The Internet's 10 Most Influential Filipinos
Fernando Contreras or J.R. as he
is fondly called, is an avid fan of long-distance running. "I used to run marathons. The hardest race I did
was a 42-Km race... I barely survived." Unofficially retired from the sport, he has traded-in his running
shoes for a pair of less comfortable leather moccasins, and his jersey for a business suit. Though feeling
stiffer now than during his marat5hon days, he professes that the race he is running right now is much
harder, faster and farther. "My sport right now is I.T., and my specialty is the Internet," he said.
Why he's influential.
Compared to his running, Contreras' achievements in the
industry have been far from a survival story. Among these are being a founding member and active officer
of the Philippine Internet Service Organization (PISO) where he was voted into the board of trustees and as
secretary in 1996 and 1998. He was elected as chairman of the local organizing committee for last year's
Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT) where he currently
serves as a member of the advisory committee. He was also one of the two first Philippine members of the
Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC). Currently, he is the general manager and co-founder
(together with Miguel Paraz) of IPhil Communications Network, Inc., which claims as the only corporate-
specific Internet Service Provider in the country today, Asked on how he viewed the Internet race in the
country, Contreras said it is still in a very young age. "Development in local content and infrastructure is
very important, and the realization on its power and potential is now being seen by most people."
Vision for the Net.
On his view on the Internet's future, he has his sights set on the
digital/wired boom everyone is expecting as we enter the next millenium. "During the last industrial
revolution we were obviously left behind. I think now is the time that we catch up with the rest of the
world and be in the forefront of this digital revolution."
This article by Janette Toral, Franchette Soriano,
Emir Samonte, Anthony Rola and Carlos Gonzales was published in The Web Philippines
January/February 1999 issue. WIRED! Philippines thanks TWP editor-in-chief
Heinz Bulos for giving us permission to republish the article.
Articles in WIRED! Philippines are copyrighted by the authors.
WIRED! Philippines is a monthly online magazine published and hosted by
MSC Computer Training Center
Copyright 1999 MSC Communications Technologies, Inc.
All rights reserved.