernani Cuenco and Levi Celerio. It was sang by Arthur Espiritu with Mariel Ilusorio on piano. National Artist Felipe Padilla De Leon's "Ako'y Filipino" was also included in the premiere episode. It was sang by Nerisa San Juan.

New episodes will feature kundimans and Filipino contemporary ballads every Saturday. It will also feature a segment that explains the music and compositions sang in the episode. "Kung Hindi Man" will air until December this year.


The works of Francisco Santiago, who is sometimes referred as the Father of Kundiman Art Song, National Artists for Music Nicanor Abelardo and Ryan Cayabyab and renowned composers George Canseco and Willy Cruz will also be featured. Guest performers include Lara Maigue, Gian Magdangal, Harry Santos, and Orange and Lemons' Clem Castro. Performances are backed by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

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