Banaue Rice Terraces is a Philippine National Cultural Treasure, hailed for its profound beauty that draws tourists from all over the world. But unfortunately, the famed terraces are gradually degrading largely due to neglect.
According to Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog, one of the challenges in preserving the imprint of Banaue is the lack of interest of the local community in farming; many young Ifugaos opt for more lucrative jobs and livelihoods.
In a bid to preserve the Banaue Rice Terraces, Universal Harvester Inc., and the Municipality of Banaue launched an international music composition competition that pays tribute to the music and culture of rice-farming communities in the area.
The Banaue International Music Composition Competition invites composers from all over the world to create Banaue-inspired symphonies.
The competition, which is part of the Banaue Rice Terraces Restoration Project, aims to create awareness on the current situation of the terraces and to encourage people to participate and help in the efforts of restoration and preservation of the natural treasure.
“We want to let the world know that the Philippines is home to great wonders, not just in terms of natural resources, but also of inspiring talents from all over the world,” said contest organizer and UHI executive vice president Dr. Milagros Ong-How.
Deadline for entries is on April 15.
Twenty semi-finalists will be announced on April 20. These composer-fellows will be sent to Banaue to learn and experience local culture and music, which may help with their entries. Then, 10 finalists will be chosen to perform at the Finals Night on July 25 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
One winner will win the US$12,000 grand prize. Two runners-up will get US$6,000 each.
Aside from the multimillion international music composition competition, the restoration project also launched the coffee table book A Banaue Story: Restoring a World Heritage Treasure, that raises awareness on the current situation of the terraces and describes the process to restore them.
Visit www.banauemusic.org for more information on the music composition competition.