Romantic Filipinos bridge the gap with online serenades
MANILA – Romantic Filipinos abroad have found a way to bridge the gap with loved ones at home on Valentine's Day -- via an online serenade service.
Jane Soco, managing director of Harana.ph, said Thursday the company's professional singers would lift the spirits of those left behind as their partners toil in a foreign land.
"We're booked out even days ahead of Valentines. Filipinos are very romantic and they will not let distance get in the way of celebrating this day," she said.
"About 80 percent of our clients are people who work abroad, who want to make their partners here feel special by serenading them."
For a fee of between P7,000 and P12,000 ($172-295), Harana.ph will deploy singers, hand out teddy bears and serenade the lonely lover left behind in the Philippines.
The whole event is videotaped and posted on its website.
Soco said the service has helped ease the pain of separation, or even saved rocky long-distance relationships.
One video posted on its portal showed Harana.ph crooners serenading a tearful office worker on her wedding anniversary. The woman received a teddy bear and a special message from her overseas-based husband read by the singers.
An estimated 10 million Filipinos, or about a tenth of the population, work abroad and their dollar remittances help keep the economy afloat.
Meanwhile, about 400 couples joined a mass wedding officiated by the country's Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The couples exchanged vows inside a packed gymnasium on the outskirts of Manila's Makati financial district, as a school band played love songs that drowned out the heavy traffic outside.
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