We’re rolling out the judges so that the community can get to know them better. Up first is JV Rufino of INQUIRER.net (formerly INQ7.net).
JV Rufino is the editor in chief of INQUIRER.net, the top Philippine news website for Filipinos both at home and overseas.
Before being appointed editor in chief, JV was the site’s executive editor. It was in that capacity, together with executive editor Leo Magno, that he handled the live-blogging, streaming video and audio, and breaking news delivery that defined the online coverage of the Estrada impeachment trial in 2000, the Edsa Dos revolt in 2001, the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, and the 2004 presidential elections.
At home both in the online world and in the tradition-bound field of book publishing, JV, together with the other principals of Platypus Publishing, has published works on personal finance and Philippine history. He was part of the group behind the noted literary journal PEN & INK.
JV graduated in 1996 from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Management Information Systems.
Adel Gabot is the Group Editor of Hinge Inquirer Publications, and oversees the creation of nearly a dozen different magazines. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Mobile Philippines, Editor-at-Large for Game Magazine, and the former Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine Philippines and Manual Magazine, as well as being Tech Editor for Flip Magazine.
Adel used to write several weekly columns in The Manila Times Op-Ed Section for several years. He studied Journalism in UP Diliman, and is an accomplished fictionist, having won a Palanca and several other writing awards. Musically, he has been a finalist in the Metropop Awards.
Adel’s writing is actually his second career; he was a radio broadcaster and station executive for almost 20 years before turning to writing full-time. He previously hosted a long running talk show with Jessica Zafra, among other things, and created and managed DWKX-FM.
Online he writes in his personal blog, The Electric Journal of Adel Gabot, and he is the creator and Editor-in-Chief of the new technology blog Philippine Week in Tech, or as it better known, PWiT. Adel is an avid Mac user, having been a former Chairman of PhilMug, and is moderator for several other tech forums, notably Mapalad and PodCentral.
After initially discovering the challenge of maintaining a completely personal blog, Derek Punsalan settled in as co-author at UNEASYsilence in May of 2004. From there, motivated by aspiring goals of web development, Derek once again embarked on a personal endeavor to start afresh powered by WordPress. After discovering the satisfaction of sharing theme downloads online, Derek created a new personal site at 5thirtyone.com. He would continue on to share a collection of WordPress releases including the October Special (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and the WordPress Foliage Mod (awarded Most Creative Design).
Enjoying the success of freelance web design, Derek Punsalan now leads YES – a radio station & content tracking service – as their front end design lead moving forward into the 2007 year.
Raised in a mixed Ilocano Tagalog household with deep family beliefs, Derek enjoys the company of close family & friends whenever the Apple displays are turned-off.
Miguel Paraz started working on the commercial Philippine Internet in 1995. He’s been through a lot of significant local Internet events, from the days of personal home pages to today’s blogging.
Today Miguel develops telecoms software and is active in various software development communities. He still finds time to blog once in a while.
Miguel graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1995 with a BS degree in Computer Science.
GAIL DELA CRUZ – VILLANUEVA
As an international award winning designer, Gail has claimed several recognitions from the International WordPress 2.0 Theme Competition bringing a local flavor to the Web 2.0 design industry. She is the creator of the â€œDapit Haponâ€ theme, the first Filipino-inspired WordPress theme on public release, which was recognized by international WordPress users and online media. Gail is also a part-owner of Sheero Media Solutions, where she had done work for some of the country’s top websites.
As one of the owners of Philippine web hosting start-up company plogHost, Abe has built his blogging success story as the chronicler of the Filipino blogosphere with his “The Philippines According to Blogs” and the Pinoy Top Blogs Project.
More famously known as â€œYugaâ€ in the local blogosphere, he has become a valuable resource person doing advocacy talks and trainings on blogging and podcasting both locally and on various Asian countries such as Taiwan, Pakistan and Indonesia.
As a professional blogger, he has successfully established several niche group blogs such as Pinoy Tech Blog, Pinoy Travel Blog and Pinoy Urban Blog. He is also one of the co-founders of the recently launched blog network, the Bayanihan Blog Network.
