Inner Circle

Inner Circle

Here are some of the articles we’ve written for the past few weeks.

Spreading kindness online
December 16, 2009

AFTER the Digital Filipino E-Commerce Summit last November, the last thing on my mind was the need to organize a Christmas party. However, to my surprise, members of the club and blogging network were asking for it. That was the time I realized, as I was told, that many of them don’t have a community to celebrate the holiday season with. That’s how it happened, DigitalFilipino had its party last Monday and that for Blog4Reviews is scheduled tonight.

Follow up blog post at: Kindness in the Air

Buying, selling online for the holidays
December 17, 2008

DESPITE the global crisis, a lot of us are trying to celebrate Christmas in the best way we can. For online entrepreneurs, this means selling products and services that are not only valuable in terms of its meaning, but also affordable.

Dennis Mendiola: Imagination Knows No Limit
September 4, 2008

Dennis Mendiola stepped down as CEO recently, passing the leadership to co-founder Chito Bustamante, and took on the new role of Chief Imagination Officer (CIO). Personally, I find the position intriguing. Focused on realizing shareholder value for Chikka’s numerous investors, Dennis is currently exploring strategic options for a merger with companies that complement its strengths.

Blogging is serious business
August 14, 2008

THE Second Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs (2008) writing project came to a close last Monday. This is a 14-week writing project, participated in by almost 200 bloggers from the Philippines and from other countries.
I also made a Blog Marketing presentation that included this topic and is now available for download.

Creating an online social network
June 26, 2008

ANY community, group, school or organization can create an online social network for free.

(additional info)

Working on continuity
June 5, 2008

ONCE you put up a community, effort is invested to make it grow and sustainable. But another concern that comes along is continuity.

Engage your audience
May 29, 2008

“ENGAGE” was the word most often uttered by all speakers in the recent Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2008. Traditional marketing and advertising no longer work in the age of social networks as active Internet users tend to be blind to all the typical ads they see every day.

E-Champions and Distance Education
February 14, 2008

Last Tuesday night, I got an award, my first local one, recognizing my contribution to the industry in the legal and policy field. This is the E-Champion Awards 2008 given by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Club 4th Anniversary and Member Testimonials
December 10, 2007

The Club is celebrating its 4th anniversary this December 25. Sincerest thanks to those who joined our community. Here”s a testimonial from twelve (12) club members.

Using Google Apps
October 11, 2007

ONE of the best free applications I’ve discovered online lately is Google Apps. This facility gives users the capability to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk using your own custom domain.

Targeting the global Filipino
July 26, 2007

TWO initiatives were launched yesterday and both were geared toward global Filipinos online. The first one is This is a web portal designed around buildings typically found in a village. The 13 buildings include associations, bank, church, city hall, hospital, library, market, real estate, restaurant, school, social hall, theatre and travel. These buildings, each with their own unique functions, will provide online venues where Filipinos can effectively exchange ideas and causes as well as make use of each other’s trade and professions.

Fighting fraud and identity theft
May 31, 2007

I got the chance to talk to Paul Hubbard of YES I.T. Corporation lately and took the opportunity to inquire on its nearly four-year-old case against Marichu Villegas, Dante Castro and Zandro Del Pilar. The three parties were arrested last October 2003 and accused of committing fraud using the website. They are out on bail and the case is still ongoing.

Blog writing contest
May 17, 2007

I got inspired and started a small writing contest that intends to find out who are the Emerging Influential Blogs in 2007. These are blogs that were created anytime from August 1, 2006 to the present and had attracted a growing number of readers.

ADOC Awards 2007
April 19, 2007

I am happy to share that the Web Awards is now being done in collaboration with the Apec Digital Opportunity Center or ADOC program. It aims to advocate the use of the Internet and e-commerce for business development, through the identification, promotion and highlighting of best e-commerce practices from various websites in the Philippines.

Becoming an online job center
March 1, 2007

I GOT the chance to hear from Wesley Chiongbian recently. He shared his new Cebu job website venture. It can be found online at It is amazing to see that this simple site has more than 500 jobs listed. Its increasing popularity is heavily driven by word-of-mouth marketing.

Generating income for bloggers
January 11, 2007

In the course of blogging, I’ve discovered more revenue earning schemes. However, I’ve learned about not-so- good experiences with some of them. Some do not provide a steady stream of work while others don’t simply get back to you even if you met the basic requirements. I pity those who became victims of some scams where they supposedly registered to get part-time encoding projects and earn on the side.

Christmas Shopping Online
December 14, 2006

LIKE many Filipinos, preparing a gift list is one important activity for this holiday season. Pressure is high, especially for those who participate in family reunions. As I was preparing to hit the mall for Christmas shopping with my sister, the idea of checking out available items from three websites came to mind. And so we found the products that we wanted. No need to go to the mall anymore!

