After Levi Celerio’s classic “Magtanim Ay Di Biro” (Planting is No Joke), the time has come to find a present-day take on uplifing music that celebrates the life of a farmer. Not just in music, but in film as well. The search for a moving story about the farm life has wrapped up as well for 2017 with six finalists selected in a variety of genres. This, together with the ten finalists for the TOFARM Songwriting Competition was presented last February 8 at Novotel Hotel in Cubao.
The event allowed media to interact with the finalists and ask more about how they came up with their works and what was their inspiration. Clearly the music presented by the 10 finalists were rich in melody and thought-provoking in lyrics, and at this point all of them were winners already. Whoever will be announced as the final winnner in April 9 will just be a formality. The same goes for the six finalists of the film category. They are already winners as they were selected from the numerous entries. The theme for 2017 centered on “Planting the seeds of Change”.

Farm Music
Launched in May 2016, the TOFARM songwriting competition was open to amateur and professional songwriters whose task was to come up with an original composition about agriculture. Noted Musical Director Ria Villena Osorio, along with Josefino Chino Toledo, Luchie Roque, Olivier Ochanine, and Jed Balsamo composed the selection panel. A total of ten songs were selected as the official entries, among which one will be selected as the winner on the finals night scheduled on April 9, 2017 at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier.
tofarm-film-festival-2017-finalistsTOFARM Film Festival
Following its successful debut last July 2016, the TOFARM Film Festiva (TFF)l is on its second year and promises to be another bountiful harvest of cinematic excellence.
“The festival was warmly received by the movie industry, and a lot of independent producers and directors expressed their interest to join this year,” shares Marjo J. De Los Reyes, Festival Director. He motes that the number of script submitted doubled this year.
“This only proves that filmmakers are tremendously interested to participate in a festival that revolves around the farming industry. At the same time, TFF provides a venue for filmmakers to showcase their craft,” adds the award-winning television and film director.
Both TOFARM Film Festival and Songwriting Competition are under the patronage of Dr. Milagros O. How, TOFARM Chief Advocate and Executive Vice President of Universal Harvester, Inc. Her vision is to give due recognition to the selfless contribution of farmers to the nation.
“Our farmers have been diligently working in the field to make sure we all have food on oour tables. It is high time that we celebrate their hard work through popular media so that more people can appreciate their valuable role in our lives,” explains Dr. How.

birthday-greeting-to-dmohIt was clear from the discussion that media, along with the songwriters and filmmakers were very supportive of her cause. Their questions and comments were leaning more towards finding ways to perfect and create noise for this worthy cause. In almost everyone’s eyes, Dr. How is a hero in her own way and all were rooting for her success in these events. Her candid and lovable way of responding to questions make the room come alive with laughter.
Aside from these undertakings, TOFARM is also behind the Search and Award for Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines, an internationally-acclaimed award-giving body that recognizes the achievement of the farmers, fisherfolk, livestock raisers, cooperatives, and local government units in the advancement of the agricultural sector.
“We are indebted to our farmers, and we at TOFARM can only do so much to make them feel that all their efforts are sincerely appreciated, “says Dr. How.