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Technology

Ateneo, PSHS-Western Visayas studes top Web design tilt

- Ruby Cristobal -
Peter Martin Gomez of Ateneo de Manila University and Kristoffer Panes of the Philippine Science High School—Western Visayas campus copped the first prizes in the college and high school categories, respectively, of the Second Young Web Designers’ Awards.

Gomez, a freshman, and Panes, a senior, each received a P100,000 cash prize from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), a plaque, a Sendo cellular phone from Infocom, one-year Web hosting by iskul.org and a five-day package tour to a local tourist destination from the Department of Tourism.

The other grand winners were the following:

• College category
– Maria Carmela Sogono of De La Salle University in Manila, second prize; and Arman Jay Pagilagan of Asia Pacific College in Makati City, third prize;

• High school category
– Om Narayan Velasco of the Risen Lord Academy in Baguio City, second prize; and Ian Jose of St. Benedict College in Las Piñas City, third prize.

Second-placers Sogono and Velasco each got P 50,000, while third-placers Pagilagan and Jose each received P25,000. All four also received plaques, Sendo cellular phones and one-year Web hosting.

The first, second and third runners-up (ranks 4-6) for both categories were also given a cellular phone each. All the remaining national finalists (ranks 4-10) each received P5,000 and certificates as consolation prizes.

The cash prizes, plaques and certificates were provided by the DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), while all other prizes were provided by Infocom and other sponsors. The Land Bank of the Philippines also gave a cash prize of P25,000 for one of the third prize winners.

The other national finalists and their rankings were the following:

• College category
– Norberto Rueda, University of Regina Carmeli in Pampanga, fourth; Jason Tablante of Ateneo de Manila University, fifth; Michael Gimena of the University of San Recoletos in Cebu City, sixth; Bryan Briosos of the University of St. Louis in Tuguegarao City, seventh; Ray Nikolai Chua of AMA Computer Learning Center in Roces, Quezon City, eighth; Lester Baltazar of STI, Tagbilaran City, ninth; and Jonah Aren Booc of Informatics Computer Institute in Cagayan de Oro City, 10th.

• High school category
– Jeremy Porquez of St. Benedict College in Las Piñas City, fourth; Delbert Stanley Ty of Xavier School in San Juan, Metro Manila, fifth; Jose Kris Paulo Genargue of the University of the Philippines High School in Cebu, sixth; Wely Jesch Sabalilag of the Philippine Science High School in Iloilo City, seventh; Chester Coronel of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City, eighth; Jeff Marvin Cortez of MSC High School in San Pablo City, Laguna, ninth; and Noel Alvarez of the Science and Technology Education Center in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, 10th.

Sogono, Pagilagan and Velasco were among the top finalists in the First Young Web Designers’ Awards in 2000. Back then, the contest was open only to high school students. Ramon Felipe Rubio, who topped the contest, was tapped as one of the judges in the high school category of the Second Young Web Designers’ Awards.

The other members of the board of judges for this year’s Awards included Dr. Orlando Oxales of the Department of Education; Ricardo Banaag of Intel; Alfonso Palpa-latoc of the Junior Philippine Computer Society; Teresita Medado of EduQuest; Aristotle Carandang of the National Academy of Science and Technology; Jose Illenberger of K2 Interactive; and Peter Que of Japanese IT Standards Examination of the Philippines Foundation Inc.

The DOST-SEI, together with Infocom and Netopia Internet Café, gathered a total of 20 national finalists in Cebu City – 10 each for the college and high school categories – to compete in a two-day, on-the-spot Web design marathon focused on themes disclosed only on the eve of the event.

The national finalists spent a total of 16 hours – 10 hours on the first day and six hours on the second day, to complete functional websites which should conform to the criteria set by the board of judges, namely content, technical features, aesthetics and overall impact.

Participants were allowed to use their choice programs, tools and other software to develop their designs. However, these resources were inspected and installed by the organizers themselves to ensure that only applications or tools and not ready-made graphics and content materials were brought and used by the contestants. To facilitate content organization, some content materials were uniformly provided to the finalists in each category.

The theme for the college category was "Visit Philippines 2003," in support of the DOT’s promotional program. The winning Web design of Peter Martin Gomez will be featured on the DOT website as the youth’s contribution to the campaign.

On the other hand, the high school category focused on a cyber newsletter for the youth dubbed "Interact" on developments in science and technology and/or information technology.

Gomez said, "Web designing is about design innovation. How well you integrate things, even with certain or specific limitations, is the essence of good Web design."

He believes that good Web designers should possess "creativity, open-mindedness, dynamism, willingness to learn and patience." His dream website: something related to high-performance computing and networking and computational media design and "how these two technologies and areas of study can affect the youth and the greater (part) of the society."

High school topnotcher Kristoffer Panes, for his part, commented on what makes a bad website: "The major factor which makes a website/Web design bad is the long download time. Only a few people are willing to spend 10 to 15 minutes waiting for your site to load. Designs should be impressive but simple. (They) should not go over the top and be too heavy for the connection. Bad color combination also destroys a website. And if the content is not informative and substantial, (the site) is useless."

He believes that a good Web designer should "first be familiar with the Internet and how to use it. Second, you must be good at the basics of website-making. Knowledge of HTML is a must, and you must know which tools to use and where to find them."

"A creative mind is a big plus because if a Web designer wants to create a really good website, his/her designs and schemes should always be fresh and unique. Proficiency in writing is a big factor because nobody likes to read boring content and articles which have a lot of grammatical errors," he added.

The actual competition was held at the Netopia Internet Café in SM City Cebu as a kick-off event for the inauguration of Netopia’s Cebu branch. Awarding ceremonies were held at the SM Conference Center Hall D with Science and Technology Undersecretary Dr. Rogelio Panlasigui and Infocom Technologies president and chief executive officer Cecilio Lorenzo gracing the event.

In his inspirational message, read by Lorenzo, Manuel Pangilinan, president and CEO of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which owns both Infocom and Netopia, underscored his company’s commitment to information and communications technology (ICT) education and the youth.

On the other hand, Panlasigui emphasized the DOST’s underlying goal for the project that "through ICT, the youth will be able to communicate their concern for the environment, the development of science and technology in the country, the need for quality education, and the promotion of world peace."

The Second Young Web Designers’ Awards was a project of DOST-SEI, with the sponsorship of Infocom, Netopia Internet Café, DOT, Landbank, Primeworld Digital, Philweavers, trabaho.com, iskul.org and STI. (SEI S&T Media Service)

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