SMARTER Communities choose to be FREE

SFD 2011 Report

Team SFD.PH 2011 Software Freedom Day Celebration Report

We Came. We Saw. We Celebrated.

Team came on really strong this year. This is primarily in line with our passion and objective to raise the bar of expectation every year to make the Software Freedom Day Celebration meaningful, with impact and collaborative (magnified in the number of attendees and the content of what maybe in store for all those who shall enjoin and participate).

As early as July 2011, the team has already chosen the school/ campus host for the Annual Celebration of the Software Freedom Day, St. Paul University Philippines in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. ( The University is located at the Northernmost part of the Archipelago and approximately 550 kilometers away from the City of Manila, Capital of the Philippines (where all the speakers and team will be coming from).

We could adjudge that the strength and success this year is concretely manifested and measurable in more ways than one. With nearly 2,500 attendees comprised of students, teachers, government employees, entreprenuers, IT Professionals from all over the Region 2 (there are 17 Regions in the Philippines), the SFDPH2011 event was exhausting but dissipated by the double fun, entertainment, camaraderie and togetherness. The students and teachers attendees were from among the schools listed below:

  • University of Cagayan Valley (Tuguegarao, Cagayan)
  • Isabela State University (Cabagan, Isabela)
  • Kalinga State College (Kalinga Province)
  • STI College Tuguegarao
  • Our Lady of Pillars (Cauayan City, Isabela)
  • University of St. Louis (Tuguegarao, Cagayan)
  • Isabela State University (Cauayan City, Isabela)
  • Linao National High School (Tuguegarao, Cagayan)
  • Cagayan National High School (Tuguegarao, Cagayan)
  • University of Perpetual Help System (Cauayan City, Isabela)
  • Lyceum of Aparri (Aparri, Cagayan)
  • Isabela State University (Gonzaga, Cagayan Campus)
  • Cagayan State University (Tuguegarao, Cagayan)
  • Tuguegarao Science High School
  • Tuguegarao West Central High School
  • Tuguegarao North Central High School

and of course High School and College students from St. Paul University of the Philippines (Tuguegarao, Cagayan)

Other attendees represented these offices:

  • Savers Appliance Depot
  • Vera7 Group Consumer Cooperative
  • Cagayan Valley Medical Center
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 2
  • Department of Labor and Employment
  • Metropolitan Water District
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development
  • Mines and Geo-Science Bureau
  • Claveria Famer’s Cooperative

During the preparation and pre-event, the core organizers’ crucial task was made easier this time for a lot of minds and hearts generously committed to make the event possible, successful and special. The organizers and speakers numbered to 63 warm bodies, 35 organizations, partners and sponsors.

Partners, Sponsors, Supporters and Member Organizers are from:

  • Intel Philippines
  • Epson Philippines
  • PLDT, Alpha Business Enterprise Group
  • Cre8tivetech Marketing Technologies, Inc.
  • KahelOS
  • ATCOM, China
  • Headstart Business Solutions, Inc.
  • Department of Trade and Industry
  • SMART Communications Philippines
  • TechFactors
  • Tuguegarao City Government
  • Department of Trade and Industry Region 2
  • Department of Interior and Local Government
  • Review Center for Allied Professions (RCAP)
  • IBM Philippines
  • Acer Philippines
  • 8layer Technologies, Inc.
  • Imperium Technologies
  • POSNet (Philippine Open Source Network)
  • Animo
  • Enigma Technologies
  • iSchools
  • GO Autodial
  • Pinoy Exchange
  • Manila Bulletin
  • loudcloud
  • IOSN-International Open Source Network
  • Ideacorp
  • URSolutions
  • West Capitol School of Technologies
  • University of the Philippines, Los Banos
  • and St. Paul University Philippines

Highlights of Team SFD.PH 2011 Software Freedom Day Celebration

The speakers and organizers traveled by land 16 hours from Manila to Tuguegarao (left at 8pm Thursday Night and arrived at 12noon Friday) and though the travel was terribly longer than it could have usually taken, the great company, laughter and fun gave us “the natural high” to pull it through and still make it on the first day of the event vigorously.

