An original song composed by Vehnee Saturno
Qatar has been my second home for the past 10 years. Five years as an Overseas Filipino Worker and five years inside prison. I arrived Qatar on the eve of January 2011. For almost one year, I was a producer for an advertising company in Doha then later moved as Chief Producer for Qatar Television HD Channel. On this MTV you will find behind the scenes of AL GALAYEL Falcon Hunting Reality Competition first season on 2012 organized by Katara. Since then it has become a yearly event for the locals. Other behind the scenes (BTS) includes AL SENYAR, another yearly competition of Katara for sea lovers - a fishing and pearl diving competition for locals as well. Two equally important traditions of Qatar before oil was discovered on their lands. It is their culture and I am lucky to pioneer these two events documented for Qatar Television (QTV) for the first time.
"Our Life is beautiful" as my children used to say. Because of Qatar, I was able to send them to college. When I got jailed, they were already graduates ready to start their own careers. Qatar has become our second home because of the free accommodation, airfare benefits and other perks given to my family by QTV. Then things got complicated. I lost my job and wasn't able to pay my bank loan monthly installments. The Advertising company that I used to work re-hired me. But this did not change the bank's decision for me to pay in full. Strictly no re-structure. How could it be? How could a man who lost his job can pay in full his bank loan? Until now, I don't have the answer that instead of allowing me to work, they filed a case and locked me up in jail. I was in solitude and jobless for almost five years. Well, that is all water under the bridge now. I served my sentence while enjoying my time to write screenplays.
That's Qatar law. It's either you pay your loan or accept the jail sentence. But it doesn't end there. After serving the criminal case in prison, the creditor can still file a civil case against the debtor. In civil proceedings, debtor can choose to pay in installment or be locked up again in jail. After serving both, then the travel ban of debtor will be lifted. That's the only time the debtor can go back to his or her home country. My suggestions to Filipino Expats, before getting a loan, think about it a hundred times.
One of my movies I wrote inside jail is all about this, titled QOSA. You can go to spec script page of this website and choose the film title for the synopsis. But I would like to make it clear, I am not bitter and upset about it, nor hate Qatar for what happened to me. We make our own choices and must be accountable to it. I still love Qatar and considers the best years of my family life. The music video will prove this to be true.
If you feel the same way, make your own music video of your Qatar escapades as our way of saying thank you to Qatar. Use the same music but please credit the composer and the performer as written on the opening video. I LOVE QATAR, composed by Vehnee Saturno, interpreted by Beverly Caiman and lyrics by Tito Camayanada. Lets flood the social media with this music and your visuals until the 18th of December, the day to celebrate Qatar National Day.