The Banaue Rice Terraces is crumbling.
You may know this magnificent beauty as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or maybe the Eighth Wonder of the World. But did you know that it faces many threats? Erosion and even the dwindling number of farmers put this beautiful area at risk.
The good news is that people are doing something to combat this. And it involves the power of music.
BIMCC’s efforts to combat the threats
The Banaue International Music Composition Competition or the BIMCC aims to spread awareness about theis situation through music and raise funds for its restoration. It is a program that is part of the Banaue Rice Terraces Restoration Project, which rehabilitates the rice terraces and conserves its culture.
Also aiding in this advocacy is Universal Harvester, Incorporated or UHI, who has been supporting the farming industry. “Our work on the Banaue Rice Terraces Restoration Project also calls attention to the need for greater support to the agricultural sector. UHI formed our advocacy arm under TOFARM to push for the advancement of the Philippine agriculture and to recognize farmers as the country’s heroes. Through these activities, not only are we unlocking potentials and boosting productivity, but also preserving our heritage as Filipinos,” says UHI’s President and CEO Dr. Milagros Ong-How.
During the press conference, she even noted that there were contest entries from Austria, South Korea, and even Ukraine. It’s a world-class effort to save the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The top twenty contestants have an immersion program in Banaue. This helps them get a better understanding of the place and hopefully translate into their songs.
After their 10-day immersion, they will then revise their entries. The judges then select ten semi-finalists.
With the help of BIMCC Artistic Director Prof. Josefino Chino Toledo and the TOFARM Festival Orchestra, the top 10 songs will be performed on the finals night on July 25 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The prizes that await are $6,000 for two runner-up winners and $12,000 for the grand prize winner.
The importance of music
BIMCC Artistic Director Professor Chino Toledo has this to say about why they chose music as an avenue. “Through music, we are sending a strong message to the public and the world about the beauty and culture of the Banaue Rice Terraces. We hope to draw out attention from Filipinos to help restore our famous World Heritage site and the ecosystem that thrives in and around it.”
After all, aside from food, Filipinos have a strong appreciation for music. It’s a great way to spark attention to this serious issue and inspire people to take action.
So how can you help?
First, spread awareness about this movement. If you want to contribute financially, you can. It’s as easy as buying a ticket from Php 1,000 up to Php 5,000 to watch the Grand Finals Night on July 25, 2018. The money raised will help in the rehabilitation of the rice terraces.
Are you willing to take part in saving the Eighth Wonder of the World?