OFW joins music contest in bid to search for dad

By Florante M. Catanus, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Aug 01 2013 04:03 PM | Updated as of Aug 02 2013 12:03 AM

AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – Overseas Filipino worker Jonrey Salvia is aiming to hit two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Salvia submitted his music entry "We Can Make It Real" to the Songs for Peace Songwriting Contest in Florida, USA. His song, which is among the 133 entries worldwide, now ranks number 5.

"I'm happy that my entry was selected at nag-rank # 5 na po ‘yong song ko although it was # 4 last 2 weeks”, Salvia said.

But the native of Ozamiz City has a deeper reason for joining the contest. For him, it's not just about taking home the cash prize and the prestige that comes with it. It's also about gaining mileage in the hope of reaching out to his long-lost father.

Although exact details of why and how they got separated in past were not divulge, it was learned that Salvia has been looking for his father John for more than 10 years now.

"I decided to upload one of my original compositions when I saw the contest online at baka makita rin ito ng father ko na matagal ko nang hinahanap," Salvia said.

Salvia has been working as coordinator in one of the biggest air conditioning companies in Damman for five years now.

He hopes that through the contest, he will be able to find the opportunity to be reunited with his father.

The contest, considered as the world's largest peaceful song initiative, was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Vero Beach in Florida. It aims to inspire composers to create a new peace song that all people can sing so conflicts can be avoided and greater harmony can be achieved.

The organizing committee will select the top 20 songs with most votes on December 31, 2013. The top 20 songs with most votes will be brought before a panel of professional judges to make the final selection of winners.

The first place will receive $3,000, while the second place gets $1,000 and $500 each for two honorable mentions.

The copyright of the song will remain with the composer and all the legal rights of the ownership.

"Pag nanalo po ‘yong entry ko, 100% po ay ido-donate ko sa charity ‘yong prize na mapananalunan ko kaya please vote for my song and that would be a great help," Salvia added.

He is appealing to kababayans to like his song entry # 99 in the website www.songsforpeace.net.

Win or lose, his song “We Can Make It Real” will become the carrier single of the album he plans to launch in December in Al-Khobar, entitled "Likhang OPM, Made in Saudi".

All songs in the album will be Salvia’s original compositions.