Immap says hello to the world
November 30, 2006

THE Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (Immap) was launched last night with Donald Lim of leading the group. The organization was founded by 15 individuals who are involved in Internet and/or mobile marketing. The vision of Immap is to become the premier marketing association for Internet and mobile organizations. The group also plans to seek formal recognition from the Advertising Board of the Philippines.

Getting serious about e-commerce
November 23, 2006

Some highlights of the Nov. 20-23 business forum dubbed as, “Women in Web, Wireless and Outsourcing” that took place in Cagayan De Oro City, Davao City, Cebu City, and Pasig City.

Women in eCommerce
November 9, 2006

I AM ORGANIZING on Nov. 20-23 a small business forum dubbed as, “Women in Web, Wireless and Outsourcing” ( If I’m not mistaken, this is the first event of its kind that highlights the growing number of women embracing e-commerce in the Philippines as an entrepreneurial and empowerment tool.

Guidelines for Internet users
October 5, 2006

THE National Telecommunications Commission and the Department of Trade and Industry are currently drafting two important guidelines that will have an impact on Internet users today.

Growing interest of SMEs in e-commerce
September 28, 2006

A brief wrap-up of information gathered in the recent talks delivered during One Internet Day in Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

One Internet Day
September 14, 2006

Next week, we will be reaching out to around 300 people in Manila, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro and Davao City to provide updates on the development of e-commerce in the Philippines.

The best is yet to come
May 25, 2006

New medical transcription firm. The other day, I got a call from Victor Perez, chief executive officer (CEO) of We talked about the full launch of his medical transcription business.

Growing community networks
February 9, 2006

Two community network just got launched this week. They are XMG”s ICT Executive Forum and PhilNITS Society. Both show great promise as the quality of emerging IT communities today have become specialized, competitive, and well-targeted.

ICT for OFWs
January 26, 2006

Last year, I got the chance to learn about Microsoft Philippines� Tulay. Microsoft developed the program to provide overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) access to both technology and technical training to help find better career opportunities and give them a way to communicate with their families back in the Philippines.

Affordable payment solutions
January 19, 2006

Shopping. Last month, I got the chance to catch up with Cannie May, founder of or Your One-Stop Shopping Network. This site started as an Internet portal where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can post their products for free.

Network neighborhood watch
December 29, 2005

Very rarely do I get the chance to read books that can entice me strongly enough to take action. The most recent one I read is Internet Forensics: Using Digital Evidence to Solve Computer Crime by Robert Jones (ISBN 0-596-10006-X, O�Reilly Media).

Budget-conscious Filipinos
November 24, 2005

LAST Monday, Vu The Du (VTD) of GFK Marketing Services, shared some insights on the Philippine Consumer Technology Market. GFK tracks purchase of consumer technology products in most countries around the world from microwave ovens to cellular phone in order to advise manufacturers which products are moving fast in the market.

Best of Software Developers: Web Philippines Inc.
October 24, 2005

Web Philippines Inc. (WPI) was founded by Roger Chua in 1996. Its annual revenue is about 3.5 million. It has developed software applications such as image bank, procurement, ecommerce store set up, content management system, document management system, classifieds/resume management, restricted access system, events calendar, and poll survey maker.

High Tech Start Up in Cebu City
July 13, 2005

Lawrence patterned CipherTrust (CT), based in the US, after the template for a Silicon Valley style company found in the book “High Tech Start-Up, now in second edition. CT grew 3200% in the first 4 years (based on market capitalization – 0.15 to 4.87 per share).

Reporting a lost mobile phone
December 2, 2004

RUNNING TO NTC. My sister lost her mobile phone and personal digital assistant last week, an O2 XDA II (IMEI-351938003336696) in one of the restaurants in Pasig City. As a first recourse, she went to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to file a request to block the use of the stolen unit.

Business process outsourcing association
November 11, 2004

DYNAMIC MOVES. This week is very interesting, with several IT initiatives launched by various organizations. Topping the list is the formal launch of the Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) last Monday.

Government�s responsiveness
October 28, 2004

A few weeks back, I got an email from Bigfoot�s Michael Gleissner who decided to establish his company�s presence in the Philippines at the time when the 9/11 tragedy happened. It is all about the poor handling of the Air Transportation Office (ATO) of his recent trip to the Philippines. His jet was denied entry into Philippine space. He wrote a complaint to the highest office in the land. The Department of Trade and Industry Cebu and Region 7, upon knowing of the incident, immediately took action seeking clarification of the matter. Upon receipt of ATO�s reply, I almost fell from my chair after getting a sense on the lack of customer and investor relationship service upon reading it.

First IT Journo Asia rocks
October 21, 2004

I got the chance to participate in the 1st IT Journo Asia regional forum in Bintan Island, Indonesia organized by Media Connect Asia last Oct. 14 to 17. The company�s website serves as a portal for vendors, public relations professionals, and journalists from all over Asia to communicate. It is a source for leads for IT journalists as well. Vendors shared numerous insights about various technology developments to come. Here are some notable ones.

