It took a while before it became quite widespread, but public Wi-Fi access is probably the coolest thing that has been invented by the IT world since the USB thumbdrive.For a not-so-developed market like the Philippines, it's surprising to know that free Wi-Fi is beginning to proliferate in key parts of the metropolis like coffee shops, hotels, malls and airports.
ZDNet's Philippine bloggers, Melvin G. Calimag and Joel D. Pinaroc, discuss key ICT developments in their country
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.
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.
Let me acknowledge first that my topic for this post has nothing to do with technology. It will be all about a local rock band whose musical genius continues to cast its spell on mesmerized fans like myself.
Unlike in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, where cashless transactions are already the norm, credit card purchases in the Philippines are still the exception rather than the rule.This is one of the reasons why online commerce hasn't really taken off here.
Last week, I met a guy who was operating an online car blog. What he told me during that meeting made me reflect how online forums, or Web 2.
The title above aptly describes the antiquated manual elections in the Philippines that were replaced--thankfully--by an automated system this week.The old model I'm talking about is the scientific approach which the Philippines, and perhaps other countries as well, is employing to solve the problems it is currently facing.
There were two issues that cropped up recently here in the Philippines--both involving the technology sector, and top government leaders whose seeming stupidity is giving the country further embarrassment.The first instance happened right in front of Congress and in millions of television sets, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivered her annual SONA (state of the nation address).
Despite being given the assignment to cover it, I was initially hesitant to go to the membership meeting last week of the IT Association of the Philippines (ITAP), a group that represents technology vendors in the country.It was just one of those regular meetings attended by group members, but I decided to attend anyway.
It's weird, but the last two weeks have been absolutely crazy for fans of a former band in the Philippines. Someone, it seems, has been sent by a mysterious organization to relay the information that the band is about to resurrect from the grave.
As we've written before in this section, journalists are quite fortunate to be given the chance to cover events outside of their home country. Two of the most common places we go to, like in my case, are Singapore and Hong Kong.
It's difficult to imagine now, but the Philippines was for a time the toast of Asia. Just visit YouTube and type the words "Manila, Queen of the Pacific" and "Old Manila", so you can view videos that can give an idea on what I'm talking about.