Sunday, October 31, 2010

Report| Software Freedom Day 2010,Baguio City Philippines

"I experienced and learned a lot from SFD 2010 in Baguio. It was a great opportunity to meet people who are fighting for the same cause. We're lucky to be with 8layer, one of the world's best SFD organizers. I'm looking forward to more endeavors with the new friends I met. We'll surely do much more for FOSS." - Allan Caeg, UBUNTU Philippines


Planning and Preparation over Food and Drinks!

The 8liens (what we call the members of 8Layer Technologies Inc.) registered as early as July 20th to commit ourselves to the annual event that celebrates the freedom from proprietary software through free open-source software, usually held every 3rd Saturday of the month of September.
This time, 8Layer decided to formally organize the group SFD.PH ( to focus on the celebration and organization of software freedom day as among the groups in the Philippines. SFD.PH2010 team comprised of 8layer, POSNet, iSchools of CiCT, and the University of Baguio to live up the collaborative spirit of Open Source.
Preparing for the event means looking for a venue, getting sponsors, inviting guests, and marketing the event. Early August, the team discussed about the preparations and how we can make the event much better than last year.

Deng: Nel, create a Google group for this so that we'll be able to collaborate about SFD anywhere.

Nel: Making group... inviting members... done!

Deng: Hmm... Let's get the domain as soon as we can!

(Iyen runs to the phone and makes call to get the domain)

Deng: Let's Get Generous Sponsors!

Nel: We'll get a list and force them to provide giveaways (grins devilishly)

We were also able to make a Facebook page and a Twitter account for SFD within minutes, the website layout and marketing collaterals were pronounced, the tentative programme was listed and the venue was decided, this year, it's going to be at Baguio City (about 300+ kilometers away from our office in Manila).


A few days just before the event, a final meeting at Pasig City with a conference call to Baguio was set to further polish the preparations and at a nearby restaurant.

Macoy: I thought this is an SFD meeting? What's the beer for?

Henyo: We'll need something to quench our thirst, we'll have a long talk big daddy :D (winks at Macoy)

A few days after we made calls for sponsorship, boxes of CDs of Ubuntu arrived and so did jackets, shirts, pens, and even Speedo watches!

With too little time, we were able to have everything ready for the coming event. Prizes, giveaways, posters, button pins, SFD shirts, and our presentations. Software Freedom Day 2010 at Baguio City, here we come!

D' Day

FOSS Education and iSchools

The SFD.PH Team and Speakers arrived at Baguio City a day before the event.

Our call time was supposed to be 6:00am. It wasn't cold feet that prevented us from getting up early, but cold water despite the availability of the heater. At day time, Baguio City streets are crowded and traffic was really terrible so it took us more than an hour to get to the venue. Excitement was all over the place, smiles and cheers from both familiar and unfamiliar faces .... The speakers had their own room for them to prepare their stuff, be acquainted with one another, sharing jokes and other experiences. Most of these guys are really busy, have tight schedules but made a great deal of effort, with their own resources to come up to Baguio commitment to share the beauty of F/OSS.

Every year, we make it a point that we celebrate this sharing-filled activity with the strategy of adopting a new community, which aims to spread the F/OSS objectives for a stronger institutional and academic support for the use and benefits of freeware to spark and instill the value of F/OSS and for the new community to adapt it. Our event theme on "Change NOW For FREE" is in line with our New Administration in the Philippines and their Call for Change and Hope.

After the Invocation and the Philippine National Anthem, the crowd were surprised to hear a loud audio music playing the chorus part of "We are the Champions" by Queen. It was the cue to congratulate 8layertech on their win for Best SFD2009 Event Competition.

Ms. Deng Silorio of 8layer welcomed the attendees and participants in behalf of the organizers and summed up the participation and support of all the event partners for the celebration. She also briefly expressed the rationale behind Software Freedom Day and urge everyone to use and benefit from F/OSS while also spreading the word like a "virus", a good one at that.

A lot can be said on the D' Day of the Celebration and one day to Celebrate Software Freedom is truly not enough. Thus,we had to crunch the bunch of knowledge and speakers for the whole day.

University of Baguio School of Information Technology Dean Ellen Halover welcomed SFDPH Team and the Participants to Baguio. Since UB was the host school she also discussed the relevance of FOSS in Education and the University of Baguio F/OSS Initiatives. They do have an Open Source Laboratory and have Open Source Electives/Courses in their IT Curriculum. Mr. Dean Eduardson Tacuba of Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College, a representative of iSchools presented the CICT-Human Capital Development Group (HCDG) iSchools, an ongoing project equipping the country's high schools with technology literacy and abreast with the latest equipment.