Virtual entrepreneurship gaming launched
September 09, 2004

The Philippine Electronic and Telecommunication Federation Foundation, in association with the Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines, and the Institute of Electronics and Communications Engineers of the Philippines will start an interscholastic gaming competition, �Virtual Business League,?on Oct. 5, with the finals in February 2005. In the game, players?also called business warriors�will conceptualize, build, set up or acquire their own technologies and companies.

New kid in town
April 22, 2004

SETTING UP. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than meeting potential investors online and finally seeing them set up their operations. Two years ago, I got an interesting e-mail from Lawrence Hughes whose wife is from Cebu and will retire here. Lawrence has been working in the IT sector for more than 30 years. He is the co-founder of CipherTrust, a leading company in e-mail security, including corporate anti-spam. One of his objectives in retiring in Cebu is to start another potential successful company, InfoWeapons.

Philippines ranked sixth
April 15, 2004

OFF-SHORE SITE. Jherlie Cheng of was in Malaysia to cover the Customer Contact World 2004 regional event. She found out that the Philippines ranked sixth in ATKearney�s Offshore Local Attraction Index report.

Dealing with payment fraud
March 04, 2004

E-COMMERCE. One of the primary hindrances in pushing for e-commerce in the country is the lack of jurisprudence and procedures on how to handle online credit card payment fraud. For Paul Hubbard, country manager of Yes Group in the Philippines, this is one challenge they decided to confront on a high-profile level when their website became the target of a credit card fraud syndicate.

Scoring in the US market
February 26, 2004

BUZZ. When outsourcing became the buzz in 2000, a few foreign and Filipino companies based in the US approached Philippine service providers offering marketing services and help in getting clients for them. One such firm is Global Reach & Associates, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in helping overseas technology companies sell more effectively into the US market headed by CEO Gary Cooper.

February 19, 2004

NEW GUY. For anyone new in the business today, becoming the company to be recommended is not easy if you don�t have a track record. This is especially true for those who are into information technology (IT) services like Web development and programming, among others. However, one way to survive is to foster the co-opetition culture and business model. This is according to Cris Gamboa, general manager of IT Group.

Outsourcing marketing
February 5, 2004

How do you regard marketing? How important is it to your organization? For most companies in the Philippines, especially the small and medium enterprises, marketing is often overlooked and underestimated. That is why there are now consultants offering outsourced marketing services like Michael Abasolo of Assault Management and Consultancy Services.

New environment for software developers
January 29, 2004

WOMEN IN IT. There�s so much talk as to how few software development professionals today are women. Perhaps that is true. But on the other hand, the women I encounter in this field are either project managers, quality analysts, and some are even software testing experts. Vanessa Umali is one of them.

Preparing for a comeback
January 22, 2004

BOEING EXEC. The nice thing about the Internet is that you get the chance to meet great people online and get to know them more despite the lack of physical contact. A few months ago, I met Encarnacion �Cannie?May, born in Sorsogon and a University of the East graduate, who is currently working as an IT project manager for Boeing in the US. More than anything, she makes sure that the computing processes (SEI-CMM) are in place and streamlined in the organization. She also founded YOSSN Corporation (Your One Stop Shopping Network) that enables almost anyone to buy and sell just about any product or service.

Lovecats get business
January 15, 2004

MORE FOR LESS. For a lot of entrepreneurs today, the 2004 outlook is very conservative. As times are tough, customers are becoming cost sensitive and want more for less. This is the insight I got from Jan Alvin Pabellon, managing director of Ecommsite Solutions.

From service to product
January 8, 2004

As the market becomes more competitive, a major challenge among entrepreneurs is the survival and continuity of the business. Last Monday, I got the chance to meet with Erick Kalugdan of GiveMe Unlimited.

BPO is flaming hot
December 4, 2003

INDIA, RP. I just attended the Business Process Out-sourcing (BPO) Asia Conference in Singapore where I learned that the Philippines is recognized as an important player in this area, side by side with India.

A Girl Named Toby Monsod
August 23, 2003

IN September 1997, I made a call in the ph-isp list throwing the idea of coming up with an organization whose mandate is to push for the passage of the E-Commerce Bill. That lead to the creation of the Philippine Internet Commerce Society.

Building the Philippines” E-value roadmap
August 7, 2003

The Philippines has gone a long way in the past decade in emerging as an IT-enabled services and business process outsourcing (BPO) hotbed in Asia. The unwavering government and private sector support has reaped fruits for the country. International organizations like Gartner Research and ACA Research have vouched for the country�s success.

ICT, industrial automation converge
July 31, 2003

Last July 23, I got the chance to join Siemens in its nationwide Totally Integrated Industrial Automation Tour and visited Monde Nissin, makers of Lucky Me Instant Noodles and other popular food snack products.

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