Yes, you read it right first day of the event for we planned a two-day event for 2011 SFD.PH Celebration. When we arrived (Manila Delegates) at the SPUP school grounds, we were welcomed by the school drum and lyre band, a bounty luncheon feast at the school cafeteria after we lodged off our personal stuff and event materials at the school hotel and immediately after our venue inspection, the press conference was held at about 2pm to give the press people an overview of F/OSS and what the event was all about. Mr. Carlo Subido, Intel Philippines’ Business Development Manager, Demian Biscocho, CEO- GO AutoDial, Mr. Meric Mara – CEO/CTO 8layer Technologies,Inc. Mr. Macoy Mejia – IT Manager, MDS Call Solutions, Mr. Rey Portugal, Head-R&D, 8layer Technologies, Inc., Rystraum Fabe – CEO, LoudCloud, Jasper Tomas, KahelOS Developer, Deng Silorio – Head Organizer for Team – were among the panel and resource persons during that afternoon. The local media efforts at Tuguegarao (89.3 FM Campus Radio – Tuguegarao
Northern Forum, Philippine Information Agency, Region 2, Bombo Radyo Cagayan, DZCV) complemented the effors to stir national awareness and interest on the event concelebrated worldwide. The media awareness were co-spearheaded by Mr. Lawrence Li-boon, President of POSNet. Deng and Lawrz likewise guested on National Television at at ANC’s Future Perfect (ANC is the largest cable television in the Philippines which also airs in The Filipino Channel overseas.) F/OSS, SFD and KahelOS were all discussed at length at the TV Show.

Videos of the advocacy and the event were also spread at different news websites to enjoin others to participate not only in the SFDPH 2011 event at Tuguegarao but where there is a local Software Freedom Day Celebration near their area.

This ardour and passion to stir and invite everyone insinuated the team to release the Celebrate the Software Freedom Day Song for all those celebrating the the event worldwide.

Booths were installed and students freely visited each booth for freebies, photo booth and other stuff. The night event on the first day was a joyous surprise to the Manila Delegates (since this was not conveyed to us by SPU Coordinators). It was The Battle of the Bands Night. Seven Bands, all SPUP Students from HS and College showed off their talents and rendered their own interpretation of the Celebrate the Software Freedom Day Song (composed by team members Meric Mara, Deng Silorio and Erwin Galang). It was an exciting and wondrous surprise, considering that the students only knew and heard the song, about three days before the event. The band who flawlessly stood out was “Silence Please”

The very generous school host, St. Paul University Philippines, through the very open-minded University President Sr. Remy Angela Junio, spc., the energetic Dra. Teresa Maguigad and the aggressive ICT Coordinator, Mr. Bar Chiu, did a great job at their end in coordination, marketing, press releases and invites and of course the warm and hospitable accommodations to the Manila Delegates. Every Meal was a FEAST.

More…. What more can we say about our event?

More Speakers, much were learned… It was indeed a learning experience for both the Manila Delegates and those who came to know about F/OSS and SFD. About 80% of the attendees from Region 2 heard about Open Source and F/OSS for the first time and months after we left them with concepts and benefits of F/OSS, Team SFD.PH were magnanimous and proud to impart that reports came to us that some government offices migrated to use F/OSS, schools were already putting up Open Source Labs and teaching Linux and Open Source as part of their special curriculum and more students were reading and learning about it, since that spark. We in return, learned so much about the culture of our fellow Filipinos, the places, the food, the hospitality and their concerns in using and implementing Open Systems. Indeed a pleasant and true learning experience.

More Tracks. There were 12 tracks catering to students, teachers, professionals, government and business sector simultaneously happening on the second day of the event. SFD2011 Programme

Mr. Carlo Subido and Mr. Joscel Pendecito of Intel Philippines shared Intel Steps Ahead and their programs with Open Source, Mr. Felipe Bucag likewise imparted their programs on the efforts of Epson Philippines towards enforcing and inculcating IT Education through their products/ services. Dr. Emmanuel Lallana, the President of IdeaCorp, discussed e-governance using free and open technologies, to attendees of the government track and Meric Mara was able to present the advantages and benefits of IP Telephony on Asterisk with help of the hardware telephony provided and shipped by our partner ATCOM of China.

More give aways. More Prizes. More Fun and Games… Apart from the freebies and giveaways that were generously donated by partners and sponsors, Mozilla Firefox also sent stickers, shirts, lanyards, button pins through Mr. Allan Caeg, Mozilla Representative in the Philippines. Epson printers and other Epson stuff were raffled off, External Hard drive, umbrellas, laptop bags from Intel Philippines and many more amazing prizes all from our donors and sponsors.

With the list of activities, fun and excitement, words are not enough. We would like then to share with you our experience, the people, places and events during the Team SFD.PH 2011 Celebration of the Software Freedom Day.

BTW, the event did not end that way. After the afternoon event, Team SFD.PH with Intel Representatives, rocked the night away at the Fellowship Groove, sponsored by St. Paul Univiersity Philippines and 8layer Technologies, Inc…. Food, Bands, Songs, Dancing, and lotsa Beers.


ANC’s Future Perfect Interview – Team

Be an Advocate Now!

Much can be said about sharing, collaboration and the beauty why one should use and advocate F/OSS. And on this momentous, joyous and socially relevant ocassion, we would like to convey to you with one sonorous voice our brief message.

Equip oneself, know more, be more, make ourselves productive so that we can give make our community a better place for all, economically sound and viable but more importantly, one in getting our acts together to grow as individuals for our country’s welfare. .

Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song (Enhanced Audio version)

Here’s a free and downloadable song from SFD.PH Team. Celebrate Software Freedom Song Day.

Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song

Composed by:Erwin Galang,Meric Mara and Deng Silorio
Arranged by: Erwin Galang

Let’s go out and celebrate
It’s the Software Freedom Day
(Chill out/ Cheer out)Yell out and participate
It’s the Software Freedom Day

Let everyone know there’s a software for(that’s) free
Free to use for you and me
Free to run and study
Modify, make copies
Save more money
It’s the Software Freedom Day

Let’s go out and celebrate
It’s the Software Freedom Day
(Chill out/ Cheer out) Yell out and participate
It’s the Software Freedom Day

Throughout the whole world
Sharing is a plenty
Hackers are smiling, knowledge a’flowing
Dance to the beat and feel the heat
Free and Open Software is Here to Stay.

Software Freedom Day
aha (2x)
Software Freedom Day.

Download/Play the song:

Composing the Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song

The Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song, a collaborative and creative result, was totally unexpected.


It was actually a whole rehearsal day for Dekada and Rizal Uno (for an event in August) at the Galang’s residence in Antipolo City. Meric and Deng came late at around 10pm when some of the band members were already having their dinner and then after t’was time to jam with the band.

Right before the jamming started, Erwin played an already laid out tune and made us listen to his fast ska arrangement, it was his new project. Then Deng said, “Can we just have that for SFD?” He in turn said “why not?, if it fits”.

Deng asked Erwin to play the whole tune (originally in Key of F) one more time but in a slower tempo. Then bit by bit a single melodic pattern was being hummed in deng’s mind to fit the already arranged harmony. Deng asked for Meric’s help to form and mold the concept of the song. It should not be too wordy, simple, yet it should embody/capture the theme and thought of F/OSS and essence of celebrating Software Freedom Day.

And over bottles of beer, the scribbling and mumbling lasted for about two hours. Deng asked Erwin to mum the brass section while fitting in the lyrics and melody to the tune. Alas, we think we have a song.

While rehearsing before the recording takes place, we transposed the tune to key of G to fit the singer’s vocal range.

Take 1. Take 2. Take 3. And the vocal recording was done.

More beers and it was 3am but the group was still enthusiastically up and about to finish the song recording. So the final touch of percussion, bass and brass was to be laid out plus of course we had to think of how to end the song, a little more grand than the verses. Recording/ Mixing… and as we waited for Master Erwin to accomplish his final arrangement, it was already 6 in the morning.

We felt free. We felt elated. We felt good. And we hope this is something worth sharing and singing along for this year’s Celebration of Software Freedom Day.


Software Freedom Day (SFD) is an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software. SFD is a public education initiative with the simple aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.

Software Freedom Day was established in 2004 and was first observed on the 28th of August of that year. Over 70 teams participated in the first Software Freedom Day. Since that time it has grown in popularity and organisers anticipate more than 1000 teams this year.

Since 2006 Software Freedom Day has been held on the third Saturday of September.

In the Philippines, independent groups, IT activists and passionate practitioners of F/OSS organize themselves for this very day and pull their efforts and resources together to promote the use and benefits of Free Software. Ti’s the time of the year where “IT Activists” celebrate the essence of FREEDOM. FREEDOM from cost, Liberation from ignorance and FREEDOM to innovate. That though FOSS and Using FOSS is FREE; Learning and Being Learned is PRICELESS.

This year we decided to register our team to SFD.PH, instead of 8layer Team due to the fact that 8layer Team has already enjoined other pious and staunch advocates. This is a concerete manifestation of our steady goal on awareness and proliferation of the F/OSS principles and philosophy in the Country. YES, the SFD Movement in the Philippines is getting bigger and formidable.

The SFD.PH team, growing steadily every year, gathered for our common cause on the utility and benefits of FOSS, imbibes the objective is to essentially and meaningfully reach individuals and organizations to responsibly make use and believe that Information Technology can immensely impact the way of living, doing and our society today.

One way or another our small seed, simple and sincere deeds, our passion and determination has flourished to propagate our firm belief that only with the right perspective and values on Information Technology can we be able to maximize IT’s potential.

And in knowing that “We can only build, with what we know what we have”, this endeavor also fosters enhancing oneself, continued growth and development.

Like gypsies, our team moves from one venue to another, adopting a new community to be aware of the beauty and utility of Free Software, and after the solidarity F/OSS is then adapted.

So this year, our SFDPH2011 Event with theme, “Smarter Communities Choose to be FREE” will be hosted and held at St. Paul University Philippines, Tuguegarao, Cagayan and is projected to draw 2000 students, IT practitioners, representative of government offices and companies in the Region.

Post Navigation