They say helping one person might change the whole world. But for Saturnino Halili Tiamson Jr., a professional drummer based in Hong Kong, helping could change the world for one person.
Tiamson, who has worked with well-known theatre actors in the Philippines and was a permanent musician at the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, has accumulated international accolades in his chosen field.
He has been living and working overseas for 20 years now. He is both an educator and performer in Hong Kong. He is a drum set teacher for various organizations in the country and also teaches music online.
Perform over ‘work’
The overseas Filipino worker (OFW) said he opts to use the word ‘perform’ over ‘work.’ He arrived in Hong Kong in 2005 and ‘performed’ in Hong Kong Disneyland until 2015.
“Kapag perform, ay iniisip mo lang ay mag-perform lang, nag-eenjoy ka at hindi po naiisip kung magkano ang inyong kinikita, lagpas pa sa sahod na kinikita mo ang iyong binibigay na serbisyo,” he said.
Working for the international theme park was one of the highlights of his career as he is one of the few Filipinos who became part of its opening day. Tiamson has later then become a bandleader and focused on teaching and performing full-time.
After leaving his first-paying job in the country, he was able to teach in international schools, join international competitions, serve the community, and follow his dream which is to perform as a session musician who plays in musicals, festivals, and cabaret shows.
In 2016, Tiamson accumulated gold medals from the 20th World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles, California.
Despite having a permanent commitment with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the professional drummer chose to embark on an OFW journey to learn more about the industry and life.
In the home country, he was also an active member of various community bands.
Tiamson has been rendering a series of free workshops for music enthusiasts since 2011. “Sa umuuwi ako ng Pilipinas ay kasama ang aking misyon sa pagbabakasyon. Nakapagbakasyon ka na, nakatulong ka pa,” he said noting he started conducting free sessions in Rizal, Cavite and Laguna and then traveled to Batangas, Manila, Bulacan, and Mindanao later on.
Due to the pandemic and as many people opt to stay at home, he also conducted online workshops. When the Philippines announced the ‘enhanced community quarantine’ in the entire Luzon, Tiamson has conducted a 30-day free drum lesson on Facebook Live.
“Ginagawa ko to upang makatulong ako sa mga kababayan ko lalo na sa mga young musician na walang pambayad ng teachers, walang pambayad para maka-attend ng lessons or workshops,” he added.
“For me, this is the job–ang maging musician. Nagagawa mo na gusto mo, napapasaya mo ibang tao, nakakatulong ka na, kumikita at nakakapaglibang ka pa. Sabi nila ay walang pera sa music pero ito ang isa sa naging daan upang magsumikap ako at para ipakita ko sa mundo na mali ang kasabihan na ito. Kung ikaw ay may pangarap, dikarte sa buhay, masipag at matiyaga at may Diyos na kinakatakutan o pinapaniwalaan ay makakamit mo ang iyong mga minimithi,” he further added.
This story has been featured on the seventh issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.