About the BANAUE International Music Composition Competition

A competition with a cause, the BANAUE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPOSITION COMPETITION aims to help save a world heritage site through the power of music. The Banaue Rice Terraces was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its ingenious agricultural engineering system created by its indigenous ancestors withstanding nearly 2,000 years. Not only does it grow grains for people but also food for the soul, giving birth to Hudhud Chants, UNESCO intangible heritage.

However, landslides, climate change, abandoned farmlands, and a dwindling source of manpower have become threats to the continued existence of the rice terraces. For this Eighth Wonder of the World to sustain its structural, historical and cultural value, much attention is needed; and this is exactly what this competition aims to provide.

Receiving 84 Banaue-inspired composition entries from all over the world was the beginning of the awareness campaign the organization was aiming to create for the restoration of the Banaue Rice Terraces. Among the entries, 20 composer-fellows were chosen to participate in the Banaue Immersion Program. Here, they were taught the Banaue culture and music while being surrounded by the glorious beauty of its rice terraces. Then, 10 compositions were again selected to perform at the historical Cultural Center of the Philippines for the Grand Finals. Emerging as the grand winner is Leon Firšt from Slovenia for his composition, “The Story of Ifugao”.


Banaue International Music Composition Competition was able (and continues) to raise awareness to the much-needed help in Banaue Rice Terraces with the guidance and support of its founder and Chairperson, Dr. Milagros O. How. Regarded as the “Queen of Agriculture Innovation”, Dr. How is also the founder and President of Universal Harvester, Inc. which is a major leader in the fertilizer industry in the Philippines. She always wants to do something great and give back to the farmers.

World Heritage Site


The BANAUE Rice Terraces are 2,000-year-old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by the ancestors of the indigenous people.


These rice terraces are popularly called the "Eighth Wonder of the World."