Green songs for Banaue Rice Terraces

Images By Sonny Espiritu


The 2,000-year-old terraces, a series of tiered rice paddies carved into the mountains of Ifugao, face deterioration due to commercialism. Photo from
Can an environmentally-motivated music save the Banaue Rice Terraces from further degradation?

Efforts to help save the world-renowned Banaue Rice Terraces from further deterioration has shifted from physical rehabilitation to cultural awareness via an international music competition organized by Universal Harvester, Inc., together with the local government of Banaue.   

Called the 2018 Banaue International Music Composition Competition, the music event invites composers around the Philippines and all over the globe to create Banaue-inspired symphonic works, which revolve around its people, traditions, landscapes, unique rituals and dances. 

Business woman and farmers advocate Dr. Mila O. How
“We want to let the world know that the Philippines is home to great wonders not just in terms of natural resources but also in inspiring talents from all over the world,”  Dr. Milagros O. How of International Harvester said during a media launch held at Makati Shangri-la on Thursday. 

Dr. How, through the competition, aims to create awareness of the current situation of the heritage site and encourage people to participate and help restore and maintain its magnificence. 

The biggest of its kind in the country, the competition has already attracted composers from several countries who have signified their intention to submit their entries. 

Competition chairman Maestro Chino Toledo said that they have already  received queries from Canada, Colombia, France, Italy, China, Russia, Armenia, Malaysia, Greece, the US, South Africa, and Hong Kong. He added that USD 12,000 is the grand prize and a consolation prize of USD 6,000 will be given to the finalists.

Ifugao performers join the launch of  2018 Banaue International Music Composition held at Makati Shangri-la.
Twenty selected composers will be part of the Banaue Immersion Program where they will have a week to experience local culture and music. The composers will rehearse their pieces with the orchestra selected by Toledo in Banaue Hotel, which will be open to the public. 

During the immersion, they will be allowed to revise their composition for the semi-final round. The grand showcase of their works will take at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on July 25.

The competition is open to all composers and there are no age and nationality restrictions. 

“However, applicants should be at least at the early stages of their professional careers,” Toledo noted.

Applicants must send a 10 to 15 minute work for symphony orchestra, single or multi-movement work. Each composer may submit only one score. For complete guidelines visit


Topics: Banaue Rice Terraces , Mila How , Banaue International Music Composition Competition , Chino Toledo ,
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