Hong Kong is a place where dreams come true. It is where fantasies become realities. It is a world where artists from all genre take part in turning it into the happiest place on earth. One Filipino achiever who made it big here is Saturnino Halili Tiamson, Jr.
Saturn, as he is affectionately known, is an acclaimed musician and percussionist who has been performing for 25 years now. He is the first winner of Bayaning Pilipino para sa Asya Pasipiko for 2015 organized by ABS-CBN.
Dream, create and inspire
Saturn is a session musician, drummer and percussionist who performs with different productions, music directors, bands, orchestras, Hongkong-based artists in the Philippines and other countries. “My first work in Hong Kong was as a performer and band leader in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort from 2005 to 2015. Now, I am busy in teaching, giving drum clinics in Asia, attending conferences and festivals as a participant, performer and as a member of the board of judges in music, band, cultural events competitions. I am also a consultant for the Cultural and Arts in the Filipino community.”
He works as a Kindermusik educator at the Harrow International School Tom Lee Music Academy. He is presently holding the following posts: Drum Set Teacher in Harrow International School Hong Kong (2013 – present), Drums Facilitator at The Chris Brien and Drumming System in Tom Lee Music Academy Hong Kong (2015 to present), Kindermusik Educator (2015 to present), Session Musician/ Drummer in Hong Kong.
Saturn is a namesake of his dad, the late Saturnino Villamayor Tiamson who was mayor from 1956 to 1998 with service interruption of only a few years and who he looks up to as the “true Filipino hero, the best leader and a true servant of God.” Saturn has now a family of his own after marrying Marie Mati Vega, a Kindermusik and Early Childhood educator, in 2011. They have three kids, namely: Yzabella, Saturnino and Angelica.
Further dreaming, achieving
Saturn is a professional musician who looks back to his humbles beginnings with pride. He started out as a casual percussionist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, then in 2005 he was given a permanent contract.
Today, he plays for Syzygy (a jazz, pop and bossa band), NB4 Midnight (rock, blues and funk band ), The John Chen Ensemble (improvisation and jazz band), Discovery Brass (brass ensemble), William Elvin & The Circus Tour (original Pilipino band in Hong Kong) and Electric Tribe (percussion and drum group ).
“I still have some goals to achieve. My greatest achievement was when I got gold medals in the World Championships of Performing Arts. Before, I always go to auditions to perform in bands and orchestras but this time I went to audition to compete and this was the first music competition in my life. It was a dream come true for me.
“Always pray, never waste your time, stay positive, grab all the best possible opportunities that will make you grow as a person, be friendly and love all the people around but choose the right people who will help you to be a great person. Never give up on your dreams, make it happen, finish the race and honor God for everything that you are doing.”
By: Yul Espartero