Caught on the Net All about Internet in the Philippines



The Filipino and The Internet Revolution

By John Gavilan <>

We Filipinos are creative and resourceful by nature. When embarking on a project, we evaluate what we have to work with, and make full use of what is available to create something beautiful, and useful.

Most of the times, resources are not easy to come by, so we tend to squeeze every ounce out of whatever we have. A perfect example of this type of creativity and resourcefulnes is the jeepney. How can you take a rugged army vehicle, and turn it into a source of income and a means of public transportation? Not only does the Filipino make the jeepney useful and profitable, he puts together sophisticated sound systems and sometimes even TVs into the jeeps to make the trip more pleasurable. This is a concept only recently being introduced to minivans in the US.

With the new century just around the corner, a new economic and communications medium is emerging and reshaping the world. This is unlike any other phenomenon which previously affected the world. This phenomenon, the Internet, is one where creativity, knowledge and resourcefulness are the keys to success.

The internet is said to be the "Third Wave" - next to the Industrial Revolution. The global economy will revolve around this new communication medium. Those who understand how the internet works and know how to take advantage of it have a great advantage over everyone else.

I believe we Filipinos have tremendous potential in this new medium. With all the new technologies coming up, and all the other undiscovered potential technologies that are related to the internet, we have a natural advantage to adapt and create wonderful useful things from very few resources.

We also have enourmous persistence and patience, when dealing with very tedious tasks - a trait that not a lot of other nationalities possess. This is why Filipinos are valued in the workplace here in the US.

We also possess a geographic advantage over our Southeast Asian neighbors. Right now, the fastest pipes leading through Asia is through Japan (multiple OC3), which then gets routed to Singapore somehow, which then gets routed to the other Southeast Asian Countries. If we had a fast pipe to the US (an OC3 Maybe), we could conveniently be the hub(connecting point) of choice for all of Southeast Asia. There are currently also not enough Internet Developers in the US and I'm assuming that the case is the same everywhere. We as a people can fill this gap if we had the resources. We have the manpower and the will, but we don't have enough resources for training.

This shortage should serve as a challenge to Filipino entrepreneurs everywhere: "How do we train the Filipino to use his natural creativity and apply it to the internet to make profits?"

Dealing with internet technologies require patience, persistence, creativity, knowledge, and money. We posses the first three by nature, the fourth we can learn, but the fifth we are lacking. Here is where we can shine, and make up for the fifth requirement.

With the upcoming popularity of the open source movement, those with patience, persistence and creativity can create comparable, if not superior products using a fraction of the expenses.

The internet is still young, and the playing field is now leveling. We have an advantage over our neighbors to become a Southeast Asian power, and there is no better time than now to take advantage of this.


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