WikiPilipinas is an online, free content encyclopedia on the Philippines. WikiPilipinas features encyclopedic articles covering its 12 Main Portals, namely; Government and Politics, Philippine History, Media and Entertainment, Culture and Arts, People and Society, Business and Economy, Geography and Travel, Philippine Communities, Religion and Beliefs, Science and Technology, and Sports and Leisure. In addition, the encyclopedia also has portals on special topics such as Philippine Music, Native Cuisine, Traditional Filipino Games, and many more.
The name WikiPilipinas is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and Pilipinas, the Filipino term for Philippines. The project was conceptualized in February 2007 by the editors of Filipiniana.net. Together, Filipiniana.net and WikiPilipinas.org aim to become the two primary portals to Philippine knowledge.
WikiPilipinas is an ongoing project written collaboratively by volunteers around the world in an effort to build the largest Philippine knowledgebase. With few exceptions, the contents of WikiPilipinas can be edited at any time, by anyone with access to the Internet, but contributions should be guided by the policies and guidelines that WikiPilipinas editors have identified.
WikiPilipinas is a registered trademark of Filipiniana.net, a full-featured digital library and research portal with a vast repository of freely available digitized public domain documents, books, and images.
WikiPilipinas was conceived as an open content management system that could be edited by volunteers of Filipiniana.net. It was initially based on the Plone peer review system, but article publication was too slow. In September 2006, after the founding of Filipiniana.net, its New York-based founder Gaspar Vibal and webmaster Richard Grimaldo discussed various ways to accelerate the publication of Filipiniana content with a more open, complementary project that would eventually be the biggest Philippine knowledgebase.
On February 13,2007, Grimaldo presented the Philippine Wiki project to Vibal, based on the Wikipedia model. Both agreed that the technology foundation MediaWiki would be an excellent platform, but felt they could improve on Wikipedia's original vision. Vibal, after years of perusing the Wikipedia site, had many ideas on transforming the formal encyclopedia project into a variant that would be more hip and more inclusive, with the encyclopedia concept of listing entries from A to Z being supplemented with an almanac of lists and a directory style listing a la Yahoo.com or Yehey.com. Immediately after the presentation, the WikiPilipinas team, headed by Grimaldo as webmaster and Alfred Ursua as its managing editor, drew up an initial masterlist of priority contents for Project Wikipiniana.
There was resistance from numerous Filipiniana.net editors and consultants to the name "Wikipiniana". Several other names were suggested. Vibal and Grimaldo, however, decided to proceed with the project codename. Wiki was already accepted as common internet lingo and "piniana" was derived from "Filipiniana" which defines any textual material about the Philippines. The original concept was that "Wikipiniana" would be the daughter project of the main company "Filipiniana.net", the world's biggest Philippine digital library. Both were knowledge portals to the Philippines, with Filipiniana.net concentrating on formal academic content, while the latter pursuing the collection of all popular Philippine knowledge.
The "Wikipiniana" project started on March 15,2007 and made available online June 12, 2007 in time for the 109th Philippine Independence Day. The bandwidth and server (located in Manila) were supplied by VConnect, the technology partner of Filipiniana.net. On July 1, 2007, the milestone of 20,000 articles was reached.
On July 7, 2007, the editorial team re-branded the website as WikiPilipinas.org which would henceforth become the official name. The website would also have its own nickname, WikiPinas.org. WikiPilipinas was the global domain name, and several other multilingual microwebsites were registered with the internet registrar: WikiPhilippines, for articles in English, and WikiFilipinas for articles in Spanish.
On July 17, 2007, the milestone of 25,000 articles was achieved, setting an all-time record: 5,000 articles added in just 17 days, or roughly 300 encyclopedia entries a day. In just four months, the wiki had grown from nothing to become the world's biggest online Philippine encyclopedia. (See updated statistics)
On August 8, 2007, Jeroen Hellingman, the Dutch director of Project Gutenberg Philippines, visited the Filipiniana.net office to give a lecture on the open-source freeware movement, with particular emphasis on sharing knowledge and books. His talk and private one-on-ones inspired the WikiPilipinas staff. On that same day, WikiPilipinas powered past the 32,000 article mark, setting another milestone, as it surpassed the Wikis of the following nations: Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Iran, Greece and Norway (Nynorsk). With this WikiPilipinas was catapulted to the top 42 wikis of the world, if ranked within Wikipedia.
On August 22, 2007, WikiPilipinas gave a sneak preview of its impending official launch to Philippine TV, radio, press and blogging communities at Milky Way Restaurant, Makati City. Attended by RPN 9 and GMA 7 news, top technology and lifestyle reporters of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, Business Mirror, and influential members of the blogging community, WikiPilipinas founder Gus Vibal explained the conceptual underpinnings and social aspects of the Philippine knowledge revolution, which was started by Filipiniana.net and WikiPilipinas.org.
After the event, Philippine Daily Inquirer infotech writer Lawrence Casiraya wrote, "The founder of Wikipilipinas.org is hoping for the "long tail" effect to give more prominence to Filipino culture on the Internet." Writing in the blog for literacy advocacy group Read Or Die, Kristine Mandigma described the knowledge portal as "the online version of an omnium gatherum, a motley and captivating assortment of ideas, facts and factoids, emotions, dissertations, and agonized biographies." Nino Gonzales, an information technology blogger and a Filipino member of the rival Wikipedia team, called WikiPilipinas, "the biggest open-source collaborative research infrastructure in Philippine history."
