One Filipino achiever who makes it big in Hongkong is Saturnino Halili Tiamson, Jr.
Through the years, he has been showered with countless recognitions. He was one of the Top 20 Musicians in Hongkong, Dangal ng Bayan awardee for Music in his hometown, recipient of The Walt Disney Legacy Award and in 2014 (having been a former musician at Disney), he was declared a Bagong Bayani for Culture and the Arts.
Dream, create and inspire
In 2012, this 33-year-old native of Angono, Rizal was chosen as one of the two Filipinos in “The Walt Disney Legacy Award” by the Walt Disney Company.
Goals in Life
Saturn is a professional musician who looks back to his humbles beginnings with pride. He started out as a casual percussionist of Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, then in 2005 he was given a permanent contract.
“While I was still then studying from the UP College of Music, I had a lot of gigs as a part-time job just like any ordinary musician in the country. From 2005 to 2008, I was teaching Drumset in different Music Studios/Schools like RJ Academy of Music (Robinson’s Galleria Branch), World of Music (Greenhills San Juan), Music Asia (Antipolo City), F. Lui Dance and Music School (Cainta Rizal), Music Wizard (Angono Rizal), and British School Manila.”
He also had gigs with Metro Manila Community Orchestra from 2000 to 2002, Manila Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001 and Crosswave Symphony Orchestra. He did some musical shows with Tanghalang Pilipino Chamber, gigs in a club with some show bands and other community bands in the Philippines.
Saturn took his education at Angono Elementary School and Angono National High School in his home province of Rizal. He earned his degree at the University of the Philippines College of Music. He was a UP Student Achiever’s awardee.
“As a student, I have been blessed for the instances that I was able to travel abroad, not to work, but instead to represent my country the Philippines. In 1997, our local school from the Province of Rizal sent me to represent the country in the Indonesian Children’s Jamboree or GELANTARA held in Jakarta Indonesia. But the most memorable experience was my Asian tour with the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO).”
“This was my very first opportunity to go on tour around the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and perform with only the finest young musicians of Asia. With this, I had the chance to be taught and mentored by the best of the best professional musicians from well-known orchestras from different countries.”
“On top of my priority list would of course be God. Without Him, I am a nobody, I would have nothing, I would not be where I am now. My family would come next after God definitely. They are my God-given treasure here on earth. And to complete my list of priorities would be my country and lastly my career.”
He has always looked to his father as a towering figure. “During his term as Mayor in Angono, never did I hear anyone say anything bad about him. And because of this, he is still well remembered by our local men. And everyone can attest that he was never a corrupt official during his long-term service.”
Saturn is a namesake of his dad, the late Saturnino Villamayor Tiamson who was mayor for many years from 1956 to 1998 with service interruption of only few years. “Even beyond his means, he still managed to help a lot of people. Thus, he gained respect from everyone. He was loved by all. Service was his top priority. It was never gaining wealth. We lived in a very simple house with a very simple lifestyle. He never walked around the town with a bodyguard nor a gun as protection in his pocket. Though his clothes were worn out, he was well-mannered and humble. I grew up with his example of serving people as his life. And so this legacy continues through me in a way that I am efficient with, and this is music.”
Their mom is Veronica Corea Halili. He six siblings are Celia Tiamson Sualog, a Doctor; Marissa H. Tiamson, an OFW in Tokyo; Januver H. Tiamson, SB Member of Angono; Saver H. Tiamson, musician at Romons U Park in Ningbo China; Gabriel H. Tiamson, musician at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Their youngest, Noe H. Tiamson is based in USA.
Saturn has now a family of his own. He has three kids – Saturn Gabriel P. Tiamson, 8; Yzabella Vega Tiamson, 5; and, Saturnino Vega Tiamson, 1. He married Marie Mati Vega in 2011. “My wife used to work with me in Hong Kong Disneyland as a performing artist from the show Festival of the Lion King. Quite recently, she shifted career from being a dancer to a full time educator and Zumba instructor. She is an English Teacher licensed to teach Letterland and Early Childhood Program called Kindermusik.”
Further dreaming, achieving
“My lieu time is mostly spent in community service. I have a free online music classes which is open to whoever disinterested to learn music and/or percussion. Right now, I have students both from Japan and the Philippines. During my extra holidays here in Hong Kong, they are mostly spent with the Mindanao Federation (MINFED), a group of domestic helpers here in Hong Kong who are mostly from the Southern part of our country. I have served as their adviser for Music for quite some time now.”
“I may have already achieved some of my goals in life. But this does not stop me from further dreaming, from further achieving. I still intend to help more people so i can inspire more and be able to spread the beauty and benefits of music to our community.”
- One of the Filipinos in Opening Team at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – Year 2005
- 1st and only Filipino Percussionist in the Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra & Wind Ensemble (rehearsal, camp and tour in Thailand) – Year 2003
- One of the two Filipinos in “Top 20 Musicians in Hong Kong” by TIME OUT Magazine Hong Kong – Year 2008
- One of the 100 members of the Asian Youth Orchestra. AYO are among the finest young musicians in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Chosen through highly competitive auditions held throughout the region, they are together for six weeks each summer, initially for a three-week Rehearsal Camp in Hong Kong, then for a three-week international concert tour with celebrated conductors and solo artists. – Year 2001 and 2004
- One of the two Filipinos in “The Walt Disney Legacy Award” by the Walt Disney Company Nearly 600 recipients were selected to receive the prestigious award from the over 4,500 nominations received worldwide, and 33 of them are from Hong Kong Disneyland! These individuals were nominated by their fellow co-workers or leaders because they Dream, Create and Inspire, going above and beyond to support the business objectives and goals of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts each and every day. – Year 2012
- 1st and only Filipino at the 1st Disney VoluntEARS Leadership Council at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – Year 2008
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.