Issue of September 2, 2018
Mt. Province

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Igorot musician signed by award-winning song writer
by Ofelia C. Empian

IGOROT ROCK STAR -- Noted music producer Vehnee Saturno announced the signing of contract by Cordilleran rock star John Sawac with Vehnee Saturno Music Corp., the recording company that produced acclaimed Filipino singers and musicians. -- Contributed photos

Listening to John Sawac’s voice will take you back from the glam rock of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It will remind you of the era of the long hair, high-hitting notes of the front man of bands such as Skid Row, Guns and Roses, Saigon Kick and Steelheart, among others.

Now, from playing in small pubs in Baguio City, Sawac is prepped to become the nation’s next rock star when he signed a contract with music magnate Vehnee Saturno under the Vehnee Saturno Music Corp. (VSMC).

“He will be the new rockstar!” said Saturno, chief executive officer of VSMC when he announced through Facebook the photographs of the contract signing. 

Saturno, a prolific songwriter, record producer and artist manager, is instrumental in the successful launching of careers of Martin Nievera, Donna Cruz, Jessa Zaragosa, Jaya, Randy Santiago, Rachelle Alejandro, Ariel Rivera and Sarah Geronimo, among countless others.

Saturno is also the creator of Rockstar 1 and 2, which made rock balladeer Paul Sapiera and Joseph Aldana well-known in their respective periods in the 90’s.

Sawac, in his Facebook post said Rockstar 1 and 2 especially Sapiera (“Parting Time,” “Ika’y Mahal Pa Rin,” “Mahal Pa Rin Kita”) have always been his rock and roll heroes.

“And it’s so fantasy-like that I was given such pressure but mighty privilege to continue a great legacy. I just barely started anything. But please let me thank you all regardless of what lies in my venture, ” Sawac said.

Aside from playing with his band Music For Change in Baguio, Sawac, who hails from Buguias, Benguet, is known for his covers of various rock songs and his original compositions posted in his Facebook fan page “ProjectJonPh.”

Sawac skillfully plays electric and acoustic guitar, sporting a long hair and could also hit all the notes to Beyonce’s “Halo,” which he used as audition piece in one talent competition.

With the help of Saturno, Sawac is busy preparing for his single debut.

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