September 12, 2016

TOFARM captures lives of Farmers through Music

After successfully putting the spotlight on the lives of the Filipino Farmers at the ToFarm Film Festival, Universal Harvester continues its advocacy of recognizing the inspirational stories of the agricultural sector with the first ToFarm Songwriting Competition.
“What started out as a program to give recognition to the hardworking farmers has now evolved to different layers that form our main advocacy for agriculture," says Dr. Milagros How, Executive Vice President of Universal Harvester lnc.
“ToFarm was first crafted as a program to help award those in the agricultural sector whose hands and feet, hearts and minds have been dedicated to provide bountiful feast for the whole nation. But then we thought it would be more meaningful if the much needed call to recognition for this industry is extended to the public,” she adds. 
This is an opportunity that Dr. Milagros How, Executive Vice President of Universal Harvester lnc. took advantage of as she continues her quest to creating awareness and recognition for her advocacy in the agricultural sector. To find a voice through song and to use music to gain recognition for our hardworking farmers and other workers in the similar sector this is the mission of the first TOFARM Songwriting Competition.

The TOFARM Film Festival last year where six stories highlighting the tribulations and triumphs of our farmers and similar workers in the sector were made, Universal Harvester Inc. now ventures into another medium to give more hype and meaning to their push for agricultural revolution.

“The TOFARM Film Festival, we harnessed the power of the cinematic arts to present the lives of our dear farmers and kababayans in the agricultural sector. Now, we are utilizing another field of art, which is music. Music is a universal language and we Pinoy are musical people. Filipinos are born with an innate talent in music. Our music are written from the heart in both lyrics and tune as we portray lives and everyday experiences through songs. Our songs contain and express our ambitions, dreams, emotions, frustrations, struggles and successes. With the musical compositions that we will harvest in the first TOFARM Songwriting Competition, we hope to discover musical wonders that would highlight the diligence, hard work, perseverance, resilience, tenacity and optimism of our farmers” - Dr. How explains in front of media at the launch event held at the Edsa Shangrila Hotel.

The opening of the Songwriting Festival was held last September 10, 2016 at the Mactan Function Room of the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel. 

Heading the announcement during the launch are Dr. Milagros How, Executive Vice President of Universal Harvester lnc., Project Director Rommel Cunanan, with Luchie Roque, Trustee and former Program Director, National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), Jed Balsamo, resident music director of Ballet Philippines, Olivier Ochanine, former music director and conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) and members of media present during the launch.

Guided by its theme, “Planting the seeds of change,” the First TOFARM Songwriting Competition is open to all Filipino amateur and professional songwriters. 

Different song genres are encouraged and suggested, but not limited to:
  • Folk/Acoustic
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • R&B
  • Country
  • Pop
  • Inspirational
  • Fusion

The following requirements must be submitted on or before NOVEMBER 18, 2016: 
  • Duly accomplished Application Form
  • Copy of a valid ID with specimen signature of the applicant (including co-applicants, if collaboration) indicated thereon
  • Song Entry in mp3 format labelled with the title and the contestant’s name or pseudonym directly on the CD 
  • Lyric sheet (in English/or in any Filipino language Pilipino line-by-line translation, if applicable) two (2) hard copies and one (1) copy in pdf file in the Song Entry CD

Criteria in choosing the song entries are quality of composition, lyrics and its originality.

Nine (9) Finalists will be chosen by the TOFARM Listening Committee. Results shall be announced on DECEMBER 5, 2016 through print media and website announcements. Each of the nine (9) finalists will receive a certificate and P40,000.

From the finalists, a grand prize winner, 1st runner up, second runner up and the People’s Choice will be chosen during a special live concert happening on February, 2017.

Aside from the trophies, the grand winner will receive P300,000 cash; the first runner up, P200,000 cash and the second runner up P100,000. The People’s Choice award will also receive P75,000.

Entries may be sent via courier or postal mail to: TOFARM SONGWRiTlNG COMPETiTiON, TOFARM Secretariat 10th Floor, Harvester Corporate Center, 158 P. Tuazon St. corner 7th Street, Cubao, 1109 Philippines or via email

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