On television, GMA7 scooped the other networks and aired its first news report on the WikiPilipinas project on its 6 pm news program 24 Oras anchored by Mike Enriquez and Mel Tiangco, and again, on the top TV news magazine, Saksi," hosted by Arnold Clavio and Vicky Morales.
“We are overwhelmed by the public response to the project,” said WikiPilipinas founder Gus Vibal. “Starting from a handful of visitors, our website traffic scaled exponentially to 250 by 6 p.m., 780 visitors by 7:49 p.m., and tens of thousands by 12 midnight after the Saksi segment was aired.”
The WikiPilipinas technology team of webmaster Richard Grimaldo and Senior Web Programmer Sherlock Bactin, together with their technology partner VConnect, Inc.'s data center staff, were kept busy the whole night as web traffic escalated to unprecedented levels. Two servers were deployed to scale to the huge spike in traffic, especially after each airing of a TV report. By early morning of August 23, 2007, the upward spiral of visits continued unabated causing the WikiPilipinas servers to crash at 7 am, after GMA7 re-broadcast its earlier news feature. A web server with more memory was deployed temporarily as frantic calls went out to IBM Solutions, VConnect's technology partner.
By noon the following day, WikiPilipinas reached the 100,000 visitor mark making it one of the fastest growing internet start-ups in Philippine history.
The surge necessitated an immediate escalation of WikiPilipinas’ web hosting solutions. Once again the WikiPilipinas tech team turned to VConnect Inc., a business process outsourcing company and its technology partner. Its general manager, Butch Capistrano chose to deploy an IBM X-series Web Server 3850 to rapidly meet the website’s expanding requirements. WikiPilipinas’ new world-class server is powered by dual 3-gigahertz Xeon processors, 16 gigabytes of RAM, dual 750 gigabyte hard drives, and a dual gigabit Ethernet port. Its internet pipeline is supplied by IP Converge. To meet its escalating traffic, VConnect has increased WikiPilipinas’ bandwidth allocation to 10 megabits per second, equivalent to 5 E1 connections.
With this configuration, WikiPilipinas and VConnect Inc. are confident that the website is ready to take on hundreds of thousands volunteers who will help catapult it to the top ten wikis of the world. Its stated ambition is driven by WikiPilipinas founder’s challenge to all Filipinos to make a cultural and technological landmark in the world.
“Our visitors come from the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Romania, and South Africa – anywhere where there are people who love the Philippines and Filipinos,” said Vibal.
Website traffic surged once again when WikiPilipinas was officially unveiled to the Filipino public from August 29 to September 2 during the Manila International Book Fair. iPods, collectibe souvenir t-shirts, stickers, bags, mouse pads and other promotional items were given away to book fair attendees. A computer lab was set up at the Vibal Publishing booth, where fair visitors experienced first hand the full power of Vibal Publishing's two internet portals, Filipiniana.net and WikiPilipinas.org.
The Cornerstones of WikiPilipinas
- WikiPilipinas is an encyclopedia dedicated to anything and everything that matters to Filipinos and the Philippines. It is an encyclopedia of Philippine content and includes elements of an almanac, directory and community pages. A centralized repository of Philippine content, it is intended to serve Filipinos anywhere in the world. Wikipilipinas allows Filipinos to document themselves in a manner they deem proper, whether or not it agrees with what foreign sources say. Articles are grouped under 12 major knowledge areas, or portals, relevant to Filipinos. Whenever possible, articles provide links to other related articles. This way, context is established, building a tightly connected network of topics and articles.
- WikiPilipinas adheres to the principles of intellectual property and encourages original work. Contributors are encouraged to write on their own research on the site, provided that references are included to substantiate the published articles. Whether or not articles are original, they must be presented in a balanced manner, providing fair discussion of an issue from different perspectives. Though WikiPilipinas believes that no view can be entirely neutral, it does not endorse, advocate or subscribe to any particular political, religious, or ideological position.
- WikiPilipinas advocates free access to information. WikiPilipinas adheres to the protocol of the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and therefore considers texts and images free of use and distribution. Content published on WikiPilipinas pages are automatically licensed under GFDL. WikiPilipinas does not accept materials that infringe on copyright or works licensed in a manner that is incompatible with the GFDL.
- WikiPilipinas follows a code of conduct. Although WikiPilipinas prescribes a set of fairly liberal writing and editing guidelines, contributors are encouraged to be civil at all times. They should not engage in any action that results in the disruption of the website. WikiPilipinas does not accept contributions that violates Philippine laws, namely those that are defamatory, libelous and pornographic content.
Editorial board and staff
- Kristine Mandigma
- Program Director
- Rosalia Eugenio
- Managing editor
- Gilmeri Gem Mallorca
- Project editor
- Mark Andrew Manao
- Christian King Corona
- Claudine Siao
- Project assistants
Contacting WikiPilipinas Administrators
If you need more information, the first place to go is WikiPilipinas:Help. To contact individual contributors, leave a message on their talk page. You can contact WikiPilipinas administrators through WikiPilipinas:Help:Administrators. For a full list of contact options, see WikiPilipinas:Contact Us.