Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Reason I Can Have This Blog

Although this is an assignment for Sci 10, I also want this to be a tribute to Dr. William Torres; if it weren't for him, I would be blogging here today. And I also probably wouldn't be in computer science.

Walking down a Philippine street the days, one is almost always bound to see a computer shop of some form –dubbed as “internet cafes”- filled to the brim with uniformed students, gamers and social network addicts. Our country is increasingly becoming an Internet stronghold, what with numerous WiFi hotspots sprouting all over, catering to citizens armed with devices that enable them to access the Internet anytime. Such is the kind of society we live in now which can only be attributed to Dr. William Torres, known as the “Father of Philippine Internet,” who oversaw the inception of the Internet in the Philippines in 1994. However, his negotiations with the US National Science Foundation for it began as early as 1992. Definitely a man of firsts, Dr. Torres is the first Filipino to get a doctorate in computer science, as well as the founder of Mozcom, the first Internet service provider in the country. He also held important government posts which enabled him to further information technology in the country, acting as managing director of the National Computer Center (NCC) from the late 80’s to May 1993 and heading the Information Technology Coordinating Council (ITCC) under the Cory Aquino presidency in 1987. Furthermore, it was him who drafted the first National IT Plan (NITP), whose succeeding incarnations would serve as the blueprints for making the Philippines the information hub of Asia. Most certainly, Dr.Torres paved the way for bringing cyberspace to the country, providing a place where Filipino netizens can thrive.

The Internet has definitely blossomed in the sixteens years since it first came here. Dr. Torres’ contribution opened up avenues by which science and technology could help improve other aspects of Philippine society such as economics, education and politics. The Internet provides an alternative market where products and transactions can be easily carried out between local sellers and customers from here and abroad. Education also greatly benefits as rich and dynamic content can now be easily accessed by students nationwide. The Internet has also enabled the country’s first automated elections to happen, which accounted for faster results from the polls. Being that it is still young, there is still a lot of potential for enacting change in the country by making use of bits and bytes traveling through wires, cables and laptops. The breadth of information, as well as the ease and speed at which it can be accessed are the main advantages that the Internet offers. As long as we are open to innovation and efficiently handling all the information at our fingertips, then the relationship between our country and the Internet should be just fine.

Sources:

Gonzales, Carlos, et. al. "The Internet's 10 Most Influential Filipinos: William Torres." WIRED! Philippines. 1999. 19 Nov. 2010. .

Pabico, Alecks. "William Torres." i Report. 2006. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. 19 Nov. 2010. >.

Torral, Janette. "Dr. William Torres - Father of the Philippine Internet." [Weblog entry.] Philippine Internet Review. 5 Jan. 2007. (http://philippineinternetreview.blogspot.com/2007/01/dr-william-torres-and-philippine.html). 19 Nov. 2010.

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