Chito Miranda ‘blown away’ as ‘Harana’ composer reveals original melody, lost stanza


Posted at May 31 2021 08:09 PM | Updated as of Jun 01 2021 02:05 AM

Chito Miranda ‘blown away’ as ‘Harana’ composer reveals original melody, lost stanza 1
Chito Miranda (right) reacts as Eric Yaptangco, the composer of ‘Harana,’ performs the song with its original melody and lyrics, and a third stanza. YouTube: Jing Castaneda

MANILA — Chito Miranda, frontman of “Harana” hitmaker Parokya ni Edgar, apologized to the song’s original composer upon their first meeting, for the supposed “mistakes” his band made and popularized with the release of their 1997 version.

Miranda and Eric “Yappy” Yaptangco came face to face virtually during the latest episode of “Pamilya Talk,” hosted by Jing Castañeda.

The episode, which delved into the origin of “Harana,” also included Cholo Mallilin and Tony Lambino, who previously recorded the tune ahead of Parokya ni Edgar.

“The way I explain the song, it has been passed down from batch to batch. Tapos, iba na ‘yung kuwento sa amin,” Miranda said, after Yaptangco detailed how the song came to be.

Yaptangco wrote “Harana” in 1989 to add to his group’s repertoire to serenade ladies with at Ateneo de Manila University. At the time, Yaptangco’s “harana boys” — a “barkada” formed within the student political party Hudyat — would help each other win over their crushes through serenade.

As Miranda recalled, “Harana” became a tradition across batches in Ateneo, and over the years would evolve with changes in melody and lyrics, and an entire stanza lost.

Mallilin, a musician and close friend of Yaptangco in Ateneo, recorded a version closer to the original but never released it.

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Lambino, also an Atenean, included “Harana” as a track in his 1992 album “First Note”; while Miranda released Parokya ni Edgar’s take five years later as part of “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy.”

In 2001, the iconic APO Hiking Society, which was also formed in Ateneo in 1969, recorded a more upbeat “Harana” based on Parokya ni Edgar’s version. The cover was included in the trio’s final studio album “Banda Rito.”

“Sorry, ‘yung version namin, napasa na namin kung ano ‘yung mistake na nagawa namin,” Miranda told Yaptangco.

“‘Yung mistake — iba na ‘yung chords namin, slightly different ‘yung melody from the original, and kulang kami ng isang stanza,” he added.

Yaptangco only had reassuring words for Miranda, saying he is, in fact, happy that his composition has taken a “life of its own” decades after he penned it.

“Chito, hindi siya mistake. Actually, natutuwa nga ako na 'pag naglabas ka ng komposisyon, may buhay na siya. May buhay na siyang sarili, may connection na siya sa iba-ibang tao,” Yaptangco said.

“‘Yung kay Cholo, ‘yung kay Tony, ‘yung sa ‘yo, ‘yung sa APO, tuwang-tuwa ako kasi may buhay na talaga siya, may nadadagdag na.”

In one portion of the “Pamilya Talk” episode, the four musicians were asked to perform, a capella, different parts of the song, in chronological order and based on their respective versions.

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It was at the point when Miranda heard, for the first time, the tune as Yaptangco had originally intended it, as well as the third “missing” stanza, as first written in 1989.

Visibly thrilled, Miranda said, “Amazed na amazed ako kasi kumbaga, meron kang narinig na urban legend, tapos after telling the story so many times na iyon na ‘yung truth na pinaniwalaan ng tao, maririnig mo ‘yung original version!”

Key differences which Miranda noted were a line in the second verse. In Parokya ni Edgar’s version, it goes, “Sa istoryang nagwawakas sa pag-ibig na wagas.” The actual line, in the original, is: “Sa awiting nagtatapos sa pag-ibig na lubos.”

“I can hear the small differences, and it’s so interesting for me… Sorry, blown away lang ako,” he added.

Miranda was especially surprised with the third stanza, which never made it to Parokya ni Edgar’s recording.

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The lost stanza, originally meant to close the song, goes:

“Uso pa ba ang harana
Marahil ngayon ay alam mo na
Basta’t para sa ‘yo, aking hirang
Kahit na magmukhang hibang
Tutupdin ang lahat, liyag
Pagkat ako’y ‘yong bihag
At mahal kita, sinta”

“Kinilabutan ako! Iyon ang hindi ko alam! … Sobrang galing. Nakakakilabot ‘yung last part. Bakit hindi sa amin umabot ‘yun? It completes the story, ‘yung dulo,” Miranda said.

Parokya ni Edgar previously performed a version of “Harana” with the third stanza in 2004, for “Inuman Sessions Vol. 1,” but even that deviated from Yaptangco’s original, Miranda pointed out.

“Sinubukan naming kumpletuhin sa ‘Inuman Sessions,’ [pero] mali pa rin ‘yung kuwento! Nakakainis!” Miranda said.

But for Yaptangco, what matters ultimately is that “Harana’s” spirit of camaraderie, and not just romantic love, was preserved through its numerous recordings.

“Romantic siya, pero barkada pa rin siya. Pag may ibang version, may ibang nota, dagdag nang kaunti, yumayaman ‘yung kanta. Yumayan tayong lahat. Iyon ‘yung pinaka-connection nating lahat, pinaka-bond nating lahat,” he said.

Miranda circled back to the tune becoming an “urban legend” of sorts, as he agreed with Yaptangco that the intent of “Harana” remained intact, despite it being passed on through generations.

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“Para talaga siyang kuwento from batch to batch. Kahit mali na ‘yung chords namin, nandoon pa rin ‘yung kuwento at ‘yung need at ‘yung basic goal ng song. The spirit is still there, the soul and what it wanted to achieve. 

“It’s a love song made for a barkada. That was the magic behind it. That’s the essence of the ‘Harana,’ e. It’s a love song, it’s dedicated to a girl, pero mas malaking bagay doon ‘yung kuwento ng barkada mo, having your back,” he said.

Beyond the sentimental history of “Harana” and becoming a well-loved tune now identified with Parokya ni Edgar, Miranda regards Yaptangco’s composition as life-changing, as it catapulted the band to greater heights.

“We’re just so thankful na, by chance, umabot sa amin ‘yung song. Honestly, it’s a huge part of Parokya’s career… It’s our first number one hit, e, so ang laking bagay talaga. We’re just very thankful,” he told Yaptangco.