Author Archives: F. Aguilar

A Case for ‘Bayan Ko’ as Philippine National Anthem

The only thing of note Julian Felipe ever wrote was Bayang Magiliw, a foreign rip-off, commissioned by a friend who is a military president with blood on his hands. Continue reading

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Searching For Sylvia – The Last Surviving Practitioner of the Kundiman Art Song

Many older Filipinos know Sylvia La Torre as the grand dame of Philippine cinema and television. She is known as a comedian notably starring as Sebya with fellow comic Pugo (Mariano Contreras) in a series of popular films. She is … Continue reading

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The Portuguese Fado, the Philipine Kundiman and How an Artist Arrived at an Idea

The Portuguese fado and the Philippine kundiman are art forms that are tied to their national identities. But why does one flourish while the other languish? Continue reading

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The Difference Between Harana and Kundiman

If you are one of the Filipinos having a hard time distinguishing between harana and kundiman music, don’t be ashamed – you are not alone! It is very easy to confuse the two. It is common to hear people refer … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Articles, Harana Music, Kundiman | 33 Comments

The Different Stages of Harana (Serenading)

During the filming of Harana the movie in late 2008, I had the opportunity to travel to remote provinces of the Philippines in search of master haranistas – the vanishing breed of expert singers skilled in the art of serenading. … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Articles, Harana Music | 8 Comments

Florante’s Guitars

Many have asked (mostly guitarists) what brand of guitar I use. Currently, I’m using a 2002 Fontanilla guitar built by Filipino-American luthier Alan Fontanilla. Although I typically favor the tender tones of the spruce-top guitar, Alan’s cedar-top guitar provides a … Continue reading

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Concert “Disasters”: Getting Paid – in Quarters!

Scene: Outlying provinces off Cebu, Philippines more than 15 years ago. I was on tour with a pair of ballet dancers, a classical pianist and a local singer named Phrolo. It was a Government Outreach Tour whose noble mission is … Continue reading

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Concert “Disasters”: Concerto for Guitar … and Lanzones!

Scene: Orchestra pit of the Meralco Theater in Manila many years ago. Opening night of Philippine Repertory’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. It has a small guitar part which I was hired to play. It was a full orchestra … Continue reading

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What’s Up with My Name?

Hello All. To most Filipinos, the name Florante Aguilar elicits a bit of a giggle. Some of the reactions I heard: 1) Is that for real? 2) Gotta be a stage name 3) Are you an illegitimate son? They are, … Continue reading

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About

Musical musings of an independent Filipino-American guitarist. A bit about me can be found here: www.florante.org/bio.htm

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