The Filipino kundiman is the voice of yearning love in song, plaintive in
its lyrical heartbreak and yet transcendent through melodic
The kundiman came to the fore as an art song at the end of the nineteenth
century and early part of the twentieth, when Filipino composers such as
Francisco Santiago and Nicanor Abelardo formalized the musical structure
and sought poetry for their lyrics, blending verse and music in equal
While the sentiment of the kundiman tends towards the melancholic, the
commitment of the heart to passion is celebrated in every piece.
"Harana" by National Artist Carlos V. Francisco
The singer of the kundiman expresses the pain and beauty of love felt by
every listener, for the kundiman is not merely entertainment but an
embodiment of collective emotion.