In the Philippine technology scene, Jayvee is best known for his work as contributing editor for the four year old publication Mobile Philippines under Hinge-Inquirer Publications. He is deeply involved in the professional blogging industry as he claims the title of Technology Channel Editor for global new media network, b5media Inc as well as an interactive media consultant for INQUIRER.net, the number one news website in the Philippines.
Bryan Veloso is the man behind the internationally-renowned blog, Avalonstar, which garnered the Best Blog award in the 2006 South By Southwest Web Awards. A seasoned blogger but a designer at heart, Bryanâ€™s resume boast of working under some of the worldâ€™s most popular companies such as Facebook and Automattic. His portfolio includes designing the Flock browser website.
Bryan currently runs his own company, Revyver, LLC.
Connie is a lawyer who retired very early in order to raise her daughters herself. However, it is her â€œretirementâ€ that paved the way to the fulfillment of her dream: to write.
He has been an opinion and editorial writer and editor since 1994. At present he a columnist for the Arab News Newspaper; head of the Speakerâ€™s Bureau, columnist, and an editorial writer for The Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper; and Assistant Managing Editor and editorial writer for The Philippines Free Press weekly news magazine.
Malou Mangahas is one of the founders of Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and served as its training director before she worked as editor-in-chief for The Manila Times and a lecturer at the UP College of Mass Communication.
Graduated cum laude at UP Diliman, Malou served as editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, chairperson of the University Student Council and the president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and later on a Nieman fellow at Harvard.
She is now working at GMA New Media as Editor-in-Chief of GMANews.tv and also a co-host of Winnie Monsod in the public affairs show called Palaban.
Annalyn Jusay, more popularly known as Ajay in the blogosphere, is a contributor and gadget reviewer for Manila Bulletin’s Technews. In March 2005, she started for MB her weekly column Blog-O-Rama which features bloggers in classic Q & A format. She says: ” My aim is to cover all bloggers, or at least those worthy of it, and give everyone their five minutes of fame.”
A journalism graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Ajay started her professional writing career at the age of 18 and has since worked for a number of publications as well as covered almost all of the important newspaper beats. She claims to now write and blog mostly for fun as she concentrates full-time on her job as a manager for the Philippines’ one and only casino company.
Her two greatest passions are travel and food, as evident in her blog Ajay’s Writings On The Wall.
AnP, shortcut for Ana Ma. Melissa Atienza-Petri, works for the mother company of one of the worldâ€™s top 5 providers of servers and PCs. Since her expatriation in Germany, she has been on the look-out for the best (and cheapest) VoIP provider hoping that one day the â€œbeam me up, Scottie!â€ technology would go beyond the drawing board of Gene Roddenberry. Her other online involvement reflects her passion in life.
She is the founder of PINOYexpats, an ezine for Filipino Expatriates. She is also a professional blogger for Creative Webloggingâ€™s Travel and Parenting sites as well as b5media blog network. When everyone else is asleep and her eyes are still wide awake, she blogs over at Aboutweblogsâ€™ Budget Travel Europe & SnowboardingMOM and at her personal site, Pinayexpat in Deutschland.
Dean Francis Alfar, is a Filipino playwright, novelist and writer of speculative fiction. His plays have been performed in venues across the country, while his articles and fiction have been published both in his native Philippines and abroad, such as in Strange Horizons, Rabid Transit and The Yearâ€™s Best Fantasy and Horror.
His literary awards include nine Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Palanca Awards) â€” including the Grand Prize for Novel for Salamanca (Ateneo Press, 2006)â€” as well as two Manila Criticsâ€™ Circle National Book Awards for the graphic novels Siglo: Freedom and Siglo: Passion.
He is an advocate of the literature of the fantastic, editing the Philippine Speculative Fiction series, as well as a comic book creator and a blogger.
Dean is also an entrepreneur â€” running two businesses. He lives in Manila with his wife, fictionist Nikki Alfar and their daughter.
Jolo Santos is the voice behind avlackâ€™s aesthetic exploration. Heâ€™s a serious coffee drinker, an art and design fog who likes the notion of approach & process but contradicts the stereotype.
Jolo loves Lomoâ€™s, iPod, Music and pizzas. After having his freelance side job track from an Avant-gardeâ€™s group and reading Bruce Mauâ€™s Incomplete Manifesto, heâ€™s now pursuing his passion as a Graphic / UI Designer at Eskwela and Xackup.