Happy, happy 18th birthday Philippine Internet!

Read all about it in Jim Ayson’s The Night Benjie Tan hooked up the Philippines to the Internet. Here is an excerpt of Benjie Tan’s archived first Usenet post from a Philippine connection:

Subject: The Philippines is In!

As of March 29,1994 at 1:15 am Philippine time, unfortunately 2 days late due
to slight technical difficulties, the Philippines was FINALLY connected to the
Internet via SprintLink. The Philippine router, a Cisco 7000 router was
attached via the services of PLDT and Sprint communications to SprintLink’s
router at Stockton Ca. The gateway to the world for the Philippines will be via
NASA Ames Research Center. For now, a 64K serial link is the information
highway to the rest of the Internet world.

Fast forward 18 years later and you have Jay Fajardo of ProudCloud sending Benjie a message from the future:

Hi Ben,

Greetings from the future!

It’s 2012 and the internet in the Philippines is definitely going strong. With the exception of some connectivity problems here and there.

There’s this thing called Facebook (long story, Google it –another long story), which is supposed to be one of the most popular destinations on the world wide web. Filipinos are actually the 3rd(?) largest population on it.

Big surprise: E-mail is passé, at least among the younger generation.

Tips: Buy stock in Apple — right now! Lot’s of it. Don’t buy any kind of stock in fax or pager related businesses. Dump em if you have em.

By the way, there’s going to be a crash in 2000 but your Apple stock will make you gazillions by 2012. Trust me.

If you’re a betting man, don’t believe Michael Jordan has retired, he’s coming back and the Bulls will enjoy another three-peat from 95-98.

George Lucas will finally do Episode 1-3 of Star Wars. You’ll hate the first one but you’ll get to see Yoda move like a ninja and kick butt in 2 & 3.

there’s more but i really don’t want to spoil the surprise.

When you strike it rich (between the Apple stock and betting on the Bulls), look me up if you’d like to thank me financially. I’m on twitter as @jayfajardo

Jay Fajardo

I was beginning to wonder who else remembers March 29, 1994 as the day Filipinos were connected to the Internet. Twitter and Facebook were silent til the afternoon but by the time we were celebrating at 2nd Floor SMART Tower with the original PhilNet crew, the social media channels were all abuzz thanks to @interaksyon who was represented b @carloople last night. I had to explain to my colleagues Vida Sioson and Jean Ong why I was ecstatic shaking hands with Dr. Villarica – known to many as the father of Philippine Internet and of course Benjie Tan – who celebrated this digital milestone 18 years by eating Magoo’s Pizza all by himself.


Benjie Tan finally gets to celeberate eating Magoo’s Pizza with his Philnet friends – 18 years later!


Y’ay! I got a picture with Dr. Villarica – Father of Philippine Internet! w00t!


With Benjie Tan – the man who connected the Philippines to the Internet 18 years ago on March 29 1994

I learned one trivia from Kelsey Hartigan-Go – the first ISP in the Philippines wasn’t MozCom as everybody in the room thought but Portal Inc. and the guy who connected it was my DLSU classmate David Dizon Jr. who also worked for SMART Communications Inc. Who knew? I had a gig that night for Barbie Almalbis prodnight 2DiDiDoo later and since I was co-producing it – I made it an after-party just in case people wanted to celebrate #phnet18 (this was the Twitter hashtag for Philippine Internet’s 18th birthday) with indie Filipino music. By early morning – #phnet18 was trending up to #4 in Twitter! As Migs Paraz pointed out – who would have imagined a local techie hashtag trending in Twitter – what a way to celebrate the Philippine Internet’s 18th birthday!



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