For the Love of Music
"The Man Behind the Hits"
By Imelda Roberts

Meet Venancio "Vehnee" Saturno, one of Philippines' most talented composers and great record producers. Vehnee as he is known to many is "the man behind many hit songs."

In my younger days, I listened to some of his songs that he has written. For sure I have been personally inspired by his songs. I first listened to his hit song "Be My Lady," in 1980s but It was not until more than 25 years later that I came to know him personally through the work I am currently doing with Pinoy Boomer. Who would even think I would have the honor to collaborate with a musical genius like Vehnee. It is indeed a great opportunity to personally know the man behind the songs I have come to love, including new songs aired on television.

Popularized by some of the biggest names in the Philippines music industry, Vehnee's hit songs include "Forever's Not Enough," "How Could You Say You Love Me," "From the Start," "Isang Lahi," "Mula Sa Puso,"Sana Kahit Minsan," "Simple Lang," "'Di Ba't Ikaw," "Paano Kaya," "Dahil Tanging Ikaw" and "Wala Na Bang Pag-ibig." These songs have touched well-known Filipino singers, made a huge difference in their singing career, and became part of everyday songs hummed or sang by Pinoys. These famous songs also, bagged gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards and won honors for the country singing competitions abroad – and the man responsible for them is, of course, the hitmaker, Vehnee Saturno.

Among the long list of artists that rose to fame singing Vehnee's early hit songs were Martin Nievera, Louie Heredia, Dingdong Avansado, Randy Santiago, Regine Velasquez, Geneva Cruz, Donna Cruz, Ariel Rivera, Ella Mae Saison, Monique Wilson, Tony Lambino and Jessa Zaragoza. In the last few years, Vehnee's songs like "Yun Ka," "Ikaw na Nga," "Ikaw Pa Rin," and "Kung Para Sa Iyo." were heard not only on the local radio stations, but worldwide. These songs were popularized by TFC's Wowowee TV host, Willie Revillame. His recents hits also include songs recorded by by Sarah Geronimo, Jaya, Jay-R, and many more.

Multi-awarded Producer and Songwriter

For almost 30 years, Vehnee Saturno continues to make a difference in the lives of artists. Though he is behind the scene and many do not get to see the songwriter behind these famous songs, he touches Filipinos from all walks of life whose love for music is a part of their everyday lives. As a multi-award winning producer and songwriter, he truly brings honor and pride to the Philippines.

He has quite a number of national and international songwriting awards. Among early awards include Best Composition for the song "Isang Dakot" interpreted by Sonia Singson at the 3rd Metro Manila Popular Music Festival in 1982. He also won 2nd Prize with the song "Ako'y Ako" at the 6th Metro Manila Popular Music Festival. A winner of international awards, he won twice at the ASEAN Song Festival in 1983 in Jakarta for his song "Kung Aking Lang," performed by Ivy Violan. In 1991 in Yogyakarta, he again won an international award with Samantha Chavez interpreting his song “Love Is All We Need." In 1985 in Singapore, he won 1st Runner Up with the song "Sino Pa Nga Ba?" at the First Asia Pacific Song Festival. In 2001, his composition “Where There Is Love,” won the Best Composition Award in the Voice Of Asia 2001 held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with Ladine Roxas interpreting this song.

Vehnee's popularity transcends all forms of media - radio, television and films. He has also written popular soundtracks and theme songs to numerous films, including the award-winning “Saranggola,” and “Bulaklak ng Maynila” (1999) and “The Flor Contemplacion Story“ (1995).

His awards also include winning Best Song, for his composition "From the Start," interpreted by Rachelle Ann Go, during the Shanghai Music Festival in 2004. He also garnered the "Best Arrangement for Own Country Song and Special Award" at the Astana Singers' Contest 2007. Most recently, on May 7, 2010, Vehnee won the top prize for Best Song for his composition, "Within." Lordenn Panganiban performed this song and won the Grand Prize winner in the international singing competition in Beijing, China, where she won the Golden Prize and competed with 18 countries in the 11th Asia New Singer Competition.

