I'm out and away on a holiday vacation in some remote place here in the Philippines.Well, that's what I'd like to think.
ZDNet's Philippine bloggers, Melvin G. Calimag and Joel D. Pinaroc, discuss key ICT developments in their country
Joel D. Pinaroc
Joel has been a media practitioner since 1996, starting off as a reporter and eventually becoming editor of a pioneering IT trade newspaper in Manila. He is currently one of the content producers of a Manila-based developmental website.
Melvin G. Calimag
Melvin G. Calimag is currently the executive editor of an IT news website in the Philippines. Melvin has been covering the local IT beat for the last 13 years. He is currently a board member at the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress), and also serves as a charter member with the Philippine Science Journalists Association.
Swamped under the tons of IT news and frenzied holiday rush was the recent formal launch of the 136 million pesos (about US$3 million) e-payment gateway for the Philippine government portal.It took four long years before the payment facility was inaugurated despite the fact that it was a flagship project of the Philippine government under the auspices of the Commission of Information and Communications Technology (CICT).
On the day a UN-sponsored summit on global warming opened in the island of Bali in Indonesia, a much smaller gathering of IT players also took place in the Philippines to address a contentious issue bugging the industry and the whole country in general--the threat of electronic waste.That conference on green IT was organized by CyberPress, or the IT Journalists Association on the Philippines, which I'm heading right now.
Something weird happened again in the Philippines last week. But I'm not referring to the hotel siege staged by renegade soldiers last Thursday in the heart of the country's financial capital--this has become quite ordinary here.
There are things that are really terrible here in the Philippines, like traffic and the way politicos take credit for projects that are funded by public money. However, I'm still convinced that the country has a lot more positive traits over the not-so-good ones.
Since learning how to use a computer, I've been fascinated by the sheer loyalty and god-like devotion that Apple founder Steve Jobs enjoys among a group of Filipino Mac users and other fanatics around the world. I find this behavior extremely puzzling and, to be quite honest, silly.
While the Philippines has, in recent years, fairly succeeded in promoting itself as an outsourcing and IT hub, it still hasn't produced a real homegrown tech superstar in the mold of India's Infosys, Wipro or Satyam.But a recent announcement by Gurango Software Corp.
One day in the summer of 2000, the Philippines unexpectedly got into the world spotlight when a young Filipino college student launched what is dubbed as the most destructive malware since the start of the Internet era--the ILOVEYOU virus.The man suspected to have authored it, Onel de Guzman, was arrested and charged with an old law penalizing unauthorized access on credit cards and bank ATMs.
The other week, I had the opportunity to travel to India upon the invitation of tech company HP. It was my first time to the world's IT outsourcing capital, and I was eager to find out how it was able to discover its niche in the world market, and how the Philippines--which is also marketing itself as an outsourcing hub--can learn from India's success story.
Since the Philippines put an end to the oppressive regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos through a "people power" revolution--probably the first televised popular uprising in the world--in 1986, Filipinos seemed to have perfected the art of mobilization through the use of mass media.The recent uproar regarding the "insulting" remark of actress Teri Hatcher in the American TV show "Desperate Housewives" is a case in point.
The decision last April by Verisign -- due to become effective this October -- to raise the fee for both .com and .
Since I started writing this blog, I've noticed that I've written mostly about negative topics about my country, the Philippines. Not that I regret discussing them, but I feel rather guilty in that readers from the region may get the impression that nothing is virtually working in this country.
The Philippines, which reached its economic peak in the 1960s but gradually went on a decline in the decades that followed, had hoped that ICT would be the vehicle that would bring back the country to its glory days when it was one of the most progressive nations in Asia.After all, ICT has made tremendous contributions to the local economy through the multi-billion BPO sector made up of call center, medical transcription, and animation industries, among others.
I had intended to write about the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) deal, an issue that has been in the front-pages of newspapers here in the Philippines for a few months now--but the word "shutdown" was all around me today that I just had to give in to the temptation.First order of the day is the announcement of CA's decision to dissolve its Philippine operations, effective Oct.
Journalists have often sneered at bloggers (I, for one, am guilty of this) for the simple fact that bloggers have increasingly expanded their power to the point it has encroached on the domain of journalists.I don't know if it's nature's way of rebuking the journalists (at least in the Philippines) but what transpired just a few days ago was an unprecedented way of bloggers demonstrating their growing influence.