Mr. Macoy Mejia of MDS (McDonald's Delivery Service) Call Solutions, Inc shared to everyone the success story and implementation of F/OSS Technologies throughout the IT System and operation of their company serving the 24/7 Hotline Delivery of McDonalds. His talk was a concrete manifestation that F/OSS played a big role in their company's IT Efficiency and Productivity, Cost Savings, Learning and most of all the Teamwork and Camaraderie that F/OSS brought and motivated their IT Team.

Filipinos are known all over the world to be musically gifted and so in between the speakers, the University of Baguio Voices Chorale graced the occasion with their magnificent and powerful voices. An original composition/arrangement of a song entitled "Bowan Bowan" (Moon, Moon) and their own rendition of a Filipino Pop Song "Pinoy Ako" (I am Pinoy) impressed the crowd. The very talented Chorale also opened the program for the Invocation and Philippine National Anthem.

This video plays at the background before the event and during breaks.

The second half of the day continued with the plenary on Mr. Rystraum Fabe Gamonez expounding on the F/OSS Philosophy for a better understanding especially for those who hears F/OSS for the first time. Simultaneously, five rooms were filled for the business track, tech talks as well as the install fest, programming, gimpscape and blog writing competitions on that rainy but lively afternoon. The speakers and their topics were as follows:

Nel Patricio, Freemind; Erwin Galang,OpenERP; Mr. Glammoco C. Camora; OpenOffice, Meric Mara, Embedded Asterisk; Agi Rivera, GIT-Fast Version Control, LAMP; Allan Caeg, Gnome 3.0; Rey Portugal, PHP Framework; Allan De Guzman, Content Management System using WordPress, Lariz Santos, GIMP 101, Leandre Dacanay & Lawrz Libo-on, Moodle-Open-Source Community-Based tools for Learning, Iyen Magallanes, GNUCash, Renan Mara, Open Source NAS/SAN.

Ms. Tracy Villanueva, the big winner that day, bagged two competitions, the Blog of the Day and Gimscape Competition while Mr. Sony Valdez won the PHP Programming Contest. Overall, apart from the learning and fun at SFD2010, prizes were given randomly during the event by hosts and speakers.

Finally, SFD2010 participants placed their mark on the freedom wall and all of them got CD installers from KahelOS and UBUNTU, freebies from event partners and major sponsors; ACER, IBM Phils., Intel Phils., MSI-ECS, PLDT, and Imperium Technologies, Inc.


SFD Highlights

SFDPH2010 was very fortunate to have Dr. Emmanuel Lallana, President of IdeaCorp, a former CICT Commissioner and Champion of various IT Developmental programs, as the keynote speaker for this year's Celebration. Even though he had a difficulty to talk at that time due to a terrible sore throat he did not fail us and all those who wish to learn from him. He did emphasize on the wise alternative of freeware to maximize choice and communication.
"Our goal should be to achieve democracy through ICT— to actively participate in public life to determine our future..," Lallana said, pointing to the Web 2.0 platform of today's free social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which he said has changed the way people communicate and share information. That eGov 2.0 through Web 2.0 like F/OSS is all about the community.

Though Congressman Teddy Casino did not physically make it to the event, he was able to send a video recording of his message that was played as he shared updates on the F/OSS Bill.

Frederic Muller, President of the SFI and Pockey Lam,SFI Secretary, while they were also celebrating SFD, sent a video of congratulations and greetings to the organizers and attendees of the SFDPH2010.

A blog competition was also introduced at SFDPH2010, the winning entry came from

Just before the whole day event culminated, the hosts called in students to represent their schools for a challenge. Each school pushed their best student for the still unknown contest and everyone was ready to put their best feet forward. The winner of the challenge was from UB. If you're curious of what the challenge was all about, watch the video.

After the day event, the SFD Celebration went on for the SFDPH2010 host, organizers, sponsors and speakers at the Jamming Night with more food, drinks and music and enjoy the festive cool night at Baguio City.

Side Trip

Some photos taken while driving around Baguio, Philippines'
Summer Capital, after Software Freedom Day.

This time our report did not just cover on the highlights and on the event proper celebration. It is for the simple reason that we do not only wish to spread and advocate Free Software but rather wish to help out some groups on how to start their own Software Freedom Day Celebration. Bottomline, the key to a good and successful celebration is just having fun while committing oneself to sharing the benefits of your F/OSS experiences.

Reaching out also meant for 8layer to share by sending out CD's of KahelOS and UBUNTU, and some cash to Mindanao Open Source Society who celebrated their Software Freedom Day days after our event.

"I experienced and learned a lot from SFD 2010 in Baguio. It was a great opportunity to meet people who are fighting for the same cause. We're lucky to be with 8layer, one of the world's best SFD organizers. I'm looking forward to more endeavors with the new friends I met. We'll surely do much more for FOSS." - Allan Caeg, UBUNTU Philippines

More photos below or visit our SFDPH2010 Picasa Album

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