Who is Vehnee Saturno - Rags-to-Riches Story

Born on April 1, 1954 in Cabuyao, Laguna, Vehnee Saturno studied in Polytechnic University of the Philippine and took his undergraduate courses in BSC-Advertising. With his innate musical ability, he recognized early on his gift and started taking music courses like Fundamentals of Music and Solfeggion while in college. He also studied Basic Pop Arranging Ryan Cayabyab Music Studio. His rags-to-riches story did not come easy as Vehnee worked several years as a meter reader with an electric company before he finally decided to try songwriting as a profession.

It was in 1982 when he first entered music writing contest and won. From there he was able to find a job with Dyna Records. It was in this recording company where he learned the details of record producing and worked his way up to become its staff producer.

It was not until 1984 when he finally made a big break with his first hit song, "Be My Lady," a song popularized by Philippine King of Pop Music, Martin Nievera. It is this very song that gave Vehnee an international status as a songwriter with "Be My Lady." According to Vehnee, "this song holds the distinction as the only Filipino-written song recorded by legendary balladeer Matt Monroe."

Musically gifted, Vehnee has used this to improve his own life and many artists who wanted him to write for their albums and other projects. Aside from songwriting, he also has the knack for seeing an artist's potentials. He is now currently involve in managing a number of new talented artists. This include discovering singer-actor Ariel Rivera who popularized Vehnee's songs, “Sana Kahit Minsan” and “Simple Lang.” Most recently, on May 7 2010, a new star singer was born by the name of Lordenn Panganiban. Seeing the potential of Lordenn, Vehnee took this young and new artist. He introduced her to an international singing competition in China where she competed with 32 delegates from 19 countries. His move paid off and as a result, this decision made a name not only for both of them, but also for the Philippines.

What the Future Holds

In a short time that I came to directly know Vehnee, I find that his true mission is to give birth to beautiful music and be proud that it was written by a Pinoy. His professional ways and commitment to his crafts is so evident., ensuring that it has the same mark of excellence, as his other songs. Though we were thousand miles away, Vehnee surprised me with his dedication in collaborating with an amateur like me who do not have any music background. In no time, he closely worked with me and finished arranging two of my new songs, "Pilipinas, Paraiso Ko" and "Ang Mundo Ko'y Mundo Mo." He also collaborated with me on the song, "My World is Your World," an Englsh version of my later song.

Thirty years in the music industry seem a long time, but for Vehnee Saturno, the hit maker, he still has a long way to go in terms of sharing to the world his gifts and talents for music.. Whatever the future holds for Vehnee, I am sure it will be another 30 years of star-studded projects and more awards not only for himself, for the artists he manages, but also for our country.


25-Years Anniversary - Silver ... The Songs of Vehnee Saturno
Video Source - From Vehnee Saturno as posted on Youtube.com

Video Source - 24 Oras GMA7 News..Vehnee Saturno and Lordenn Panganiban win Top Prizes in the 11th Asia New Singer Competition.



Click photo to see bigger version.

Vehnee - The Man Behind the Hits

Vehnee Saturno and Lorden Panganiban (middle) win top Prizes during the 11 Asia Asia New Singer Competition in Beijing, China, May 2010. Vehnee won the Best Song Award and Lordenn bagged the Golden Prize Award competing against 19 countries and 32 delegates.

With Rachelle Ann Go during the Shanghai Music Festival 2004

Grand Prize Winner, Ladine Roxas, Voice of Asia, 2001

Vehnee captured Best Song Award in Voice of Asia, 2001

Vehnee's early award

Martin Nievera and Vehnee

With Martin Nievera. Vehnee's first hit, Be My Lady was performed by Martin Nievera and it was released in 1984.



PINOY BOOMER is a project of Imena Azul, Blue Dreams USA and First Magnitude International
Inspired by Barefooted Soul - www.barefootedsoul.com
(C) 2010 PinoyBoomer.com. All Rights Reserved
Follow us on: